One does things because they give you something. So what does blipping give me? After two years, I can say, sincerely, that it (the photographic act, the writing, the sharing, the mentoring, the unique pleasure of photo pal-ing, the equally unique pleasure of meeting photo pals, the sense of achievement and pride in one's developing work (and develop it does)) has been a sustaining force in my life during a period which saw me jobless and both of us grieving for the loss of DD's father, re-training and, brick by brick, building a new wall that now begins to provide a financial foundation, job satisfaction and a pretty marvellous view of continents diverse when sitting on top! The building never stops, of course, but what a stimulation and encouragement it has been, when often scouring the ground for the next brick, to have had that daily injection of energy and fun which flows from the mere pressing of a shutter release.
Who would have thought it! Who would have thought that two years ago an erudite and renowned art curator would pause to spend even a moment looking at what he calls my 'work'; that a writer living in rural France and tending her kitchen garden, her own and her family's creative legacy, and the rightful place of women in this world, might treat me to tapas and rose wine; that a scientist come artist should so connect me every day to my own Scottish roots and despite, or maybe because of, our shared Presbyterianism influences, encourage me to fresh effort with the well placed word, and coffee and biscuits in her lovely home; that a civil rights (in the broadest sense of the term) activist, and actor, would lead me to speak to county sheriffs seeking the liberation of wrongly jailed prisoners, and a visceral awareness of what people power can do; that a magician of light and fire in one of the lands of the midnight sun should reach out to me with often the first comment of the day and unstintingly encourage me as I plough my own and very different furrow under high southern noon-day suns; that a Brazilian, Guardian-featured street photographer would let me shoot his son splurging on crema de papaya and so welcome me to his giant metropolis; that a football fan of a certain age somewhere in that great land of the USA would share his wit with me every day and have me always looking forward to 'tomorrow'; that another resident of that land would encourage my street photography while sharing rich histories of inhabitants of wonderful houses in his home town; that a happy cheeky-chappy, a master of light and planes in Auld Reekie and wherever he goes, would so unstintingly reach out with a 'fabulous!' on some of my most dubious shots; that his wife would venture forth on her journeys of photographic growth and jurisprudencial sharing to remote and formerly troubled parts of the Old Continent from my alma mater of Old College and send her insightful reports to all her faithful subscribers and pause to thank me for an editing tip or two; that a friend of a friend (now a friend too) in Wales whose work is in another league to mine should wink-wink nudge-nudge with me as we plot to bring our mutual friend out of his comment-free lair with shots various of bananas; that the best friend of my primary school sweetheart should somehow discover that connection and delight and educate me with her Glasgow tenement details and also inspire through her other shots which often show such deep humanity; that a 'par' of relegation threatened Dunfermline supporters should extend the hand of empathy and friendship to a 'buddy' rival; that the most curiously named resident of North Berwick should show such curiosity in the cultural differences in our adopted lands, that a master of photography creating a unique and lasting collection of the Glasgow city buildings and landscapes should appreciate with pithy and witty comments my odd Carnival (and other) shots from time to time; that a portraitist with a penchant for handsome men should even cast a glance in my direction; and that I would come to live my life with another 'blipper' whose own shots I would sometimes die for, and who is so patient and unstintingly supportive of me getting my blips 'on', while never holding back her views on whether it was worth the effort or not!
Yes, who would have thought it! All of it, happening around this particular block. Thank you all!