Interview52:

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A group distraction, presented by nige.


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The first instalment of Interview52 is now complete! It started on Friday 18th July 2008 and finished on 13th September 2009. A little later than expected, but we got there.


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52 mobloggers from around the world...

Some familiar, some not...

Each will publish a unique self-portrait, accompanied by a short interview.


Candid portrait meets candid interview.


The Rules

Every Friday the next interviewee in line will publish a new portrait and interview, consisting of their answers to the ten questions they have been given.

After they have published, the interviewee will then become the interviewer. They will be responsible for finding the next participant, as well as compiling the questions that this next person in line will answer. Interviewers can change as many or as few questions as they like, but they should change at least one before passing them on to the next lucky punter.

Thats it! Simple. More detailed instructions will be given to each interviewee as and when they are approached, so fear not.


The interviewees so far

shitake

spongevid

Salome

FilbertFox

Essitam

harimanjaro

parabolichobo

Viv

Jig along

Caine

factotum

Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri

arkangel

JokerXL

CHESO

taniwha

PrincessJun

billion

itchymoblog

Jane Doe

kyoob

MaggieD

Spiderbaby / Freakdog

TiliaAmericana

Dhamaka

XelenarendezvousX

George w/Blue Eyes

Rachel

Sprocket

Tori

silar31

Mandy

Puddlepuff

Judo-Jule

OJ

beth

Alfie

Rich

Joe

Steve

Uber-Spy

swamprose

RareAquaticBadger

Euphro

bfish

mara

AmericanFriend

CRAFT

Strange Little Girl

Spike

Toddy

Damage

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Interview52: 58 Degrees North

(viewed 2167 times)
Interview52: 58 Degrees North

1. Where are you? Tell us the story that got you there.

Home is the Isle of Lewis in the Western Isles (or the Outer Hebrides if you prefer) of Scotland, I’ve been living here 18 months now having lived in Blackburn, Lancashire all my life before then. Having for along time wanted to move to a remote part of Scotland, I was lucky enough to be offered a transfer up here with the company I worked for at the time, so took the plunge and did it and it was one of the best moves I’ve ever made - although at the time I could never have envisaged the changes it would lead to in my life! Very settled and happy here, and although I can imagine living elsewhere, it would have to be somewhere very similar – I love the security and the freedom of living somewhere like this and the beautiful scenery that provides so many photographic opportunities. I love the fact that in summer, I can come home from work on a Friday night, throw the tent in the car drive to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world (that’s a fact, the Guardian said so), pitch my tent for free, paddle in the sea, sit in the sun, get a bbq going, have a beer and stay there all weekend and hardly see another sole. Lovely.


2. One book, one song, and one movie, and tell us why!

Book is easy – ‘Life of Pi’ by Yan Martel, I just love that book and could read it again and again and get something different out of it every time.

Song is more difficult, depends on my mood and I have lots of favourites. I think just now it would be ‘River Deep, Mountain High’ because Sharleen Spiteri did an amazing version of it at her gig in Edinburgh in January (which was wonderful – what a voice!).

Film, again difficult, there are so many I love and could watch over and over, so I’m going to go for a recently watched favourite, Guillermo Del Toro's ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’. Just because it must be good to get me to watch a film with subtitles all the way through without losing interest!


3. Why do you moblog?

I’d always liked the idea of a blog, but I’m not a big writer, especially about myself, in fact this is probably the most I’ve written about myself in a long time. So the idea of a blog where you post photographs and maybe a few words really appealed to me. I don’t moblog as much as I would like – I get a bit lazy with it sometimes, but don’t think I’d ever give up completely.


4. What do you capture with your camera/mobile phone? Tell us your favourite subject.

On my camera phone I take photos of anything and everything, just snapshots of everyday life really. On my main camera – my Nikon D80 I mostly take landscape and seascape photography, because that’s what I’m surrounded by. I also love the rundown houses, crofts and shielings up here and they make for really interesting photographs. I like taking photographs of cities, which is odd as I’m not actually that keen on big cities (there are some exceptions to that rule) – too many people and not enough space makes me so claustrophobic, but I suppose hiding behind my camera is a defence against that. I also have a fondness for graveyards; despite not being at all religious, I find them very peaceful places and can spend hours wandering round and taking photographs trying to capture the stillness and tranquillity.


5. If you could travel in time, where do you want to be right now?

To be honest I’m not really sure I like the idea of time travel! But if anything, I’d go back to when my Dad was alive and just tell him where I am in life, what I’m doing and how happy I am. That’s it really.


6. Which food could you not live without?

Haggis!! Yes, I know what it’s made of and I still love it.


7. What do you expect for the year 2050?

Hm, I don’t actually think there will be that much difference! Technology may have moved on some, but not as much as the film makers would have us think! There will probably be less ice on this planet and not so many, if any, polar bears and things like that. But I guess the world will have the same problems and issues. Personally, I’ll be 71 by then, so expect I’ll be being well looked after in my retirement (well, I hope so anyway)! Children, grandchildren… who knows?


8. Where is your favourite place to holiday/vacation?

Once again, so many to choose from! I love going on driving holidays, I love exploring and finding things you wouldn’t otherwise have seen. Driving through Iceland (including crossing rivers in a 4x4), the Italian/Swiss Alps, and most recently Germany have been highlights. I once drove to the South of France in a Fiat Cinquecento – great little car! If I could drive to anywhere right now, it would probably be Norway, from Bergen all the way to Tromso and beyond; crossing the Arctic Circle and seeing the Lofoten Islands.


9. If tomorrow was your last day on Earth how would spend the day?

So many things, so little time! See mountains and glaciers, walk on beaches, ride on rollercoasters, go to the football and then cosy in front of an open fire with good food, good wine and the best company – my family. A busy day then.


10. What question would you like to ask yourself? Answer it if you can.

Question - Am I making the most of life, living it how I want to live it and doing what I want to do?

Answer – Yes and no.

No, because I’ve not been very sensible with money in the past, which means I’m struggling now and can’t do all the things I’d like to do. I’m still working a 9-5 job that I don’t particularly like, when I’d really like to make a living taking photographs and running my own little gallery on my croft with chickens and a vegetable patch! I’d love to travel more and see more of the world – Patagonia, Alaska, Norway and New Zealand are top of the list. But this spring I am going to dig my veg patch, start cutting my own peat for next winter’s fire and put my photographs in to an exhibition at the local gallery, so making a start.

Yes, because I’m now living somewhere I’ve always wanted to live and that makes me happy; the island life suits me. On top of that move (or maybe because of that move) I made some big decisions last year that I should really have made a long time ago that have led to me being happier than I’ve been for a long time and feeling very settled and content with life; I’m loved and very much in love and don’t think there’s much more I could ask for in life than that! Apart from some chickens.

Posted by Rachel

6th Mar 2009, 13:41   | tags:comments (10)

eye-to-eye

(viewed 2274 times)
1. Where can we find you and the reason that brought you there?

In London, working in front of the window and looking out onto my rooftop garden/summer office. The sun is pouring in and everything is right with the world (although I got up late because of the twestival - which is why this is late too - sorry)


2. What kind of relationship do you entertain with blogging, Moblog and the Moblog community?

I see no difference between friendships with people I meet online or in real life. Some are distant, some are closer, some I talk to and rely on but never – or rarely - see, and some I see regularly. There are people on here who I respect for their creativity, their generosity and for their humanity. There are people who amuse or bemuse me and others who frustrate me. Some are slow to come to a decision and others jump to them and then never change. That's what I love and find fascinating about people and it's part of why I'm still here.

If it wasn’t for moblog I’d not be the photographer I am and would probably not be a photographer at all. I originally started my moblog to share my travels with Izadora and my photography developed through a desire to take good shots to share with the whole moblog community.

But things have changed, moblog has changed (both the way it's run and the people in it) and people have ..well... behaved like people do… At the same time I’ve grown as a person. As you’d expect my relationship with Moblog reflects it all.


3. Describe the favorite photo you ever took. Did you post it on Moblog and why?

I’m afraid there isn’t one. I post things because they mean something to me and I want to share them. That doesn’t mean they’re my favourites. It's just that they say what I want.

Sometimes I’ll look at a photo after having taken it and will think to myself ‘yes, that’s it; it gives the feeling I wanted and the composition’s actually OK!’ but after a while I’ll start seeing how I could have done it better.

Somewhere along the way I started wanting to do more than just communicate the moment, a mood or about the people in my shots and recently have realised that photography has become more more of a quest. I want to give, in one image or a series, the synthesis of a place, its feeling and the people and things involved.

That said, there are a couple of images on moblog that I am very pleased I put up. Ephemerunner’s the one that first springs to mind.


4. If you had to spend a year without human contact, how would you fill up your time?

I’m not sure I could. The isolation of staying behind to help after the Asian tsunami scarred me deeply and I don’t ever want to go through all that Post Traumatic Stress stuff again.

Hypothetically, the only way I might manage would be to build a library of things that I wanted to communicate to others at the end of the year. That might work.. I’m sure my writing and photography would improve no end as a result!


5. How do you feel about someone else taking a photo of you? Is there a portrait of you that you were surprised to see?

I don’t feel anything about other people taking photos of me. It’s the results that count!

What some people tell me is a good likeness makes me wonder if I look like a Thunderbirds puppet! Sometimes I see things through their eyes that I’d never see on my own. I’m occasionally granted a glimpse of what they were thinking about or felt about me at the time. Some peoples’ shots show something that I wasn’t aware of about myself. For example a recent one by taniwha showed that even though I feel better I’m not yet completely back from last years’ illness.

Truth be told, I don’t like how I look in a lot of photos. Most people are considerate enough to give me a veto before they post their shots. I’m quite run down at the moment. I have spots (which is rare) and last week did TV interviews with Colombian and Spanish TV. There was no choice for me - I need the publicity for my next expedition - and I’m dreading seeing the footage.


6. What kind of relationship do you have with food? Is there a food that can fill your soul as much (or more) than your stomach?

It's the people who eat with me who fill my soul although we don't eat together sufficiently often.

I like clean, unprocessed food in the main. Eat cherry tomatoes like sweets. Could happily eat sushi morning noon and night forever. And fudge fingers… How can something that costs only 15p have so many calories? Apart from this I’m a very careful eater and make sure my daily diet is balanced with components from each of the major food groups (protein, carbohydrate, fat and chocolate sponge cake).


7. Is there something about you that your friends would be surprised to learn about?

Friends who know me, no. New friends and people I’d like to be friends? Oh yes, but I’m not sharing that here *grins


8. What has been your most important life lesson?

That 99.99% of people in the world are really, truly good inside and that whatever I feel, I’m best off leaving the others alone.


9. Which is your favorite word of the English language? Is there a word that you really hate?

Not really. I like phrases though and often write them in a little book in the hope that doing so will transfer some of their author's facility with language to me. Randomly from that book “a window into the workings of your mind”, “+++it is hard to convey five dimensional ideas in a language evolved to scream defiance at the monkeys in the next tree +++”, “as trustworthy as a chocolate hammer”, “a bridge of matchsticks over a gaping abyss”, “Ah, thinking. I like that in a man”, “brave as two short planks”, “fearless as a hatter”, “Out of place like a slug in a packet of crisps”, “death rippling outward on a tsunami of radiation”, “a compulsive control twiddler”, “following the West into genteel hypocricy”, “electronic Gotterdammerung”, “state-supplied slop”, “refugees living punch-drunk on ceaseless information”.. I could go on... :)


10. What question would you like to ask yourself (and answer it if you can)?

The same I ask myself almost every day. Am I living in a way that will continue to enable me to look myself eye-to-eye in the mirror?

Obviously the answer changes, but after reading this through I've decided to spend the weekend taking myself less seriously.

Posted by Dhamaka

13th Feb 2009, 13:01   | tags:comments (16)

Interview52: A tree that grows in northern America

(viewed 3981 times)
1. Where does this find you? Tell the story of how you got here.

Well, I am a French speaking Canadian from Quebec currently living in Anglophone Vancouver for the last 3 years in an attempt to complete a Ph.D. in Medical Genetics. At this point in time, I think I can no longer speak properly French or English and my Ph.D. project doesn’t involve anything medical or genetic (but still have hopes to complete). So we can conclude that I’m currently in the gray area of the foreigner living in its own country.


2. Why do you Moblog? How do you use the site?

As hinted in the first question, I live 5000 km away from my family and friends. I first heard about Moblog from a friend (RareAquaticBadger) who visited the website regularly during work hours (hum…). I saw it as a great way to share little stories that are not necessarily possible to convey with words with the people I love and who are far away. And with time, I guess I started to enjoy having a peek at stranger’s lives and personality through the images they snapped and chose to share.


3. What makes you smile? What makes you frown?

It’s hard to pinpoint one thing in particular that make me smile. We can say I smile very easily. If I have to go with just one thing, I could safely say (and this will make people who know me laugh) food. And here, I am speaking about the whole concept of food. Of course, I quite enjoy eating, but it’s the whole process of it that fascinates me. I like planning ahead what I could make, buying ingredients and then just change my mind and improvise. I love cooking for hours in my tiny kitchen, with a glass of red wine, loud music and the sounds and smells of multiple things being prepared at the same time. And my favorite food thing would be to share it with people I love.

As for the thing that makes me frown, I would have to say people who expect others to make them happy. Because then, without being asked for permission, you become responsible for someone else’s happiness and it unavailingly ends up in deception and bitterness for everyone. I think that happiness is something that you owe to yourself. Once your needs are replenished, you can distribute it around as you may please. But joy doesn’t keep and becomes sour when it’s imprisoned.


4. Choose one CD, one book and one film to be stranded with on a desert island

Stranded on a desert island, I could listen to Mozart’s Requiem day after day while reading Eiji Yoshikawa’s Miyamoto Musashi. I fell in love with the Requiem when I was 12 and it can still make me cry many more years later. As for the book, it was found at a random used bookstore and I had no idea what it was about. I don’t think that I would have bought it if I had known it was the story of a Japanese warrior who seeks perfection. But it transformed me a bit, in some way. I made me believe that we have the responsibility to become as good (as a whole) as we can and this self-completion is unique and different for everyone.

And for a movie, I would say that I was very touched my My Life Without Me, where the very hard subject of the imminent death of a young mother is treated with the most beautiful simplicity. As the title hints, life and happiness have to go on, whether we are there or not. It de-dramatizes what we call “the worst case scenario”. The worst is not so bad after all.


5. If you were to write an autobiography of your life, what would its title be?

Jumping cliffs


6. If you could take a year off, what would you do with it?

As “original” as it might be, I would travel the world on my own. Yes, I would visit my friends scattered all around, but mostly, I would spend a few weeks in different cities and just get lost amongst strangers. I already had a taste of it on a much smaller scale, but doing it for a year would allow me to really get lost, I think.


7. Which food could you not live without?

Le pain baguette, definitely.


8. If you could be a superhero what powers would you have? How would you use them?

If I were a superhero, I would be able to foresee the near future (a few days maximum). It’s just enough to satisfy my curiosity and it would enable me to help people around me avoid making horrible and avoidable mistakes or stress out about things for no good reason. But no long term knowledge, because then it would be sad to no longer have any surprises…


9. What was your childhood obsession? What happened to it?

As a child, I did everything with obsession. It was all-or-nothing. And it has not changed. My main current obsession would be sewing (which I learned at ~5-6 years old). What can I say? I’m a girl, I like clothes and it’s insanely satisfying to be able to create something (for myself or someone else) that really reflects the wearer’s personality. It’s like making a custom made frame to enhance what is best. And it’s not something you can find on a sales rack in a store.


10. What is the most important thing that is going to happen in your world in 2009?

I will do my best at everything I am doing and let the rest of life happen to me rather that try to control what I can’t.

Posted by TiliaAmericana

Interview52: Paws for thought

(viewed 2406 times)
1. Where does this find you? Tell us the tail of how you got here.

At the moment I am to be found with my humans in the frozen north of Michigan, USA, on the Keweenaw Peninsula which sticks up into Lake Superior like an accusatory finger (or more likely a signpost) pointing at Canada. One of my humans is working here at the moment and the other one looks like she is mostly knitting...

I am here purely because of Moblog. Originally from China, my early years are a mystery to me. My first real memory was finding myself in a Headingley supermarket using what can only be my hip hop name "Cool Stuff". From there I was adopted by my humans, on the insistance of fellow Moblog people, to begin a new life. Since then I have travelled to far flung places, like Birmingham and America and met many interesting and lovely fellow Mobloggers along the way.

3. Do you consider yourself to be part of the pup-arazzi or are you an enthusiatic amateur?

For now I am very much the enthusiastic amateur, though if I were dogged enough (and let off the leash a little more) maybe I could run with the (press) pack...

4. Choose one CD, one book and one film to be stranded with on a desert island

This is difficult. So many to choose from... I think my favourite film would have to be The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, starring my hero - Gromit and his human sidekick. My book would probably be 'Only one woof' by James Herriot (I'm saving mine for a special occasion too). For music, it's so hard to choose, but I would probably take Handel's Messiah because it's a cracking good sing and can go on for what seems like days so it would be good value too :)

5. If you were to write an autobiography of your life, what would it’s title be?

If I were to have some hypnotic regression, it would be 'Freak Doggy Dog - the "Cool Stuff" years'. If not, then I would go for 'From Somerfield's to Summer Bay' - charting my journey from supermarket shelf to Australian soap stardom (it's got to happen one day). Or maybe "Smiling On The Inside".

6. If you could take a year off, what would you do with it?

To take a year off, I would first need something to take a year off from... So I would try to find a job. Failing that I would make a long list of things I wanted to learn, read, see and do. Then I would get side-tracked and not actually do any of them (or very few) but learn to knit and read Agatha Christie novels and just stare into space instead.

7. Which food could you not live without?

Before moving to America I thought it would be cheese I would miss most... Brie, Stilton, Wensleydale, cumin Gouda, a good cheddar... but I have been surprised (and not a little horrified) at how much I've come to love "EasyCheese" - cheese product in an aerosol spray can if you can let yourselves imagine such a thing. What's wrong with me?!? My humans have grown weak to it's power too, to the extent of buying another can!!!.

Seriously, there would be no kind of living without tea, but I don't class tea as a "food" as such. No, tea is an essential life fluid like blood and lymph (but more socially acceptable as a beverage).

8: If you were a human, which type of human would you be (eg. a singer, one of the Pointer Sisters for example)

I would be a cat person.

9. What is the biggest problem faced by Dogkind today, and how would you solve it?

Sadly, the biggest problem facing Dogkind is also its greatest friend, the humans. From welfare issues such as those surrounding greyhound racing and poor discipline leading to abandonment and abuse, to habitat destruction and persecution of our wild cousins from the wolf to the African wild dog, to name but a few. The humans are also the only ones that can provide the solutions (and use the tin openers), so I would have to give them a long hard stare.


10. What is the most important thing that is going to happen in your world in 2009

My humans will be taking me to live in Rhode Island again soon, so I'm looking forward to that. The knitting one will be starting gainful employment again once the paperwork is all sorted, so that will leave me more time to do what ever I want, uninterupted and unhindered. I'm looking forward to a visit from my beloved FilbertFox, who I miss very much, and the lovely BaggieBoy. In fact if anyone happens to be passing, please do pop in for a cup of tea :)

I won't know what will work out to be the most important thing though, not until all the things of the year have happened and can be assessed as objectively as possible. But I can be pretty sure tea and cake will be involved somewhere along the line.

Posted by Spiderbaby

23rd Jan 2009, 04:56   | tags:,comments (34)

Come the revolution .................

(viewed 2431 times)
........ I'll still forget to bring my camera.

Sorry about the rather rushed nature of the responses, it was all a bit last minute on my part :(
1. Where does this find you? Tell the story of how you got here.
Lurking and working in Lewisham SE London, just a mile or so from where I was born and brought up. (Don’t know what happened to that childhood dream of a little cottage in the country). I have lived most of my life in London, though I have also travelled extensively and lived abroad. I still maintain very strong links with Cambodia.

2. Why do you moblog? Which of the posts on your own moblog is your favourite, and why?
I first became aware of Moblog nearly 3 years ago when the son of a very good friend of mine went into hospital for a bone marrow transplant. His name was Alex and he set up a blog so he could inform family and friends of his progress. He soon had quite a following on the site, people from all over the world, complete strangers befriended him and were incredibly supportive. Sadly, Alex died in January 2007, aged just 20. Alex was the reason I started to Moblog. The people I met here are the reason I continued. I liked the vibe, though things are a lot quieter now, it is still a very friendly and supportive place to spend a bit of online time.

3. What tools do you use to create your mini-masterpieces, how long do they take from start to finish?
Mini-masterpieces !?! Hahaha! Well, that would be telling ….. OK, well, it varies. I use a mixture of drawing, adapting faces from photographs of the Mobloggers concerned, a bit of clip art and a smidgen of imagination and a lot of photoshopping …… as to the time it takes, that varies as well. Something might catch my eye as I wander through the site and I just do a rough sketch of what I think the final outcome will be. Friday is my day off so I usually spend an hour or two putting the cartoon together on my laptop and posting it. Other times I might start a pic in the evening after work, leave it a day or two then go back to it and change or add something new and the final result bares little resemblance to the original. Other times I might see something and do an instant cartoon and post it straight off.

4. Choose one CD, one book and one film to be stranded with on a desert island
Ah, now this would depend on how long I was going to be stranded for. It would have to be a compilation CD, as I really do not have a favourite (but no extreme heavy metal). The book would be a collected works (probably of Oscar Wilde) and the film, mmm, something by Jean Renoir, mainly because I have always felt slightly frustrated that I have never given them the time they deserve (my french being quite poor I always feel I miss out in the translation). It would also give me the chance to brush up on my language skills.

5. If you had to choose only one form of entertainment for the rest of your life, what would it be: listening to music, reading books or watching movies?
BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS

6. If you could take a year off, what would you do with it?
I would love to go back to Cambodia for an extended visit and do a bit more work on a couple of the Education Projects I helped set up a few years ago.

7. Which food could you not live without?
I was going to say chocolate, but then I remembered that the thing I missed the most when I was traveling and working abroad was toast and marmite.

8: If you had to choose to only draw OR take photographs, which would it be, and why?
It would have to be draw. As anyone who has visited my blog can see, I am not a great one for taking photographs :(

9. What is the biggest problem faced by mankind today, and how would you solve it?

Well, a very simplistic answer would be ‘the Evils of Capitalism’ and how would I solve it? Time for a Revolution, methinks …..


10. What is the most important thing that is going to happen in your world in 2009

A good friend of mine is going into hospital to start treatment for cancer in the next few weeks, so my mind is very much on that at the moment. I just wish that by the end of the year she will be cancer free, back at work and singing silly songs and baking scrummy cakes.
Oh yes, and my son should be graduating from university this summer :)

Posted by MaggieD

16th Jan 2009, 08:59   | tags:comments (25)

Interview52: Happy Between 8 Corners

(viewed 2316 times)
1. Where does this find you? Tell the story of how you got here.

I currently live in Stockton Heath, a nice little suburb in south Warrington, after taking the big step to move from my home town of Ulverston some 3 years ago, having also had a short time in southampton whilst at university, returning to jump on the Y2K rush and pushing me into IT and software development in particular.

2. Why do you moblog? Which of the posts on your own moblog is your favourite, and why?

I found moblog just over 4 years ago now, the initial fascination of being able to easily document daily life with the only effort being pulling my phone from my pocket, a chance, i thought, of being able to go back in a few months time and see what i'd done and forgotten about. (I have a terrible short-term memory, though i can remember phone numbers from 10 years ago no problem). Here we are 4 years later and there's just so many little 'oh yeah..' moments looking back through, I couldn't possibly put a value on how great it is to be able to do that now. I moblog for several reasons really, one for the reason above but since moving it allows me to keep everybody back home updated with stuff and happenings. I also love getting comments from people, even if i just get a little smiley, i'm pleased that i could just bring a little interest into the world. The moblog community is unique.

I looked for a good hour through my imagewalls, and i couldn't pick a favourite, there are hundreds of different images that are equally special in lots of different ways.

3. What's your favourite part of the world, and why?

It's a big old world and i haven't seen a lot of it yet, but i do believe there are special places everywhere and I think it's got a lot to do with the people that are at your destination. There's a special place in my heart for the lake district, having taken it forgranted before i moved, it's somewhere that still feels like home on trips back.

4. Choose one CD, one book and one film to be stranded with on a desert island

CD: Could you give me a harder question? An audiobook on bushcraft?
Book: Iain M. Banks - The Algebraist, the sci fi book that whet my appetite for hundreds of books after it. A real mind bender.
Film: Something european, Pedro Almodóvar's 'Talk to Her' was the last film that really captivated me.

5. If you had to choose only one form of entertainment for the rest of your life, what would it be: listening to music, reading books or watching movies?

Reading books, till the age of about 20 i think i had read 5 books total. Thankfully that's changed a great deal now and read in phases sometimes 2 books a month, then a gap of a few months, where i just can't settle into reading, so i do other stuff, photography, house etc.

6. If you could take a year off, what would you do with it?

I would go on a big tour, be it europe or the world, hopefully stopping off at willing mobloggers for coffee, meeting new and interesting people enrichens my life, and there's certainly no shortage of interesting people here. I'd also have time to really try and follow my photography dreams, which may evolve but never go away.

7. Which appeals to you the most, abstract or realist art? Do you have a favourite photographer?

Abstract definitely. We need not always understand what something is to appreaciate it. I don't have a favourite photographer, but there's a few mobloggers who's work i really admire.

8. If you had to choose to only take street OR studio photographs, which would it be, and why?

Street photography definitely, as an avid people watcher, there's something wonderfully calming about watching hundreds of humans buzzing about in their own little worlds, you get a small window from which to escape your own life and see someone elses.

9. What is the biggest problem faced by mankind today, and how would you solve it?

Losing our liberty for the sake of perceived 'security'

10. Any New Year's resolutions?

A couple, watch this space to see if i pull any of them off!

Posted by kyoob

9th Jan 2009, 09:22   | tags:,comments (18)

New Year, new toy

(viewed 2210 times)
1. Where does this find you? Tell the story of how you got here.

In terms of location, I live in the SE of England, though I'm a Yorkshire lass at heart. I moved south to be with my partner, more years ago than I care to remember.
Work-wise, I'm a post-grad Literature student. I'm not sure what I want to be when I grow up; in the past I've been the world's worst bar-maid, an itinerant fruit-picker, and even had a few proper jobs too

2. Why do you moblog? How do you use the site?

I followed a friend http://moblog.net/Helen/ here, nearly four years ago. My 2000th pic is coming up very soon! I'm a bit of a technophobe, and not remotely artistic, so I'm a bit bemused that I ever mange to post anything at all.
The combination of words AND pictures Moblog offers appeals to me. It's a way of sharing a slice of my life with family and friends, though my blog title Plato's Cave reflects the fact that any one image is just one of many possible representations of reality.
Surfing the site is a great displacement activity when I'm supposed to be researching or writing; the diversity and global dimension is particularly stimulating.

3. Your pictures have enormous presence and individuality; why Jane Doe?

I've a love/hate relationship with the internet, and have had a range of IDs on various sites over the years. After spending a summer away, I decided to come back incognito. JD has stuck, and I'm happier with her than with any of my other online personae.

4. Give a brief summary of three albums, books or movies that mean a lot to you.

Metamorphoses (Ovid) When I was a kid I was fascinated by myths and legends. This is a real treasure trove of Classical mythology, with even more sex and violence than the Ladybird versions I read as a child : )

Hotel World (Ali Smith) One of the best contemporary writers, I love all of her work. She does amazing things with the English language, and makes serious socio-political observations, but often with a keen sense of humour, and always with a lightness of touch.

The Bicentennial Man (Isaac Asimov) I am particularly fond of short stories. When I was a teenager I read stacks of science-fiction, especially John Wyndham, but also Asimov, Clarke, etc. I actually did a science degree first time around, but when I went back for my BA, the first essay I wrote was based on this story (I used it for a discussion of Cartesian dualism.) NB Don't watch the film version!

5. If you had more free time, what would you do with it?

Where to start? Read more books, watch more films, listen to more music, travel. Spend more time with family and friends. Learn Ancient Greek, Latin, Mandarin Chinese and Arabic. Just how much time more free time would you let me have?

6. If you could change one thing about people, what would it be?

Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby from The Waterbabies made a big impression on me as a kid. It struck me as incredibly obvious that the world would be a better place if people were more considerate, to be frank if they were simply ? to use a much derided word - nice. I'm not a great one for organised religion, but ?Love thy neighbour? strikes me as a pretty good place to start.

7. You have a choice: either take only black and white photos for the rest of your life, or only take photos of plants. Which is it?

I'll go with plants, as long as I can include landscapes in that definition ? then I could sneak a few figures in too : )

8. What will be the biggest event of the 21st Century?

The present global recession. The short term repercussions are going to be incredibly painful. The one glimmer of hope is that it may lead to a reconsideration of the whole nature of capitalism, growth and consumer society. A simpler, less materialistic lifestyle might be better for the planet as a whole, in the long term.

9. How would you like to be remembered?

I honestly don't care. However, I'll leave behind two kids. I hope I've given them a good start in life, and that they'll grow into strong women who make a positive impression on the world.

10. What thing would you most like to do these holidays?

Spend time with my family, which is exactly what I did : )

Posted by Jane Doe

1st Jan 2009, 23:21   comments (19)

Narcissus the budgie attacks her own reflection again

(viewed 2516 times)
1. Where does this find you? Tell us the story of how you got there.

This is me more or less the second the rentals agent was gone from
showing us into our short-lease apartment in Vancouver this summer,
craning my neck out of the window at all those gorgeous glassy
reflections (you know me and reflections). I was hopelessly underslept
and I had that almost-deafness you get from listening to constant
aeroplane engine drone for nearly 10 hours, but I was just so jazzed
to be back in my favourite city ? we spent the first few days having
conversations that mostly boiled down to: "Dude! We're in Vancouver!"
We had three fabulous weeks there, and got married :) I still get
homesick when I think about it.

2. Why do you Moblog? How do you use the site?

I think I got here through
">an online friend
; that coincided with my taking a renewed
interest in photography (round about the time that cameraphones became
a thing, funnily enough).

I use the site in the same way as I pursue my other hobbies: I
practice by making lots of mistakes, to get feedback about what works
(and by its absence, what doesn't), and hopefully get better at this
whole photography thing. One of the things that kept me on Moblog,
rather than putting my pictures on, say, Flickr, is the sense of
community here, and the fact that everyone is just so damn nice
em> :)

Lastly, I am just a sucker for the pretty, and this place delivers it,
in spades.

3. Why itchy?

Long story, but it boils down to "my preferred username was
taken" (this on another site, in another online incarnation; I seem to
have had several!). I've met quite a few online friends/acquaintances
at one stage or another and even some of those I now think of as real-
life friends still call me Itchy, so it must work on some level.

4. Give a brief summary of three albums, books or movies that mean
a lot to you.

Sigur R?s: Takk

This album is basically my desert island disk. When I'm happy, it's
uplifting; when I'm sad, it's comforting; when I'm exhausted, it's a
lullaby, and when I'm working, it's perfect background music. I have a
one-hour train commute to work, and there are very few things more
pleasurable than listening to
Takk while the sun comes up on
a frozen winter world. Magical.

Lost In Translation

I never get tired of watching this. The cinematography is gorgeous,
the casting perfect, and the dialogue quietly funny and acutely
observed. So many good lines, and that ending ... almost the perfect
movie.

Microserfs, by
Douglas Coupland

This is actually my husband's favourite book (I honestly couldn't say
whether I have one), but I think it's pretty great too. As well as
being dorky and dryly amusing (a bit like my husband, oddly enough),
there's a really sweet aspect to it, and I love the motif of personal
growth and forming a creative team with other like-minded individuals.
Coupland seems to have been publishing variations on the same novel
over and over again for the last decade or two, but this one stands
out for me.

5. Which historical figure would you most like to have been?

Oh, man. That's hard! I'm not crazy about the idea of living in times
past, because I wouldn't have been able to take advantage of modern
advances in dentistry and ophthalmology ? I've enjoyed my share of
both. But okay, let's stick with the question: I'd say someone like
Amelia Earhart, for her spirit of adventure in an era when women were
still supposed to be fragile and decorous, and for her
unapologetically tomboy-like qualities.

6. What is your favourite personal possession and why?

I try quite hard not to get too attached to material things, but I
suppose it would have to be either my big Collins dictionary, which my
mum bought me as a present shortly before I went off to university, or
my violin, also bought by my mum, but when I was rather younger and
just making the transition to a full-size instrument ? it's over 100
years old, and I rather like it, though I don't practice enough. On a
more functional level, I'd have to nominate my G4 PowerBook, to which
I am almost permanently attached. For all my antimaterialistic
aspirations, I will be devastated when it finally gives up the ghost.
We've bonded, you know?

7. If you could be a superhero what powers would you have? How
would you use them?

Well, only for good, obviously ;o)

I'd quite like the ability to show people themselves as they actually
are, rather than how they perceive themselves to be. Often, people
carry around quite negative, judgemental thoughts about themselves,
and I'd like to be able to show them when they are being unduly hard
on themselves. Low self-confidence or self-esteem can be a huge
barrier to success, and I want people to succeed at whatever makes
them happiest.

Of course, powers like that could cut the other way, too: there are
some people out there (though thankfully few) who could really use a
good smack to the head with my reality-stick ;)

(Of course, the more facetious answer to this question is that I'd be
some sort of vigilante who took revenge on all those people who get
off escalators and just stand there. I'm not really sure what
kind of superpower would be most appropriate there: maybe the ability
to give people a clue? ;o)

8. What will be the biggest event of the 21st century?

The moment the internet gets, literally, under our skin, Matrix-style.
Once that happens, everything will have to change. Of course, it's
only going to increase the already-present gap between the haves and
have-nots, which is quite a sobering thought: how do you even get an
interview for a job when all those shortlisted are going to have
implants? Of course, all this might take much longer than the next 92
years ...

9. If tomorrow was your last day on Earth how would spend the day?
And which planet would you go to next?

Hmm. I think I'd go snowboarding in Canada in the morning, have a spot
of lunch in Barcelona, wander through Slovakia's pine-forests in the
afternoon and have dinner and fireworks in Edinburgh. If I thought my
transport was up to it, I'd probably try to sneak in a quick trip to
New Zealand after it got dark here, and squeeze a bit more out of my
day.

As for where to go next: wherever had more gorgeous scenery than
Earth, though that's hard to imagine. Mars might be pretty, albeit
chilly at night. And I'd miss the trees.

10. What will be your epitaph?

While I'd like for it to be something deeply profound, I suspect the
reality will be closer to "Ate too many cookies, then ran around a lot."

Posted by itchymoblog

19th Dec 2008, 06:24   comments (11)