44 days until Christmas. 257 days until my 33rd birthday. 358 days until the end of my mission.
It’s on day seven that the enormity of my attempt to try something new each day dawns on me. My flatmate suggests I should have tried it for just a month, this would have been a little less daunting. However I guess you never truly achieve anything unless you give it full gusto. I’ve never used the word gusto before, the wonderfully English but sadly underused word that it is, but I feel gusto is the best attitude to get me through this personal challenge. Gusto, gusto, gusto. I’ve used it five times now. Words sound funny and lose their meaning the more you say them.
The hardest obstacle I’m facing at the moment is not the partaking of the new experience, but that it takes twice as long as the new experience to write about it afterwards. I’ve never written/typed much before so this is all new to me. I’m hoping I will get quicker and better as time goes on but for now I may need to rely on more photos in the blog.
I’ve always been rubbish at taking photos. If a tourist visiting our fine nation stops me in the street and asks me to take a photo of him and his family in front of say Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral, Starbucks or any other famous London landmark I often bugger it up. I hate the massive pressure that’s suddenly put on to you by a family standing smiling, in that awkward self-conscious way, as they all wait for you the bumbling stranger they’ve asked to take the photo to figure out why the camera has suddenly switched off despite their reassurance “it’s easy, you just press the button on the top” at the same time as queues of angry commuters line up either side of you waiting impatiently for you to take the photo of the stupid family and Nelson’s Bloody Column. The pressure always ends with me taking a shaky picture of the family and them asking me to take it three times more before they say “you know what we’ll just buy a postcard instead”.
In order to improve my photography skills and so I can add insightful photos to my blog I headed to the Southbank Centre to see something I never seen before, the World Press Photo Exhibition – a free display in the Royal Festival Hall foyer of the top entries in the annual photojournalism competition.
Whenever I go to an exhibition or gallery, and I think everyone does this, I adopt my special gallery viewing walk. My gallery viewing walk goes like this:
Arms down behind my back with the arm closet to my back gripping the wrist of the other arm on top of it.
Body in an upright ridged position.
Walk at a slow but confident pace.
Serious face with very slightly squinted eyes.
Nod head in a slow considered fashion approvingly towards the art or exhibit in question.
The exhibition was very busy as it was only the second day of it’s showing. Everyone is floating around doing their special gallery viewing walk whilst at the same time trying to elbow barge the other people out of the way in a slow considered fashion. I don’t really look at the photos more look at the people looking at the photos.
The exhibition is split into two sections in the foyer of the concert hall they are being displayed in. The first section has photos of sport and people looking sporty. I’m not a big fan of sport so find it a little boring. There’s also a photo of some penguins – which is nice. I then headed over to the second section and soon really wished I hadn’t. The second section displays images of conflict, war and world poverty. There’s a photo of a dead Syrian soldier lying face down in a pool of oil. A photo of a man in South America with a bleeding face. A photo of a forest in Italy where immigrant prostitutes are made to work as part of the sex trade. The images are very moving and force me to ponder the subject matter they’re displaying – I’m not focused on my special gallery walk anymore. These were great thought provoking images but a bit of me wished I’d stayed looking at the penguins.
After the exhibition I tried my hand at my own arty photography. Unfortunately as I don’t have a job I can’t afford an expensive camera so I had to take them using my phone. They are all rubbish:
SO ANOTHER NEW THING AWAITS…
P.S. The word Gusto is actually of Italian origin and dates back to 1620.