PS - Diesel is Ģ1.22 a litre now.
I saw on Sky News a day or so ago that by 2010 they suggest oil at 200 dollars a barrel.
This week we went to place an order on a new set of wheels; by the end of the week we had cancelled the option, discovering that the pound/euro equation had swung at least 15% against us.
Tourism and property are the biggest sources of revenue this part of the world has got; both are falling fast and the sometime joke of the two Brits buying one can of Coke and two straws has gone sour as those same Brits are unable to buy the straw, never mind the Coke. Todayīs Sunday Times runs a story on the problems facing many buyers of holiday homes out here - as president of a small community of owners I can vouch for the difficulties some people face keeping up with the rise in the and/or the fall of the pound. Even BMW is having a rough ride on the stock market and it seems Porsche has dropped sales by either 40 or 60 percent, I forget which, but telling all the same. But thatīs the problem with contracts: you tie different nations together under the armlock of a single currency and they lose the ability to take responsibility for the value of their own because thatīs gone, replaced by an invention, the camel created by the committee designing the horse.
It might well be that the gloom surrounding everything has discoloured my vision of my books, but nonetheless, I took much bitter-sweet pleasure again last night reading a few pages of my Jeanloup Sieff tome to which I made reference in the OP; as the copy I have is in three languages, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, I sometimes have to leap nimbly from the Spanish to the Italian or the other way around in order to make sure that the nuances are not lost to me by less than perfect reading (of course, whoever did the translations could be off too, as some passages suggest to me) and one of the things that gives me great joy is his deconstruction/destruction of the self-created, self-invented authority of the art curator and critic; itīs well worth the high purchase cost just for those magical few lines on the topic!
The sadnes comes from the huge sense of loss that his departure from this world placed upon my soul, not helped by the fact that the book entered my life after his death and that all of it, the anecdotes of who, where and when, the for whom and with what intent much of the work was done, can not be seen anymore as a sort of slowing down, retrospective take on his working life but as an obituary. It is a different animal indeed! But his words, the intelligence behind the writing, the incisive, unshrinking take on the world of photography combined with a delightful modesty, and the photographs, of course, still make the reading a pleasure.
(We had toyed with the idea of buying a new, contemporary-style set to replace the venerable Sony Trinitron; a fresh take on whatīs actually available out in the ether has put that notion safely away in the waste bin. Kind of makes me think of what might sometimes happen to us in photography: we spend a fortune on new equipment just to make the same old picture, time and time again.)
Sam Haskins was always an influence on my photographic ideas and I was thrilled when I first clapped eyes on Five Girls; of course, I couldnīt afford to buy it then and had the local library order it for my perusal. They were not all that happy when it arrived, but I enjoyed it a great deal. Then Cowboy Kate came along and they got me that one too as I still found such expenditure a bit too much. A year or so ago, Cowboy was re-published with some additional material added and I bought it then. Certainly shows what skilled hands could do pre-PS, but I think I would have been happier if they had re-released Five Girls instead - my distant memory of it is possibly flawed, but it might have been less contrived, in a way, which is how I like my girl photography. Trouble with Cowboy is not the pics, but that I canīt find much of the written story in the photographs; perhaps it might have been better to leave it as a set of images vaguely connected to western paraphernalia. This doesnīt spoil the pics, just my concentration which tends to wander off looking for what I feel Iīve missed in the pics that Iīve found in the narrative... confusing.
Oh well, my take on my David Hamiltonīs 25 Years of an Artist has dulled somewhat too. From what I took to be his first book, Dreams of Young Girls (also obtained via the reluctant public library source) I developed a huge liking for his style of photography, his technique. So, again many years later, I bought the 25 book and from the initial great pleasure of ownership my mind has gone somewhat the other way, in that I have to admit to bowdlerising my copy by the skilled use of a very sharp blade. Worse, Hamiltonīs own words seem to do him no favours at all, putting the intent of his oeuvre onto the wrong side of doubtful, at least to my mind.
Dear oh dear, why do these people mess with our heads?