For The Love Of Tree’s

Tree’s are my my connection with mother nature, a source of spiritual connection and joy. I ordered two more for my birthday, to add to my growing collection. I talk to them all in the morning and I believe this is helping these outdoor beauties to live and thrive in my home. If you grow trees I would love to connect, I’m often left with questions which I cannot find answers too.

fznorcalamondin citrofortunella – I over-fed this small orange tree last winter and had to prune it right back. I’m amazed that it has grown back so well, and two new branches are beginning to grow at the top of the trunk.

 

fznorFicus Carica “scone” – I also over fed my fruit bearing fig tree, however I didn’t need to prune it. The three branches have foliage that is in different health. One of which, the smallest on the right, has been poisoned, but is still producing foliage. The left hand branch is doing the majority of the growing.

 

hdrplApples and orange tree – thesr trees have been grown from seed.

 

hdrplOlea Europaea – a new edition and a birthday present to me.

 

hdrplFicus Benjamina – The first tree in my collection. A combination of growing this in a grow tent and over feeding meant that it shed most of its leaves. I didn’t think that I would be able to rescue it. It’s grown about 10cm this spring and is probably ready for re-potting. It’s wonderful to see this tree return to health.

 

qrfOullins Golden Gage – Another birthday to me. This plum tree was delivered with many broken branches and clearly hadn’t been watered properly in the weeks leading up to delivery. However, I’m sure that some of the branches are health enough to promote some growth.

 

 

Feeling Rejuvenated

Yay, I’ve just had a lunch date with a couple of friends and fellow artists. It’s done me so much good. I’ve come away feeling refreshed.

My motivation is high, and I’ve just finished the third piece of embroidery, but I haven’t had the energy to get out with my camera. However, I have been taking photos on my phone, which is keeping my foot in, and I’ve just been reminded of the value of smart phone photography.

Heres a few photos from the last few days.

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A Birthday Treat

Yesterday was my birthday, which I don’t normally celebrate. However, this year was different. My cousins L and G wanted to celebrate it with me, and I felt it was important to let them love me in this way.

We went to the London Wetlands Center, probably my favourite place in London. Here are just a few photos from the day out.

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Mental Health – Health Update

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The photos in this post were taken on the day that I tried to end my life. These were all shot near the Barbican in London on an overcast and wet day. It had been a wonderful and enjoyable day. I had no intention of trying to commit suicide, I was just overwhelmed by the suicidal ideation which had been building up in intensity over the previous 10 days. Although it may be hard to get your head around, I wanted to live, I was happy and I had been seeking support to try and fight off this aspect of mental illness.

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The consequences have been severe and challenging, and I’m putting together a documentary photo series to chart my experiences.

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My mental health has been unstable since leaving hospital. I’ve had intrusive thoughts about being shot and being followed. Sometimes the intrusive thoughts are visual and scary. I get images of my throat being cut and of people shooting me. This has increased my paranoia and I’ve sometimes been unable to move off of my sofa if a car pulls up outside. I believe that if I move then the people in the car will notice me and then attack me.

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For some reason I stopped meditating a while back, when I was really ill with my anorexia, but I have now returned to my practice. Twice daily meditation has helped reduce the paranoia, and my doctor has increased one of my meditations. Things are beginning to ease off now, such a relief.

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My attempt to end my life resulted in physical complications. I developed pneumonia and a septic abscess on my lung. I required surgery to have it removed, along with part of my lung which had died. On the operating table I had a cardiac arrest.

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As my lung has started to heal I have been able to work at a better pace, and I’m no longer scared of people walking into my right hand side, the side of my body where my chest was opened.

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My memory and ability to communicate is improving. There are occasions in which I get lost in a conversation, or cannot find the right words, but this is happening less than previously. qrf

Fatigue is still a problem. If I have a busy day then I need to have a nap, sometimes I need to have a complete day of rest the following day. I also find that my fatigue gets the better of me, which means that I’m going to bed around 9.30pm, but I’m sleeping for longer and sleeping through the night which is fab.

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The biggest challenge at the moment is that I have five pressure sores, some of which need dressing three times per week. On top of this I also have weekly podiatry appointments for the pressure sores on my feet, and fortnightly appointments for my arm. Worse still is that I’m scared of knives. The dead skin on the pressure sores on my feet needs to be debrided with a scalpel, and i cant cope with that. My fore arm is covered with a large pressure sore, and I have now come to terms with that being debrided using tweezers and scissors. The same can’t be done on my foot because the skin is different there.

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The great news is that I’ve got my mojo back now. You can probably tell because I’m following blogs and blogging myself. Such a relief. Most importantly though is that I’ve returned to my final assignment in Foundations in Photography with the Open College of the Arts . The embroidery is going well and I’m more than pleased with my progress. The embroidery is slow progress but it is progress.

 

 

Catching The Big Fish – David Lynch

David Lynch is best known as a film maker/director (Blue Velvet; 1986) and (Mulholland Drive; 2001). He has written TV shows and he’s a photographer.

My tutor suggested that I read his book, Catching The Big Fish because he discusses how he uses meditation as part of his creativity. The “big fish” are those big creative ideas, which then refine themselves as he is producing film. He practices transcendental meditation.

It was a wonderful read for me because I use meditation as part of my idea creation and development. That’s not technically accurate, I meditate because I enjoy it, but I know my creativity will develop as a result. Sometimes ideas come up during the meditation, but mostly they develop because my mind is clearer. As a result of reading Catching The Big Fish, I am going to learn transcendental meditation this weekend.

David Lynch; 2006; Catching The Big Fish; Tarcher

A Good Day For My Mental Health

It feels like my mental health has been quite challenging recently. The paranoid thoughts and feelings have been a struggle, although shifting from intense paranoia, which is terror and panic, down to self obsession, which is accompanied by anxiety, has been a blessing.

Today has been better still. A day of relative comfort, peace and some joy, with a bit of anxiety in the mix.

I followed my morning routine, which includes my embroidery (the butterfly is beggining to pull together), and then I went to St James Park.

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The amazing thing is that I have to wear these hideous hospital boots to protect the pressure sores on my feet, and the park was packed, and I was fine.

I took my Olympus OMD EM10 MK iii, with the Mzuiko 60mm f2.8 macro. I’ve come away with 3 photos that I like of a pochard, a red crested pochard, and my favourite was of the female red crested pochard. Very sublime and no red crest. I can’t post those as yet as my computers not up and running.

The wind was blowing petals and other bits of plants and trees, sorry I don’t know the name of these “other bits”. They kept getting stuck in my throat and causing me to cough. Here’s one of the little blighters.

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It’s nice to have good days.

Wishing you all peace and joy.

Homelessness – We Made This

One of the things that I have found most disturbing since I have moved to London has been the disparity between extreme wealth and extreme poverty. Worst still is to witness members of the public abusing homeless people. On Tuesday I witnessed a woman shouting at a homeless person and I shouted at the woman. Not something I usually do, it was an automatic reaction.

It’s not possible for me to speak to or donate to every homeless person, however, as a photographer I am forming an idea for a future piece of work exploring wealth and poverty.

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Embroidery On Photography, A Sample

My approach to assignment 5 was that I wanted to learn a new skill to carry forward to the degree in Photography. I was prepared to fail, which can be an important part of learning. However, things are going better than imagined. Here are two snap shots of the embroidery. It’s such a wonderful and enjoyable process.

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The top photo is part of a peacock, embroidered on to a self portrait (I’m not posting the completed photo until I post the completed assignment). The second photo is a work in progress of a butterfly.

 

Two Years Blogging On WordPress

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WordPress sent me a notification that I have reached my two year anniversary of being a WordPress blogger. During that time I’ve seen some amazing photography by my peers, followed some awesome blogs from awesome people around the world, developed a new online community, taken advice about what camera would be better for my long term development, and some how I have 1,919 people follow my blog.

WordPress has been a wonderful platform for me, my prose and my photography.  I’m most grateful.

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