Monthly Archives: April 2014

when it hits you just like that

I’ve been so busy these last few weeks sorting out an opportunity that could change my life forever if I were to get it. At the moment I’m panicking that I’ve put in all the effort but won’t get past stage one. OMG I’m on X-factor crossed with Sliding doors but without the singing. I just wish I knew which path I’ll end up on.

I was supposed to have a lazy day today but I’ve edited the radio show I do, such a laugh, I’ve had the cameras out twice (forgot to put film in the first time round) Cut the weeds down in the garden, washed up (very rarely do this) sorted out stuff for work tomorrow, scanned in my colour negatives, which were processed yesterday and I am so in love with them. Whist waiting for them I wasted time and went into a charity shop looking at books, turned round and there was a cabinet full of cameras. I saw the box brownie and nothing else, I didn’t care if it worked I just wanted to own it. I found later one of the mirrors was damaged but hey if the film still exposures I have a right little gem in my hands. (and breath)

Loki Lego
Loki Lego

I started watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire to try to get myself to sit still. I was still working away on the computer but at least it’s something. I have then sat and watched Avengers Assemble and in doing so dug out my Lego Loki keyring. I tweeted this and got told I was obsessed. My reply was ‘It’s probably why I’m still single. That and going through my computer, it dawned on me that I have been living in the same house for almost 4 years and next month I would have been single for that same time. Ouch.

In that time I’ve been to hell and back. No one can judge me on what that is as no one, no one knows what goes on behind closed doors or in someone else’s head, no matter how much you think you know them. The moment I realised that I was getting back to some kind of norm was when my sister said ‘Mum is happy, some of the old Helen is coming back’ She was right. The old Helen that enjoyed life, did take things too seriously sometimes but there was always that spark.

Now I have a few regrets but I have so much going for me right now that I have to just hold this feeling of content and if things don’t work out the way I want them to, well I’ve had a blast, and I’m grateful. At least I know there are other opportunities out there I just need to grab them.

I just want to say thank you to my Mum and Sister for their support. My friend Lynn  and her family. Kirsty White for absolutely everything. Niamh and the book clubbers  who attend all manners of groups and world book night. South Leeds Radio for giving me the opportunity to learn to produce a programme. If I’ve forgotten someone I’m sorry. I suppose I should thank myself for not giving up. For being determined to carry on even when it got tough, or to not let people bully me again. As someone said, I was beaten these last 8 months or so now I have the chance to forget all that and start a fresh. I may not have what I want in some ways, but I’m damn lucky to have what I do now.

I wrote this, and you have to be so careful what you write and publish these days but I wanted to see if anyone else has been in the same situation and let me know your thoughts.

Thank you for reading



Sunday Post

Getting more and more creative lately by finding out the delight of 120 and 35mm film. I have also dug out a few of my own cameras and found by chance a box brownie in a charity shop, and to think I was only in there to waste time. Must take chances like that more often. I will post results once I have developed the films

Martin Parr

Martin : “We’re very bad at actually photographing our own lives.”

Join internationally renowned Magnum photographer Martin Parr and author Susie Parr in conversation with Greg Hobson, curator of Only in England.

The event will focus on Parr’s early work The Non-Conformists, which was taken in Hebden Bridge during the 1970s, where Martin and Susie documented what they saw as a traditional way of life in decline.

Martin will also discuss one of the great influences on his work – Tony Ray-Jones – and why he is revisiting The Non-Conformists now.

As part of the event there will be a Q&A session with a live Twitter feed. Send in your questions for Martin and Susie via Twitter prior to and during the event. All answers will be tweeted live from the floor.

Please tweet your questions to @mediamuseum and include the hashtag #Parr.

Following the event there will be a unique opportunity to purchase and have signed a range of titles by Martin Parr including his recent publication The Non-Conformists.

The Non-Conformists has not been exhibited in Yorkshire since 1981 and will be on display as part of Only in England: Photographs by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr from 27 March 2014.

Tweets from the event!

“It’s good. We’re all bored of the sheen&gloss of propaganda,it’s so unconvincing.” MartinParr on the authenticity trend in ads @mediamuseum

Photography student said 24 of 30 class mates never go to exhibitions, only viewing work online. They are missing so much! #Parr

Martin #Parr: “If people don’t want to see exhibitions, I’m ultimately disappointed” – nothing better than getting up close seeing the real thing 

@King_of_Swing He stated that whilst the rise of amateur photography via social media was a good thing in and of itself…most photographers who take images do so of cliched things. He believed most “selfie” photography to be uninspired.

Martin #Parr@mediamuseum says we are very bad at photographing everyday moments in our everyday lives despite our desire for #authenticity

Martin #Parr: “We’re very bad at actually photographing our own lives.”

Susie #Parr: “I think it’s very lazy to accuse Martin of cynicism. He’s much more subtle than pointing and laughing.”

Martin #Parr: “I’m delighted by the way photography has taken off through social media”

Martin #Parr on the rise of Instagram: “The most democratic art-form in the world has more followers than ever before”

Martin #Parr: “I’m now back to documenting.. and celebrating the local community and finding stories”

Martin #Parr: “Despite the fact I have this reputation as a cynical photographer, I really like people”

I saw this event ages ago and so glad I did. I have admired Martin Parr’s work for some time. I was first introduced to his work when I was studying at university. When I saw this I was so excited. I managed to get a couple of books to take and sign and was hoping to find a postcard of the hotdog he took but instead I got my ticket signed by both him and Susie parr.

On Friday night, being a bit of a chicken I posted a tweet to ask him and a question. On the screen to the right of his slideshow was a ‘tweet stream’ and half way through the talk mine popped up and stayed there for the rest of the duration and  when the questions were being asked I was too scared to put my hand up until the question lady asked if I was there.  I could have hid and said nothing but I put my hand up and she gave me the microphone and I went crimson. I could feel I had gone bright red. I asked him about how we’ve taken off with taking photos of food and posting it on Instagram to be acceptable and he said he quite liked it, He said the art of photography is knowing what you’re trying to say, communicate otherwise others won’t know, if you don’t so have an idea of what you want to say. I was then cheeky enough (as I slid further into my seat) to ask him how he gets away with taking pictures of people and not get spotted or glared at. He replied, ‘I bet you look guilty when someone catches your eye when you’re taking photographs’. I just smiled and he said ‘The trick is not to look guilty and to look away’ or as Susie said look away or somewhere else so they don’t realise what you’re doing’.  He smiled the whole time he talked to me and I just sank starstruck. Thank you Twitter for making me brave.

Go see the exhibition at the amazing media museum and get a close-up look at some amazing photography pieces

The museum is on twitter but Martin Parr sadly isn’t.

Links to exhibition

Galleries One and Two: 28 March – 29 June 2014

Only in England: Photographs by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr examines the close relationship between the work of these two important photographers and their fascination with the English.

Intrigued by the eccentricities of English social customs, Tony Ray-Jones spent the latter half of the 1960s travelling across England, photographing what he saw as a disappearing way of life.

Humorous yet melancholy, these images had a profound influence on photographer Martin Parr, who has made a selection from our Tony Ray-Jones archive for this exhibition including over 50 previously unseen photographs.

Parr’s selection will be shown alongside his rarely seen work, The Non-Conformists, which documents a declining traditional way of life in 1970s Hebden Bridge.

Thank you for reading – from a starstruck Helen

What ‘if’

I’ve been working over the weekend and woke up this morning and thought it was Monday and wondered what on earth I did Sunday only to realise it was Sunday and I still have the day ahead. So I’m up and raring to go with the company of Mr Darcy.

I found this yesterday and thought it was very apt to what was going on at the moment:

‘if’ by rudyard kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master,
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

Kipling is said to have written the poem ‘If’ with Dr Leander Starr Jameson in mind, who led about five-hundred of his countrymen in a failed raid against the Boers, in southern Africa. The ‘Jameson Raid’ was later considered a major factor in starting the Boer War (1899-1902).