Thursday, 28 June 2012

Not quite back in the saddle.

It's been a while since I posted and I have a number of excuses there have been a few developments so it's time to catch up.

Firstly I've decided it's time to drop my 'pen-name' so you'll notice a change but I can assure you I'm still me. Although I must admit that I think Mari is a lovely name. It belonged to my Grandma and I didn't think she'd mind if I borrowed it for a while until I found the confidence to use my own name. But if I were ever to get published I reckon her name would look far better in print than mine so who knows? It may yet be 'borrowed' again. I used it when I entered a short story in last year's Brighton COW (community of writers) competition and was shortlisted so I reckon it brings me luck. And I'm sure it has nothing to do with the well established and popular Brighton COW site closing down just after I entered. No, really. I AM sure.

Secondly my studies with the Open University have come to an end with having completed my Diploma in Creative Writing and I've embarked on a course with The Open College of the Arts (OCA) which will hopefully lead to a degree in photography.
Excuse me while I recover from an attack of mirth after writing that. To say a degree in photography is a long way off is a huge understatement. The OCA's own blog is full of inspiring information and well worth a look if you have hours to spare and are interested in the arts. Regarding the distance learning course that I'm doing (The Art of Photography) I'd like to say I'm a little startled to discover how inept I am at all things I.T. or maths related but the truth is it's not a surprise.With the exception of what I needed to know for work (drug calculations etc) numeric formulae have always driven me to lie down in a darkened room. I hasten to add that I was a whizz at said drug calculations. No what I'm talking about here are monstrous equations such as Pythagoras' Theorum and the like. It was a shock to find I needed to know such things to be able to take a photograph! Well, strictly speaking it's to understand how my camera works which is always useful when taking a photograph.
My I.T.non-comprehension became evident because I foolishly set up a learning log in blog form as my course peers have done. 'Easy'I thought 'I've been scribbling here for a while so I know how to do that' and blithely set to. Some weeks ago. Several, in fact. Incredible frustration at the depth of my ineptitude combined with talk of categories, labels, links and easy navigation for 'The Assessors' (I think they're some sort of Terror organization) caused me to have to lie down in a darkened room again. But I think I'm getting there.

Thirdly and most serious for me is that a couple of months ago I suffered an exacerbation of my spinal condition that really did force me to lie down although fortunately not in a darkened room. Unfortunately it left me completely immobile for a while and has left a bit of neuropathy in my leg but I'm up and about now albeit a tad unsteady and even slower than before. On the plus side I've found that the camera tripod makes an excellent walking stick and the quest for suitable photographic subjects for the course-work provides great physiotherapy. So I may not be back in the saddle but it's good to be back on the blog. One step at a time.


  1. Well hello stranger!.....Welcome back! Almost given up hope. But here you are, raring to go, and full of ideas! Good for you!
    Hey! Just one thing, even after all the degree`s and awards, there is one thing, this thing is what truly makes a good, if not great photographer.

    Its, called "seeing" the picture. Cartier Bresson had it, so did Bailey and Snowdon among others. If your picture pleases you, your half way there! Good on ya!

  2. Wow you manage to comment before I even edited the post Cheyenne! I agree with your point that qualifications don't necessarily equate to good photography. I'm a lifelong student though and whereas for most of my adult life studying was related to my career, now I can combine it with what I want to do, hence writing and photography.(Both incidentally not too hindered by large amounts of pain-killers etc!) I'm really excited to have started the course and am learning loads already. Thanks for not giving up hope!

  3. It's great to see you blogging again Denise and I'm glad you're on the mend.

    I don't know much about photography, but it strikes me that, like writing, it's a lot to do with alternative ways of seeing. They seem complimentary skills - telling stories in words and pictures.

    I'm looking forward to reading you blog, so good luck in your new adventure!

  4. Thanks Karen. I suspect you're being a bit modest about the photography though. I find writing and photography to be complementary as well. I'm thinking of doing a project inspired by poetry but it's the basic technical aspects at the moment.The other blog is a reflective learning log so not at all interesting for readers - may be good for insomniacs!

  5. Hooray... you're back! Can't wait to see more of your photos. x

  6. Thanks Vee. If only it would stop raining I might get some taken!