Thursday, 22 September 2011

What is it to be?

It's been almost a month since my last post. And I've been wondering if it's time to let go of blogging. I started as a way of practising writing, almost five years ago, and I do that by just writing now. I teach writing, and I write. So I don't feel the same compulsion to write a blog anymore.

Most of the friends I've made here I see on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter, so I don't need it to keep in touch. And I just don't have time to read and leave meaningful comments on other blogs anymore. I have three jobs, a novel to redraft, and my house is falling down.

And yet...

I had some yogurt to use up, and wanted to practise shooting chocolate cake. So I invented chocolate yogurt cake.

I do have a new thing to practise. I am besotted with my camera (remember, Bob, my son, gave it to me for my birthday?). When I'm not doing work/writing related things, or trying to shore up the pantry walls, I most often have my camera at my face, usually aimed at something edible. I cook, I shoot, I eat. Cooking and baking have always been the way I recalibrate, and now the camera adds an extra dimension. It's turned kitchen activity into more of a challenge, and thus more fun, more rewarding.

Panzanella, perfect when you have a tomato and stale bread glut

But I'm not a brilliant photographer. Not appalling either, just not practised – I haven't put in my ten thousand hours yet – but I'm improving and recently a local restaurant to let me pay in photographs for a couple of meals, rather than the more usual money. I had loads of shots of their food because I like it so much I spend a lot of time there. They wanted to get a website up, and they needed pictures for it, so we did a spot of bartering.*

I don't suppose Nigella Lawson will be calling me to snap the pies for her next book. But as I don't need another damn job (at the moment. I can hear my husband muttering about economic realities) it will be quite nice to keep this as play. You learn more by playing, once something becomes work you stop exploring,  I do anyway. Work seems to create stresses which change the whole dynamic. I start focussing on time, and 'product'. And the product never seems to be able to be made good enough in the allocated time.

So, perhaps this blog will morph into a place for me to practise my photography. Scary enough to make me really consider what I'm doing before I share, but not stifling like work can be. Play, but public.

P.S. Blogger has completely changed since I last visited, and I seem to have inadvertently done something that's changed everything!

*Most, but not all the photographs on the site were taken by me.