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Remembering and being thankful

 

“When you go home, tell them of us and say, for their tomorrow we gave our today.”
~John Maxwell Edmonds

 

For those who fight to to preserve the peace, for those who give their lives so we can live ours, for those who stand against the wall so we have the freedom expand our horizons, we can never thank you enough.

 

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Big Hat!

I rarely take photos of myself.  No wait.  That’s a lie.  I take selfies.  But rarely post them.  I have loads that I’ve taken, saved and never ever looked at again.  In the same vein, I usually don’t like having my picture taken.  I will take photos of other people but I will very rarely take a portrait shot of me seriously!  I’m almost always pulling faces!

I do love this photo though.  It was taken by my friend Anila.  She’s quite clever ninja with the camera and I particularly love her portraits.  She kept asking me to do star jumps (which incidentally are also known as jumping jacks!).   I wasn’t going to because I’m such a klutz!  I’m more likely to slip on landing and break something vital!  So this was the closest Anila was going to get capturing me in a star jump pose!

I am (awkwardly) posing under Anish Kapoor’s At the Edge of the World II at the Everything at Once exhibition at the Store Studios at 180 Strand.

You’ve got to look at Anila’s amazing photos.  She’s @sparkle71h on Instagram and her gorgeous portraits account is @akhussainphotography.  I love her ballerina photos (you half expect the ballerinas to start pirouetting) and her portraits (I love how she captures the light in a person’s eye, it’s just magical!).  She’s also generous with her camera knowledge.  I know for sure that my light trail photos are much better after her tips!  Give her Flickr page a visit!❤️

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Instagram-Schminstagram

Once, several months ago, an instagram acquaintance posted a comment about a photographer that I follow about how they didn’t think this photographer was an instagrammer.

It made me think.  It’s made me wonder where the comment was coming from.  Because I, very clearly, thought the photographer I followed WAS an instagrammer.  What was this person’s definition of the word “instagrammer”?  Was I an Instagrammer in this person’s eyes?

How does one become an instagrammer?  What’s the criteria?  Is it based on the frequency of your posts?  The number of followers?  The number of features you get from instagram hubs?  The number of likes your posts get?

I googled instagrammer and these were some of the definitions:  According to MacMillanDictionary.com, an instagrammer is a user of the Instagram social network. Slangit.com says that an Instagrammer posts images and videos on Instagram and may even comment on other people’s posts. According to the urbandictionary.com an instagrammer simply means a person who gets on Instagram. Better used for a person who gets on often or is obsessive over Instagram.

I posted a question on Instagram and I got the consensus that an instagrammer, as defined by people who have Instagram accounts, is someone who has an instagram account and uses Instagram.

I listen to Sara Tasker’s wonderful podcast Hashtag Authentic (I may have waxed lyrical about how amazing this podcast is in a blog entry) and her podcast on 25 October where she has a conversation with Tara Swiger.  One thing they discussed resonated with me so much.  Tara said that the numbers about your engagement on social media platforms does not necessarily reflect the value that you provide to the people who follow you for the right reasons. A big audience or following does not necessarily mean expertise or value.  It may reflect on the reason why you’re on the social media platform: whether you’re on it to offer a service (which means your provide expertise) or if you’re on it to receive some kind of validation (which relates to the need to pay attention to your stats) or if it’s another reason which is an amalgamation of the two.

So whether you have 100,000 followers or 100 on Instagram or Twitter, or any other social media platform, it does not matter as it doesn’t devalue the material that you post on social media.  It doesn’t make you any less of an Instagrammer if you only have a handful of followers, it just makes you less of a player of the Instafame game; as long as you use the platform you are a whatever-er (an Instagrammer, a person who Tweets, a blogger..you get the idea!).

Having said all that, it is important to remember that people’s personal definitions of ideas or concepts is completely subjective and is completely defined by their experiences.  So there isn’t really a correct or incorrect definition of what an instagrammer really is.  Our personal definitions are based on our experiences, our interactions and our motivations for being on social media.  I think what we need to remember is that we need to have is an awareness that our instinctive reactions, i.e. knee-jerk, are based on our personal experiences, definitions and biases.  If we remember this, then we avoid making sweeping generalisations and/or saying them out loud.  Brilliant, I think, for avoiding foot-in-mouth situations!

Snaps

A London sunset

 

“Soon it got dusk, a grapy dusk, a purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon fields; the sun the color of pressed grapes, slashed with burgandy red, the fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road

This photo was taken on Saturday.  I still can’t get over how beautiful the sunset was!

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My father the superhero

You are my hero, my strength, my inspiration and my guiding light.

I am who I am and where I am because of everything you have done, risked and sacrificed. I will never be able to thank you enough. I am blessed because you love us and have always expressed it in word and deed so that we are never in doubt of it. And though we are not together, and your illness prevents you from being the Aba we know you to be, I see glimpses of the father I adore when you smile when we FaceTime and when you try to say our names and tell us you love us.

Happy birthday Abadabbadooooo. I love you

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When I get there…bygones!

“Wisdom tells us that the best time for silence is when we are mad or upset.”
– John Patrick Hickey, Oops Did I Really Post That?

 

I am working on a very important project.

I am working on ME.  I thought I was over this thing, but like a masochist out for pain, I still needle the emotional scab and allow the pain (and all the negative emotions that go with it: anger, annoyance, impatience, self-doubt, pettiness, you get the idea).  I repeatedly told myself to draw a line.  I told myself that I wasn’t going to let this overtake my life.  But it was still there, like an irritating mosquito buzzing, hovering in the background.

In the end, I came to the conclusion that I was going about this whole thing the wrong way.  I was telling myself that I shouldn’t let myself get angry; I shouldn’t give in to the negativity; that the high road was to let this go.  But in going into denial about how I felt was negating myself.  I was, basically, telling myself I was wrong.  I was invalidating my own opinions.  Granted, it wasn’t the healthiest of situations, and sometimes you just want to just get on with your life.  But I wasn’t moving on.

I have allowed myself to be angry.  I have allowed myself to feel the hurt.  I have actually said to myself, “Well, I didn’t draw first blood, so it’s okay to feel offended and violated!”  I have actually allowed my inner mean girl, my inner Regina George to come to the fore.  I am allowed to lash out.  If only verbally and if only to myself and the bathroom mirror.

I will continue write things out, because I process things better when I write things down.  I think the trick is to allow myself to feel my feelings.  Because they’re mine.  One can immerse in the feelings, but it is important to remember that it’s not healthy to stay submerged in these feelings until one goes emotionally pruney.  I think I’ve been able to express my feelings enough.  Maybe I will try to not talk about it (fat chance of that happening as when I am angry, I keep wanting to talk about it!  Silence and keeping schtumm when angry is still something I need to learn.).

I know one day I will be able to say the immortal words of Richard Fish in Ally McBeal: “Bygones” and mean it.  Until then, I will keep on keeping and keep on healing.