Weekly roundup

Apologies that there has been no post this week – I have felt like road kill due in no small part to  Aunt Flo, who woke me hammering on my uterus at 2am Monday morning.  The Bitch.  I was rudely awoken by stabbing pain, went for a wee and the blood poured out of me like I’d cut a fucking artery.  And here was me thinking my periods would just stop and that would be the end of that – I forget the Gods are always listening and laugh at me whenever I think something in my life will be easy.  On the upside, at least now I know why I was such a jibbering emotional wreck last weekend and that I’m not losing the plot after all 😉

Since developing M.E. 24 years ago I’ve had tinnitus.  Luckily it’s only been mild and, although a little bit irritating, has never interfered with my life in any way…………until now.  For some reason during the past week the volume has suddenly gone way up and I’m now conscious of a hugely annoying high pitched whine every second of the day.  It’s louder than the telly which distracts me from the programme I’m watching and lying peacefully in silence to rest has been out of the question.  Why on God’s green earth has it suddenly gone bonkers?!  Oh well, at least waking each morning wondering what new tortures my body is going to inflict on me means I’m never bored.  Pissed, fed up and sometimes suicidal, but never bored 😉

Thursday I had lunch with my closest friend from Camera Club.  She moves away to the North East next week and I am really going to miss her 😦  I’ve got to be honest, there aren’t that many people in the world I truly like.  I am constantly amazed at how disappointing I find most folk and do find it difficult to meet people who are kind, interesting, easy to talk to and fun to be around.  L is one such person and, with our shared passion for photography, she has hugely enriched my life.  She is genuinely happy when my pictures do well, even though we’re technically competing against each other, and came with me to Scotland recently to support me when I gave my talk.  She also takes my health on board without trying to mother me or tell me what I should, or shouldn’t, be doing like she’s the expert.  I thought about chaining her up in my shed to stop her from going but I think her Husband would eventually notice she was awol and call the cops 😉

During the summer holidays my friend’s two children came round to do some modelling for me.  I use them as my guinea pigs to try out some of my more unusual shots and, as they love dressing up and having their picture taken plus I give them free framed prints for their efforts, it works well for all concerned.  I had an idea for the teenager to dress her in eastern clothes to highlight the issue of child marriage but, having taken the picture, I had no clue how to create the image of a desert I had in mind for the background (which symbolizes the emotional desert these girls find themselves in).  I’ve sat on the shot for several weeks and eventually came up with a plan to re-create the Sahara in my spare bedroom with a small bag of play pen sand.  After much effort and faffing in Photoshop I’m fairly happy with the end result which I’m calling ‘Child Bride’.  My friend said she was uneasy with the picture as it uses a white girl in Eastern dress but not all child marriages take place in Africa and many Middle Eastern and Asian girls are fair skinned.

Friday I felt absolutely and utterly crap – my brain was full of treacle, my legs didn’t belong to me and my entire body felt poisoned.  I sometimes forget how awful M.E. can be as it’s been so long now since I was severely affected.

Saturday was the annual competition between my Camera Club and all the other clubs in my part of England.  One of my pictures had been chosen to represent our Club and I’d been really looking forward to going, not least because the President of the Photographic Society of America had flown over to judge the event.  I woke feeling like some dead animal Bertie had dug up in the garden and ummd and ahhhhd for 3 hours over whether or not I should risk attending the competition which was fifty miles away, but I’d looked forward to it so much I decided “fuck it!” and dragged my clothes on.  In the end I coped OK all things considered and had a really fab day – my photo was awarded 18 points out of 20 so I was happy with that considering the judge was a wildlife fanatic and my photo was a fantasy picture.

I know I have been doing wayyyyy too much in recent months and I simply can’t keep that up without dire consequences to my health.  The thing is, I’m really enjoying life atm and it’s so hard to rein that in and lie in my bed bored to tears resting!  I’m usually very good at pacing having had nearly a quarter of a century of practice but I’m so passionate about my photography that I’m finding it hard to keep a lid on my enthusiasm.  There are times being chronically ill truly sucks!

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Weekly roundup

  1. That Other Jean

    Jak, your “Child Bride” photo is wonderfully evocative. I think it does everything you want it to, but I have one question: how did you do that with play sand? Love your fantasy pictures, too. I’m not surprised at all that “Raven Tower” did so well.

    Also, is there a time when being chronically ill doesn’t suck? I’m not about to throw in the towel or anything, but I remember being well, and it was, even at its worst, better than this. Still, we persevere–and you’re an inspiration to us all.

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    1. Jak Post author

      Thanks Jean. I just used the play pen sand to make little mounds on a table to look like sand dunes, then photographed them close up so I could blow the image up to make them look huge! The cracked earth was a photo I’d taken by the seaside one year and I just cut and pasted it into the picture x

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