The photos from my day out with Honey and Monstrous Jaffa keep on coming. This time it’s me!
“Be like the sun and the meadow, which are not the least concerned about the coming winter.” George Bernard Shaw
August has been such a tonic. Hanging out with family and friends has felt like taking huge gasping breaths of air after too long under water. When we are hunkered down for what is likely to be a long and difficult winter I’m going to look at photos like this and remember these summer days of fun and freedom.
I was very happy on Wednesday to have a photo adventure with Honey and Jaffa. We got a whole load of photos but I think this is my favourite. Jaffa and I first talked about doing photos months ago and we wanted to get them in before he leaves his forties in a few months time. I wasn’t sure if these plans had had a 2020 done on them but happily I was able to get in on the #JaffasJollies fun and here we are!
“Forests may be gorgeous but there is nothing more alive than a tree that learns to grow in a cemetery.” Andrea Gibson*
I really loved this cemetery. A short stroll from Mile End tube, almost as soon as you’re through the gates from the busy streets you’re into woodland that’s grown up around the old headstones. It’s not as wild as Nunhead but it’s certainly more rambling than some I’ve been to. I’ll definitely return to this one to explore more of its nooks and crannies.
We got a few different shots, more of which I’m sure will appear on one of our sites at some point, but this was my favourite. I love the contrast between the dusty path snaking out of the shot and the hard lines of the headstone and how the two elements perfectly frame his body.
*I found this quote through Google and I don’t know Andrea’s work (yet) but I think they may interest some of you. A poet and activist, their poetry focuses on gender norms, politics, social reform and the struggles LGBTQ people face in today’s society.
Coimetrophilia; a special interest and fondness in cemeteries and graveyards (noun).
Anyone who looks at my blog regularly will know now much I love photographing in cemeteries. One of my current projects is to photograph nudes in all of London’s ‘magnificent seven‘. On Thursday I ticked the fifth (Abney in Stoke Newington) off the list with the angelic Honey.
This was by far the busiest and trickiest one to photograph in so far and we had to be very quick and opportunistic in a way that was most definitely pushing our luck. Usually for a shot like the one below we’d have pushed our way deep off the main path into a wilder patch, but here the whole of the cemetery is cut with numerous paths and the graves occupy small patches between them. For this one I was actually stood on a main path and Honey was just a couple of rows in. But she comes well prepared – knickerless, braless and with a strapless dress she could quickly pull up and down. She really is the boldest and the best!
“Spread a fern frond over a man’s head and worldly cares are cast out and freedom and beauty and peace come in.” John Muir
On Tuesday, Exhibit A and I had a photo adventure in the woods. It was food for my soul. I’m lucky enough that he only lives a couple of miles from me so we’ve been able to see quite a bit of each other over the last few months, through doorstep drops of tasty treats and an occasional wander in a park. There’s been a couple of times where I’ve had a physical pang of missing him, when I wished we could be hanging out on my sofa rather than talking to each other from a garden gate, but on the whole apart from the lack of physical intimacy I don’t think lockdown has been too hard on us. On occasions I’ve probably felt closer to him than in before times.
But getting on a train and spending the afternoon wandering around the woods, taking photos of each other and idle chatting was a dose of ‘normal us’ coming back. Of course, while Liv is still on her current contract we have keep physically distanced so whereas as it would usually be back to mine after an afternoon out this time it was tea and wagon wheels on opposite ends of a big log and then me on the train and him in the car. But I woke up the next morning with the same contented feeling I do after one of our really great date nights.
This week has felt a world away from last week where it suddenly all just got too much and I cried for five hours one evening and then started again the next morning when I woke up. As well as mine and EA’s photo adventure, I was able to hang out with one of the other recipients of my daily photos (hallelujah!) and time has been spent in drizzly gardens and sunny woods with friends. Add to this the fact my hairdresser phoned to book me in for mid-July (almost deserving of another hallelujah!) and my Pilates studio is taking bookings for a few weeks’ time and it’s almost like my life is coming back to me. Things won’t be the same for a long time (if ever) but the things that are creeping in bring joy and hope.
A new year and a new decade is just around the corner and I’m excited to see it unfold. I love this time of year. I have a couple more days with my parents which I’ll enjoy but really I’m itching to get back to my flat and start my annual exercise of making lists and plotting experiences and adventures. I know for sure that more photos in the wild will be on the list!
Happy New Year to all of you – I hope the year ahead is full of joy. Thanks for all the support this year for my blog and for my crazy photo adventures and musings and life and love!
Photo by Missy.
Here is the third and final (for now!) photo from my day out with Missy. As regular readers know, it’s very rare for me to show my belly – I much prefer to focus on my arse and legs, which I approve of much more! – but I really love this shot so here I am turned towards the camera for a change.
Here’s the second in a series of three photos I’m posting from my recent photo adventure with Missy. This photo was taken in the same location as this weekend’s post from her. We were so lucky to have this all to ourselves!
“Out on the wiley, windy moors
We’d roll and fall in green” Kate Bush, Wuthering Heights
As I’ve said here before, I am called Catherine because my Mum was reading Wuthering Heights when she was pregnant with me. So it’s not surprising that an outdoor shot on the wiley windy Yorkshire Moors has been on my blog bucket list for years. A rainy cold Saturday in November may not seem like the best time to make it happen but Missy and I are dedicated to our art so off we went. And actually I think it strikes the perfect bleak mood.
“Lavender blue, dilly-dilly
If I were king, dilly-dilly, I’d need a queen…”
I’ve been sitting in a hammock doing some googling and I’ve learnt that dilly was a medieval word for ‘cheers’ but it’s also an obsolete word for delightful. And apparently Cleopatra used lavender as a tool of seduction, women used it to “inflame” their husbands and sex workers used it to attract clients. So there you go, some old etymology and some lessons in seduction. Oh, and here’s me and @19syllables naked in the lavender fields. Cheers! I hope we delight and seduce you!