Steel Giants

Happy new year.

Not sure about you, for me, 2015 was awesome for many reasons, photography being one, but blogging, not as much. Have you noticed that writing takes up so much time? And working takes up so much of that time. Luckily I did some freelance photography and actually got paid for my work in that regard!

As for 2016, I will be writing more regularly – so many ideas, I love that introspective space, but for blogging I’ll be going for short, sharp and punchy, a selected photo and a poem of some description. Maybe a few reviews, maybe some other things. I just want to see how it flows.

The paid photography work I did last year centred around architecture, office interiors and the latest AV technology. All things I’m interested in! I absolutely love Canary Wharf because from an architectural point of view, it’s like another world.

The photo below is a crop of One Canada Square in Canary Wharf.

 

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This was taken April 2015, the day was beautiful and the sky had never been so blue.

The biggest challenge is taking straight shots from the ground with a standard lens. This was tricky and required only minor manipulation to get it exactly straight, but the original on Flickr allows you to zoom right in and peer into each window. I’m guessing that the people are sitting behind the blinds because the sun was so direct and penetrating, but the result is a building that appears to be completely without a living soul in sight… though it would have been poetic if someone had been peering pensively out, somewhere three quarters up.

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I love this shot.

As my daughter flipped through the photos of this day, she observed that some of them made her feel so incredibly small. It is akin to walking among giants.

Steel Giants

Occupied Towering
Bastions of Wealth
Fortress’s Fortunes
Peers across Thames

© Copyright Nicki Ki
All Rights Reserved

Whoa, has that much time passed?

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Yes, I suppose it has.

I have so many things going on these days, I hardly have time to put fingers to keyboard for anything other than personal writing. Blogging is great for marketing, inspiration from fellow bloggers and for drifting through writer’s block. Well, certainly if your blog is like mine – fairly purposeless, more like a showcase of writing in the event that one day I manage to win the golden trophy aka getting the highly-sought-after “Publishing” deal.

I’ve thought of a few theme blogs I may explore sometime during the long dark days of the winter months and spare everyone from my Vogonesque winter poetry…

Even then, I’m starting to think it’s a bit too dodgy putting your best stuff online without some way to get something back for it, the Internet is full of people sniffing out ideas for their own gain. Having thought about it, I found myself writing offline, writing without the need for recognition. I have several projects, that may one day morph into something tangible, but at the moment… I am writing purely for the joy of–

The thing that turned me off blogging for a while was seeing how someone else wrote a Doctor Who review in my style – even down to the way I format the headings, and the article seemed a little disparaging toward me — or maybe I just took it a bit personally because the person had thought my style was good enough to copy, but not good enough to show a little respect, either way I realised just how much I undersell what I do.

If you’ve been paying attention, I haven’t posted the last two reviews and the full summary of the last three episodes in context. But after that incident, I realised that I’m giving the milk away for free… and if I’m going to write Doctor Who reviews – and they take me hours to write and collect screen grabs, to inspire the reviewers who are writing for the popular channels using me as a foil for their sark, and if I’m going to open myself up to the risks of being a female blogger… then I might as well get paid something for it. So I will be finishing my Series 8 reviews, and will make the ebook available before Series 9 – which gives me a month and a half – EEP!

And if you just come here for the photo-poetry…


Keyboard Warrior Senryu

Tick tock time trots true
Tick tack typing to temper
Tactical tantrum

© Nicki Ki
All Rights Reserved

Weekly Photo Challenge: Converge

converge

The calm is here and in the midst of the peaceful tranquility of acceptance and forgiveness, focus is on the fun of the festive season. Peaks and troughs, and slogs and bogs, dogged this year, but along life’s journey, like a large complicated topiary, strength was grown and shaped.

The theme this week is converge, and the selections above reflect several different aspects of this.

The moon in the lamp before the lamp is lit converges our night time’s shared, waxing and waning reflected light source, with our contrivances to illuminate our pathways useful when the early darkness draws in plunging us all deeper into the skeletal stillness of winter.

Fuchsia flowers dangle within a metal spiral, Mother Nature converges with a human manufactured symbol representing the true spirit of her eternal flow.

In winter we look back on summer, warm colours converge in vibrant greens and blues, reflected in the shiny eyes of a magnificent Dragon Fly stopping for a moment upon a grape leaf to bask in the Sun’s generous rays.

Ivy stems converge into heart-shaped leaves along strong vines that even when cut back continue to grow with tenacious persistence – ever hopeful.

Spiders work tirelessly to create dinner traps for their insect feast, leaving beauty as rain droplets converge at intersections of their webby remnants, and end by spinning themselves into warm corners for their winter hibernation.

Heart shaped Brie cheese, candle light, and wine converge at Festive times to create delicious treats to share.

At Christmas, many of us in the world converge with our families, food and soft twinkling lights reflected off tinsel, glass and metallic balls, to remember the day Jesus Christ was born. There are other festivities that converge with this time of year too, Pagan souls celebrate mid-winter, coaxing the return of spring by decorating trees with fruit. The festival of Hanukkah and the daily incremental lighting of the Menorah is a holy and special time for Jewish people globally – it represents the Maccabean struggle for freedom to practice their religion, when Antiochus of the Seleucid Empire tried to forbid it. And Atheists, well there’s the pretty lights, the time off work, the sales, and the march to a clean slate the New Year invariably promises.

Whatever you celebrate, however you feel at this time of year, may the global consciousness feel the love, peace, optimism and goodwill converge in all our hearts and heads.

To carry us out of the theme of convergence, following is another poem from my Open Heart Poetry collection, it’s a Senryu (similar to Haiku) where natural elements, converge with human expression…

Stormy Expressions

Stormy winds arose
Lashing rains exposed the ground

Now, the calm is here

© Nicki Ki
All Rights Reserved

George Bernard Shaw Study

George Bernard Shaw Study

Visited Shaw’s Corner recently and connected with the mind of a deep thinking man. He wrote in a shed in his garden, but this was his home study. The lady from the National Trust informed me that since he left his house to the trust, it remained largely unchanged.

He was an interesting man, I suspect (though it’s not fully documented, because according to history, nobody before the 70s ever had sex and all their affairs were platonic) that he was a ladies man – ladies obviously liked his beard.

His one true love seemed to be the socially inaccessible actress Mrs Pat Campbell – they wrote many letters to one another which had to be heavily edited before they were published (to help an impoverished Mrs Pat) to spare his wife’s feelings (she was rather upset by it all). It’s also stated that he and his wife had a purely platonic marriage, although they were the best of friends.

I tried talking to the walls, but they remained tight-lipped about the whole affair.

Through my own observation, intuition and looking at the collection of sculptures, pictures and the ornaments, I felt able to connect with this influential writer-dramatist. It really brought the history alive.

I’m not all that familiar with his work, just many of his quotes have struck a chord and having done some research, there are so many things he wrote about that I agree with – I’m starting at his unpleasant plays – and I agree with his outlook. The only thing I disagree with is his stance on eugenics, but I don’t believe in eugenics (or transhumanism – certainly not with all institutions betraying public trust). In my opinion, eugenics was incongruous with his stated beliefs that everyone should be given a chance regardless of their class.

But I’ve never been one to have to agree 100% with someone’s thinking before I can take the rest of what they say with any merit – ideas evolve over centuries, minds, and generations.

 

Top 10 George Bernard Shaw quotes 

  1. We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.
  2. We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
  3. Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
  4. No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.
  5. Do not waste your time on Social Questions. What is the matter with the poor is Poverty; what is the matter with the rich is Uselessness.
  6. Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.
  7. The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity.
  8. The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.
  9. A gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out.
  10. Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.

 

© Nicola Kirk
All Rights Reserved

About a cat

About a cat

Anticipating the sunshine after a long, cold, dreary, windy, snowy, misty, rainy, dank British suburban Winter, Shanks the Black Panther embarked on his daily Ginger Phat through his backyard kingdom … uh … not so much a kingdom, more like a catdom.

To dispense with intricate politics, there exist several long-held oaths between the cats, devised by Ginger the Phat, that is yowled every blue new moon, the Ginger Phat code goes, “whomsoever treadz and sitz upon the wee half-shedz, will run all the yards, until the wind changes or cat biscuitz – whichever first. So say we all! Rowr.”

Cat biscuitz is a verb in catlish.

Considering the Greenhouse, Shanks ruminates on the shadow of fearfulness. There was a past incident there. Detail is sketchy, the time scale ragged, but cat memories are durable. Loud shouting, falling shelves, flying pots skittering, and he hesitates. But not so that anyone’d notice.

Always casual, never flustered, suave Shanks narrowing his eyes, hopes he looks more brave than he feels. Tens of pairs of eyes hidden behind curtains, lazing on ledges and window posing, he feels surrounded.

That gap between the shabby shed and the decrepit fence is far too inviting to ignore, it leads to a veritable Narnia of insects, snails, slugs and cocoons… But there’s hint of scent that’s not his own and in a snapshot too, he senses a not-long-gone mouse victim of another Cat. There’s also a Ginger the Phat oath about this – but he never remembers if it says eat it, or leave it … and who can stop long enough to ask for clarification when the air’s electric and pulsating with ardent vibrancy?

Perhaps, he convinces himself after a little while, it was left there by Toby the Terror as a gift. They are unofficially friends that have their share of upz and downz. Then he remembers the last time he thought the same thing. Glancing over at his perennial mate’s house, he’s wildly taken aback, everyone sees him jump, as claw-flexed Toby slowly licks his razor-honed claws, daring him to make his day.

Opening window, attention diverted, head turns, relief, home, biscuit chief. Could it be that time… already? Torn between adrenaline and the needs of his dangling belly Shanks waits, a picture of Iron resolve cloaked by velvet composure, inwardly speeding up his daily revue of the yards.

Fresh pine greenery, shrubbery, topiary, adventuring hidden nooks. Head shifting tapping bare branches, pegs waving, birds trembling, watching waiting, wind whispering. Creaky fences, hedge propped, jasmine anticipating sunlight. Trellis fading, silver moss on birch. Sauntering home.

“Right, that’s me done. Time for cat biscuitz.”

Look out your back window or door — describe what you see, as if you were trying to convey the scene to someone from another country or planet.