I read the other day that, although we are each the main character in the story of our own lives, in the lives of others we are just the ‘other person’. All of us, tiny dots in the universe with potentially insignificant roles to play in the shadows and on the sidelines. But, what if we did the research, put in every effort – what could our role be then? At the very least, it could be memorable, bring a little joy, and at the most – it could be everything. If you’re not doing something good, what are you doing?
Toiletries Amnesty has been announced as a finalist for the Barclays Social Entrepreneur Award, which recognises entrepreneurs whose companies have delivered transformative social or environmental change.
As we head towards a winter with food and fuel poverty at the forefront of people’s minds, it’s important we continue to raise awareness of the hidden crisis of hygiene poverty and the negative impact it has on the health and well-being of people of all ages. It’s a real boost to receive this recognition for the work we do, much of which goes unseen, but mostly it’s an opportunity to be able to spread the word and start conversations with people who want to get involved and help put an end to hygiene poverty for good.
I’ve been away, out of the country away, by plane and by train, passport stamped at all opportunities. I travelled to Gent and Brussels for all things floral, to The Hague for art in galleries and museums, to Flevoland for the water and flatlands, and most recently to Pula for the launch of the Grand Hotel Brioni.
I wrote about some lovely cities to visit in Belgium for Homes and Antiques.
I stayed at Hoar Cross Hall, in Staffordshire, in the Royal Suite (with a rooftop hot tub and classy pigeons with pretty faces and all their toes!)
I went to Chichester and saw a peregrine falcon.
I went to A&E because of a potato.
Tutti went to the groomers. She smacked the brushes out of their hands, assaulted two people, and got sent home early.
I gave a talk about circular economic thinking, developing communities and building sustainability into business.
I met a seal (called Neil).
Sasha the chicken died, eight and a half years old, a good life. Margaret has been taking dust baths on the burial site.
I accidently agreed to walk a marathon. (Sponsorship here please!)
I’ve been sent some interesting things in the post: a lovely mug for my tea from Steenbergs, a bottle of Prosecco from Barclays (maybe for the mug?), a selection of books (of course), a trio of brilliant tote bags (made from recycled plastic) from my friend Dusica at PRiK, and several envelopes full of broken jewellery.
Broken jewellery you say? Yes, that’s right. If you’ve got anything broken or unwanted, then please check out the Broken Jewellery Project.
This season’s reading list goes something like this: Lockdown Decay by Naomi James / Semaphor by Torrance York / Geological Aesthetics by Elizabeth Woodger / Eiland by Jeroen Hofman / Flash Back from Mauritshuis / Fast Lady by Michael W Barton / ROAD TRIP by Shutter Hub (of course, I love it!)
We took the Audi 100 to the Club Audi Concours de Elegance at The British Motor Museum, and to the Sandringham Pageant of Motoring. Some people love it, some people don’t. Some people poke their hands in it’s rust hole and I’m not sure what that means.
I got back out in the S2 Elise and sprinted with the Lotus Cup UK Speed Championship. I came 5th at Cadwell, 5th at Snetterton, 4th at Hethel. I need a 3rd next!
And, most excitingly, and automotive related, we launched AUTO PHOTO Awards! Celebrating the best in automotive photography, creating new connections between international communities and the photography and automotive industries. This has been a big project in the making, and now it’s out there in the world building momentum.
We’ve got some amazing supporters onboard (including FastR, Motorsport UK and WXVE) some top-notch prizes (seriously, have you seen them?) and some excellent entries coming in (enter here). Deadline is 31 October 2022, don’t miss it.
In photography related news, I’ve just completed my judging as a juror for US based Critical Mass, I reviewed the work of 200 photographers (including a photo of a penis, in a birds nest).
Our exhibition in France has been extended until the end of February 2023. YOUR BODY BELONGS TO YOU launched this spring in the beautiful seaside town of St Gilles Croix de Vie and has been seen by tens of thousands of people so far.
If you’re looking for opportunities as a photographer, check out what we do at Shutter Hub. Whether you’ve had umpteen solo exhibitions, or only ever shown your photos to your cat, our community welcomes everyone who values the power of photography. Submit your work for EVERYDAY DELIGHT our next book (deadline 30 September 2022), apply for one of our Camera Amnesty Project Grants, submit a solo book proposal for consideration, and check out our Calls for Entries for other opportunities like the chance to curate your own show, be selected for a commission, or win one of the best automotive photography prizes you can imagine!
If you’d like to keep up with what I’m up to work-wise (talks, events, exhibitions, that kind of stuff), you can find my Agenda on my website. And, if you’d like occasional updates about all sorts of other nice things, in your inbox, you can join my mailing list here.