Everyday Life

EVERYDAY LIFE: Spring Things

Spring things. Flickering shadows from the low sun. The warm wind of Storm Kathleen. Trees with blossom laden boughs. The onset of hay fever. Hot honey Madeleines straight from the oven. Rhubarb cakes. Cardamom buns. Schnitzel lunches and pastry excursions. Paris with a stranger (more on that soon!)

I cut my finger with a bread knife whilst trying to cut handles into heavy boxes of toiletries donations. I got stitches that looked like a comb-over, and a dressing like a little chef’s hat.

I finally discovered where the owl-like bird call was coming from in the mornings – a Jack Russell. 

I made a duck out of butter. Butter duck. (If you like the sound of that, you might like to see this!)

I shared stories with Phil McGovern and a wonderful audience at Caffeine and Machine, the AUTO PHOTO 02 book officially launched, and a few weeks later I was invited back to park my car in their shop as part of their Lotus meet. 

The AUTO PHOTO Awards exhibition is on show at Motorsport UK HQ (until 06 May) and we’ll soon be announcing its exciting second location. We’re touring the digital exhibition of the Top 100 this year too – so far it’s been to Caffeine and Machine, Cambridge University, and Motorsport UK, with more lovely locations lined up. You can see the 2023 Top 100 here (and subscribe to our YouTube channel!) We’ve had a few bits of good publicity too, including a six page feature in Chicane magazine.

I hosted a pop-up portfolio review session at Motorsport UK for the Bicester Heritage Sunday Scramble. It was busy, people queued and waited, and I felt bad for running out of time to see them all. It’s just a sign that we need to another soon, I suppose!

The Shutter Hub OPEN exhibition at Cambridge University was extended by an extra two weeks. We had great feedback from the public and hosted several educational visits, with Anglia Ruskin University using it as part of their research module on curating.

I gave awards at Exposure festival in Canada and Format festival in the UK, and judged the 10th anniversary Gomma Grant.

The Shutter Hub YEARBOOK Awards is now open for entries, alongside our call for photographers for our FOOD STORIES photo book. And, we’ve got a few really special events coming up soon too, including this collaboration with the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich.

As always, things at Toiletries Amnesty are very busy. Some things we can’t talk about at the moment, and some things we want to shout about because they are the good news that we all need! For Earth Month we’ve partnered with Irene Forte Skincare. I’m really happy about this, not just because they want to financially support our work, but because as a brand they are genuinely ethically and environmentally engaged. They don’t have to do this, they don’t need the PR, they’re doing it because they are nice people. Hear Irene speaking about it here.

I was interviewed by Lucy Shrimpton for JUNO magazine. If you’d like to read how Toiletries Amnesty came to be, and ‘How one woman’s spare shampoo helped millions in hygiene poverty’ you can find the full article over here.

My recent reading list goes something like this: Ludibrium Irrealis by John Hensel / On the Reversibility of Physical Law by John Hensel / Cars Bikes People Culture by InfluxVictorian Modern by Jo Levers and Rachael Smith / Dungeness: Coastal Architecture by Dominic Bradbury and Rachael Smith / The Silence of Dogs in Cars by Martin Usborne / NIGHT MOODS by Justin Carey (of course!)

I’ve not had anything particularly interesting in the post lately, but I did try to fit a pizza through the letterbox this morning, so that’s something!

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, for occasional updates in your inbox, join my Mailing List, and for daily bits and bobs, follow me on Instagram.