Second day into studio shutdown , have cancelled the next 2 months family portrait sessions and I fall into the category of one of those who doesn't quite know how to afford the lockdown and definitely how to keep up the studio rent but I am fortunate I have a partner who is still working (for the NHS) and so we will have food in our bellies and we have a home so you wont hear me complaining.
I thought, to prevent me from spontaneously combusting during this voluntary lockdown (its not completely in force yet in the UK) I will utilise the time efficiently (thats not changing ha!) . I shall measure the amount of time I spend in front of that box thing on the wall that spouts news news news and more news and keep a check that im not fuelling any panic with grazing on fake social media news ( a crazy bad habit thats not good for the soul skin). As well as this I am going to make an effort to read more, I used to read so much then think -personally- I had my kids and every time I picked up a book I was asleep by the turn of the second page - same with films-just too knackered! I cannot use this excuse any more as I have two fully fledged fully feathered birds that ask of me less and less as the years go on, it is less physically tiring these days more emotional with teenagers in the house!
So, along with this commitment to myself and to keep my eye in ( i HAVE to photograph -its an eight sense I cannot ignore) I shall photograph The Mundane one or two photographs and probably write one mundane paragraph per day to see me through- hang on to your hats its going to be as exciting as a slow dripping tap- which- if you are so inclined like myself can be as intense , beautiful & dramatic as Tosca !
First bit of Mundanity (is that even a word...)
.The Kitchen Table.
Where we are pleasantly reconvening and starting to get to re -know each other once again
.The Jar of Virol.
Well i never knew..this jar sits here minding its own business and I enjoy its outline visually , & its ergonomics, it feels good in the hand , and I appreciate the art of the glass blowing. On photographing it today I googled the name.. lo + behold learn something new every corona day Virol "was a by-product of the brewing industry , packed full of nutrients , including vits A,B an D, riboflavin, malt sugar, egg, orang juice and refined fats. Small wonder that in 'The House at Pooh Corner ' Kanga gives baby Roo malt extract as a "strengthening medicine" ( source : https://stmargarets.london.2016/11 )
.March the something.
L O C K D O W N
Don't even know what date it is- don't care much at the best of times so now...meh its all...March ..I think :). Thing is with mia family we function like this on every 'new' thing, adventure, catastrophe, trip., holiday, day out, outing, event etc etc - horrendous on the way out but great on the way back- meaning , - it takes us a while to find our groove. There are a lot of opinions clashing, strong minds battling to behold the very best idea, and decisions splitting in more ways than you can shred a leek . The beautiful supposedly tranquil summer canal barge trip comes to mind- fought like ferrets over a carol singers leg along the way (even the willow trees leaned more to say 'sort it out folks" ) but by the time the boat turned we were in our groove and back to The D-R's doing what we do best hanging out together, chilling and laughing...just takes us time. To my point...this corona thing...kind of done a Wile E Coyote on us & put a wee stick of dynamite amongst us MEEP MEEP. The eldest ,now having reached sexual maturity and being ordered home because Uni is in shutdown has chosen- after much revolving door 'emoche' episodes- to stay with the BF down the road-hmmmnot sure how i feel about that or how i should feel about that or i could feel about that, she is an adult but despite that I just felt like putting a lock & chain around my nest . Currently the youngest is on a field trip to the local shop with her dad for "essentials' like muffin cases (seriously ...before the corona police attack ,they 'are' getting some F O O D an just the one bag I might add) .
Annnyways to todays mundane photograph- some items we own , we house not because of their perfection in their beauty but for their perfection in their anti-beauty-this is one of our beutifugly homewares
.The Hairy Chair.
.Middle march or nearing the end of. The morning was dawning on me.
Woke up early again as per ..the robot that is me- the huwoman- knows no other than the repeated action..maybe this shutdown will shutdown my internal hamster wheel who knows. The light on the stairs said or is it whispered or is it called or is it beckoned..no its 'said' hayup ! so yes I got me cam and recorded the call as I enjoyed the abstract shapes against the bannister.
Been a very productive day, made the very most of the Vit D available and stayed outdoors for all the daylight hours, dug up me some garden, painted a window, cleaned a light and refitted the light , painted some more metal stuff which included the front gate and made a small fence (we are talking 2 posts and 8 nails so not Hadrians Wall but still it was a space that needed..a fence) and did the washing made dinner and tea and managed a gorgeous quality 15 mins conversation with my 13 year old in the sun ,sat on the pavement whilst painting my gate ....im on fire today!!! Sunshine does that to me---good ole doctor sunshiiiiiine. Namaste Thankye kindly soleil - very much needed !
One thing I shall remember this time for -amongst a shed loads of shit- is the final acceptance that the godawful brazzier has to go!! Years ive held this design beauty close to my bosoms...way way wayyyyy to many years...poor thing was begging to be binned about 5 bras ago. (edit: I binned the weaponous wires and kept the bra to wear today ...old habits are like old comfy bras, hard to change)
I didnt know this "the bra gets its name from the French word "brassière" (knew that bit not the next bit) which came from the older word "bracière" which meant "arm protector." A bracière was a type of military armour worn over a soldier's chest, but this would eventually be applied to a kind of corset worn by women. " fashion.just-the-swing.com › history-of-the-bra
Sun-kissed and hand sore from sawing and planing and drilling and banging and forking and raking but with me old mucker Vino Vinetto by my side I come to my final Mundane Photograph of the day - the youngest made muffins...nice but left her empties on the computer table....annoying initially but then thought hmmmm look how the stripes on the muffin cases blend with the reflection on the glass table of the window blinds....as yer do - see yer tomoz coz...
A FEW DAYS LATER. BEEN MAKING HAY.
Today I woke up and had to scramble my mind to work out what day it was..convinced it was midweek I was surprised to see Saturday kitchen on the box..then again doesn't take me much to let time constraints go out the window at the best of times, and these aren't the best of times but they are showing the best of the best -you know what I mean. So have not done my 'daily' blog for the past two days ..hey ho..who cares..who reading or looking?...as always I am doing what I choose to do and if anyone else is interested then bang on . Not posted as I had a fence to build and the sun was shining...but did take mundane photographs (below) . Our fence blew down in the last' Storm whatever you called her/him ' and have not had the time or money quite frankly to get it sorted so my lovely neighbour has had to endure a double garden for the past few weeks . I have quite enjoyed not having a postage stamp size garden and the common over the canal view opening up but no excuses, we had the new fence ready to go and now we had .....the time . Living on the canal is gorg im not going to lie and especially during these times. As Ive been raking and drilling and holding fence panels , Ive been watching folk pass by, saw an elder couple , Im guessing their late seventies, walking by holding hands, brought a warm tear to my eye, a well needed soft reminder & invite to the soul to hold on to these precious moments where and when we can ,I may have been holding a fence panel but my heart was holding their love across the canal (yeh so im a romantic who cares). I have had many an exchange whilst I have been out there, with friends passing by and catching up and with strangers exchanging thoughts and concerns and always a smile a wave and a take away message of 'stay Safe' There has been a calmness , a sort of congenial air across the common that soothed my soul and Ive really loved watching all the dogs playing(dog broody!)- been quite a refreshing break from the realities that are unfolding. Anyways not going to keep babbling on particularly about the realities as we have that 24/7 so to the mundane photographs of the last 2 days .
Just had phone interview with Universal Credit who was super helpful , bless the woman as she must be inundated and now to research what I can do about my business . Husband has gone off to work for 14 hour shift - we are all thinking about those essential workers
Quote from The Guardian today
If we turn our gaze to the more distant future, the future which is unknown both to you and to us too, we can only tell you this: when all of this is over, the world won’t be the same.
© Francesca Melandri 2020
The Corner Light.
.The Redeemable Cactus.
Had this beauty a couple o decades and what I adore about her is her amazing capacity to heal herself, she has been through many a 'topple over' and still heals herself, look you can see her scars, I love her ...far from Mundane is She
.The Reflections Of The glass Cabinet.
Love a reflection or three
Annoyingly the youngest has left her manoeuvres on the computer table once again ....but hmmmmmm again Mum has to photograph it like a scab you have to pick, or sun burnt skin you have to peel (but sweeter).....so by rights it then became my job to take it to the kitchen
.The Cornflake Bowl.
.SURE SEEMS LIKE A SUNDAY. 29.03.20
Not much to say..last night was quite cool, had a mini kitchen rave to Gok Wans live Instagram feed , his mix was full of 90's old skool house tunes so lifted the spirits that along with 2 cans of Doombar. At the very same time I noted Carol Vorderman's twitter feed ( she's a self confirmed space geek) said that the ISS (international space staton) was flying over at 8:31 pm so made a date with the beautiful clear Van Gogh skies for that. Saw the ISS sail by ( I ..think)- took an immensely poor vid of it - going to try again tonight but this time a photo so today I shall you tube how to photograph space stations on the move . Incidently GW house party started at 8:31 so for a minute was having to split myself in 2 places- the trials and tribulations of a Lockdown.
Missing my eldest who is isolating down the road at her boyfriends ( well you would given the choice wouldn't you) and my mum who went into a care home literally before the virus broke for her Dementia and so I haven't seen her now for 'too long' and my thoughts constantly swing to her , her mind was pretty fragile when she went in so I can only 'not guess' as to what she may be thinking or feeling. Anyway on the upbeat, ive made a big Chilli for the next couple of days (eldest and her bf re-camping with us from tomorrow) . Husband got a good shop in, the local supermarket allowing NHS + Firefighters priority and he is both ,although he didnt need prioritising today he said there was no queue so maybe the initial feeding frenzy has subsided..I hope. I cannot stand supermarket shopping on a good day let alone when there's panicky people clambering for stuff...as he says in Kez "I would rather eat a bowl of snot"
.THE THIR-TEENS MAKE UP TABLE .
Discovered something that made me happy whilst photographing this - I have very sensitive lips so always have to make my own lipstick/balm - I add lip colour to a pot of vaseline , been doing it for years to protect my lips , they are the first thing to burn or to chap or too blister or to get cold sores. Annnywway ..amongst my youngest array of 500 combinations of make up I found a lipstick tinted Lip Balm made by Nivea...I am so having that! in fact has now firmly took residence in my pocket - sure she wont deprive her ole mother of it .
Time is like a Coin
Dont let anyone spend it for you. Never have we all had so much Time- we are abundant with it and although we lost some Time last night -I think,-I never understand this losing and gaining an hour thing- always fuk it up . Time is ours and ours alone for us to choose what we do with it and I for one am not going to judge anyone for their choices- life is subjective - how I choose to spend my Time might not be your choice - thats the beauty of being individual- jeez if we were all the same spending our Time the same way now that would be scary. Will get some photography absorption in today though to fill the creative well.
.The Fave Magazine.
I dont know about you all and how you are coping or your methods of coping but for my family laughter is always key- we never take ourselves too seriously because sure as the moon lights up our sky there will always be something around the corner to bite you on the Glutus and remind humanity that in fact we are fragile we are vulnerable and we are all one- I think the best comedians are excellent at transporting this point . Me for one do not wish to be any where within yards of a moral compass for anyones life especially during these worrying times and I expect the same.
Live + Let Live, even more so now, I am so done with the curtain twitchers , the high + mighties; the neverdo wrongs; the ' you shouldn't do thats', the Puritanicals that hide not one but a graveyard of dirty skeletons in their deep dark closets -this particular breed of folk from what I can see and read , THEY are really coming into their own on social media during these tough enough times ...this why Photography + Books, films ; music + magazines + silence are my 'go to' .
Off Piste from the thread but Can i just say ...husband has just informed me the usual joint he purchases on a Sunday for £5.50 is now £9.50. so he chose not to buy it ..WTF.. leaves a bitter taste in my mouth to think that 'some' supermarkets 'may' be cashing in on a crisis ...that my friends is when my humour runs out.
Until tomorrow . Stay Safe.
.SPIRiT ANIMAL : FLAMINGO .
Have not got much to say today - cannot be arsed with writing. It seems an extra quiet day, almost the calm before the big storm.
.LAST DAY OF MARCH.
It seems its Tuesday, know this because husband has to go to the fire-station for his weekly training, the difference this time is only 2 fire fighters per training session and I think he said they will be donning PPE, he also said they have to prepare for the firetruck and themselves to be used to deliver bodies which is a harrowing thought. On a lighter note I emailed Mums care home and asked if there is anyway I could face-time my mother as its been perhaps 3 weeks since ive made any contact with her and so they said yes and this afternoon I have a FT call with mum which is venturing into the unknown as 1. Mum has never owned a moBile phone 2. Mum has recently been diagnosed with vascular dementia - just need to see her face and her enduring smile will be something and to know she's in good care ...which I do know..but yer know...
Thats the way with this coronas thing, life can go from one harrowing situation to one of a hope many times in one day- just have to stay calm and stay grounded. Im doing a lot of jobs outside the house to keep me sane and to get my fresh air quota and to keep fit, levelling and digging up the back garden is hardcore for the arms!. Whilst clearing the canal (the girls and I have been canoeing up and down the canal for years with bags collecting all the discarded plastic - Lucozade , in fact all energy drink bottles seems to be the favourite tipple and the favourite topple into the canal). I removed a wire mesh from our canalside that particularly collects all the plastic bottles like nits in hair, on doing so , attached was a very old grey mysterious pull-string bag. I darent open it -the bag has remained there for days now cant bring myself to open it or move it , its getting stiffer by the day i know this as poked it with the rake . For some reason the bag makes me feel troubled...or i could be projecting .
I said this was going to be Mundane - more mundanity on its wayski
.THE BLIND CHORD.
.THE FILM CAMERA. patiently waiting
The other night had an exciting time (well comparably) with my 13 year old checking out the ISS station flying over - it went over our house two nights and I You tubed for the second night how to photograph stars at night in hope of capturing ISS in a good way like I see so many cool starry night photographs on my FB feed(you know the one)- hmmmm didnt quite accomplish it whatsoever - the white dot above IS the ISS
Which brings me neatly to todays mundane photograph and Ansel Adams quote
“You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”
.THE ISSPOON. Toasting t-cakes reflecting on the ISS and thinking thats the kind of milky way photograph I was after and far more detail than my attempt at the stars ;D
.HOME IS WHERE THE HEARTS ARE.
Eldest and her boyfriend after a week with his parents are now re homing to us ( its like a step family scenario and you are allowed to) So they are settling and finding their groove upstairs in the loft- staying home together watching multiple Disney movies.
.LOOKING OUT. the eldest in thought - all of us propping each other up in these disconcerting times
.APRIL APRIL APRIL. The meaning of April is Open . www.dictionary.com/e/april/
So open hearted but closed doors..we can do this.
Films watched thus far on Lockdown
1. Tiger King ( along with the rest of the world)
4.The surrogacy trap
5.Brain on Fire
6.Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise
7.Strike a Pose
and a shed loads of real life crime investigations !!....my capacity to stay awake during a film has strengthened...must be the lie ins !
Finding myself pointing the camera towards parts of my husbands body ...not to worry ..not in a perverse way..leave that to the experts
.Feet. Not A Fan but Like His.
Nice to see husband relaxing everyday ..well in between shifts at the mental health hospital he works a which has confirmed cases and his alerter going off for the firestation. Saw his feet , which are in this position guarding the remote control every day..personally theres only so much whatcha call them...programmes about upcycling, renovating, finding, atinquey, retro,car jobby , enginey stuff, bring back to lifey or ..things i can watch... then its TTFN.
To be honest dont really feel very much of anything atm, the thought of 'running' is not stirring me , not even walking...I havent left the house in 2 weeks , ..sorry..once to collect a beer keg for my husband.
.THE ROCKING CHAIR.
I wonder to myself , as im sure everyone is doing , what will the streets be like when we return to them.
Read this today on a facebook feed , i thought was poignant
"We fell asleep in one world, and woke up in another.
Suddenly Disney is out of magic,
Paris is no longer romantic,
New York doesn't stand up anymore,
the Chinese wall is no longer a fortress, and Mecca is empty.
Hugs & kisses suddenly become weapons, and not visiting parents & friends becomes an act of love.
Suddenly you realise that power, beauty & money are worthless, and can't get you the oxygen you're fighting for.
The world continues its life and it is beautiful. It only puts humans in cages. I think it's sending us a message:
'You are not necessary. The air, earth, water and sky without you are fine. When you come back, remember that you are my guests. Not my masters.' "
Actually picked up the book my neighbour leant me afore the lockdown and as i usually ddo wth photography books i flicked the pages initially to land on a random page and i stopped at this....am doing and will do mr Frank !!
Keep Safe . x
.FRIDAY THE THIRD.
Decided not going to keep blabbing on about this and that as I am not a writer as I am not a singer but love to sing , it is not good for those around me though :D . Glad I'had a go' and up to a month or so ago writing was painful & it is not now so in that sense I am glad I attempted . It seems 'for me' the photograph atm absolves all need to chatter on ..which im grateful for.
Saying thaat... dominating words and thoughts for today are
:-I wish my mum lived with me and not the Care Home
:- Crazy dreams atm ( also watching Freud film -it said " dreams are the nights eyes")
:- Missing my studio space where I can be a total nut job in private -as it stands theres nowhere currently to even masturbate )
.LOCKDOWN CURRENT MOOD.