Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The Small Things

It being nearly July, it seems useless to invoke some Bridget Jones-esque set of New Year’s Resolutions, or even to resolve the problem of unresolved resolutions.

"New Year’s resolutions: will obviously lose 20 pounds, put yesterday’s muddy wildlife watching clothes in the laundry basket, launch a new website, launch a new facebook page. Equally important, will photograph lots of sensible new subjects whilst continuing to maintain attachments with otters, swans, deer, friends, family, alcoholics, workaholics, emotional book-wits, great tits, blue tits, long-tailed tits, long stories, short stories, tall stories, and will especially stop procrastinating over starting a new blog that embodies all of these things."

Oh. And there’s the problem. My blog. It’s been sitting staring at me all year (like so many other things I haven’t done). I don’t want to fill it all with long and tall stories, but a few of the other things on the list might be nice. So here goes:

Happy New Year! Welcome to my blog! Ready to continue?

Why so long in getting started? Well, it’s the small things in life, isn’t it, that eat up all the time. Travelling back and forth, several hundred times between two sides of the country (I now seem to live on both, more of that in a mo), remembering to eat, remembering to drink, remembering to think, remembering to blink and swallow and not to swear. There.
But it’s also the small things in life that provide so much interest in what I photograph. They don’t have to be small in size – but, you know those little things, events, moments, weeks, that pass you by without your realising there’s something great there. You know when cape-wearing wise people usually with long beards or shaved heads tell us to stop and appreciate what is around us? And you know when you hear cape-wearing people talk and resolve to listen and do as they say, but then you realise you’re meant to be somewhere else in ten minutes’ time, and the new resolution goes out of the window. That reminds me – my resolution and my year.
It’s been quite exciting this year for me. Life changing events have taken hold, no longer working full time, a virtual rebirth of my state of mind after a near death experience (my poor car wasn’t quite so lucky), not to mention that my wedding on the horizon (v.g.), so a new direction beckons. And it’s all led me to move house from one side of the country (hence one journey in that direction); but continuing to still work some music jobs on the other side of the country to where I now live (hence all the others).
But for someone like me who’s interested chiefly in discovering wildlife on the doorstep, it’s always exciting to have a new doorstep – and here’s mine over in Nottinghamshire. So I’ve spent much of this year just getting to know the local area, finding good sites for all sorts of little critters, but ultimately finding all the little critters that are often around any site, if we stop to look. Commonplace creatures that we should perhaps learn to connect with, rather than take for granted and ignore.

As I said, it’s the small things in life that give places and moments the real meaning. And the thing I love about photographing wildlife is that it makes you stop and look around at the things you wouldn't otherwise make time to see. So here’s to the small things in life, in all our lives! And here are some pictures of some of them. There’s a high chance that if you’ve left the house today, you’ve walked past many of these little guys, if not all of them. Shall we play critter bingo? How many did you see?

It’s Sunday tomorrow – why not take the time to stop and look?

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