Blog? What blog? / by Neil Alexander

The Quiraing, Skye

A long exposure of the sun setting over Rhosneigr beach with rocks in the foreground

I am sitting in my new back garden with only the blackbirds’ song to disrupt my thoughts. I finally feel like I have space to think. In the six month break that I appear to have had from this blog, life has changed significantly. I shan’t lie to you; I got a bit blogged out and bogged down. I kinda felt as though I were surviving but not thriving if you know what I mean? And several months living out of cardboard boxes didn’t help my creativity flourish either.

 

Since we last met, I’ve moved house. It’s not even ¼ mile down the road but the change to our quality of life is phenomenal.

 

One of the selling points for me was a totally separate annexe in the back garden. It was a complete self contained apartment for a live-in carer, but now makes a perfect office / studio space for lil’ old yours truly. 

Neist Point Lighthouse at dawn

I now have a dedicated space at home from which to run my photography business. A place that I can head into in the morning after depositing the kids at school with a bucket of coffee and focus totally on my business.

 

It’s not particularly big by any stretch of the imagination. For some reason I had Dave Wall’s dream double garage conversion in mind after my initial viewing but it’s not quite that cavernous. Indeed by the time I’d filled it with all my shit, there is a lot less room than I’d anticipated. I had hoped to have sufficient space to create small sets and be able to leave them in situ for days at a time whilst I worked on them. I will but they’ll be smaller than planned and I may have to climb over lights to get in and out. But only I’ll have to do that. I won’t have to take it all down because guests need the spare bed and I know that the only clown that’s going to fall over the lighting cables I’ve strewn all over the place is me. No chance of the kids accidentally turning the power off or of me waking them whilst I work late into the night. It’s a dream come true.

 

Millau viaduct on a very overcast day

The biggest problem I have at the moment however is that there is so much work to do on this new house, that I’m finding my days on end swallowed up by DIY or directing tradesmen. I’ve even had to splash out on some proper grown up tools. Not being a master of any kind of “trade” and quite frankly a little scared of my own electric drill, “doing it myself” is not something that comes naturally. In the past, I’ve been a “get a man in” kinda guy but there comes a time in every bloke’s life where he has to grow up, go to B&Q for some raw plugs, come home and then swear a lot. That’s after drilling at least 3 or 4 holes in the wrong places and having to somehow cover them up…. Fortunately, decor is low down on the list at the moment….. and I’m learning fast.


The office is pretty much set  up as I need it now. But the toilet door is coming off it’s hinges, I still haven’t secured the storage racks to the walls even though I’ve precariously balanced printers on top, my internet connection (at least for another week or two) is comprised of a 20m ethernet cable shoved through windows and suspended over the back yard and I’ve got too many drawers and cupboards with stuff thrown in just so as I could empty the boxes and clear space.

And so have I actually been making any photographs whilst all this has been going on?

Of course - the attached images are all from this year :-)

More next week, I promise..... 

Loch Restil from Rest and be Thankful