Belated new year’s musings…

As it’s becoming traditional in this blog, half way through January looks like a nice time to talk about last year. It’s also my birthday soon, so it feels like a more natural end of year to me.

I am still in London. A place that keeps giving me mixed feelings. I broke one of my last year’s resolutions. I moved to another place towards northeast, closer to Cambridge, where my daughter lives most of the time, but still near enough to better enjoy London’s happenings and career opportunities. And so far, I’m very happy with my decision. Decision not taken lightly, as I really liked my previous place and it’s surroundings. But a few issues were creeping in… The thermal and noise insulation was terrible. I could hear my downstairs neighbours arguing as if they were with me in my living room, uninvited. Planes flying from and towards Heathrow airport were almost touching my roof. And in windy nights, I just could not sleep. So after much consideration, I moved again. It’s the fourth time in 4 years…

So now at my new place I feel more comfortable, and a bit closer to everything that interests me, like photography exhibitions, visiting interesting neighbourhoods and architecture, coffee places, bookshops, museums, music gigs of all sorts… This city, in that regard, is unbeatable. In others, more personal ones, this city still feels… Impersonal. Two years already here and when wandering around I still feel disconnected. Like an eternal tourist. Or an invisible ghost. No one knows me here, I know no one. Well, that’s not strictly true. I know people, and I am known to some here. But you can walk through enormous crowds in Oxford Street in the previous days to Christmas and still feel lonely. I read somewhere that people mostly come here to make a career, not a life. Once they get what they want, they leave. Others leave because of the noise and cold too (or conversations with imaginary friends). And I may do that too, at some point, but not just yet. Is true that my new area has some sort of “village” feeling that makes you forget you are in London. There is a very diverse and strong community vibe here, I like that.

I’ve made some trips, to Sweden, Wales, Spain. Some of its pictures are here, others are still in the archive, waiting to be looked at for a second (or more) time, later. This blog’s title means that… Long delays are possible between taking pictures, and showing them around. I like to let things settle and rest and see what survives the test of time. At times though, it’s just difficult for personal reasons, as the pictures to my trip to Israel, not last year but the previous one.

I still cannot see its pictures without a feeling of loss, mixed with fond memories. I loved it, and I really thought it was the beginning of something meaningful. But this ended being like those songs about unrequited love, or how to misunderstand everything about a relationship. Suddenly nothing seems to make sense, and, paraphrasing that Pink Floyd’s album title, in a momentary lapse of reason one dares to question: Where do I stand for you in all this?

I think in the end is our ego what gets in the way of how we confront, or avoid, this kind of situations. Where one wants to know what is really there, the other withdraws and vanishes out of your life, just like that… It’s so sad to think how temporary some people are, especially loved ones.

Professionally speaking, I can’t be in a better situation. I’m working for a games studio in a very ambitious project. I deal with artistic and technical aspects, a place that feels like home to me. And actually, I can do it from home, so what else can I ask? I miss a bit working in a normal office, and the usual Friday drinks at the pub, but… This also has its perks, like not being affected so directly by politics and colleagues you might not want to see their faces everyday, only through video calls, easy to switch off at will. I believe it’s the future way of working (in pyjamas), to be honest.

I want to keep taking pictures as a hobby. There is no better way to kill a
passion than making a job out of it, I believe. I belong to a photography association here in London, and I’ve met people who has been brave enough to make the jump from making pictures for themselves, to work on photography for someone else. And… Results are quite mixed. Being just an amateur doesn’t mean bad quality or less interesting pieces of work than being professional. Quite opposite in some cases. And I feel I still need to learn lots to actually consider making this a proper occupation. But hey, I’d be happy if you buy some prints of my pictures! 🙂


9 responses to “Belated new year’s musings…”

  1. David A Lockwood avatar

    London, a horrible place.
    You are absolutely right in it being unfriendly, I only visit if I really must, the last being about a year ago and I’m still recovering. I wish all the great places it has could be moved beyond the M25.
    Best of luck in your new home and I hope it is more peaceful.

    Love your images, it’s always a pleasure seeing what you have posted.

    1. casagan avatar

      Thanks David, I’m glad you like them. Yes, London, such a wonderful and not so wonderful place, all at the same time.

      Ps. I’ve been having a look at your image collections… Amazing work!

      1. David A Lockwood avatar

        Thanks, now there is a city you would probably like. Muscat in Oman, safe even at (not many cities you can wander at night with a £2000 camera that isn’t even yours and not worry about it) lots of history and the buildings to go with it. Step away from the sea front & it’s a modern thriving cosmopolitan community of shops, houses & businesses.

        1. casagan avatar

          Thanks for the suggestion. I’m always looking for places, that’s my biggest source of inspiration.

  2. David A Lockwood avatar

    Sorry edit last please, it should read:
    ‘even at night’ .
    And thanks for the kind words about my photography.

  3. Kanjika avatar

    Hope you like your new place. Your thoughts about London reminded me of a quote from Londers by Craig Taylor –
    Live your life in any way London says. It encourages defiance. I loved what it gave me, who it allowed me to be. On the nights I could afford a minicab home, I rolled down the window while crossing the river and watched the lights on the water, knowing most late-night minicabbers were reaffirming their love of London with the same view. I loved its messiness, its attempts at order. I loved the anonymity it afforded.

    Never been to London myself. Loved your pictures and your story behind them i wrote a post dedicated to all photography bloggers would be glad if you could read it.

    1. casagan avatar

      Thanks for visiting! Yes, I quite like it. I reckon that this post is a bit old by now, and it’s been a while since I last updated the blog. That will change soon 🙂

  4. […] cheaper) place, closer to loved ones, and do work from home, something I said before it was the future. I wish I could predict the future […]

  5. […] I’m starting to miss things I was doing more often back in London (oh yeah, you wanted to leave…) like visiting galleries and exhibitions, or music […]

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