Insects freak me out. It’s the way they flip, flit, flap and frat about I find bothersome but ever since I was a kid I’ve had a special thing for ladybugs. They look like chocolate smarties and, likewise, look good enough to munch although I haven’t been tempted to try. I think the reason ladybugs are cool with me (and dare I say I with them) is that as I watched other people play with them I discovered they were cheerful little buggers and I got to like them also because, unlike ants or termites, they were so harmless (I think).
Somehow, this evening, a ladybug got into my apartment. At first I was minded to ignore it and then brainwave: “I can photograph it in Macro mode ala National Geographic!”. My mind held a delightful picture spectacular, ah voila! Then it was gone, the ladybug. A couple of minutes later it was crawling amiably across my MacBook monitor. I bolted to get the camera and then fumbled to slot in the SD card and .. and … where’s the Macro dial and … and … what exposure should I use and what’s the best angle and … and … and it was gone again. Two minutes later it on my glass table, aha, this time I was ready. One thing I should tell you is that I can sometimes be the bad workman who blames his tools (my boyfriend would say my technique sucks) but I swear my camera wouldn’t focus. I only saw a brown blur where there should have been polka dots.
So I let it go and it crawled underneath my book. When I next lifted the book it was gone. Only it wasn’t as I found it later wedged between the pages and as I had mishandled the book (as far as the ladybug was concerned) I must have hurt it some because it was moving around with difficulty. Poor thing. The last time I saw it it was still trying to fly. Oh no (oh yes), there it is again shuffling across my keyboard as I write this and, clearly, no one’s warned it not to mess around with computers. We humans are apt to shutting keyboards down at the most inopportune times for ladybugs.
I’m sorry I don’t have a beautiful ladybug photo to share but I do have this slice of Piccadilly Circus dotted with colour.
After an ill Tuesday for me, battling the dreaded cold virus, the sun cut its holiday short and returned to London’s sky today. Without so much as a second spent contemplating another miserable day indoors I headed out for coffee, some reading and writing and then an impromptu viewing of the Man Ray exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. If you’re in London then please go see it. And if it comes to a city near you then go see it. It is wonderful. Man Ray was a master of composition with a good eye for drawing out character (or at least the appearance of it) and to think he did that on portraits and not say landscape – wow! And what a lucky man to have been living in Paris between the wars and after WWII and to have been part of that art scene along with the likes of Picasso, Dali, Miro, Virginia Woolf, Le Corbusier, Hemingway, Joyce and countless other writers, artists and poets. After the exhibition I walked to the South Bank with my new camera, the Fujifilm X100, for some practice and I snapped away thrilled to be amongst people. It was a mite chilly but it was crisp and fresh and the sight of so many other keen photographers snapping the fabulous evening lights of my home city was a delight. Ahh, I can’t wait for spring, then summer, then autumn!!!!!!
Light, Camera, Colour!!
It took her one point three centuries
But pitiless Clotho spun faithfully at her loom
Weaving the black abyss that’s swallowed you. Gasp!
And left two thousand employees stuck in doom’s clasp
But what in Zeus’ heaven could you have done?
The feckless gods left luckless man to his devices
And even you, long favoured on Britain’s High Street
Are biting the dust in pecuniary crisis
Your bright blue signage courted the passerby
Your cheap consumer stock, red rag to the bulls
The punters strolled in to check your wares
Like backstreet patrons casting about for whores
So they feigned interest in this “Model”
A white one, a black one, that fast lens is vital!
Shh! No money was ever, ever left on the table
The rabble, cackling, had fled to the devil
Home to the faithful mistress they returned
Cruel goddess of cheap, her ragged claws primed
“To me, my precious, to me!”, her whine becks
Like a crow, tripping, before dropping its whelk
Her fog is thick with crude deception, cold calculation
Oh, how she has gotten fat on our surfing fascination
For “deals”, for “deals”, for “deals”, for “deals!”
Her lyre strumming “Something for nothing”, Bravo! We waltz
While, in plain sight neighbourhood shops are ground to dust
But who can escape Fate and Bloody Destiny
We go when our bell tolls or else not
In Z and Omega, you’ve folded into Administration
Like the yucky napkin put away after an icky snot
On my way back to London from visiting my boyfriend in Copenhagen for the weekend, he handed me an article by David Foster Wallace titled “Television and US Fiction”. The article had been recommended by a precocious American student and dealt with American fixation with television and its influence on and it being influenced by American fiction and culture. At 40 pages long, I only managed to finish reading it on the flight. One thing that caught my attention was his description of a scene from Don DeLillo’s book “White Noise” where a group of spectators were at a barn famous only for being spectated. There were people watching people watching people watching the barn. I thought then of our fixation with watching, particularly watching through camera lenses while never really being interesting in or involved with the thing we photograph. Earlier in the afternoon, I, my boyfriend and the precocious American student had been to the deer park at Klampenborg and had stopped by Eremitageslottet, a little castle on a hill. There were many people standing around taking pictures. One of us took a photo of the castle and then we walked away. We did not talk about the castle – not it’s history, not it’s function, not it’s architecture.