I do prefer being off line, however I do spend a lot of time online. A contradiction I know. It’s too easy when editing some photos to get ‘chatting’ on social media or starting an email ‘conversation’ when really I want to be with that person.
It is easy to get snotty about online life but it’s a balance. There are pleasures and joys and discoveries on line (I spent last night learning about how to load 120 film reels for processing – fantastic – I’m now waiting for the chemicals to arrive so I can do it for real) but it had to be balanced by also having an interesting and stimulating non-digital life.
It’s the festival season here in Edinburgh. I’d hoped to be out of the city for part of the time but that fell through. Instead I’m making the most of home-grown pleasures. I’ve been to a few concerts and plays. And with the improvement in the weather I’ve been going for long walks (currently writing this perched on a wall in Dunbar overlooking the Forth admiring a 3 mastered ship sailing past- alas too far away to take a good photograph).
There are two kinds of walks I realise. There are the ‘being in nature’ kind where ones fevered brow is soothed by nature. The other is a gritty urban adventure walk. This means finding interest in urban archaeology, the exciting discovery of a redundant railway bridge, noting natures return in an unlikely landscape (ducks making a home in a bit of derelict ground not built on due to the collapse in the housing market), spotting the same style of graffiti as seen in another part of the city. Did you know we seem to have some Polish graffiti artists at work here?
The pleasure of the latter kind of walk is that it makes the city, which has become stale and flat, immediately more interesting. Once your idea of a walk is about urban exploration not being in nature the possibilities of places to explore open up immeasurably.