Posts Tagged ‘project 52’

this is me

                          This is me

I’ve written and deleted many similar posts over the last year but I thought that it was time I answered this question.

So where have I disappeared to over the last couple of years?

I suppose I should go back some ways to where I was when I first went missing. When you last heard from me I was managing a call centre for a group of car dealerships. I enjoyed the role and in the set up phase of the department I enjoyed the challenge but it was hardly fulfilling and financially it got to the point where Mrs BC and I were paying for me to go to work. Childcare costs were spiraling out of control and when you add in the cost of petrol and feeding myself it was just no longer viable to continue in my role and the decision was made for me to become a full-time dad and Mrs BC (she’s a lawyer) to become the primary breadwinner of the family.

I won’t begin to even try to gloss over this, it has been tough on us as a family and me as a man, I am a shit cleaner, really really shit, Mrs BC blames Granny BC for spoiling me. I have had to find ways to entertain the kids, I have had to try to keep everything running smoothly. I have had to try to keep my macho head screwed on to my emasculated body. The first year disappeared almost instantly in a blur of kiddy play centres and chaos.

Photographically I did a small amount of work, you probably saw a little bit of it here, other bits I failed to blog about as I withdrew further and further up my own rear end. I began hiding things from my wife, I chose to hide my boredom and dissatisfaction with my lot, I became very good at putting on a mask. I was basically spiralling into the black hole of depression without picking up on it myself.

I should have known better, many people close to me over the years have suffered from depression. I always tried to be supportive but I never really understood why they couldn’t fix things with a few beers and a hangover.

Well anyway I’m an arsehole, DEPRESSION is an evil bitch and it will sneak up and bite you in the arse. I won’t go into the details of the big row that nearly ended my marriage to the one I love most in this world but it did make me wake up and speak up. I first visited my GP to discuss my head in January 2014 and the long slow road to trying various drugs, reading a million things about depression and eventually a little therapy, this is ongoing and I am by no means fixed but I’m going to jump around a bit for those who don’t know me outside of the blogosphere.

Anyway back into the chronology of where I’ve been, Mrs BC managed to secure a role with a new firm in the West Country of England and I managed to persuade her that it was now or never that we should escape London (Croydon’s) smog and we managed to sell up and buy a new bigger, shinier, although less characterful home in a small town about 20 miles south of Bristol.

While awaiting the long, slow, tedious process of house moving Granny BC and Grand Dad BC visited from Zimbabwe and we managed to spend a delightful week getting pissed with them in Malta. It was a much-needed interlude in the whole stressful process of packing up the last eightish years and dealing with lawyers and estate agents and all those other people Mrs BC normally has power over and didn’t.

Once back on Mud Island things progressed simultaneously at snail’s pace and a million miles an hour. We decided to hire someone to pack and move everything, (this was a disaster that may be the subject of a future post). Mrs BC began her job on the other side of the country and negotiations floundered and nearly collapsed as our buyers solicitor seemed incapable of pulling their finger out of their bottom and picking up the phone. I’ll say nothing more at the risk of inadvertently calling him an incompetent prat or something similar when I honestly am not qualified to judge their ability to do their job.

The day to leave our first family home came, everything we owned was packed into a couple of lorries and cars and we moved along the M4 to our new seaside home.

I began the process of unpacking lots and lots of stuff, deciding on the DIY priorities and what was best left to the professionals. Gold and maroon wallpaper and flooring were definitely delegated to others while I changed cupboard doors and did IKEA assembly and shelf hanging etc. I even built myself a little pub in the garden shed.

I might do a post about my pub one day too.

I quickly found a new GP as whilst I’d managed to secure a prescription for enough medication to see me through somehow during the move the repeat prescription had been mislaid and stocks were dangerously low. I saw several new doctors and was essentially dismissed as a drama queen. Mrs BC eventually stepped in as she had luckily come across a competent and lovely young doctor and with a quiet word from my beloved she agreed to see me. She immediately doubled my medication and referred me to a counselling service.

Daily walks on the beach with the dogs (oh yes we got a new dog too, I’ll tell you about her another time) were doing me wonders and then my eldest was due to start school, real school with a uniform and a dickhead in charge kind of school. My youngest was sent off to a nursery for a couple of mornings a week. My head melted. I was no longer needed. I disagreed with the headmaster, I must be a bad parent because everything I thought I’d learned was suddenly under question.

I undertook an eight week group cognitive therapy course. It helped a lot, I have learned many coping mechanisms for my illness, I have also come to realise that this illness has manifested itself in me many times in the past and I’ve gotten through. I will get through again.

Today though I have reached the point where I have been weaned off my medication and am without therapy. I am not on speaking terms with my eldest’s headmaster. Mostly because he has no clue how to deal with adults who don’t immediately click their heels together and shout “Sieg heil mein Führer” when he says something should be so.

I am still positive though because I’m not going to finish writing this post before I see my GP to discuss future medications and I’ve also received a phone call since I started writing about coming in for a future therapy assessment on a one to one basis.

I apologise for neglecting you my friends, you have always been there for me and never judged me. Putting all of the above down on metaphorical paper has truly helped me. I need to talk to my friends both here and in the real world and I hope that at least one person who reads this will open up to those that they love. Depression is a disease, it is nothing to be ashamed of, mental illnesses have too much stigma and people have their own problems but everyone should be open to discussing the irrational shit in their heads. This video might help.

I am not going to promise that I’ll be a better blogger but if you do still care about me then please pop over to Facebook and say hello, I spend a lot more time there at the moment than I do here. Otherwise I always read all of my comments here and occasionally pop into blogs like Cindy’s and TBM’s. They’re good people, you should read about what they have to say.

Don’t be a douche like me and hide behind a happy funny mask.

If you’d like to hear more from me then please let me know in the comments and or subscribe.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow aka Rob the Douche

A South African friend (not sure what relevance the South African bit has) has put together this little product photography group on Google+ and we’d like as many of you as possible, from all levels and abilities to come and join us.

We’re all in it to learn as well as teach so drop by and say hello, all are welcome

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

I know I know I’m back again already but I realised I was actually a week behind sharing with you even if the pictures were already in the can.

negative space

Not a lot else to say other than I hope you enjoy my interpretation of negative space.

now that I’m back up to date I guess I’d better go out and find you some colour to satisfy next weeks hopefully more upbeat theme

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

yesterday I published a rather depressing shot for my Autumn weekly theme, this one I’m afraid is not much better, but I can also honestly say that it’s one of my favourite photographs of the year, it just captures that depressing mood that autumn brings.

what do you guys think, am I just being depressing?

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

I’m not even going to bother trying to apologise for my levels of crapness this week I’m just going to throw this one out there, but I can assure you that you can be safe in the knowledge that this weeks theme Autumn could not be more appropriate, I thought summer this year was generally pretty awful but goodness gracious me do I always forget how much I hate the cold grey misery of Autumn, funnily enough by the time winter proper comes around I generally have re-acclimatised and cope fine, but these last few weeks as the nights draw in are sheer hell for me.

throw in kids who are teething, kids with inexplicable temperatures, me and Mrs BC with constant coughs and sniffles, a silly work load and I’m frankly amazed at how little I’ve been ranting in these pages, maybe it’s just exhaustion that has made me too lazy to bother.

Still the local council suck for giving me a parking ticket whilst I waited to collect a sniffly miserable Mrs BC from the station, they didn’t even have the guts to give it to me there and then rather they just chucked it in the post to allow me to rant no doubt fruitlessly at their on-line appeals process. I might win, they say I was parked on the walkway, I say I was parked in a driveway, time will tell if they’re going to get their sixty pieces of silver.

I guess this photo kinda show’s where I would rather be on a cold miserable Autumn evening

steamy warm pub

Until the next time, which hopefully will be soon.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

oh what a hopeless host I’ve been, I can only apologise it’s been a hectic couple of weeks on both the home and work fronts.

on a positive note I’ve entered one of the Trip to Brighton pics in a photography competition on the dreaded Facebook and would be hugely honoured if you’d click on the link and vote for it by clicking like on Facebook. I’m not much of a facebooker but please feel free to add me there if you want to.

The theme for week 37 was in the garden and I’ve ummmed and ahhhed over long and hard, my own garden is definitely not for public consumption at the moment and I’ve done dozens of roses at night for you so I thought I’d share this technically terrible but still rather fun shot of the blogs namesake Bunny Chow chasing a fox in a neighbourhood garden (the gardens attached to a block of flats I don’t make a habit of traipsing through people’s back gardens)

Bunny and Master Fox esquire

I apologise for the terrible quality, it was taken with my 50mm and a big arse flash gun

Until next time

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

 

harumph, I’m sorry I keep making excuses but work commitments and yet another cold mean that I’ve neglected you all again, I actually posted this weeks Metal shot on Google+ on Sunday yet here we are it’s Friday night and I’m drinking wine in bed trying to avoid the television as Mrs BC watches Celebrity Big Brother remembering that life could be worse I might not have you guys to talk to and actually be forced to concentrate on the background noise around me.

There will be a later post tonight that goes into more details about my week and one of my trademarked rants so I’ll keep this one short and sweet.

Metal

Next weeks theme is “in the Garden”

I’ll be back once I’ve finished my rant.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

P.S. Mrs BC here, Mr Bunny Chow is a bah humbug and Celebrity Big Brother is car crash telly fab.

 

I have failed to find you a sunset within the prescribed time frame so have decided to go with a spooky moonrise as a substitute.

Moonrise over Croydon

Time has kinda run away with me this last week with Grandma Bunny Chow now having returned to Zimbabwe I hope to be able to dedicate a little more time to you all in the coming weeks.

I haven’t forgotten the deadline is fast approaching for Nick and Shannon’s monthly community collaboration project either, although I may have to miss out on this one as time and idea’s are rapidly running away from me, we shall see.

Next weeks theme is going to be metal and I already have some great idea’s lets hope that I manage to execute them in a timely manner.

for now though

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

 

first off I wanted to say a huge thank you to all of you who read these random ramblings of mine, I’ve now reached the landmark of 100 wordpress.com followers and having that support and following has been great. As some of you longer term readers will know I started rambling around on the web in frustration at shoddy customer service and to give poor Mrs Bunny Chow a break from listening to me whining. At the time I’d never even read any blogs and had no idea that this community even existed or dreamed that I could become part of it.

Blogging has become a hobby for me and keeps me out of trouble, I became really down a week or so ago when a close friend began questioning why I would be “doing shit drawings and putting them all over the internet” well my friend I do them because it’s my hobby and I gain pleasure from it and thanks to you good people out here in the blogosphere seem to gain something from my photography and art, I could have retaliated in person and attacked his passions and questioned what led him to do what he does in his free time but I was grown up enough to drop it and remember that art is subjective, just because he might not like what I am doing that’s entirely his right to make that decision and whilst my feelings at the time were deeply deeply hurt and poor Mrs Bunny Chow had to listen to me griping and whining, having allowed myself time to simmer I realise that in reality I would defend to the end his right to his opinions, I may not agree with them but the internet is a wonderful democracy and if he chooses not to enjoy my artistic that’s his prerogative, I’m not going to give up my hobby because it doesn’t float the boat of someone else, be they a real life friend or the occasional internet troll.

Next I’d like to talk about artistic inspiration, it’s a topic I’ve covered a couple of times before in these pages but would like to touch on again inspired by the lovely Patricia over at Pixygiggles who asked about artistic Mojo and how creativity can be commanded, well the simple answer is that it can’t be commanded, well at least not by me, there are plenty of weeks that go by where I battle to keep taking pictures but I keep going. I draw my inspiration and ideas from a variety of sources, Google+ and especially the Project 52 list have thus far inspired at least 34 posts with plenty more to come, Nick and Shannon from www.nickexposed.com and http://seeingspotsphoto.wordpress.com/ have been equally inspiring with their monthly community collaboration projects.

Then there are just people like the aforementioned Patricia who goes out of her way day after day to share her interpretation of the world and what it means to her at any given time, I’ve discovered so many people who inspire me to go out and create on a daily basis, I don’t share every failure with you but I do share plenty of them and do you know what sometimes I cringe but more often I’ll just look back with pride and think I created that, sure I’ve learned a lot about photography in the last year or so and might approach things differently if faced with the same opportunities today but isn’t that what learning is all about, do golfers ever shoot that perfect round and think sod it that’s enough I’ll quit now?

Phew this is turning into something of a rant, deep breath, I started writing today because I wanted to thank all of you who have welcomed me and inspired me to keep going and enjoy myself, at the end of the day this is my little fiefdom but all of you make it a happy little fiefdom so thank-you for being you.

My last little ramble is to ask opinions of phonography and the proliferation of filter apps like instagram and hipstamatic, I keep changing my mind about them, they’re fun, they’re quirky, they’re always in your pocket but the pictures that come out of them are crap, yet it’s that same crapness that I somehow like about them and keep finding myself drawn back to even when editing my photographs from my camera I find myself drawn back to retro feeling editing styles, is this because of the cliché or just because it’s what I’ve always found aesthetically appealing, I’m not sure I can answer that at the moment so I’ll leave the floor open for your thoughts.

The pictures interspersed throughout this post are not new, they’re just a few I’ve chosen because I liked them and felt like sharing them, I’m pretty sure they’ve all been seen in these pages before but if they’re new to you I hope you like them and if you don’t then that’s fine too.

Comment your lives away.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

I’ve been neglecting you my friends, and I’m sorry, sometimes the creative juices just don’t flow beyond my own four walls and I don’t want to keep boring you with near identical pictures of my kids as cute as they may be to me I’m sure that despite my bias to the world at large they are just kids with foppish hair and silly grins.

This weeks theme was portraits and my initial intention was to do some portraits of Mrs Bunny Chow’s cousin the very talented rapper Twig who we had a braai (barbecue) with on Saturday, I really did have good intentions, I got my camera out, I snapped some pictures of the kids in the garden, we talked about lenses and aperture and geeky stuff and then the sun got to me and reminded me that I was unfairly hung over (it was unfair I honestly didn’t have that much to drink the night before and can normally get away with plenty more, sometimes hangovers are just like that) and all good intentions went out the window with nothing useable captured.

Hmmmm well with that one out of the window I was left with either begging Mrs Bunny Chow to pose for me (slim chance of that happening) or utilising my amazing Mother who thankfully flew in to attend the Alzheimer University a fantastic course designed to help Alzheimer’s Societies from around the world. She’s very honoured to be representing the Zimbabwean Alzheimer’s Association and I’m very proud to be her son as she continues to give of her time to this wonderful organisation.

Still we’re here to talk about photography and pictures so here is my chosen portrait of my mother.

portrait of mum

I know it’s becoming a bit of a cliché at the moment but I’ve given a light retro twist to the edit.

I may have to get creative again next week as the suggested theme is sunsets (yes I know they happen every day) and I’m not sure if  or when I’ll have the opportunity to capture a new one as currently sunset falls smack in the middle of bed and bathtime and I don’t want to reach back in to the archives for an older picture to share in this series.

I hope that you’ve all had a great week and I promise that I’ll be making more time for you in the coming weeks.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow