Month: August 2016

Driving around the neighbourhood:

Just sharing a couple of neighbourhood pictures with you so you can get an idea of what it looks like in this part of California. Depending on the neighbourhood the streets are really as wide as you would imagine them, and in some places a saturday afternoon traffic looks like these 2 images. But it really does depend which direction and area you visit. Only a few miles from this spot it is nearly impossible to find a parking spot. These 2 photographs are taken in Richmond, California. A relatively industrial and often low income area. Some parts of Richmond are very high in crime, while other parts (including where we are currently staying) are pleasant, green and very liveable.    

From trying out life in America: Finally found a dentist .. What a relief!

report: Reasonably positive experience. Good welcome by reception, the dentist is definitely friendly and gentle (! yay!) and I’d be very happy to share coffee some time. bonus points: she likes popcorn, too.   I’m on the fence about: 1) the office set-up – there was no spitting sink with running water: only a suction device in my mouth.. 2) the follow up: I should have received an email with my x-rays.. I haven’t yet.   Would I go back?: YES if I had an urgent issue, but if I could I would prefer my UK dentist, simply because of cost and 18-20 years of trust.   Recommended?: I don’t know how other dentists in the area are, so if you need one then I would say YES. If you can have other options in Europe with your usual dentist or you need a lot of work done then I’d say: wait and go in Europe. The total cost for entire procedure required (I only took the emergency portion and will complete in the UK): …

another chapter of trying to figure out how life in California works.. today I tried buying a bagel…

“Hello. Can I have a sesame bagel with jam please” “$4.22” “gosh!” (but I pay anyway) …. waits 20 minutes…. “here’s your bagel” “hang on, there is no jam, I didn’t want butter” “it’s not butter” “well, I would like jam” “it is cream cheese” “no thanks, can I have jam please as requested when I arrived and paid?” “we are out of jam” “there is no jam” “no, absolutely no jam” “oh…” other member of staff intervenes: “we have jam” 6 minutes later: “here’s your bagel” “thanks” …. spreading the miraculously appeared jam on the bagel.. hmmm… it smells strange for a sesame bagel.. hang on … Oh I give up!  … “excuse me, I would like a refund, this is an onion bagel with jam, not a sesame bagel with jam…”  … get’s refund, leaves the cafe still exceptionally hungry and wondering why a bagel that can never be the actual bagel one asked for costs $4.22 when service clearly is sleepwalking with reluctance..

Trying out life in California / USA :

After having been invited to a job 3 days a week with healthcare before I even arrived in the US (yay) the job turned into just weekends and no healthcare, then the company couldn’t actually hire staff until further notice and now they are excited to hire me for 8 hours (naturally without healthcare). This process took 3 months so far.. (not that I am waiting only for them, I have other projects I am busy with but I find this a curious example of how to handle not yet employees.. what does this promise for the future working relationship?) Anyhow this has turned into a zero hour contract job and then as I am trying to fill in my details (on a 3rd party site! OBJECTION!) I find that I can not really proceed until I sign the below document release form… As a part-time photographer I am familiar with model release forms and this one is on a whole new level. I would never ask anybody to sign such a dreadful thing. Who …

Exploring an idea for a photo session

One afternoon I managed to persuade my partner in this intercontinental love affair, to cover himself with a paste made from Thanaka powder to take some yoga photographs… It was a fun session, but what absolutely didn’t work was to apply an ‘effect’ as a neat idea with nothing more than the effect in mind. I couldn’t tell you ‘why’ this seemed like a good idea. But it did yield something a little different. But is that enough? Maybe.. What is thanaka ? It is a powder made from grinding the rind of a specific tree (than aka tree?). It is applied to protect against the sun, a natural sunscreen. This is what I understand. There may be more to it than this little soundbite of mine.

I needed some inspiration for my time here in San Francisco … sharing what I found with you

I found this little summary of places and interviews on the New York Times Vlog but perhaps my favourite discovery yesterday the photographer Noel Morata’s website, as it proved to be a treasure trove of ideas and inspirations. I love the understated feel of it, this is not a place for being ultra flashy and showy but there are so many pages to discover that I am having a hard time getting anything done as I leaf through and take his work in. http://travelphotodiscovery.com/san-francisco-views-to-die-for/  

Big Sur Roadtrip

 • The effects of a wildfire most likely caused by an illegal campfire that was poorly extinguished. These photographs are from our drive back to Carmel, near the Highway 1 which I just see now in the news is closed due to the Soberanes Fire which has been raging for about 2 weeks now. It had just started when we visited Big Sur for my birthday. Just think of the incredible loss of habitat for wildlife, the many people who lost their homes to the fires the irreplaceable damages caused.  • Have you ever seen the sun look so red (as in the last picture) ? •     • Sorry that I have been so uninspired lately to write properly, to add words to my experiences here in California. Sometimes it is easier to just observe and read.. I realise that this is really poor performance.   •   •

challenge to myself: A 100% turnaround on how I see a challenge

Let me see if I can summarise the current situation without breaking into verbal avalanche: In a way the title sums up all you need to know about this post. This post is about myself and it is about how I face the world and situations that I perceive to be challenges in a range of scales from irritating but manageable to insurmountable. Here are the challenges an to be fair some of them are also the beauties of my life: International romance with a lovely man from another continent than the one I was born on, this is the beautiful part. The challenging part are immigration regulations, permissions to enter countries and stay in them together. It is not so much a matter of ‘just make a decision’ as some suggest but rather ‘flippers!’ they are taking about changing the rules and if they  do then we won’t be able to live in this country together or even just one of us! What will happen with politics has direct bearings on the reality of our romantic …