I see so many wonderful photos on PBASE (among the best our dear friend Ian whose comments today have made me shudder – I’ll be coming back to that one later) that I cannot hope to compete with. My photos have always been to help the people who look at them to hear a tale about my life.
Recently I took one of those tests that tells you what type of personality you have based on the language that appeals to you (visual, auditory or ‘touchy-feely’ as we put it). Most people are visual, those who aren’t are likely to be auditory and a few are ‘touchy-feely’. Usually you have a mix of the three and I certainly had one or two instances of visual, a single auditory and I was off the scale for ‘touchy-feely’. I was told this is extremely rare.
Today I’ve been thinking about my anniversary on PBASE and I have realised that I have done what I set out to do. I have engaged people with the fairly mundane details of my life and touched people. I have been particularly proud of the comments left in the last week about my story-telling. Thanks to all who have taken the trouble to post messages. I can’t tell you how much it’s made my day.
We are a family of story tellers, both of my parents are great story tellers. When my Mum gets together with her sisters I hear things about their youth that make me laugh and amaze me at the same time. I can’t imagine my Mum doing some of the things she talks about! But the best in the family is my Dad, ah Dad, how I loved your stories.
I love the way language has the power to evoke so much feeling in people. I love the way you can feel elated or broken-hearted at the fate of an imaginary person in a book just because of the language the author has chosen to use. I have often tried to analyse what it is about a book that makes me love it. I can’t. It’s seemingly random. Often the books that are my favourites have little ‘action’ – they are the ultimate ‘kitchen sink dramas’.
I adore White Palace by Glenn Savan. It’s a wonderful tale of the triumph of love over snobbery. The poor man wrote a completely brilliant book and then took about 7-8 years to come up with another (Goldman’s Anatomy) and to the best of my knowledge he’s only ever written the two. Such a shame. Equally I love The Buddha Of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi – so completely decadent and mad but so much of that suburban London lifestyle I recognise in the places and people I see around me every day. I was so utterly thrilled that Ann went and borrowed The Map Of Love after my piece about it on Pyjama Day.
Sometimes I start a book and think ‘yeah, this is just going to be my cup of tea’ and then somehow it all goes pear-shaped. The Life of Pi is a good example of that, as is Timolean Vieto Come Home and Angelica’s Grotto – when I first started that one I thought it was so amazingly sensual but it soon turned to something quite disturbing. You just can’t tell.
I stopped reading for many years and I’d forgotten its pleasures. What made me start again was hearing ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ on the radio (4 of course) and missing the final episode. I was so engrossed I couldn’t bear not to know what happened. I have radio 4 to thank for revitalising my interest and I’ve never looked back.
For me, the spoken word (and sung word) is almost as perfect as a good book. I love being read to – book tapes are a big thing for me, as are the ‘wordsmith’ musicians such as Elvis Costello, Squeeze and Crowded House.
When I was a little girl, my Dad used to tell us stories and read ‘Lancashire Monologues’ to my sister and me. He was so good at the pacing of the stories and he used to have us in fits of laughter over the fate of Albert. How those evenings were such a treat.
All this is to say that I’m pleased and proud people read my diary, thank you all.
Back to my comments re Ian. The scumbag that has been persecuting him and his family anonymously deserves to have nothing of joy in his (or her) life. I hope that they sit at home alone now and have no-one to talk to and no-one to hold. Their actions may well have robbed us all of one of the best photographers on PBASE and a lovely, kind soul who has certainly enriched my life since he started. Ian, I can’t tell you how upset I am seeing your words. I have treasured your images and I have loved becoming your ‘cyber friend’. Please don’t let the actions of this despicable creep stop your photography or your zest for life as is shines out of every photo.
Finally, back to Al-bert. ‘A grand little chap were young Al-bert, all dressed in ‘is best, quite a swell, with a stick with an ‘orses ‘ead ‘andle, the finest that Woolies could sell……… ah – those were the days!
Oh and the photo is completely staged as a prop for my story!
A year ago today I started this. As you will see, it took me a few weeks to get going properly and you'll notice that over time I've become more confident about telling my story.