“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” ― Hans Christian Anderson
During my lockdown photo project, flowers became something of a theme. Each weekend I would walk to the market stall near my flat and buy fresh flowers to brighten up my home. Before they reached the vase they would become a prop for that day’s photo.
It’s funny that this quote features the word freedom, just as many of us have had or are having our freedom curtailed again. The other day when I was sending a flurry of shots to one of the recipients of my daily photos when I said “This is not me restartinglockdown project!” He quipped “Don’t say what you can’t commit to!” He knows my urge to be snapping away!
I’m notgoing to restart my own nudes projects (I’ve still got about 60 bloody shots in my bank that have yet to be published!), but I am going to pick up another idea that I had but didn’t get around to. It’s called Scenes on Screens. Instead of photographing myself during lockdown two I plan on photographing others.
The plan is I hang out with my subjects on Zoom or Skype and photograph them through the screen. Here’s a shot I took of Maria a couple of years ago which gives you an idea of what I have in mind. If you’d like to get involved and you know me (sorry, no strangers!) then DM or message me. Let’s not the creativity be stunted just because we’re stuck inside!
But until I get that project off the ground, here’s one of my flower shots from earlier in the year.
I took this photo on 14th May, some two months into lockdown when there’d been a whooooole lot of time alone. I sent it to the recipients of my daily lockdown photos with the message ‘there’s one too many consonants between my legs right now!’
Tonight I’m putting the l back in to give a virtual high five to the wonderful Smutathon folk who are up against the clock, writing for 12 solid hours to raise funds for Endometriosis UK. Endometriosis is a chronic and debilitating condition that ruins lives. As Romantic Isa wrote in her story: “15 years of being told there’s nothing wrong with you while you’re in the worst pain possible damages a person.”
Despite Endometriosis being the second most common gynaecological condition in the UK, affecting one in 10 people AFAB, on average is takes 7.5 years to diagnose and there’s currently no known cure. Endometriosis UK is a charity achieving huge things with a tiny team and a small budget. With just seven staff and volunteers they supported over 25,000 people last year. Anything you can afford to give will go a long way. Please visit their fundraising page and donate now.
For the single subject prompt I bring you yet another photo from my lockdown photo project. Sometimes I spent a lot of time working to realise an idea, sometimes I went walking, knowing I’d be taking a photo along the way but with no idea in mind. Then there were the times late at night where I thought ‘Fuck! I haven’t taken today’s photo!’ This is one of them. The time stamp on this image is 22.26. I was still at my desk. I whipped off my top, turned off the light so I was lit just by the light of the screen and snapped a one take shot. Then it was back to work.
There is no repose like that of the green deep woods.
Sleep in forgetfulness of all ill.”
If had to choose my favourite photo from my lockdown photo project I think it would be this one. I love my legs, they’re the part of me that always give me confidence, even if I may be feeling ‘meh’ about the rest of me. I love their shape, their length and I really love getting messages back from lovers telling me how much they’d like my legs to be wrapped around them at that moment. Comments like that are a Pavlovian Bell for happy hot memories.
But I love this photo not just for my legs but for the woods. It’s no secret how much I love photographing in the woods but these woods now have a special place in my heart. I spent a huge amount of time wandering round the Great North Wood during lockdown and by the end of it I’d visited all the accessible patches of it (and snapped a daily photo in many of them!). Discovering all this woodland has been an absolute joy – so much so that I’ve now signed up to be a volunteer for the conservation work! I may keep my clothes on for the volunteering!
I was due to have a play date on the afternoon of Tuesday 17th March. When we planned it I thought it would be the perfect activity for getting over the Eroticon comedown and that I’d be sharing stories of the weekend with my friend. In reality, I was self-isolating having started to show symptoms over the weekend. He was also feverish and isolating. In lieu of having actual me that day I snapped a photo for him. It was a good photo so I also sent it to Exhibit A and American Chap. I didn’t know then that I’d started a ‘thing’. A thing that would last 122 days – exactly one third of this crazy fucking leap year.
I scrolled back to the messages that went alongside that first photo. A jokey chat about imagining what it would be like to not kiss another human for months on end and how ridiculous that would be. Me shout typing: “IMAGINE THE EPIC TENSION IF YOU HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO FUCK FOR WEEKS.” Him: “OMG, fucking after that would be phenomenal!” It seemed like a crazy notion at the time.
Six days later the UK went into full lockdown. It would be nearly three months before he and I saw each other again. We were right though. The tension was epic and the sex was phenomenal. Not-getting-past-the-hallway-pulling-clothes-off phenomenal. My reunions with him and with Exhibit A are not providing me with any strong evidence that a sustained absence is bad for chemistry!
I have absolutely bloody loved this project. It’s been a creative red thread through the strangest of times and a way to keep a part of myself alive while I couldn’t actually be with people. An unexpected benefit has been how completely confident I have become in how attractive my body is, to me and others. I always talked the talk; I often didn’t walk the walk. But it’s hard to not to be reassured about how hot you are when you take a daily nude for four months and receive numerous messages of lust and encouragement.
Many of you will already have seen this photo on Twitter but I wanted it to have a permanent home on the blog so I’m making it this weekend’s Sinful Sunday.
I’m in the final few days of my daily lockdown photo project and I decided that the last ten days would be a victory lap of the most common themes that have come up over the 17 weeks. Food has been a common theme so as this week was Exhibit A‘s birthday I decided to turn myself into a birthday cake for him.
I was idly scrolling Twitter late last week (read: procrastinating!) when I saw a photo of a friend in some new lingerie. I clicked through to the site she mentioned and before I knew it this set was winging its way to me. Judging by the reactions I got from the recipients of my daily lockdown photos I think I need to do more procrastination purchases!