About nine years ago I had a heart attack, and stabilising me resulted in bleeding kidneys, collapsed lung, and pneumonia while the treatment left a stent and vague murmurs that next time I’d be in real trouble.
Then in 2013 I had a series (ten in all) of strokes over a four day period. That added two more stents to my body … this time in my brain.
I spent a year recovering and was then diagnosed with cancer. The oncologist commenting that “that if I planned a holiday I should take it now.”
Since then I’ve had about an hour of radiotherapy spread over 12 days and am on the fourth week of chemotherapy.
How do I feel? On the surface not too bad but … I tire easily; my weight has dropped from 77kg to about 64 and I am starting to look like a WWII Burma Rail survivor and I can barely lift my Nikon D200.
But what really gets me is that my creative output has been shot to hell. I have barely taken a photograph since I had the stroke. I haven’t made a print, nor have I really posted anything on this blog, while I have abandoned all my other web activity save the odd bit on Facebook.
However, I am about to attempt to change things a little. My extremely patient wife has been a Facebook friend with photographer William Yang for some time, and the other day she noticed the name John Swainston on William’s site.
John Swainston is a name straight out of my past, and thinking about John set me off thinking about other people in the trade. and the photographers I used to know … and that started me wanting to works on this site again. So here goes …
Mudgee photographer Christopher Stephens highlights “Above The Eyeline” features of Mudgee architecture. Most of us seldom look up and miss these potential heritage items.
The show opened at The Butcher Shop Cafe on Thursday 20 and visitors were treated to the shapes and forms adorning many of the towns buildings, as well as a few items at eye-level. Guests were treated to wine and oysters and great conversation.
Pop in for an always-good coffee over the next couple of weeks, and suss the exhibition out.
The Butcher Shop Cafe
The last post before I got ill was about my ABC Video Postcard “The Land: A poem” which was posted to the web. It has now been chosen for an exhibition at the Western Plains Cultural Centre in Dubbo “Stories from Our Place”. The exhibition brings together highlights of photographs, video, written and audio stories made by the Western Plains community. It’s open to the public from Saturday19 October and runs until February 2 next year.
“Stories from Our Place” celebrates two years of ABC Open stories from the Mid West and I am gratified that my short video is part of the show.
f0.95 lives because I do. Not too long ago I had a series of small strokes. I now have a stent in my brain. Some of my friends always thought that there was something strange there … now they are right.
In the event, the past couple of months has given me a little time to think and look at what I am trying to do. Until a couple of hours ago I was trying to build a unique blog using complicated and expensive software. I realised that I was wasting a lot of time when I could be writing and posting photographs, as well as generally rambling on.
So here I am back on line. The new f0.95 blog will up shortly and I am going to be concentrating on the new one in the future, but will continue to put stuff here in for the time being, at least. The new site should be fully operational in a couple of weeks.
I don’t think that I am totally unaware of what is going on in the wider world, but I have to confess that until a few weeks or so ago, I had not heard of the ABC Open initiative.
For those as in the dark as I was, it is a community-oriented on-line project intended to encourage active participation by people living in rural Australia. It is not quite Facebook without the drivel, as it is a structured space that allows people to interact with one another and to talk about their concerns, interests and show off their creative abilities.
A team of ABC producers scattered around the country facilitate this interchange by giving workshops in video making, creative writing and photography then helping to bring it to others by showing it off on-line through Vimeo.
I attended workshops on shooting and editing and the result “The Land: A Poem” can be found on both the ABC Video Postcard Project page https://open.abc.net.au/projects/video-postcards-30rs6yp/contributions/the-land-a-poem-50bx0ya and Vimeo. I wish I could say that it is great, but it was a learning exercise.