Thursday, 30 December 2010


I'm rubbish at updating this I know. I apologise to anyone who is still reading it.
I have not been very well and despite spending a lot of time at home have not really felt like sharing much.
I have been taking some more photos and have been adding them to flickr, though there is little of interest other than the magnitude of Mr B. If you are interested the page can be found here.
If I had something to rave about or complain about I would. Nothing very interesting has been happening nor have I thought anything of value to anyone but myself.
Identity and death have been on my mind. Both I need to spend some more time with before I can begin to understand what it is I am trying to work out. If I do I will be sure to let you all know.

As ever take good care of yourselves and don't forget to ask your old Auntie if I can have that typewriter.

Friday, 10 December 2010

This will be my last post for a while as I am going into hospital again.

I want to share my admiration for a young photographer I came across on Flickr.
Her name is Cari Ann Wayman and she goes by the handle yyellowbird.
All I was doing was looking for pictures of typewriters and stumbled across one of her self portraits. It's hard to put into words the feelings her images evoke for me.
I will do the best I can.
Though nostalgic in tone a lot of her shots are provocatively posed and framed in a fashion not unlike early Dazed and Confused (before it became shit) Though her work lacks the pomposity of a lot of fashion photography.
Her use of muted tones adds a seventies feel as well as her diverse wardrobe.
I also love the post processing she uses. The light bleed adding a red glow to the edge of certain shots is one of my favourites. It subconsciously adds a sense of naivety to images that could otherwise become rather too competent looking and loose a little of their charm. Sparkles of light and lens flare add more to her already dreamlike images.
For me they feel like images from a book. Just how one might imagine a scene described in the most poetic of language. Such detail in composition and content, such emotion in pose. She makes me what to be a young girl exploring the US with my camera.
Please have a look at her photostream here YYELLOWBIRD

At my worst her work has given me a place I would like to be.
I explore the abandoned houses in my head and look for the beauty that she has found.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

The lump they call life.

Depression is no fun. Its not just a clever name.
The weather wont have helped I'm sure but when you just can't seem to find anything to hold on to where are you left? Waiting. When you don't have the drive to work towards any sort of progress you just wait and see. Not even hope. Just see what happens. And this is how I roll all the way down to the bottom of the hill.
I have been told to write 3 things every day that make me happy or that are at least good in some way. I tend to just ask my Girlfriend what they are and she seems to be able to come up with them for me. I can't feel them myself though.
Issues around my father have been at the forefront of my mind grapes.
Its not an issue that is easy to deal with nor one that I have the means to do so.
So again. I wait. How do you take action when you have no strength?
It always feels like a struggle getting back up the hill. They say its not like starting again but it fucking feels like it.
Anyone that has suffered from or is suffering from depression or any mental health issues know that I am with you. Swimming in the murky shit at the bottom of the lump they call life.

Friday, 3 December 2010

First try with HDR.

I have my new Nikon DSLR now and have been having a lot of fun playing with it.
There are only a couple of things it lacks which is a shame.
Auto bracketing and depth of field preview. To be honest I would have probably gone for the next one up had I known about the lack of DOFP.
The bracketing is something anyone into photography would have done many times but manually. And of course it can still be done that way. The advantage of the auto bracketing is for HDR photography. (High Dynamic Range)
This is a relatively new technique which uses 3 or more exposures and puts them all together in one image.
The basic idea is that you take a number of shots all at different exposures. So one properly exposed and then one or two each way +1 +2 and -1 -2 stops.
This allows the camera to get detail from every tonal range. Lots of shadow detail and lots of highlight detail as well.
The problem without AEB is that you need to touch the camera to change the shutter or exposure compensation between shots. This can move the thing and also allows clouds etc to move in the frame which will prevent your shots from lining up properly for the final shot.

Now there is a clever way to make a semi HDR out of a single RAW image!
This Is what I have done with the image below. It is not a true HDR but you would be hard pressed to tell the difference. And unless anyone wants to buy me a better Nikon body its the best I can do for you for now.
Hope you like it.

Larger version here on Flikr.


Wednesday, 17 November 2010


Sorry for the lack of updates. Everything has been broken for a while.
I should have my monitor fixed tomorrow so will try and add some thoughts on something or other. Even if its just my new typewriters.
Oh and expect some photography soon.


Friday, 5 November 2010


Morning pale does your beauty unveil,
Yet a sadness sits upon silenced lips,
Your heart doth behold a secret untold,
Tomorrow a knife will cut out your life.


Monday, 1 November 2010

I have not felt like I have anything to say or write for a few days now.
I keep typing just to stay in the practice but nothing seems to come out very interesting or well written.
A few pieces about my Grandmother and where she passed away.
Lists of things that need to be done around the house, things to sell things to buy.
Its an uncomfortable place for me. Not feeling like I have anything to say.
As most who know me would attest I am not one to be lost for words.
I feel as though my words are not carrying any content worth sharing, summed up pretty well by this pretty pointless post.
What do you do when you lack a voice? Where do you go to find it?
I have been reading some of my favourite poets. I have started to read some I am not so familiar with. Did you know that Keats started to write at 18 and died at 25. His body of work testament to his un-matured talent. Imagine what he could have written had he lived a further 25 years?
I like to read Dante Alighieri though it feels a bit of a pointless exercise when you consider the whole text is a translation. No matter how close it may feel to the original surely subtleties of language are lost.
I'm not saying its bad to read. I actually find it flows better than most Milton.
I don't know. I guess I must be feeling a bit down.
Comments people. Comments.


Thursday, 28 October 2010

The inevitable disappointments of the future.

As I'm sure is pretty obvious I rather like typewriters.
I think the enduring nature of such devices stems from multiple places but for me, specificity, It's a combination of a few. A couple I would like to mention are the period they represent in our time line and the nature of pre disposable society.
I have been looking in many charity shops for books and writers and have found that a lot of them have seen an increase in the sales of them along with other non electric mechanical options for all over the home.
Is it that the current economy is driving people back. Back to a simpler time where things could be used over and over without the need for a three year extended warranty? Where if you bought something for a specific task it just did it no questions asked?
There seems to be a generation that wants to be able to produce printed documents without the need or will to have a computer. To these people who grew up in the 50s and 60s the seemingly increasing trend towards retro must simply feel like home.
And to younger people like myself the ideology of those decades holds such rich history I have no choice but to bathe in it when ever I can.
Of course there are machines dating back to the 1800s and many made from those years on. Some show cost cutting during the great depression and perhaps don't hold quite the same nostalgic magic as others.
I have found that the older the machine I type on the further back it seems to take me in my own life. I wrote a short piece today on my Grandfathers sister and the market here in Bexhill. These thoughts seem as vivid today as they did 24 years ago.
And the machine I used is a good 80 years old.
In 80 years time what will be left for our children to find wonder in?
My Happy Hacking keyboard on my desk here will probably be in a landfill or shot at the moon. My computer would have undergone hundreds of changes before being debunked by some bio chip super micro holographic mega wankery.
The records of our lives and of our greatest works catalogued and left with no desire to be discovered. What will there be for historians to dig up of us?
With disposable society came the recycling culture. And though it may well preserve the ground that we walk on and the air that we breath. If the world is left empty of memories.
I just blanked out for a bit. Not sure how to finish this now.
I am trying to just write without humility or censoring but when I draw a blank I feel wrong forcing myself to fill it.
Someone help me out on this one will you?
In the mean time I continue to fill my life with the marvels of the past.
And try not to worry about the inevitable disappointments of the future.

Take care.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010


If love can be a tree,
and kindness be a flower.
No god made it so,
life is in a shower.


Monday, 25 October 2010


Cold iron breaks the light,
Arms punctuate in punching delight.
Stripe of truth brings thought to life,
Spooled in anticipation for the night.
Train of white, open, honest and patient,
Take from my life all that you need.
Drink down an octopus.


Friday, 22 October 2010


I don't have internet access on my PC at the moment. My Ethernet power adapters have died.
Unfortunately for all of you this means no updates until I get a wireless card or some more adapters.
If you feel you need some of my wisdom you can always come and see me in person.
I am just as awesome in the physical as on the interweb.

Sunday, 17 October 2010


I wonder if anyone is really interested in reading my opinion come rambling posts?
It's not like I don't share my views with people anyway.
I doubt many people will keep reading this as its just thoughts free written when I feel like it. Yet still I feel compelled to do it.

I am reading a book about writing at the moment. It's called Writing Down the Bones. People say its one of the greatest books ever written on the subject of writing.
Yet I am having issue with it.
You see a lot of it is very badly written. Poor grammar and free flowing thought not unlike my blog here. Surely writing needs some structure? I don't want to think of writing as another bollock fest like Art. There are of course places and a need to free the mind and hand or hands from constriction when writing creatively. A lot of self doubt and anxiety needs to be removed from the forefront of our minds for us to access whatever it is we really want to be writing about.
Yet to teach these techniques in a free flow style is quite confusing and disconcerting. Its as if the author has no self control over what comes out the pen.
Again a little like me.
When starting my degree I was looking for some structure and some technique based teaching. All we ever got was the instruction to be free. No idea of how to do it just be free and feel your way through the work.
Fuck off.
I feel my way through most of my life I would at least like some advice with how to draw, paint, and write well.
Perhaps other people have a natural talent that I lack and can simple be free and create beautiful poetry and epic novels.
Perhaps Da Vinci actually painted all his master-works with his face and a bucket of rats. Though I doubt it.
He did more research than anyone would be willing to delve into these days. Though I suppose the necessity to open dead bodies up to look at the muscles and organs has diminished rather. Yet these discoveries are not taught in any art school I have been to.

Being told to be open honest and free is all well and good but we were told this in junior school. Does teaching never move on from this? Is it the goal of every creative person to simply be free of conformity and standards.
I personally like my work to be judged. Not on an individual self serving basis but against other works in the same genre. I don't need other people to tell me I'm great just for being me. I would like them to know what they are looking for and perhaps find small amounts of it in my work.

I don't know what I'm talking about. I'm just frustrated with an idea for a project and my stupid writing book. Perhaps it gets better towards the end.

Fuck you very much.

Saturday, 16 October 2010


You will probably notice the typewriters down the right hand side of the page.
These are a recent interest and are an extension of my fascination with computer keyboards.
Initially the keyboard collection came from a desire to find the perfect feeling key stroke. I settled after many different boards on the Topre Capacitive switch. My preference for the happy hacking keyboard over the Realforce is purely one of layout and shape.
Nothing comes close to a happy hacker for feel and productivity. The space it allows you for the mouse prevents any right shoulder RSI. The size and layout of the board is designed so you never have to leave the home row. Even the BS key is in a much easier to reach position to a normal keyboard. Add to this the life span of the Happy Hacking Keyboard Pro II and it almost deserves its £200 price tag.
Anyway I digress.
The typewriters too have very distinct feels to them. Different brands have different mechanisms for the key action.
The Olympias for the most part have sprung keys that allow you to adjust the tension of the stroke. This is something I would love to see on a PC keyboard. Some have advanced tab settings not that I would use them. There are so many amazing mechanical marvels in a typewriter I honestly think it is one of the greatest designs in history. Add to this the aesthetic value of each model. Echoing their era of production and bringing it into our homes.
I would like to show a couple of pictures of the Olympia SM-3. If you are a Mad Men viewer (and if you are not you should be!) You might have seen Don Draper using this model in his apartment. And not a similar model! Not a different colour or the De Luxe edition but this very same machine. The only difference I could see is that his has the US layout where as mine is UK.
I did try to add some more pictures but they were too big and I can't be bothered to shrink them. This one will do I think.
Anyway. Just thought this might be better than my complaining and making jokes about things I think are shit.
I will be back to that soon I'm sure.
For now dig out any old typewriters and get them to me ASAP.
Its like mechanical nerdy crack. And I like crack.

D. Draper.

Friday, 15 October 2010

F art

Yesterday I was at my brothers recording studio listening to some of his new music.
I realised something. The old saying of learning the rules before you break them is very important to me.
In his new songs you could hear a very distinct a knowing melody. A structure that would welcome any listener to listen closer. The songs sound almost familiar and yet there is so much more. In his playing as well as his production there is a bending of defined rules. A breaking of others. A creativity that can be easily appreciated by its grounding in a sound understanding of the fundamentals of music.
This rule can be applied elsewhere in the creative industry. Looking at writing there are certain conformities that must be applied for your writing to work. Spelling and grammar would be an obvious one.
An understanding of narrative and character development. A practised and thoughtfully applied vocabulary.
All these things are needed to write a good story.
Then we come to art.
Fine art.
I only wish that society could apply these same rules to art. I don't think anyone should feel like they can not express themselves through creativity but for Christ sake lets have some creative content.
Again I don't necessarily feel that art must involve skilled manual input. I do however expect a level of self understanding and one of asthetics.
The kind of shit that passes as art these days is just astonishing. You can put any old crap on a plinth and if you say its art then it is. You may have to be in the right circles and sucking the right cocks for people to believe you but so long as you are you say it and it is.
If you can make up some bullshit emotive story about the broken toaster then all the better.
This does not take talent vision or skill. It requires a balls on your face arrogance that is what the art world is becoming.
Its almost as if any manual skill based art is relegated to a craft. Oil painting, sculpture and printing will soon have no place in gallaries as artists the world over hang some dirty piece of shit from the side of the road on the wall.

I could put a boiled egg in a room in an egg cup.

What do you make of it?
I suppose some would look at the cup and see art there. Others would look at the egg and think there is a message. Truthfully its the first thing I thought of. Now I will try and make it 'Art'

Ok so it looks a bit like a little penis. But the penis is actually an egg which is an embryo. It could be to do with the male input to life? It could be satire and boasting that the male input to life is greater than that of the female by having the egg as the penis.
I don't know I'm making this shit up on the spot.
It's not very good but I hope you see my point. You can make anything 'art' if you can bullshit correctly.

I'm old fashioned yes. But I am not closed minded. I simply like to see talent in creativity. Not just bollocks.
I'm tired and confused now.
Its been a funny day.
I will try not to complain in my next post. Comments are welcome and indeed encouraged


Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Information Sandwich.

Today I was working on a PC for a friend. It has had many issues most of which I have managed to fix.
Whilst putting the machine back together my friend said 'Oh don't put the side on, the guy who built it said its common for PCs not to boot when the side is on'
I felt like punching something. Thankfully my friend is one of the biggest masochists I have met. Actually I think the only one.
So PCs come with a side panel but you are not to use it. So what? It's just there for show? It's for people who don't want a PC that boots?
This kind of information seems to spread through word of mouth through the uneducated.
Perhaps the builder of this PC had experienced a short on a system in the past and then applied that as a rule for every system he has built since.
I find it amazing how people are willing to accept flaws like this in technology. They are comfortable for something to just about work. No need to push it too hard no need for it to perform to its maximum potential.
I can't understand this with PCs as I have always Overclocked and modded everything that comes into the house.
Another example would be from my Degree. In an Illustration class we were all working in Illustrator.
Trying to learn the horrible pen tool. I was getting frustrated with not understanding how the curves were produced. What dictated the curvature of the apex etc..
The tutor simply said 'I don't know. I like that its always a bit of a surprise what shape it makes'
This was a practising professional illustrator. Almost excited with the way the program could not be controlled within the users boundaries. Content to work within the restrictions of limited curves and shapes.

I'm sorry for me this is just not good enough.

You think man continued to bludgeon animal carcasses with a round rock because eventually it would take a leg off? We should not let these tools dictate to us what is and isn't possible. We made the fucking things for Christ sake. The only limiting factor in any action we make should be our imagination and resourcefulness.
Get your cocking PC to do as its told and you will become more productive and have a lot more fun.
Learn how the Pen tool actually works. Your design will be a lot better and carry a lot more of your personality.
And cut meat with a fucking knife. Its the nineteen nineties bitch.


Monday, 11 October 2010


Today I visited a Typewriter repair shop.
I was hoping to see an old man working with a magnifying glass on some vintage Underwood. As he tensioned springs and carefully removed rust spots from metal components.
I was met by a blank faced man devoid of personality or soul.
When asked if he could show me an example of his restoration work he said 'we don't really restore, we just clean them up a bit'
He then opened a lovely looking very early 20th century typewriter.
It had been dusted very well but what shocked me was the large dabs of black paint applied liberally over rust spots!
I had taken my Valentine in for him to have a look at. I was pretty worried when he got a cloth with Brasso on and started rubbing the ABS.
I think its OK but it smells a bit funny now.

Not all bad though. We found an Olympia SM9 in a junk shop for £8. It needs some paint cleaning off it and a bit of restoring. However after what, two weeks of looking at typewriters I will do a much better job than the local expert.

We also had a look at a photography exhibition. I am pretty fussy when it comes to art and photography. Like to see talent and an eye rather than some bullshit conceptual piece of shit.
There was some wonderful work and some snapshot quality stuff too.
One image was surrounded by women trying to figure out what the picture meant.
I think it was taken simply because its a bit shocking. A deer hanging from a basketball hoop in southern America. A striking image and one the photographer obviously found interesting.
However one of the women was going on about it being about male oppression and humiliation of women. The deer she saw as a hung woman with legs splayed. Now I could not tell if it was a male deer or female but it had been hung to be bled as far as I could tell.
But her 'inner feminist' told her differently.
I find peoples interpretation of photography and art to be quite interesting. But this level of transference is simply insulting to the artist.
My girlfriend then told me that it was an old friend of hers. A giant lesbian (I am fond of homosexuality, 'giant lesbian' is simply used as a description of this woman's general demander and is not intended to be detrimental to lesbians at all) And I have forgotten my point entirely.

This will be a theme I think. Not finishing what I have started to write.
To summarise.
Typewriter specialist. Not so special.
Photography. Pretty good.
Art. Mostly shit.
Lesbians. A fine addition to any family.
Feminist morons. Pretty stupid.

Lemon out.

My lovely first Blog. Who's going to read this?

So for a while now I have been suffering from mental health issues. Most recently resulting in a stay in a special hospital they call the Sanctuary. It really was quite nice and I find myself missing it some times.
My current state of mental retardation has a lot to do with the religion I was a part of as a child and teenager.
The Jehovah's Witnesses. You probably know them from knocking on your door and being pushy and generally annoying. I unfortunately was raised as a part of this damaging cult.
The teachings seem so meaningful at the time. They seem plausible and a much better option than living in the horrible and dangerous world. Eternal life in paradise. Now does that not sound appealing? Take into account that you are 6 years old and accept everything you are told as fact. You have no reason to doubt the adults telling you these things. That you will never have to leave school. That you wont have to work and take part in this wicked society.
That God is more important than friends and even family. All you need to do is to believe not ask too many questions and do as you are told. Your reward will be eternal life.

Then comes the crash. When you realise that this does not quite make sense. When you dare to read scriptures not offered in meetings. There are holes and contradictions and unspeakable atrocities all the way through the horrible book. So you can come to a fairly safe conclusion rationally that this was a mistake and that the religion has gotten it all wrong.

However the core beliefs built up over a childhood of indoctrination do not disperse over night.
I have been left wanting to attain perfection in everything I do. Not for god but for something I feel inside me that is akin to a god. My every action, every choice and every single thing I do must have some sort of meaning or be benefiting the greater good. I can only be disappointed with what I do because nothing can compare to what as a child I thought was happening soon. I have to live my own life. Nothing is in place for me and nothing is going to save me.

At 30 this is pretty good. A lot of Witnesses don't go through all this until a lot later in life. And the ones I feel the most compassion for are those still fully mind washed by the organization. I only hope that they feel confident enough to think, and to look at the parts of the teachings they may find difficult to understand.

I have a long long way to go. What I hope is that by shearing some of this I will be able to move on.

I will have happy stories too. I don't think everything is shit.
This will do as a first test post.

See you soon.