Light and time

‘Favourite’ is a word I use a lot. There is so much I enjoy in the natural world and amongst the fruits of human culture, that I find myself talking about favourite beaches, parks, bush walks, books, music, foods, museums, artists … the list goes on.

What I’ve come to realise is that communicating my enjoyment is a pleasure in itself — a favourite thing in fact.

For most of my life, communicating has meant writing, and I still take great care to craft words that will resonate with and spark a response in readers. But increasingly, my words are supplemented (and sometimes replaced) by images.

So on this day (if you ask me tomorrow I might have a different view), my favourite thing is photography. The photographer Elliot Erwitt conveys the feeling well:

To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them. — Elliott Erwitt

The title of this post comes from the wonderful art critic and painter, John Berger

What makes photography a strange invention is that its primary raw materials are light and time. – John Berger

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge | favourite things

“10 things” Tuesday: ten correct answers to pub quiz questions about me

The first freesias in my garden; picked September 1, 2013

I’ve worked as a  copywriter on and off for about 25 years; or about half my life writing in my clients’ voices. The consequence is that I rather lost my own.

Blogging is one of the ways I’m recovering my voice, and while I believe it should come through in all my writing, I also thought it would be fun to share some stuff more directly. So here’s the beginning of 10 Things Tuesday; loves, hates, secrets, desires – whatever takes my fancy and I think you might be interested in.

On the assumption…

that one day I’ll be incredibly famous and my life will come up in a pub quiz or trivia game, here are the correct answers to 10 questions that might be asked.

  1. My favourite flowers are freesias, though lilies come a pretty close second.
  2. I sat my University Entrance exams after I’d left school. The only place I could do the evening classes was a boys school, so ever since I’ve been able to – quite truthfully – write on forms that I attended Westlake Boys High School.
  3. I’d be a vegetarian if I didn’t love eating duck.
  4. I’ve seen Gaylene Preston’s 1986 film Mr Wrong about 20 times; partly as research for a masters thesis on feminist film-making, but mainly because it’s brilliant.
  5. My Stage I politics tutor at University went on to become New Zealand’s first elected woman Prime Minister – Helen Clark. I don’t claim any credit for her political success.
  6. If my house was on fire and I could only rescue one thing (not including my partner and son) it would be my photo albums (ok that’s not one thing, but if I couldn’t take them all I’d barbeque trying to decide which one to grab).
  7. The best holiday I ever had was in Corsica, though Tahiti would be a pretty close second.
  8. The best thing I’ve ever bought that I couldn’t really afford was a huge painting of Arum lilies. It’s been in my life for over 20 years and I still don’t know the artist’s name.
  9. My favourite way to spend a wet Sunday afternoon is on the couch watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes or Casablanca with a bowl of lemon sorbet from Giappo in Auckland, and a latte.
  10. It’s a cliche but … I want my funeral music to include Purcell’s Dido’s Lament – sung by Jessye Norman.