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March 4, 2024

An assortment of photos that I took over 2023, mostly around Bath.

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January 5, 2024

A graphic made from a graph which shows a downward trend followed by a slow recovery.

So much of life is invisible, hard to define, harder to be sure of. So finding evidence of something you’ve maybe felt for weeks comes as a shock.

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Apparently, Humane’s lapel-squatting phone-replacing everything-device doesn’t “do apps”. It instead automatically chooses “AI experiences” to interpret and act on users’ commands.

I hate that they’re called “AI experiences”, because we’re inherently passive when we experience something: it happens to us. And yet we should be inherently active when we use a device. I wish these things were called “services”, because that’s what we should expect from a device that should be a tool.

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May 8, 2023

We took young Roddy to visit his mum, Maple, and sister, Scout.

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February 26, 2023

A circular patch of trees at the very top of the highest hill for miles around.

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January 1, 2023

A view down the body of a violin towards the violinist’s fingers holding the neck.

The fingers of my daughter’s left hand shift between positions on her violin’s fingerboard, moving with miraculous precision, stopping strings against the fretless board, fast and slow, and rocking them for vibrato. Trained over countless hours of practice and guided by her innate ability, they seem to have an unconscious life of their own.

And I watch, not quite grasping the relationship between her actions and the sound she’s making, and awed by her mastery of something far beyond anything I’ve taught her or know. 14 years from baby to near-adult; eight years from first picking up a violin. I know my daughter profoundly well in almost every other way, but she becomes someone new to me when she plays. I hardly recognise her, and it’s wondrous.

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December 11, 2022

Stockholm looked beautiful under frost, brief sun, and long darkness.

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November 13, 2022

A beautiful day. Falling leaves, slanted sunshine. Yellow, red, auburn.

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November 6, 2022

A very long time ago, while I was at sixth form college, I took a GCSE in photography. I loved it. I learned how to develop film, taking out a roll from my camera in the pitch dark, all by feel, and winding the film onto a reel. I learned about aperture and shutter speeds, using an old Nikon SLR that my dad gave me. I learned how to expose photo paper and burn in and dodge areas to make them darker and lighter.

I took a few rolls of film on a First World War battlefields trip and created a highly original piece of coursework featuring a lot of graves. Then I went to a local cemetery and took some more pictures of graves and made a piece of coursework which included the lyrics of the Smiths song, Cemetery Gates. I doubt I was aware of its pointed message about making original art.

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May 29, 2022

A tan-coloured wallet

A moment’s sadness at a passing of an object that’s accompanied so much of my life. Actually, I don’t know how long I had my old wallet. I don’t know where I got it, or where, so constant that for the past decade - two decades? - it’s seemed always near.

Almost always. I know I lost it twice, first on a train. I helplessly remembered just as it left the platform. But I reclaimed it at the lost property office at Bristol Temple Meads with the heady sense that calamity had been averted.

The second time I lost it for good.

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