Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Filling a Brief & Book Review

May MSH 08 Mosaic
All these links are to flickr. "mine" shows you mine of course, and "everyone's" shows those with the same tag as the topic as a set. Its fun to watch a set as a slideshow. 1. yellow swing (mine and everyone's), 2. dust (mine and everyone's), 3. garden tools (mineeveryone's), 4. mountain (mine and everyone's), 5. ice cold glass of milk (mine and everyone's), 6. trail mix (mine and everyone's), 7. garden gnome (mine and everyone's), 8. headache (mine and everyone's), 9. heavy fog (mine and everyone's), 10. scared (mine and everyone's), 11. fork (mine and everyone's), 12. bird (mine and everyone's), 13. fruity flavor (mine and everyone's), 14. station (mine and everyone's), 15. an unlikely duo (mine and everyone's), 16. roadside stand (mine and everyone's), 17. traditional (mine and everyone's), 18. farmer (mine and everyone's), 19. flattened (mine and everyone's). 20. now, that was refreshing!! (mine and everyone's)

On Flickr there is a group called the Monthly Scavenger Hunt, every month the group admins set a list of 20 things to take photos of and post to the group. Its also got some clever, non-flickr, software called "The Voting Booth" which lets everyone vote anonymously on everyone else's photos - or just some of them if you don't have time to do them all. Its great to see how everyone else has filled the brief.

Rules #4 and #7 are both to Have fun!. Which is helped by the anonymous voting, if you don't like a photo just vote it low and move on. If you do like one you can click on the photo to leave a comment/fave it before voting it high. Only the top 3 of each topic are revealed at the end of the month so no-one has the ignominy of discovering that theirs has been voted worst of class.

The hunt rules allow photos by you or in your personal archive. I usually set myself the additional challenge of taking them all in the month of the hunt, though I let myself off that rule if by this time of the month I haven't got them all... luckily this month I have. I stopped waiting for a heavy fog and took this instead:

Heavy Fog!

I don't currently wear glasses but this is an old pair of mine. I put them in the fridge so they'd fog up when I took them out. I doubt this will be a winner but it was more fun than posting something old - I prefer trying to find a more creative solution - and fun is what the hunt is all about!

Perhaps more worryingly my favourites of other people's this month are in the garden gnome category - this set.

On another subject I've almost finished reading Becoming Drusilla: One Life, Two Friends, Three Genders by Richard Beard. I read Dru's blog upside down in cloud, but first encountered her on flickr.

This book is beautifully written which accounts, at least in part, for why its taken me so long (over 2 weeks) to read; I've been savouring it. Its also one of the most thoughtful books I've ever read. Richard was a good friend of Dru whilst she was still presented as a man. In many ways the book is really more about how Dru's transformation has affected Richard than Dru. How he has had to readjust to one of his apparently most manly friends becoming a woman. And what's more a woman who still likes to do what many consider manly things (fixing cars and talking about war machines). And who now considers herself a lesbian. Richard is very frank about the difficulties he faced in coming to terms with it all. A most refreshing read.

Now a couple of synchronicities:

On the radio I heard the words "Jan Morris" and "travel writer" - I hadn't heard of her before but as, in the book, Richard had mentioned her several times and helpfully pointed out that a Morris Traveler, the kind of car Dru drives, might well be nicknamed Jan in her honour, I noticed her name.

Names were also significant in an episode of Lewis we watched last night. Jim had recorded it in March when I was avoiding fiction (I was doing lots of self-hypnosis and wanted to avoid other people's suggestions). This episode was called "Life Born of Fire" and the solution (its a detective story) revolved around names and working out that Zoë means "life" and Kenneth means "born of fire". And of course Zoë turns out to have previously been a man.

I'm very glad I was actually born a woman and am happy with it, the idea of going through the sort of challenges Dru has had to face do not appeal to me at all! Its a very physical transformation requiring hormones and surgery. The part that I find oddest though is the need to dress as a woman to convince the doctors of one's seriousness. Most of my clothes are unisex! And though I do love to be able to wear a dress when its hot I've spent many summers in shorts and vests when I was thinner... And having had tolerance problems with putting makeup on my skin I wear very little despite the improvement it makes to my appearance... All this makes me all the more grateful that I was born into a female body.


Anonymous said...

I see lots of unusual birds in your photos Caroline BWARK!

Caroline said...

Jack - I'm so glad you are back! And yes, well spotted, I purposefully included as many birds as I could this time - even the out of focus object behind the fogged up glasses is a soft toy turkey!

Anonymous said...

I see the turkey! Even with my glasses fogged ;)

Caroline said...

Anonymous - there would have been some guinea fowl too, having a dust bath, but they didn't come out properly...

Anonymous said...

Such a creative scavenger hunt! Love the photos - the yellow bird is my favorite - though the foggy glasses are very clever too.
Hope you win!

Caroline said...

Tinker - thank you. I'm not in it for the winning but its a kind thought!

Joanna said...

I love the scavenger hunt idea, and the photographs! Love the fog and always your creative thinking whatever you are doing. What an interesting story, I was always quite a boyish looking girl, and went through a phase where I thought maybe i wanted to be a boy, but this was simply a teenage thing stimulated by a feeling of not being a 'proper' woman, I think with age I have finally grown into myself, whoever I am!

Caroline said...

Jo - that's a great way to put it that you've grown into yourself - whoever you are!

My mother wanted me to be more of a tom boy than I was... I'm wondering if that is what all these synchronicities are about for me... the undoing of conditioning...