My First Book

My Book Front Cover, February 2021

In a change from photography, I thought I would write about the book which I recently finished. I thought I would start by giving you a taste of the text:

“I see,” said the cat, allowing its head to look down thoughtfully. “While I would want to be of assistance in an emergency, this is a one-cat-space – and you aren’t a cat. Incidentally, I am not a Mr, but a Miss, which I would have thought was perfectly obvious by the cleanliness of the lodgings and the artful arrangement of the furnishings – clearly not a bachelor pad!”
“I’m sorry!” said Erin meekly, for she had never thought of cats as sensitive or huffy, “May I ask your name?”

This is the meeting between Erin, a nine year old girl and Kitten McNoodle, a small black cat. The writing the story was quite straightforward, although at the end, I found myself cutting huge chunks which I felt didn’t really moce the story on. The real work, I found, was the proof-reading and editing. And then I considered doing illustrations. Then I spent ages trying to learn digital illustration. And in the end, I thought I would skip the illustrations (I have promised myself I will draw them for the sequal).

Then you come to publishing. To get published by one of the big publishing houses you need an agent to submit the manuscript. To get an agent you need to be an experienced writer. I can feel and chicken and egg situation coming on! So in the end, I have self-published on Amazon Kindle Publishing – to make a fairly inexpensive book which can be downloaded and read almost anywhere in the world. I’ll have to wait and see how it turns out.

Shoreham Beach, West Sussex

Shoreham Beach, West Sussex September 2020

Shoreham Beach is a pedestrian bridge away from Shoreham-by-Sea and I suspect during storms, parts of it get a bit closer.

After a few glorious, almost July-like days, the weather has finally turned and begun to cool down. On this occasion, the tide was out, so I got to walk on sand for a change. Here, the tide makes a huge difference to the beach, the sea being 40m further up the beach at high tide (maybe higher). On this occasion, there were still plenty of paddleboarders cruising along the coast, but fewer bathers.

Paddle Boarders and Bathers, Shoreham Beach, West Sussex September 2020

Garden, Japan

Kyoto Imperial Palace, Japan 2018

I wander between photographing in squares and rectangles. My squares tend to be more thoughtful, because I’m using an inverted image on a ground glass which is just a slower way of doing things.

I really enjoyed my visit to the Kyoto Imperial Palace, it is beautifully cared for and the staff give the impression that they are very proud of it.

Here, I have shared an image from the gardens, which I rather enjoyed.

Please be Patient, Bath

Notice, Bath 2016

Details make me think. They sometimes make me smile.

I think this is the “Mk2” version of the notice. I think the bits on the board itself were the first version – perhaps it wasn’t waterproof or wasn’t in primary colours. Note the capitals at the top and bottom in blue.

I don’t think mine would be as creative.

Senate House, London

Senate House, London 1994

Senate House is one of Bloomsbury’s landmarks, along with the British Museum and Russell Square.

Designed by Charles Holden as part of a larger development which was never built. Construction lasted between 1932-1937.

This was one of the first pictures I took with my (new to me) Rolleiflex. The original print is beautifully rich in detail. I also like the contrast between the almost white building and the almost black sky (did I use an orange filter?).

Cigarette Mosaic, Bradford-on-Avon

Mosaic, Bradford-on-Avon, 1998

In the U.K., I think we take history for granted, everywhere we go we are surrounded by it. Things which in other countries, would have people clamouring to preserve, here would be casually demolished.

I recall this is a type of advertisement which was put in the entrance to newsagents and tobacconists. In a similar vein, some shops would have large advertisements painted on their walls.

Technical Details. This was taken with a Pentax SV with a 55mm lens on Kodachrome 64.

Snow in the Park, Beijing

Chaoyang Park, Beijing 2012

As a foreigner in Beijing, the abruptness of the change of seasons always surprised me. The summer is long and hot: the winter is long and cold. Autumn and spring are colourful and fleeting.

So, this is another frozen landscape. Silent.

I love walking around the parks in China. They are well-used by locals who go there to dance or place Chinese chess (the one being favoured by women, the other favoured by men). The grounds are usually well-kept, with delicate trees being carefully wrapped in fabric to keep out the cold.

I believe I was using my Sony NEX 5n for this picture, joining two frames to make the panorama.

Resting on Jianguo Road

Jianguo Road, Shanghai 2011

One of the things I like about Shanghai, is how it has 4 distinct seasons. When I took this photo, it was Summer. And it gets hot and humid. So hot and humid, the walls seem to sweat. Time to find some shade and have a rest.

The other thing I like about Shanghai, is the contrast between the modern and the traditional. In this case, surrounded by electric vehicles, the trader pushes a handcart laden with traditional chairs.

Jianguo Road, Shanghai 2011

Another view/take on the same subject. If I could only see thumbnail pictures, I would prefer the first version, in a larger picture, I think I would prefer this version.

This is a jpeg from a much bigger file. I think if I was reprocessing it, I would try to bring out more detail in the man smoking. He has tilted his head in an interesting way.

On the Pier – Bognor Regis

View from the Pier, Bognor Regis 2019

An obvious view of beach at Bognor Regis.

It was a gorgeous week day, when I caught the train down to Bognor. I intended to test a film camera, but it promptly jammed – which old cameras will do. So it was iPhone time instead. I like the neat, fluffy white waves which have been frozen as they roll on to the beach.