Everyday Life

EVERYDAY LIFE: There’s No Such Thing As Spare Time

It’s how you choose to use your time that counts. Despite my inbuilt quest to create tranquillity and peace in the photographs I take, my days are most often full to the brim, bustlingly busy and occasionally overwhelming.

How many times do we tell each other how busy we are, like it’s a competition or an accolade? We all have the same amount of time in each day – instead of talking about being busy, let’s use those precious moments to find the joy, be kind, feed the birds, and do good things.

So, with the idea of using my time wisely in mind, I thought it would be nice to make a large Toiletries Amnesty delivery in person. I packed the car, full to the gunnels, and headed off across the country on icy roads. It was so cold, (-5.5 according to the car) that my passenger door window fell out! I had to drive for three hours with no window (and an old blanket over my head!)

I saw a deer in the garden, and a kingfisher on the river.

I was in a cafe, having lunch, when a duck walked in and headed straight towards the kitchen.

I saw a sheep with a bucket stuck on its head, and two other sheep trying to help it.

I went to the Belgian Ambassador’s residence in London for dinner.

I had sepsis. 

I sprinted with LCUK at Curborough and nearly, nearly got that 3rd place. (I should have got 3rd).

I wrote a Lifestyle feature for Chicane with my favourite design-led finds (and have been invited to make this a regular thing). 

I’ve been sent some interesting things in the post: Lovely mugs (perfect for hot chocolate) from Rex London, a badge that says no bullshit at any time, and two fantastic plastic and silver rings from jewellery designer Monika Seitter (you can see them in my photo below, modelled beautifully by the indicator stalk of my Audi 100).

This season’s reading list goes something like this: Never Too Small by Colin Chee, Joel Beath and Elizabeth Price (it’s absolutely inspirational) / Gas and Glamour by Ashok Sinha / A Museum of Dreams from Kunstmuseum Den Haag / EVERYDAY DELIGHT from Shutter Hub Editions – yes, another awesome book from our very own publishing project.

I judged the AUTO PHOTO Awards with the Duke of Richmond; there were so many brilliant entries. We announced the Top 100 images, which will all appear in the first AUTO PHOTO book, and, excitingly, the Top 100 will also be showcased at Bicester Heritage (at the first Sunday Scramble of the year) as part of our Pop-up Meet Up with Motorsport UK.

I joined the Vogue Italia team for Photo Vogue Festival in Milan (from my home in England) for portfolio reviews with photographers from around the world.

I helped judge the Exposure Photography Festival Emerging Photographer Award in Canada (also from my home in England).

Shutter Hub has a great call for entries open at the moment, NIGHT MOODS, in collaboration with Justin Carey as part of our Curate for the Community project. There’s also a photography commission available, and project grants, and other good things (as always).

I went on a beautiful trip to Paris. Up with the owls for the early morning Eurostar. Birthday breakfast champagne for Sara as we whizzed across the French countryside. Bundled into a gull-winged Tesla and driven through the rainy streets of Paris for a private tour of Foundation Custodia. And then, an afternoon with the Dutch Ambassador meeting Dutch museum and gallery directors and finding out about some magnificent exhibitions to see in 2023. Kees van Dongen at Singer Laren? Yes please! Escher at Kunstmuseum den Haag? Yes please! The largest ever Vermeer exhibition, at the Rijksmuseum? Yes please! Musea23 – I’m ready!

I wrote about my magical visit to the newly opened Grand Hotel Brioni in Croatia for City AM (read my personal version here). Some of the photographs I took on the press trip were used by Glamour magazine and Hello.

I returned to Hoar Cross Hall to write a feature for Chicane magazine, shared a Lotus moment with one of the owners, ate some top-quality focaccia and had an LED facial.

Whilst out photographing the car for Chicane, I stopped to take in the view at a reservoir and got talking to a chap who was looking out for Ospreys with his binoculars. He had a packed lunch of hot chocolate and pork pie. We talked about cars and birds, and he told me he’d been reading a lot of murder mysteries lately. I took that as my cue to leave!

It’s been all frost and fog, and quite beautiful. We see our surroundings differently when they become a winter wonderland.

Fresh eyes are always good. Gratitude often comes from seeing alternative perspectives.

Feel lucky. Do good things.

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.