Last week I finished up a full year of a Photo of the Week challenge. In the spirit of adventure, I am going to morph this into a video challenge. I am challenging myself to create a short (1 – 5 minute) mini-documentary each week. Or as I like to call them Chookumentaries! (It makes me laugh!)
To get a head start I will use some archival footage I have shot “on location”. Some clips will have already appeared on my Facebook page, so apologies to those who have already seen them!
I will most likely knock them together with my iPhone and iMovie so they may be rough and ready. I’ll use it as an excuse to experiment with a few other video creation apps as well.
Wish me luck! The theory is that I’ll get better with practice! Oh and I’ll make a new graphic for Week 2, I wanted to use the same one for this week before heralding the change in format.
It’s funny how your memory gets sparked and where that memory will take you. Down rabbits holes of forgotten actions, people and secrets.
When I saw words Ob-la-Di-Ob-la-Da tattooed on the arm of a colleague, it made me fly back to 1969 when I was in Year 3, eight years old, blond and tiny. It took me back to the time when eighty students crowded around a TV borrowed from the local department store to watch the moon landing. It took me back to playing elastics and jacks. To skipping ropes and sour milk.
Those particular words from that jaunty little Beatles tune brought back a mix of fun, embarrassment and guilt
The Fun Bit.
My class was preparing to sing Ob-la-Di-Ob-la-Da for the weekly assembly. This was a BIG deal! We had been rehearsing with our hip and gorgeous teacher Mr Chinner for weeks and weeks. Our class, 3A, were doing a new song! A chart-topper! Not a choir of screeching descant recorders, but a grooooovy Beatles hit! It was a top-secret mission. We were not allowed to tell anyone! We were asked to bring a towel to wear around our shoulders like a Mexican poncho.
The Embarrassing bit.
Because I was small, I was scheduled to be in the front row. Because we were sworn to secrecy, I didn’t tell my mum why we needed the towel. Thinking it was for art clean-ups, and without a better explanation from me, she gave me a faded tatter of a towel. When Groovy Mr Chinner saw my faded rag, I got relegated to the back row. I couldn’t see over the tops of the bigger kids. My bubble was well and truly burst. I felt humiliated by my family’s lack of bright Mexican-like towels.
The Guilty Bit
In the same class, but in a different episode, I am simultaneously ashamed and amused to confess that I committed a fraudulent act. Our class had been chosen to go on an excursion to the Herald’s newspaper printing factory. Only 25 could go although our class had 43 students. In the spirit of fairness, Mr Chinner decided to pull the names out of a hat. As the names were called out, the lucky ones were clapping their little hands with glee. In the middle of all the excitement, the end of the day bell rang and the draw was not completed. It was declared that it would continue the next school day – Monday. I was heartbroken that my name had not yet been called out and even back then I realised the odds were not looking good.
When we returned after the weekend, Mr Chinner admitted he had forgotten to write down the names of the children who had been pulled out and no longer had the strips of paper. He asked us to raise our hands if we had been selected.
A few classmates put their hands up confidently. As I looked around at the remaining faces of my peers and saw them faltering. They either couldn’t remember or they didn’t seem too fussed about whether they went or not. I took my chance, I shot my hand in the air. Mr Chinner wrote my name on the list.
For the next few days, I expected to be challenged. For someone to remember that my name had never been called out and that I was a fraud, that I had lied. No one did. I went on the excursion and had a fabulous time. This is only the second time I have revealed this story! The first time was to the tattoo owner! (Sorry mum another thing you didn’t know!)
I guess Mr Chinner could still be out there. I have never forgotten him. He was young in 1969. Perhaps he’s out there, somewhere between 80-100 years old, thinking about his time as a teacher. I know he won’t remember me. There are too many children that pass through a teacher’s life. Even so, Mr Chinner, I apologize for my deceit.
As I look back on him and the lessons he taught us, I realize I don’t remember the specifics of one single scrap of the maths or spelling or grammar he may have taught us.
An off-schedule post today to add to the theme of reducing your reliance on fossil fuel. It might become a regular feature; it might not! I am very mindful of being that annoying blogger who is always pushing things into your inbox. It might just morph into my regular Friday posts, but I felt the need to share this today.
A few months ago, I found a video from Liziqi Art of Cooking in my Facebook feed. After five minutes of being mesmerised by the process of making silk by hand, I hit that follow button. Today another came into my feed about making cotton doonas.
It’s worth watching for the hand-driven technology. This is the way we need to go to save the planet. Use people power, not petrol power. Except for the fact it has been videoed and subsequently uploaded to social media, not one bit of fossil fuel can be seen in use. Of course, there is a lot of wood-burning happening. Perhaps you could replace that with solar or wind-generated electricity?
Her cooking videos are amazing. Her life hacks and kitchen tips are great too.
I could, unfortunately, watch for hours and hours! I’d love to spend a couple of weeks living like this! Without a radical change to my existing life, it would be impossible for me to replicate, but it is absorbing. I can dream about such a simple life filled with hard and satisfying manual labour. I bet Liziqi doesn’t have to worry about counting calories and scheduling gym sessions!
The mix of excellent camera work, social media presence and traditional lifestyle show that these people are not living in the past, but savvy entrepreneurs. She has an online shop and fashion brand as well.
She has a huge following, and I am sure many of you know of her already. Even if it is only 50% “real” and 50% marketing it’s still a delight!
When I first started writing, I was part of a Writers’ Group. We would get together once a month for a “meeting” hosted by members in turn. We would discuss our own projects, give some constructive criticism to each other and generally give support and encouragement.
At the end of each two-hour meeting we would have a fifteen-minute creative writing challenge based on a prompt suggested by the host. I wrote this short fictional piece in response to the prompt to write something from the point of view of a single sense. This one is based in the sense of smell. I have only done a light edit. Not bad for a fifteen-minute burst in my opinion! I might go back and have a go at the other senses as well.
The coffee welled up inside my head. Deep, rich earthy and warm. It smelt like a morning. A late morning, but a morning no less. It was time to get up. Time to start the day.
I pulled back the sheets and the raw aroma of the previous night’s sex wafted up from the linen. Sweaty, slightly fishy, not yet unpleasant. I thought about the time we had spent entwined in each other’s arms. Hesitant at first, then with reckless abandon that seemed embarrassing now in the coffee rich morning. He had smelt of rum. Rum with coke. Sweet, spicy and heady. The very thought of it made me quiver again.
The hot water took a long time to emerge from the tap. The chlorine, pungent and clean, drowned out the fresh citrusy bursts from the soap. It was like this in the winter. The chlorine did not have the energy to evaporate and clung to the water like a silver coat; lazy and slow.
I washed the sex away reluctantly. It had been a long time. A long time since I had smelt a man on me and in me. I lingered a little longer than necessary on the folds of my body and began to relive the passion.
The knock on the bathroom door snapped me back to the now.
Oh, that’s right! I wasn’t alone this morning. Not like the years of mornings that strung together in an endless stream before this morning. That’s why it smelt like coffee! There was another somebody in the house and he was making the coffee. Deep, rich and earthy.
How would it be now that the beer goggles were smashed by sobriety and the harsh winter light.
In my mind, I always saw myself as 27. That was a good year. Slim, tanned, lithe and strong. But 27 was 27 years ago. A marriage ago.
What would I say? How would I act? This was worse than the first time! At 15 I had all the confidence of a goddess who bestowed precious gifts on the lucky. Now it was I who felt lucky – that this rum-soaked man had seen me despite the invisibility cloak of menopause and maturity.
I slid the door open a crack. There he was, coffee in hand, in trousers but no shirt. He was older than I had thought. Grey speckled hair, his skin half a size too big for the muscles underneath. But he smiled and his eyes shone. He handed me the coffee. He looked awkward and shy.
“Have you finished? He asked pulling a face “I have to pee!”
That’s how it was going to be – relaxed and friendly. I remember this. It was a start. Perhaps there’d be more coffee in the mornings.
I was going through my old photos looking for images for my Snapshots from Wollongong Series when I came across this one from Woonona Beach. It was taken in 2012 when I first began my photographic journey. It would have been taken with a Panasonic FZ100. Perhaps a tad overprocessed for my liking now, I think it is still a strong composition.