Fortune Cookie Fun

I recently bought a copy of the excellent book “642 Things To Write About” by The San Francisco Writers’ Grotto.

Today’s challenge is simple – “Write 10 sayings for fortune cookies”

So that’s what I’m going to do. No fancy photographs today. Just words.

Yes, gentlemen and ladies and gentlemen, today, I shall be a fortune cookie writer!
Here’s a little bit of whimsy to pass the time

“You will find your fortune in a cookie”

“You will receive a tax rebate this week”

“Your noodles were overcooked today – next time, free one”

“Free coin awaits you in phone box”

“Your credit card has been declined – again!”

“The sun shines on your second property in the Cayman Islands”

“This cookie has been left blank on purpose”

“You are our favourite customer”

“A tall, dark, handsome stranger you will meet – go on diet soon!”

“No fortune today – come back tomorrow” 

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Here’s a drawing I made of a plate of fortune cookies.
Magnificent, isn’t it?

(…yes yes, I admit it does look like something drawn by a 4 year-old but aren’t we all?)


Taking Action, Eating Cake

Cakes and biscuits for breakfast.

This how I begin today. Not every day, I tell myself. I sit and tap away at a keyboard, unsure of what this blog is to become.

Does it matter if I write anything today? Are my experiences so unique that they require a global audience?

Yes, and no.

It matters that I write. Simply because activity changes a person. And change is good.

(Much like cake for breakfast)

The above statement takes 5 months to write. And 10 minutes to type out. And 1 minute to read. And 5 seconds to form an opinion.

You know what you have to do.

Just take a step today and see what happens.

(Ta) Da!

Everybody sing along!

Next picture in 3…2…1…

20180814 Austria Trip L1058640 Vienna MUMOK Da resized

Tuesday afternoon, summer.

Oh Vienna! Today is not going according to plan. The sun hides behind the grey overcast skies. The rain falls lightly, making everything damp. I hold my bag with one hand and an umbrella with the other. And my camera? It’s in the other hand – yes the one grappling with the bag.

It takes nearly half an hour before I conclude that my efforts will be better applied in an indoor setting. The weather report suggests the rain will subside.

Several hours later, I have now made my way across the city, from Belvedere Palace to the Museum Quartier. On foot. The rain has stopped, the sun seems to giggle as it shines intermittently through the clouds.

I climb the stairs and enter the imposing stone clad building that houses the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien (Museum of Modern Art Foundation Ludwig, Vienna), more simply known as MUMOK.

MUMOK, with its sprawling collection of modern and contemporary art works including major works from Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso, is my playground for the next two hours.

Oh yes!

A friendly member of staff inspects my ticket and suggests that I should ride the elevator/lift to the top floor and work my way down through the various exhibitions.

Modern art is fascinating.
It follows no rules.

(Except, of course, the rules that it chooses to make up along the way)

It is best absorbed – and even enjoyed – by adopting a state of mind that is open and free from preconceptions, expectations and notions. One must suspend judgement and embrace nothing and everything, leaving reason behind.

I am greeted by Heinrich Dunst’s giant pink letterforms in the corner.


I hear the sound echo through the chambers of my mind – confident, unabashed, unapologetic, defiant.

(Look at the image again and you might understand what I mean)

Simply marvellous!

I stand there for nearly a minute before I bring the camera to my eye, adjust for the lower light levels, set to f/2.4, 1/125, ISO-1000.

And soon it is time to leave.

Back in London, I change the white balance, re-frame the image, perform the final composition check and complete post-production editing.

20180929 London L1058640 layout guidelines

The image itself provides its title.

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Rust and Stardust

Right, we know the drill.

Next picture in …3…2…1…

20180630 London L1055905 Rust And Stardust resized

It is evening. The summer sun is beginning to dip below the horizon. I hold my camera lightly as I walk along the streets near Paddington. A bridge suspended above the rail tracks, lined with ageing panels. Streaks of rust and cracked paint. Look through viewfinder, set to f/5.6, 1/45s, ISO-800.

Pause, compose, breathe… click!

I take the picture and continue on my journey.

A few months pass. It is late afternoon. The sky is overcast and the chill of the autumn breeze cuts through my coat. I enter the Tate Modern. The elevators glide effortlessly to the fourth floor. Sculpted pieces, hanging paintings, grainy photographs, blaring audio recordings and flickering  video streams – I admire the art in the enclosed spaces.

Look, pause, breathe, reflect.

I see a new way of seeing a scene.

A few hours later, I sit at my desk. It is past my bedtime. The selected image fills the LCD monitor. How does one capture beauty in service and silent decay?

Crop. Edit. Tweak. Save.

I search online for a suitable caption.
The words of a poem might work here.

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