[ Journal 2014-2015 // Dec’ + Jan’ ]
Meanwhile, in London …
08.12.2014 – Last night on my way into work, try to find anywhere in London Victoria for my seasonal flavoured latte, but met with, ‘…sorry, closing in 20-minutes,’ to which I reply, ‘…does it take 30 to make a coffee?’ and, ‘…sorry, we’re out of cream,’ … ‘…then why have a big bloody A-Board outside advertising it then?’ I’m a dick if I cannot get my coffee.
There isn’t much of a walk from the tube to work, so I’ve found I don’t take my camera with me on my commute anymore. I must do though, as I want to photograph more of the night shift.
Although the hotel is full, it’s a quiet and slow night. I like to chat, so spend a lot of time talking to American businessmen from New Orleans and Chicago, all of which are very pleasant to me, which is nice as my smiles and banter aren’t forced and fake for once. Job is going well, although nearly lost it and the girl due to a crazy bender two weeks ago. I haven’t been to my meetings for a while and need to get that shit straight. How to explain to my better half that ‘favouriting’ a photo that has a nice woman in it is not “liking” the woman, but the photo as a whole … ‘Yeah, she’s got great legs and big tits,’ … ‘…baby, you see legs and tits, I see about ten other things all happening at once, a bit like when I was at art college in life class,’
Hope to meet up with Mr. Talis again and see how he gets on with film. Wish to meet up with a few from Flickr, but you know, schedules rarely coincide. Ordered zines and things from that thoughtless hero – looking forward to getting them.
St. Elmo’s Fire OST plays in my ears on the train home this morning; I’ve decided to abandon my recent fascination with McDonald’s breakfast, which consists of something mildly reminiscent of meat and perfectly round-cut rubber eggs. Nice. Other things I have abandoned recently include: the want for a Mamiya 7; the want for a Leica M6; the want for a PS4; a tattoo on my back of scars where there were once wings … I actually just made that last one up. I sit on the train fighting sleep brought on by mild exhaustion and the steady rock of carriages and realise I can actually smell my feet through my socks and shoes.
I open Day 8 on my comic book advent calendar. Every day I pull back the cardboard door of the calendar in hope the chocolate inside will be in the form and shape of Superman. It never is.
Today it’s an elephant..
16.46 London – Got off at Oxford Circus, missed three shots, chased like a loser, have lost the edge, too slow – spent some time looking for the girlfriend’s x-mas present, a tiring and hopeless act of manly desperation and despair; hide out in the Photographers’ Gallery, nearly buy The Decisive Moment, nearly buy Bruce Davidson, I settle on ”Awkward Family Photo’s’ for a fiver; x-mas shopping for girls – the entire process stressing me out, but got a back-rub out of it when explaining my failing exploits to her and fell asleep; had a dream I was in a boat with David Solomons in the middle of a lake in Scotland at night, him advising me on photography with a soft voice through a weird Jedi haze – then he jumped out and swam to the shore leaving me with a wet blanket, then I woke, went down and opened what I thought was the Olympus XA I ordered but was sent something else; I sink into a state of numbness – search the net’ for girly presents only to be shown yet more shampoos, body butters and other manner of worthless shit that I just don’t want to get; decide in the end to print every shot I have taken of our time together over the 5 or so years we have been a couple, ordered prints of them to put in an overpriced album that I can’t really afford whilst smoking too much and sippin’ some Bailey’s with the missed shots at the circus still fresh in my mind.
19:11 … London – Couple of hours sleep this morning, determined to see more than a few hours of this day off. Kiss the sleeping lady, grab keys, XA, three rolls and head out. I’m not really after anything specific, I’ll take whatever London gives me today. I waste 90% of each roll on shit; the same could be said of the same percentage of missed chances – I curse myself. Again, I hide out inside The Photographers’ Gallery. I think to take a shot from outside of a woman sitting at the window of the cafe but for some reason I just can’t get that camera to my eye today. Buy ‘London/Pittsburgh’ by Mark Neville, a roll of Fuji 400, Martin Parr’s ‘Bad Weather’, Bruce Davidson’s ‘In Color’ and ‘The Decisive Moment’. I haven’t actually seen much of HCB’s work, less than I can count on one hand, but I wanted to take the opportunity to have a copy of the new edition of that book and to see what I can get from it. The fan heater whirs behind me, eating at the pound coins in the meter, hungry bastard that it is, it warms the room well. The washing machine empties before it spins, sending up a horrid smell through the plug hole in the sink that for a moment I thought that the smell of rotten eggs it produced was emanating from me.
22.15 – Night Shift
I’m very tired. Feel weak and lethargic, listing slightly to one side on an uncomfortable chair that’s making my bum numb. Tall glass of cold water. The sound of the underground trains pass directly below me, like the rumble of deep rich propellered engines. I want to sleep. To close my eyes. To open them in the finder before a scene, instead of this long monotonous whir in the night. Bleh
In other news … so it’s the London Model Engineering Exhibition on Friday on my day off. For about five months I’ve had that Martin Parr shot from the cover of The Non-Conformists in my head, that ‘last supper’ kinda shot? – a line of people … anyway, that’s kinda what I’m after and thinking how to go about getting behind the stands in order to get the people visiting. But then I thought, ‘why plan it all in advance.’ Although I plan to photograph farmer festivals in summer, Jason Reed pretty much has animals and the like covered right now.
3rd January – Not long woke. Cup of tea. Must have dozed off around late afternoon, the tv having decided to do the same; darkness and silence and the blur from the images of a dark and bruised dream linger a little before fading; I sit in the moment a little, an escape from the stresses of work and drunks and nights.