On a friend's blog, her last post was a summary of the good/bad things that happened over the year. So as unfascinating (yes i just invented the word, don't google it) as it may be to read, i suppose one would be in order, as everyone does their own in their head and people with blogs annoy other people with blogs with their deeds of greatness.
Let's start with the not-so-fun bit. Failures... Oh where do i start? The list is endless. I suppose the biggest one to note is our marvelous escapade to Morocco which ended in a tragic injection washer disaster as you can read on the blog. Next would be the huge amount of pictures i managed to miss or fuck up due to my own incompetence. Closely followed by not winning the Nikon Discovery Awards. Also i am sorry to have realised that i lost touch with some people, it's just the way it is and no ammount of forum talk, facebook or anything else amounts to the pleasure of a coffee together. After which comes... Ok, we should stop right about here. It's bollocked up to get depressed at Christmas :)
Now for the good bits and bobs, i might count the few things that managed to come out more or less reasonable during this period. Unexpectedly, the most important was my reacquainting with someone i used to know, just a few days ago. The person got me thinking that maybe, just maybe, there might be a few people out there which are friendly, good and interesting because it's in their nature. And they never change. Closely followed by my exhibition, winning the Transilvania Trophy and finally getting my driver's license. In other news, good feedback on the first half of my book and also the encouragement and support i got from some people (they know themselves, they don't need advertising) towards me publishing it. I can also say i discovered new people and moved to the lovely town of Rochester in Kent. I had the comfort of knowing that one person i still can't figure out, even if i've been working at it for about 3 years or so. It's a curiosity that puts my dog in jeopardy. Sounds odd but it was true. In even smaller news, the acquisition of the Canon and the Hasselblad this year are also to be noted. Now working on the acquisition of a Land Rover, who's purpose is yet unknown, balancing between off road, expedition and everyday drive. A functional 110 would do nicely, even if it's a tad long.
Last but not least, today we are going to the apartment in the center (also known as the headquarters of our company), to have lunch with my grandmother Lili. For those who know her, well i presume you know what's coming. But in my "office" (to be read - "the place where i have my siesta") a new camera obscura is going to be built for my exhibition/project. The picture is a draft so no, comments are not welcome. If you want to comment go find another blog and bug them.
For the few people that kept close this year, which taking into account the quite long distance between me and them and the impossibility of answering "yes" to the "wanna go for a beer" question, have become very few, i wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
PS: Jo you don't need that wish. Give it to someone else. You'll get yours live.
So i am back. Sooner than expected. Now i hate the people here even more. I hate the mud but somehow it's home. There were people i didn't manage to see. Perhaps now is a good time. But let's start at the beginning.
It's yesterday morning and we're good to go. The radiator on the Toyota is getting mended, so everything is in order, the mechanic from Land Rover reassured us there's no problem with our Defender so we set off. All packed, all ready and willing, leaving behind only the memory of the dirty cloudy rain in Bucharest.
400 and something kilometers later the engine stopped. Just stopped, in the middle of the motorway. Our luck was that it stopped some kilometers away from a friend of a friend's car service. What were the odds? We got toed there and popped the hood.
A few hours passed, in which we tried all simple solutions to revive the car. The symptoms and effects were simmilar. It would start after 6 to 12 keys and die like it would run out of diesel. Bugging. Even the mechanic, who was an Extreme class racer as well, had no clue of what that might be. Hours passed, we took out the fuel filter, fuel tank, electronic engine management, unplugged all power chips and reset the computer and nothing happened. We were at the end of the rope.
A friend was called, who took two of Land Rover's best mechanics from Bucharest to our little middle of nowhere. 5 and something hour trip. Meanwhile we went for dinner, where we discussed all manner of things possible, from deadly car crashes to jokes, and get some sleep.
They managed to arrive at 2:30 am, and set off to work. Nobody slept until now really. The car was torn appart from rear to front, taking EVERY, and i mean EVERY piece of metal that could cause this, off.
The most difficult part was left for last: the engine. We hooked the laptops up to the computer and the diagnostic cables and started looking at all possible faults. Apparently the ccylinder balance was completely off, varying from -16 to +26 on the same cyclinder, which, for those of you who don't know cars, qualifies for the first prize in the "as bad as it can get" competition.
The engine was opened up, all pistons taken out and cleaned, and in the process discovered that the copper isolation gaskets for the fuel injection pumps were beyond worn out and had not been doing their job for a while. Needless to say that we called everyone, from the coast of ther Romanian Sea, all the way to Hungary, and nobody ever had any problems with them, let alone change them or have spares.
Defeated and sleepless, we left the Defender in Sebes and returned home awaiting the parts so we can go back and fix it. Five days have been alreay lost of the expedition, along with all possible reservations, taking into account the fact that we were supposed to be in Fes on the 22nd of December, which coincides with the date when the gaskets in question will be arriving in Bucharest, thus the expedition is off and we have alot of free time on our hands all of a sudden. Not to happy about it. So, in this peculiar situation, do try not to get on the wrong side of me, as people have been known to get hit by randomly flying car parts.
all the things that you've given me will always stay broken, but I'll never throw them away ...
If you weren't so close
I'd wake up with you in the morning after a party thinking i couldn't be any happier. I would be listening to Metallica and you would get annoyed because you wouldn't like it. You would make breakfast and i would still be in bed thinking some mornings kinda suck.
But it's not so. You're here and it makes a world of a difference. Not really here, but always close.
I'm pretty sure that's enough of me being cute and cuddly for one night.
And so it seems another weekend passes by. Life is not really what i would expect it to be. I smoke another cigarette and hope that it would get better but it doesn't. A bottle of whiskey drank with Tony seems to be justify a means to an end at the very beginning but throughout the night it just seems a delay of real world's problems. It applies to all of you minions. If you don't like it go fuck yourselves. This is life and it won't get any better. Miss you Jo, Cherie, Nelda. There's not much i can do about it now. So in the end life is an endless succession of failures. the question is: 'How big are the failures?'
Well finally i managed to get back and process and scan. The point of it all was that yesterday i fucked up a couple of large format color slides, which average £2 each, which is not fun so i was quite afraid of my camera obscura shot. Turns out that it was one of the most interesting things i could have done. Together with loading the black and white film and running around Rochester with the camera looking like Fox Talbot. Here be the results, without any editing. Drafts. The last one just an experiment. I loked that it said "come in, we're open" on the window. Will crop and see what happens. Got to go. Ta taaah
So it seems lately we've just been doing alot of planning and buying stuff but not alot of photography. Perhaps i kinda got carried away and forgot about the underlying importance of actually making work.
Thanks to Denisa and Petra, who have lately been fiddling around with the large format cameras for their projects, i decided that it is about time to get the films out of the fridge and get the large format camera out for a day of shooting. Or so i think.
Results will probably be posted here if they are a success, so i can brag, or forgotten, if they are failures, so nobody says fuck all about it anymore.
Well these days aren't as easy or simple as i might have hoped they would be. Rent needs to be paid, stuff done, classes gone to. This weekend i went to Luton, to see Nelda and to test out a camera. Almost forgot how it is to shoot on 35 mm film. All large or medium format has turned me into a 35 mm vegetable. I processed some films and now am scanning The pictures aren't bad, but considering the camera, i was expecting alot more. Will put some here as well.
Not much has been done over the weekend. Consider the fac that most of the time was spent in bed, watching movies and cooking and then walking in the rain (not in a romantic way - more in a "fuck it's cold, let's get to Felix's house faster" kind of way). but films were shot and time was spent and people who didn't want to be photographed were. Sorry about that. It's what i do.
It's been a whirlwind of stuff going on, with tin foil and duck tape, in a non - sexual, building-another-camera-obscura way. Unfortunately the build had less effect than i would have hoped for, as the rain kept on going and going and going and well we did it but not as well as we would have hoped.