This was a hastily snapped photo to share my lazy happy Saturday morning with a partner. But I like how it came out so I’m sharing it with the wider world.
“There’s a starman waiting in the sky/ He’d like to come and meet us/ But he thinks he’d blow our minds”
Starman, – The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
Last night in a starlit (well, fairylights, actually) garden in south London, a diverse group of people from all corners of @19syllables’ universe danced and drank and ate and drank some more under the paper lantern planets. Aside from her, the thing that united all of us was Space. Just days before she (to quote her husband’s speech last night) left her own cramped capsule man had landed on the moon. Last night Captain Kirks, Redshirts, Doctor Whos, cyborg men, astronauts and aliens all mingled happily and there were no deaths. And there were a couple of Ziggys. Me and the other Ziggy wrapped our arms around each other and sang along to Starman. It was a perfect night!
Editors note: in the spirit of transparency you should all know that in reality this giant nylon babygro was in no way sexy. It was a hot and itchy and sweaty and Honey nicknamed it the menopause simulation suit!!
As you may have seen from this fabulous thread, @19syllables is approaching a landmark birthday this week. If you’ve never had the pleasure of hanging out with Haiku, then reading through her words of wisdom for her daughters will give you some sense of what it’s like to be her friend. And being her friend is a complete privilege. In many ways our lives are very different and as she wrote here, the media would like women like us to pitch ourselves against each other. But as we all know, opposites attract! Not only are our lives very different, we are hilariously ridiculously different, full stop.
When we’re chatting over coffee I start one of my long and detailed (and sometimes tedious!) stories. Before long she’s impatiently interjecting with questions or a summary conclusion. “Well let me finish the story and you’ll find out,” I retort. When we’re on a photo adventure she’ll be bouncing all over the place, waving limbs and busting moves while I through gritted teeth say: “Hold still, I haven’t got my shot yet.” I am a dyed-in-the-wool planner, carefully and logically plotting things out before I start. She meanwhile will say yes to a day out, then realise she can’t go because it’s A Level results day. Me: “I already checked and that’s not A Level results day.” Her: “Ah, maybe I’m still on holiday.” Me: “No, you’re back by then.” Her: “So I can come?” Me: “YES!” Her: “HURRAH!”
My kitchen is turning into a little shrine of things she turns up with. On the window sill a fading dragon from Chinese New Year and a glass in which she brought a flower for my newly decorated bedroom. In the drawer is a paper vulva and some random stickers that she picked up at a festival to use as a prop for a photo. On the back of the door is a cool bag that she delivered full of food when I was sick earlier this year. So many touches of kindness season my kitchen.
And she is the greatest cheerleader I know. For family, for friends and for nature. She is a clarion call for living, loving and feeling. Recently I was sat at my desk working on a dull document when my phone pinged: “I’m actually fucking crying with rage. IN A FUCKING CAFE.” She’d stumbled across something and in her reading of it a penny had dropped about something that had been causing me sadness. Her response to what she read was passionate angry tears; for me and for others who are dear to me. The words she fired off in the ignominious state of crying IN A FUCKING CAFE did more to ease my emotional burden than she’ll ever know.
So if you want to know what kind of friend she is, know that she will run naked across a bridge at 8am, don her most elegant skirt in a wood, deliver food parcels when you’re sick and cry tears of rage about the things that hurt you. She really is one of the best!
Happy birthday, my friend! ?
“The Thames is dear to the Londoners. It is the scene of half their pleasures. In the summer season it is ever in their thoughts, and they are often on its bosom.”
A.D., “The Banks and Bosom of the Thames”, The Metropolitan, Volume 41
On Wednesday The Other Livvy, @19syllables and I had a day out to the Tate Modern to see the new (and excellent!) Olafur Eliasson exhibition. Before we headed into the show we popped down to the banks of the Thames so see if there were any photo opportunities. These chains hanging down from a boardwalk seemed just perfect. But the most important question is: do you prefer Christopher Wren’s cupola or those of my beautiful friends?
For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
T. S. Eliot
While trying to come up with a title for my New Year ‘firework’ photo I learnt that peony is the name of the firework that “has a starlike explosion that quickly turns into a bulging circle of stars.” So there you go, you learn something new every day! However you spend your New Year, fireworks or no fireworks, I hope it’s a happy one and may 2019 treat you all kindly.
“Let us learn to appreciate there will be times when the trees will be bare, and look forward to the time when we may pick the fruit.” Anton Chekhov
As many of you know, I’m on a travel quest to visit all the EU member states before next March (well, the 14 I hadn’t already visited). Friends and colleagues regularly say ‘ooh, you should blog about it’ and I chuckle as I brush them off with claims of not enough time. Little do they know how fruitful my travels have been – from shots of my tits on balconies and beaches, plus arse and cock!
After a couple of months in the drawer my passport is back in service this weekend and gosh the temperature has dropped in the last eight weeks! That and the fact that my travel companion is my aunt means this weekend isn’t the time for public nudity. But I wanted to bring you a flavour of stark grey wintry Bulgaria and so I laid a shot of the bare trees around the Russian Army Monument over one of me taken in my much cosier Airbnb!
An off prompt photo from me this week, but today’s spot has to be given to the wonderful Jedi Hamster who turns 40 on Wednesday. She has appeared here a couple of times, has come up with the ideas for and shot more of my photos than I can remember and – most significantly! – she came up with my name. Exposing40 wouldn’t be Exposing40 without her. Happy birthday friend!