My photo for me, art and photography.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Photos on the Internet

People have very different opinions on putting their photos up on the big wide web, and I'm just kind of curious about it (sorry, I really can't think of how to phrase this well).

I know youngsters are discouraged from it by their parents for safety reasons, to protect them from paedos and fraud and the like, and my parents feel exactly the same, even now, and I'm 22! - they flipped out when I told them about facebook, which i found hilarious! saying it's not safe, people could steal my identity and I'd be arrested and god knows whate else.

I dunno... I'm very incautious about using my photo on the net, and possibly this is a bad thing, I dunno, but the way I see it, is that... ok: so hundreds, possibly thousands of strangers will see my photo on the internet every day- some of them may know me in person, but a majority of them won't... but I can sit in a lecture at uni, or walk around bluewater shopping centre, or walk through Waterloo station during rush hour, and hundreds, possibly thousands of strangers will see me in the flesh - some of them may know me, but a majority of them wont..... so I personally don't really see the difference, apart from the fact that one me is in 4D and breathing, and the other me is considerably smaller, 2D and made of pixels.

But also, at the same time, I talk to anyone and everyone anyway - real or pixellated, so I dunno what that says about me... it could be a student thing, because all the students I know talk to absolutely everyone from generally chatting to little old ladies on the bus to asking punk rockers in Camden Market how they get their hair to stick up like that (I've even asked them myself!) or asking hells angels if we can try on their jackets and have a photo taken with them- and the internet to me is just an extension of that, but isn't limited to London or Kent - I know people who live all over the world and I consider them all my friends, and I'd never have got the opportunity to meet them all if it wasn't for the net. All my friends at home know what I look like, so I don't see why other people should be spared the same punishment.

Obviously personal details like phone numbers and the like I'd never give out over the internet willy-nilly coz that is just STUPID (I had a go at one of my friends about that when she started getting wierd phone calls - christ woman, what do you expect?!?) but apart from maybe legal reasons, like if you're a victim of a crime or a criminal or in witness protection or some such thing, which is completley understandable, also, if you're just shy, and shy about your appearence, then that is absolutely understandable too; but in general terms, I don't really get what the difference is between a stranger on the street or on a bus seeing you in real life, and a stranger from, say, Italy, seeing your photo on the internet.... am I making any sense here?

I'm just kind of waffling and hoping I get my point across somehow coz I dunno how to say it more conscisely.

Basically, I'm just interested in how other people see this same issue.. is it a generation thing maybe? because none of my friends are particularly fussed about having their photos put on the net (as long as they look nice and there are no 'nostril' shots or double chins). Although parents try to be very strict and warn their kids about the dangers of the net; possibly as an act of rebellion? I don't know, but girls particularly around 14-17 have been very criticised on the news not so long ago for encouraging paedophilia by putting provocative photos of themselves up on places like myspace. In my opinion, they shouldn't be repressed into not using such sites at all, but should be encouraged to exercise a lot more discretion in their choice of photos.... because it portrays them (and young girls in general) in a very bad light, and the world is a corrupt enough place as it is without them helping to encourage it, whereas my parents, and even my cousins who are in their 40s so are by no means 'old' are very hesitant about anything to do with the internet! even places like ebay and amazon, which EVERYONE uses, they are extremely hesitent about, expecting a call from their bank any minute saying someone has stolen their card details and bought a ferrari in Hawaii or something.

I personally think the internet is a wonderful thing and a great way to link like-minded people. It opens up a whole new way to research, 'network' I believe is the savvy term for it, and to share your interests - whether it be model train collecting and pylon spotting (yes, there is such a thing apparently) to sky diving and extreme motorsports.

so... yeah... what are your views on this?

Monday, 20 October 2008

Dried up.

Sorry there's not been anything to read about for a while - I've been housebound for a few weeks now, so I haven't really had anything to write about. On the flipside, I'm currently churning my way through my photos on my external hardrive.... there is about 6 years worth of them, so It's going to take me a little while yet, but keep your eyes peeled on the gallery on my website in the very near future, as there will be more things headed its way. Secondly, I'm orf to see some form of play with Michael Gambon on Thursday (probably) so expect some form of feedback on it here! I don't actually know what it is - the fact that it has Michael Gambon in it is good enough for me!

I've also started painting again... sort of. I'm still in love with Alec Egan's expressionist style work, so I've decided to try to break out of my little box and try something different. It's hard!!! it's a LOT harder than I ever expected it would be! I've done a painting of Times Square and tried to do another one, but I gave up half way through - which is unusual for me, because I never leave paintings unfinished! I just don't like it - I can't put my finger on why. I'll post both, and let you do the judging I think. Let me know if I should finish it or not!

That's the first one. Some of my friends have said:

"I like it. It's kind of like a city in turmoil but no matter how terrible things may get it remains vibrant with its culture and people and it never stops moving."

"Oooo I could tell it was Times Square right away! It's so bright and colourful, but it also looks like a city in turmoil. Sort of creepy and happy at the same time"


"I know this is too much analysis of your fun quickly done painting. BUT the curviness of the buildings reminds me of the movie Dark City "

Well.. I guess this means it's a success, right? if it's ilicited some form of response, but the darkness? that was something I wasn't expecting! the curvy lines are because I can't draw straight lines if my life depended on it so I thought if they were going to be wonky, they should look deliberately so! LOL ah well..

secondly - and this is the one I can't bring myself to finish:

I dunno about you, but to me, it looks like something a 5 year old would do. Should I finish it?

Hope all my readers are keeping well,

Monday, 13 October 2008

Accents - mainly English and American. Origins of.

I was having a discussion with some of my American friends about the way they say certain things. The main thing that was bugging me is their use (or misuse, whichever way you want to look at it) of the vowel 'a'. For example - where I say (with my pristine clipped English accent, of course) apple, camera, Natasha.... they would pronounce it 'eapple, ceamera, Nateasha. Why the E?!? there is no e before any of those 'a's so why pronounce it like there is one?! accents have always fascinated me since I was a kid - I've always tried to imitate them (some successfully, some less so) but I've never really stopped to think about the origins of pronunciation- WHY people say things the way they do.

I haven't looked into this properly yet - i only really had this thought 2 nights ago and haven't really had time to explore the whys and wherefores of it in depth and with actual facts to back it up, so I'm just calling it as I see it from the point of view of young English person who half paid attention to history classes in school.

The English accent goes way back- we have quite a varied history - Vikings, Saxons, Normans etc with their short harsh sounding native accents because of their germanic base which we stole some words of and still use today.... mainly the rude ones from the anglo-saxons, which is why swear words seem quite harsh sounding... fuck, c**t, shit etc from the germanic base. Then then the Romans with their blunt sounding Latin,.... all of which has helped shape the way the English sound - the celts and the gaels have helped the Irish and Scots develop the sing-song accents they have today.

The American accent is a baby if you think about it - the yanks have been 'american' for what, five hundred years tops? they've not had the time for their accent to develop and mature to the extent we have and although it is (now) extremely multicultural, the foundations of it are basically a kind of a mishmash of English and Irish (mainly) coz of all the immigrants that went over there, during the 1700-1900 period right? just in time for the revolution and the potato famine, and great depression. But - to go back to my original point, I can't think of any Irish words where 'a' sounds like 'ea'. Fair enough, I've never actually BEEN to Ireland, but I have Irish family, Irish friends, and in school, Irish teachers - I'm guessing they're not ALL from the same part so I think I have a reasonably broad base for comparison.... so where the heck does the 'ea' come from? is it just something Americans have just made up by themselves? and if yes... for what earthly purpose?!

Some of my American friends deny doing that - and insist they have a 'neutral' accent - but to my english ears, just because it's not as pronounced as, say the south, whurr thuh ceaow bwoys suy 'ceeayat' rayther thayan 'cat' doesn't mean its still there - they just say ceat not c-eat - a shorter word - not as drawn out.

anyway, so cutting to the chase (I am actually interested in this now - I think I'm going to have to find a book about it) one of my americans sent me this quiz.

and here's what I got:

Which American accent do you have?


This could either mean an r-less NYC or Providence accent or one from Jersey which doesn't sound the same. Just because you got this result doesn't mean you don't pronounce R's.(People in Jersey don`t call their state "Joisey" in real life)

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
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I'm guessing that sounds about right as the New Englanders are the first invaded and oldest established part, aren't they - first contact - most English/anglicised, therefore most likely to have an accent closer to that of the motherland? *shrug*

Try it for yourself - let me know what you get and if you agree with it! :)

Wednesday, 1 October 2008


Was the name of the play, the Almeida theatre, the playwright - Harley Granville Barker.

the website can be found here

this is what the back of the leaflet said:
'A scandal half-stifled is worse than a scandal'

Radical politician Henry Trebell sees his personal and political lives collide.

An affair with a married woman threatens Trebell’s power and passionate ideals; her insistence on a woman's right to choose bring private scandal into the public spotlight.

Controversially banned by the Lord Chamberlain on its release, Waste is a rich portrait of early 20th Century society with strong resonances and relevance for today.

let me put it this way: I walked out in the interval.

I've never done that before, and I have seen some pretty dire operas and plays in my time, but really - I have actually watched paint dry, and it was far more interesting than this. I'm not going to do a Ben Brantley-style review here, I am going to give credit where credit is due, and criticism where criticism is due.

To start: The set was beautiful - the first one was a drawing room on a summer night - big french doors open to let in the fresh air and the moonlight (which was really well done), a grand piano, sofas, books, and a lamp, with the sounds of birds settling down for the night. The set seemed to be on some kind of revolving floor, so it turned round and became an office, which was also beautifully done - what I thought was a really nice touch was that it had two doors off to the side - one of them was closed, and the other one, to the right was open - now, normally when this is done like that, it's just blank behind, either with a blackout curtain behind it, or just the wings.. but the designer had turned it into a tiny little room, with green wallpaper, a picture hanging up, a little desk, and an actor pottering around in there, so it gave much more of a feel of an office, rather than just a set. I really do take my hat off to the set designer - Peter McKintosh- he has done an absolutely amazing job! I'd love to see more of his work in other productions!

Jessica Turner and Helen Lindsay. Photo by Johan Persson

Act 1, scene 1. the lights come up. There are 8 characters on stage, which is already far too much for my brain to cope with. It is set in the 1920s. The costumes are brilliant - I'm a bit of a period costume geek, and am very pernickity about getting details right, but they did a grand job. My only criticism is that one of the actresses had her bob too long, but that doesn't really matter too much.

Then they started to speak. And instantly I lost interest. Politics isn't really my game, but I tried to pay attention, thinking it might develop into an actual storyline, but it didn't.

I did A-level history, which was basically studying British History from 1785-1922 (ish) and then the war years (1927-1950 - Hitler's rise to power to the end of rationing in England) so I should have had at least some vague idea about what they were talking about, even though I'd missed five years. No such luck - absolutely NO idea what was going on.

I think if you are really really interested in and knowledgeable about british politics, and the personal histories of all the policical figures of the 1920s, this would be right up your street. Sadly, for me, it was not. The gossip about these politicians would have been vaguely entertaining if it shed some light on their characters, to give me something to be able to connect to, but it didn't, and really was just a bunch of people sitting around talking shop.

Fortunately, the play was injected with humour, and the wit was absolutely razor sharp, and well delivered, so to me, that was its saving grace, or I would have actually fallen asleep during it.

The acting was pedestrian, at best. Not one of the actors 'shone', or stood out for me. The main character, played by Will Keen bored me absolutely senseless - everything he said sounded like he had the script in his hand and was just reading it out. Peter Eyre has an absolutely fantastic speaking voice - rich, deep, well projected, melodious... but his intonation was that of a priest reading a sermon. Nancy Carrol was the only member of the cast who seemed to put in any effort into her part, and seemed to be the only one who was a half-way decent actor... but the character made me want to throttle her. Every single time she came on stage I found myself rolling my eyes and squirming. I don't know if the playwright intended to create somebody so bloody irritating or not -

I thought we were supposed to feel sympathy for her - I mean, she is married, hasn't had sex with her husband for over a year, has, in fact, left him although is still technically married. She has a brief affair with a politician (Will Keen), gets knocked up, doesn't want to keep it because she thinks a baby will ruin her life, because she doesn't ever want to have children (so you have sex without protection? yeah coz that's NEVER going to get you in that situation you stupid woman) because she doesn't want to see them growing up which would only serve as a constent reminder to her that she is getting older... and apparently at the end, she kills herself after trying to have an abortion.

She's pretty messed up, so I should feel pity, or disgust, or.. I dunno.. something! right? But she is just SO neurotic and bipolar, clingy, self absorped, and needy that all I wanted to do was to scream.

"do you love me? you hate me, say you love me, i love you"
he says he loves her
" i hate you, you're just lying, if you even loved me a little it would help... am i pretty? why don't you love me?"

AARGH! for fucks sake!

In the first act, which was about an hour and a half long (it felt like eternity) about an hour of it was just her doing that. The whole time.

Absolutely did my head in.

I never wear watches - I don't even own a watch, and I very rarely carry my mobile phone around with me, because I'd rather not be constantly reminded of the time. I wore a watch for a week once, and by about wednesday, I found myself looking at it every five minutes - I never want to become a slave to time again. But sitting in that theatre for that hour and a half, I have never wished, more desparately in my life, that I had a watch. I was craning my neck to see if anyone else around me had a watch that I could see, to see how much longer the torture would last.

What didn't help was the actual theatre itself. The seating is crammed. The little plaques in the back of each seat saying who it had been donated by was a nice touch, but the leg room is a joke. My friend and I are short - I'm 5ft 3, she's 5ft1, but our knees were right up against the back of the seats in front. The guy sitting next to her had to sit sideways in his chair, and I'd say that he wasn't much over five foot 7 or 8.

Also, there are far too many columns - I'd say if you are going to go and see something else at the Almeida, to very carefully choose your seats, because there are pillars everywhere. It was no skin off my nose that I couldn't see half the stage for this production, but I'd have been quite put out if it was something that I was actually enjoying, or I'd paid more than £6 for my ticket.... the fact that it was so cheap made it very easy for me to walk out at the interval with no feeling of guilt whatsoever. If I'd paid a bit more, I might have stuck it out to see if it got any better and to feel like I got my money's worth, but I'd have willingly paid the usher £6 on top of my ticket, just to let me out.