The other day I was forced to have my passport photo taken. I am most certainly not eye candy to the lens – as we all know some people photograph better than others, yet the question springing to mind: Why does EVERYone look like a criminal on a passport photo?
Don’t deny it. Don’t flatter yourself when lovingly gazing at your very own passport photo: You do look like a criminal. Maybe a petty thief rather than a fully blown bank robber – but still worthy of locking up for five minutes. Even the Angel does. And he photographs well. My sister does too – you could put her into a black bin liner and she’d still photograph well. A bit like David Bowie.
Completely lost my thread. That comes from writing long intros before getting to the point. I’ll get back to you once I am up to speed again.
And before I forget even more: You know WHY I look complete shite on a passport photo? Because NOW you are NOT supposed to smile any longer. My smile is my most important USP. I dare say my smile will let me off murder – even if it were in a court with the jury entirely female. I wish all future border control agents good luck. If you showed me my passport photo I’d only be able to (barely) identify myself by my eyes. The rest may go into the shredder.
Thank you for your truly refreshing, and refreshingly honest, answers on the subject I last raised. Yes, affection and trust. The very foundations friendship is built on. From there we fly.
Today? Today I am contemplating the labour of love. Both Ramana and Shackman have had their (un)fair, true and hard share of it. Myself unencumbered, I think along seemingly ridiculous endeavours. Don’t laugh or do, say, archiving all (and ditching some) photos, in a coherent format. Say, condensing a lifetime’s cooking into notes useful to the Angel.
I am no Beethoven so my legacy will be largely with those who’ll remember me whilst still alive themselves. Before I drift off into my own la la land of thought on the futility of it all, let me say that I think there is no better labour than that borne out of love, be it for your children, humanity as a whole, indeed – dare I say it – yourself. In which spirit I’ll now go back to the washer woman’s ironing board. Give me a crease … I’ll try and smooth it.
You know something? If I were my own editor (and she is merciless) I’d scrap the whole of the above as so much sentimental indulgence. Still, one might argue, why not indulge some spur of the moment whim?
Any labour(s) of love, as yet to be accomplished, on your wishlist?
Whilst I do believe that colour does not beat the starkness of a black and white photograph I do have difficulty liking those who paint the world in black and white. Those who indulge in generalizing instead of taking their magnifying glasses to the particular.
Yes, the general and the particular. What a marvellous subject. Lending itself to all FACETS of life. Today, going the way of least resistance, I shall focus on the soft subject of dog and cat lovers.
Please note that I said ‘and’ NOT ‘versus’. There is no law to say that you have to be either or. Or can’t be both. Sure, we may have affinities. Men, mice. Some even keep hamsters. A friend and neighbour of mine used to. I can’t say I loved them (I loathe anything on a treadmill) but they were living things (not that they knew it) so I looked after them when friend was on holiday. Even when friend was not on holiday I’d get those blasted things over to my garden and let them chew the grass. I’d have preferred a sheep or a goat but friends can’t be choosers.
If I were technically as adept as all of you I’d now attach to this post a photo of my fifteen months old self and Pongo. Pongo was my first body guard, an Alsatian. Sitting, at my side and on his hind, taller than me. And yes, the picture is black and white. Which is just as well because Pongo’s fur was black and it was midwinter and the snow was very very very white.
Where were we? Cats and dogs. Animals. By temperament I’d say I prefer cats, for purely selfish reasons. Cats want nothing from you. They give (not least half dead prey put at your feet as a sign of affection) but that’s about it. Dogs? Dogs are takers. They – not by desire, by default – may look at you as the leader of the pack. Don’t let yourself be flattered so easily. As leader of the pack you are looked upon to provide. PROVIDE. Like what? Fun, entertainment, and, naturally, food. You are at their beck and call. And those eyes. Those EYES. Pleading, needy. That’s ok. I don’t mind pleading, needy, that’s what makes dogs human. But, for heaven’s sake, there is that never ending sorrow in a dog’s eyes. It’s why, and please shoot me now, why I firmly believe that those prone to the metaphorical black dog on your shoulder should not keep dogs. Keep a cat – if you must have a pet – instead. Cats are affectionate to the point of suffocating (me) yet they never expect you to throw a stick. And to reciprocate I never expect them to fetch it [the stick].
As an aside and whatever you do: Do not keep a gold fish. They are soul destroying (their own and yours).
Hugs and hisses,
Right Sweethearts, this is not so much my Swan song as waling at what I never thought possible.
Yes. I am getting older. OUTSIDE. Once called beautiful. Now? I cannot believe it.
Obviously I do look in the mirror every day but mirrors deceive. However, do have your passport photo taken – as I did about an hour ago – and your world falls apart. I look like shit. How I am going to sell this to my parents who I haven’t seen for years I do not know. They are (always have been) easily disappointed. Dear dog in heaven. HELP. I can hear my mother now: “Ja, wie siehst Du denn aus?” (Loosely translated, not that she ever uses swearwords, but does convey disapproval in subtle and far more hurtful ways: “What the fuck do you look like?”). Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Lets’ go back to the beginning of my five year old cute self.
Don’t get me wrong. My face is (relatively) remarkably unlined. My neck so smooth is the envy of many a twenty five year old. But, by golly, there is something in that photo – well, I don’t know. Old. I suppose. Shit. Shit. And Shit. Not exactly helped by passport requirement of “neutral expression”, “no smile”. My smile is my USP (unique selling point). Whatever. Doesn’t matter. As long as it gets me in and out of the country (my passport expired two years ago, making me – effectively – a person non grata, in no man’s land, a prisoner on these isles) vanity is not important.
And don’t all of you rally around telling me that all of our passport photos look as if we were on death row, just about to be shipped out to Alcatraz. Though that is true too.
Once the Angel materializes back from his travels I will ask him to shoot me. With his camera. To give me perspective. Oh my god. Dear dog in heaven. Who’d have thunk it?
My main beef with blogging that, a lot of the time, I can’t say what I’d like to say.
Why, often, can’t I say what I want to say? Because I am a coward. That’s why. I tell you: If I let my river flow the Niagara Falls would have nothing on me. And hitmen would be paid. Not least by Madonna. Because, as the L’Oreal advert goes, I am worth it – and she has the means.
If there is one woman I have nothing but disdain for it’s her. She is a cold fish, calculating, manipulating. I could now go to town elaborating. But I won’t. My son still needs me.
Yes, Madonna and muscle. Neatly linking into the Olympics. Unless you move to Mars, with the best will in the world you will not escape the Olympics. I can’t open the daily broadsheets without needing to skip the first eight to twelve pages before there is content.
However, not to be disingenuous, my eyes were arrested the other day by a photograph. Women athletes. I am not saying bring back Rubens or Twiggy but for heaven’s sake: Muscles are for men. Six packs are NOT for women. I find offensive that which should be pleasing to the eye. The order things should be in. As not to give the wrong impression: I, woman, am as strong as an ox and have stamina. But that’s not the same thing as competing with men on playing fields we shouldn’t be seen on.
And yes, as some of you know, I am a fast runner. When I run I fly – and I love it for the joy of it. But, ladies, don’t model yourselves into men with thighs as big as tree trunks. It flies in the face of everything woman is.
Piece of advice to models on the catwalk, Victoria Beckham and most gays: SMILE.
Looking glum doesn’t make you more sophisticated. It makes you look, well, glum. Boring and, frankly, if you keep it up, plain stupid.
All you visual beasts out there: Leg it over to Lorna’s
and the link for Reader’s Choice she gives therein, and cast your vote. Don’t fall for the cute blue Bird with Attitude. Or do. That’s me. No, not the photographer; the likeness. I don’t need office. I need peanuts.
PS Having checked with Lorna, as not to unduly influence her in her duty as judge (I flatter my powers), I can not divulge who I voted for. SURPRISE! And keep yours to yourselves till after the event on Wednesday after which we will – so I hope – compare notes. Snap, click and crackle.