Dear Tokyo, I miss you…


Day Eight: Reinvent the Letter Format


Today’s task is to write a letter, any type of letter, to anyone or anything, about any subject.  My first instinct was that I didn’t want to do it.  Once I decided to go for it, my next instinct was to do one of those letters to myself aged whatever or to my anxiety.  Something that was comfortable, a subject that I am used to writing about.  I didn’t want to go down that often walked path though, not today.  I wanted to stretch myself and write something a little more different, more positive.  So I am writing a letter to a city, to my home for 6 months, to Tokyo.

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Dear Tokyo,

It is two whole years since we said goodbye yet I can still feel you, can still smell you.  I know what it was to walk your streets, spend time in your shrines and temples, watch people live their lives.  Yes it is two whole years and I have not forgotten you.

At first living in your sprawling, busy, noisy and so very different city was hard.  It was not what I expected from our brief acquaintances before.  I hadn’t realised how strange you could be, how alone you could make me feel.  Sometimes you were so hard to understand, so alien.  I wanted to run, find something familiar, go ‘home’ to where I could understand and be understood.  It broke my heart because I was so sure that you and me would be such good friends.

And I was right.  At some point I stopped fighting and listened to what you had to say.  The loneliness I felt in your presence turned to an appreciation of solitude, of pleasure in my own company whilst spending time walking your streets.  I opened up to your ways, found pleasure in your odd and quirky nature and loved the traditional ways that underpinned everything you do.  I always felt safe with you wherever I was and whatever I was doing.  My home was small yet outside my door was never ending exploration and adventure.

I miss those days, miss that life and I miss you Tokyo.  Leaving you behind was one of the hardest things I have ever done and the feeling of being there with you has never left or eased.  You still have my heart.  I will see you again Tokyo.

till then…all my love

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Discovering a love of urban photography

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I didn’t really start wanting to take ‘proper’ photographs until I was in my thirties.  Sure I took holiday photos and snapped away at events such as birthdays or whenever one of my pets did something fun/cute.  Nothing serious though.  My interest was created when Phillip aka ColobusYeti started taking photography seriously and I saw how good the photos he was producing were.  Mine seemed so poor next to his!  So I bought myself a decent camera and got photographing.

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Over time I started getting a feel for the type of photographs I enjoyed taking – landscapes, bare trees in winter, small or quirky details that I would spot in the world around me.  Not people though…no no no…definitely not for me!  I liked taking photographs and playing around with them on Lightroom, did I love it though?  No that did not happen until our travels and I fell in love with urban photography.  And I fell hard.

I had often dabbled with urban photography, yet it wasn’t really until we lived in Tokyo for 6 months though and I walked the streets exploring the city I had fallen in love with that I really felt that this was me, this was what I wanted to photograph.  Cities, buildings, streets – all that evidence of people’s lives and impact on their surroundings is simply, well inspiring to me.  So I thought I would share some of my favourites from my travels – hope you enjoy them.

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Oh yes…and I also discovered how much I like black and white photography….

52 Week Dogwood Challenge

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Over recent years I have found myself exploring my artistic side more and more.  It has always been there yet I think I pushed it aside thinking that it was not something for someone like me, I was supposed to have a sensible career where I achieved many great things.  Seems so silly to me now looking back on it.  Struggles with illness, anxiety and depression lead me to explore who I was and to find things to occupy my overworked little mind.  I started trying out many things of a creative and artistic nature and this is where Mr B’s Button Jamboree came from as well as new found hobbies such as knitting and sewing.  Photography had always been something I had enjoyed doing, though it was mostly point and shot photography of quite a typical nature.  Over the last few years though I have been developing more of a sense of the style and type of photography I really enjoy doing as well as making tentative steps away from the automatic settings on my camera!  Here is a small selection of some of the many thousand that I took on our travels…

 

Phillip aka Colobus Yeti (check out his blog!) bought the 52 Week Dogwood Challenge to my attention.  It is designed to challenge and develop photography skills both technical and creative.  Despite my misgivings over the fact that about one third of the weeks focus on people photography – an area I really am not keen on, give me inanimate objects any day of the year – I have decided to go for it.  Developing my photography was on my list I drew up in the New Year mentioned in my post on 7th Jan and so this seems such a thing to help drive me on to do so.  Is quite tough putting my photographs out there for people to see, hopefully the experience will help me to develop as a person too.  So here goes…my entry for week 1 in the 52 week challenge was…

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