A record of life, one day at a time
7th March 2012
Caroline Parr refers to herself as "a lady of a certain age". Living a quiet life in the south of Edinburgh with her husband, she has been keeping a journal of her life on Blipfoto.com, posting a photo every single day, consecutively for over two years now.
We kick off the first in a series of Blog posts that turns the spotlight on the Blippers. We discover what drives Caroline to record her life, one day at a time; where she looks for inspiration; and why she hopes her journal will provide a lasting legacy.
She was first introduced to Blipfoto by her son when he moved to the Middle East - first Oman then Cairo. It was a good way for Caroline to keep in touch with him and find out more about his adventure. But it wasn't until he suggested that she start a similar journal on the picture sharing site that the obsession really took hold.
Previously Caroline - who uses the 'Lady Findhorn' moniker on Blipfoto - had only taken photos on holiday and had no background or experience in photography, but she was keen to take on a new challenge.
"I realised fairly early on that I was never going to produce technically wonderful photos, nor was I particularly interested in following that route; I became interested in producing a pictorial diary and found I loved writing the accompanying blog," says Caroline.
"Now I do it because I have an obsessive gene and don't want to miss a day in my daily journal," she continues. "I'm always interested to find out what my brain dictates I should write as the blog. I've discovered a latent need to write.
And the offshoot of being a 'Blipper', she says, is having a coterie of like minded people, "whose names you don't know, who you wouldn't recognise in the street, and who live all over the world, but whose lives are revealed through their pictures. It's fascinating and some of the local ones I have met and can now count on as friends."
Despite being a scientist by training, with a degree in chemistry and research work in crystallography, Caroline decided academia was not for her, and spent the next 30 years bringing up a family of seven, fitting in knitting, sewing, and art classes.
After she remarried 15 years ago, she ran 4 marathons, umpteen half marathons and 10Ks with her husband, and when "his knees gave out'" they turned to cycling and have cycled all over the UK, Belgium, Denmark, Majorca, Vietnam and South Africa, competing twice in the Cape Argus cycle race (in Cape Town) and in the grueling 83 mile Etape Caledonia race in Scotland.
Caroline has now been "Blipping" for more than 2 years, taking and sharing a picture every single day, but despite this her inspiration is still plentiful.
"Because I live in a beautiful photogenic city and have interesting holiday breaks, it is rather easier for me to find blips than if I was stuck in an office all day," she says.
"I carry my camera with me all the time and can usually find a scene, a building or something strange or whimsical to capture.
On the whole, I'm more comfortable with landscapes or street scenes, but I also like portraits, although I find it hard to get willing subjects.
"My favourite shots are usually the ones taken on foreign holidays, though. The one I'm probably most proud of was the one of the police escort on our Egyptian camping holiday who was dressed in long tunic and headscarf kicking a football with the background of sand dunes and blue sky (18th Feb 2010)."
"Because I'm rather long in the tooth, all life's landmarks are past, other than birthdays and births of grandchildren. Although our big house downsizing last year was well documented by me on Blipfoto," adds Caroline.
"To me it will be so interesting to look back on the journal when languishing in an old folks' home. I'm also hoping that my children will be forced to read what I've written when they come across the paper copy I keep filed away."
Lady Findhorn's Blips were recently featured in one of the UK's best read magazines, Saga.