Hello again, Cambridge…

So I did it. I left London and moved back to Cambridge, where my daughter lives, so I can be closer to her in these weird times we are living. I have been tinkering about this for long, you might have heard about it. When I worked for a remote studio a couple of years ago I thought it was the time. Then I moved to a “office” studio, and I thought it wasn’t. Work has always has dictated my location. One good thing (damn, some positive thinking in me…) this pandemic has given is allowing us to move to a nicer (possibly cheaper) place, closer to loved ones, and do work from home, something I said before it was the future. I wish I could predict the future again…

Since I’ve moved here I’ve spent most of my free time revisiting familiar, and not so familiar places. It has been a great feeling so far, like meeting an old friend who you haven’t talked to since long. Somehow it feels like time hasn’t passed. Old grudges and disappointments feel like something irrelevant, given how things are.

Even now, in the middle of the second lockdown, this city feels more like home to me, something I wasn’t able to say about London, even after spending some years there.

You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.

James Baldwin

What is going on with this blog?

The last post is from more than a year ago!

Short answer, I haven’t found time nor inspiration to continue posting here as much as I did in the past. I have lots of pictures to edit and process in my computer. From past trips, from other wanderings around London, from… I don’t know, everywhere I’ve been, as I tend to always carry a camera with me, or my mobile. I take pictures at times without thinking, and later I realise I forget about them. Some of them I like and share quickly in my instagram, others may rest for a bit longer in my archives….

I think having a site where I can decide what goes and in, and in what order, is becoming more important to me (again). It can become dangerous to rely only in popular sites/apps where you may end not being the real owner of your content, depending on a change of the terms and conditions of use. Perhaps too, it’s this self isolation we are all suffering because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Updating a blog looks like an excellent way to overcome a lingering feeling of loneliness that is now everywhere. 

Yes, I think it’s again a good moment to put in use this place. 

Ps. The picture in the post was taken in Walthamstow Wetlands. A place where you can forget you are actually in London… 😉

Belated new year’s musings…

As it’s becoming traditional in this blog, half way through January looks like a nice time to talk about last year. It’s also my birthday soon, so it feels like a more natural end of year to me.

I am still in London. A place that keeps giving me mixed feelings. I broke one of my last year’s resolutions. I moved to another place towards northeast, closer to Cambridge, where my daughter lives most of the time, but still near enough to better enjoy London’s happenings and career opportunities. And so far, I’m very happy with my decision. Decision not taken lightly, as I really liked my previous place and it’s surroundings. But a few issues were creeping in… The thermal and noise insulation was terrible. I could hear my downstairs neighbours arguing as if they were with me in my living room, uninvited. Planes flying from and towards Heathrow airport were almost touching my roof. And in windy nights, I just could not sleep. So after much consideration, I moved again. It’s the fourth time in 4 years…

So now at my new place I feel more comfortable, and a bit closer to everything that interests me, like photography exhibitions, visiting interesting neighbourhoods and architecture, coffee places, bookshops, museums, music gigs of all sorts… This city, in that regard, is unbeatable. In others, more personal ones, this city still feels… Impersonal. Two years already here and when wandering around I still feel disconnected. Like an eternal tourist. Or an invisible ghost. No one knows me here, I know no one. Well, that’s not strictly true. I know people, and I am known to some here. But you can walk through enormous crowds in Oxford Street in the previous days to Christmas and still feel lonely. I read somewhere that people mostly come here to make a career, not a life. Once they get what they want, they leave. Others leave because of the noise and cold too (or conversations with imaginary friends). And I may do that too, at some point, but not just yet. Is true that my new area has some sort of “village” feeling that makes you forget you are in London. There is a very diverse and strong community vibe here, I like that.

I’ve made some trips, to Sweden, Wales, Spain. Some of its pictures are here, others are still in the archive, waiting to be looked at for a second (or more) time, later. This blog’s title means that… Long delays are possible between taking pictures, and showing them around. I like to let things settle and rest and see what survives the test of time. At times though, it’s just difficult for personal reasons, as the pictures to my trip to Israel, not last year but the previous one.

I still cannot see its pictures without a feeling of loss, mixed with fond memories. I loved it, and I really thought it was the beginning of something meaningful. But this ended being like those songs about unrequited love, or how to misunderstand everything about a relationship. Suddenly nothing seems to make sense, and, paraphrasing that Pink Floyd’s album title, in a momentary lapse of reason one dares to question: Where do I stand for you in all this?

I think in the end is our ego what gets in the way of how we confront, or avoid, this kind of situations. Where one wants to know what is really there, the other withdraws and vanishes out of your life, just like that… It’s so sad to think how temporary some people are, especially loved ones.

Professionally speaking, I can’t be in a better situation. I’m working for a games studio in a very ambitious project. I deal with artistic and technical aspects, a place that feels like home to me. And actually, I can do it from home, so what else can I ask? I miss a bit working in a normal office, and the usual Friday drinks at the pub, but… This also has its perks, like not being affected so directly by politics and colleagues you might not want to see their faces everyday, only through video calls, easy to switch off at will. I believe it’s the future way of working (in pyjamas), to be honest.

I want to keep taking pictures as a hobby. There is no better way to kill a
passion than making a job out of it, I believe. I belong to a photography association here in London, and I’ve met people who has been brave enough to make the jump from making pictures for themselves, to work on photography for someone else. And… Results are quite mixed. Being just an amateur doesn’t mean bad quality or less interesting pieces of work than being professional. Quite opposite in some cases. And I feel I still need to learn lots to actually consider making this a proper occupation. But hey, I’d be happy if you buy some prints of my pictures! 🙂