This addiction of mine

Coffee time! P1030334

Rarely do I know beforehand what I’m going to blog about. Admittedly there are occasions when I’ll have something in mind. The day before. Sometimes the week before. And sometimes even longer. But they’re definitely the exception rather than the rule.

Generally I’ll post something in response to some event or escapade that has occurred earlier that day. Or maybe, in the case of the longer posts, a day or two after a given happening. So of course it figures that I can’t anticipate before the happening what I’ll be saying. Pretty much par for the course really then. Not knowing what I’m going to say before I’ve said it sorta thing. Sometimes though I do wish I could stop my mouth running off before the brain gets into gear.

However, this off-the-cuff approach is completely consistent with the blog’s originally intended format… anecdotal and mostly rambling accounts of mundane photography-related doings and the various mishaps that seem to befall me on a worryingly frequent basis. Interspersed with the odd serious moment when I’m in reflective mood (and some of them are very odd!).
I tend to look on the whole thing much more as a series of conversations rather than a bit of writing and, like conversations, it often wanders fairly aimlessly all over the place.

And if, along the way, any budding photographers who happen to chance by take heart from my catalogue of apparently never-ending screw-ups and general cluelessness, and realise they’re not alone in their believed ineptitude, then so much the better. Cos I reckon that sort of revelation does as much to boost a person’s self-confidence as any amount of meaningless and oftentimes insincere pats on the back.

So, photography-related doings and mishaps… liberally spiced with a load of other trivia that I seem to be able to dredge up from heaven knows where. I’m beginning to suspect I have an endless supply of it. Oh dear.

As an aside, given all this totally inconsequential content its a source of constant amazement to me that the blog appears to have acquired a band (albeit small) of seemingly loyal followers. Amazement and not a little delight.
I still can’t quite figure out what the attraction is, but hey, I’m not knocking it and I love the idea of having these virtual chats with other real live people rather than just mumbling away to myself. I do more than enough of that as it is.

There’s something else I don’t know beforehand either (and not rarely this time, but ever). And that’s how I’m going to react to comments. Indeed, I couldn’t could I? Not until a comment’s been made.

I certainly try to respond to most comments (hell, that’s only polite isn’t it?) unless they don’t seem to merit a response. And that response can be anything from one or two words of acknowledgement to much lengthier and more considered replies. Or the occasional bit of banter (er… rather more than occasional I suspect). All depends really. On what seems appropriate, or on what occurs to me, or on what mood I’m in, or even something as simple as the time I have available.
But sometimes, I have to confess, I miss some comments completely.

Notwithstanding my replying (or not, as the case may be) its not been totally unknown for a comment to spark off another, brand new, post!
(Good grief… finally I’m getting to the point of this present post wouldya believe.)

Which in turn may well prompt another little photo session. In fact, its getting to the stage now where I’m not sure whether the pic-taking is fuelling the blog (that being the way it was originally) or the blog’s fuelling the pic-taking. Or perhaps I’ve finally achieved the ideal… the two activities have become totally complementary and neither now takes precedent. A sort of symbiotic relationship almost, one might say.

(Hey, take note of that… I used a fancy word there! “Symbiotic”! Hmm. Best go and look up what it means now I s’pose.)

Anyway, the seeds of this post were sown the other day, by another one. That post I knocked out about how I came to almost inadvertently take a load of pics of curtains and stuff.
It attracted a comment from (presumably) a one-time visitor to the blog who’d picked up on the fact that I’d referred to coffee. Not too sure precisely how that happened but then, the ways of WordPress are sometimes mighty strange.

I have to say (well, I don’t have to but I will) it struck me as a little bit curious cos I was only using the anecdote about the coffee as a frame for the real tale that was of course all about (surprise surprise) pic-taking. Well, it would be wouldn’t it? Given that this is a photo-related blog. Though I think the commenter must have missed that completely. Can’t imagine how. I think they also probl’y missed the fairly significant vein of light-heartedness that runs through the blog. Can’t really understand that either, cos the title’s a sort of clue y’see.

Which is not to say of course that the coffee anecdote was an invention. Oh no. Like all the accounts of mishaps and general cock-ups that festoon these pages, it happened exactly as related.

And why should I complain if someone inspects the frame rather than looking at the picture so to speak.

Thing is though, and something the commenter had no way of knowing, I’ve had in mind for quite some time to take a series of pics celebrating my second favourite brew… instant coffee! Particularly seein’ as how this addiction of mine seems to get mentioned a fair old bit in various posts on this ‘ere blog. Its just that somehow I never seemed to get around to it.

Well, that comment gave me just the kick up the arse I needed and this evening, all housekeeping chores done (all two of ’em… the rest can bloody well wait ’til next year or decade or something) I spent a good couple of hours having a whale of a time shooting a load of coffee pics.
I’m not certain one’s supposed to drink the subject of one’s pics, leastways not whilst taking them, but when have I ever worried about little details like that? And its certainly not an unprecedented thing for me to do. Though on former occasions I do believe it was something rather stronger than coffee.
Better yet, out of this couple of hours of fun I ended up with a half-dozen acceptable piccies that I’m now pleased to share with you, my loyal and valued cyberfriends.

Please do enjoy. Though I’m not entirely convinced this is the sort of consequence my “coffee sensitised visitor” was intending.

Ho hum.

Coffee time! _G102961

Coffee time! _G102988

The moral of the story being of course, whilst I haven’t a clue how I’m going to react to any particular comment… neither has the person commenting. Heh heh.

And a little footnote. A while back a mate of mine happened to mention that jars of instant coffee don’t actually have the word “coffee” on them. That’s to say, they don’t represent themselves as coffee… not as such. Well, I think that’s what he said, if I understood him correctly.

Now I wasn’t wholly convinced by this but wasn’t prepared to debate it cos, truth to tell, I didn’t actually know. Its not something I’ve ever particularly paid attention to. I just assumed that jars of instant coffee would have the word “coffee” on them, indicating that they are indeed a form of, or derivative of, “real” coffee.

Well sorry matey… but yer wrong!!! Check this out…

Coffee time! _G102966

And that’ll be another heh heh. Always assuming I understood him correctly of course.
So now I think I’ll just go and…

Coffee time! _G102993

About fotdmike

Occasional photographer; occasional writer/blogger; occasional activist; occasional computer-geek. Bit of a fool really.
This entry was posted in Photography Chat, Stuff and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to This addiction of mine

  1. David says:

    Hey, as the said mate who you quote, I didn’t say that jars of instant rubbish don’t say coffe, just that they don’t print it on the front, it is usually located on the back in some form or another but not prominant enough to cause offence to REAL COFFEE drinkers, like ME!

    I came across this wonderful quote the other day:
    In this age, which believes that there is a short cut to everything, the greatest lesson to be learned is that the most difficult way is, in the long run, the best.” Henry Miller.
    Whoever Henry Miller is he has a lot of wisdom there and I am sure this quote was intended to apply primarily to coffee.

    Mind you, even Starbucks are getting in on the discusting ‘instant’ fad, they recon that they have produced an instant that tastes as good as a real coffee, I doubt it!

    By all means drink Instant but don’t dare to refer to it as ‘coffee’ because as I said before not even the manufacturers are dumb enough to label the stuff clearly as ‘coffee’ they are so ashamed to call it coffee that they have to tuck the word onto the back of the jar where it doesn’t have prominance or pride of place.

    OH, what is a confirmed ‘instant’ drinker doing with real coffee beans around the house? do you make your own instant granuals?

    It is good to see though that you buy fair trade stuff, I always buy fair trade, so we do share something in common.

    • fotdmike says:

      Aha… I thought you’d try and wriggle out of it somehow, which is why I added that qualification about possibly misunderstanding. Ain’t as green as I’m cabbage-looking y’know. Heh heh.

      Anyway, that’s still not right cos I’ve now discovered a jar with the word “coffee” clearly printed on the front label. Which means I s’pose that I’m now gonna have to buy a jar of the stuff just to take a picture as… er… proof.

      And the point is of course, whether the word appears on the front, back, or even inside the lid, if it appears anywhere on the jar it is being represented as some form of coffee.

      🙂

      As for the coffee beans, well, I bought those specially for the pic. Guess where they ended up? (And no, they weren’t ground up so I could make coffee with ’em. Perish the thought. Yucch!)

    • fotdmike says:

      Oh… I just had another thought (dunno why I didn’t pick up on this one straighaway really, cos its one of my fave soapboxes!). I reckon too many people get far too offended over too much stuff nowadays. Stuff moreover that in the grand scheme of things is really quite inconsequential.

      I blame it all on the political correctness crowd meself.

      Heh heh

      😉

  2. David says:

    Well, the fact that you managed to ‘discover’ a jar with the word coffee printed on the front is clear evidence to me that this is a rarity indeed, as you will have noticed in your efforts to prove me wrong.
    YThe point about it not saying on the front is that even the manufacturers don’t have enough pride in their product to label it clearly on the front, they are likelly ashamed of the product itself or scared of a potential law suit over mis-selling.
    As for where the Beans ended up I hope they are sat waiting for our next photo session when you will give them to me for consumption of course.

    • fotdmike says:

      David :

      Well, the fact that you managed to ‘discover’ a jar with the word coffee printed on the front is clear evidence to me that this is a rarity indeed, as you will have noticed in your efforts to prove me wrong.

      It didn’t really require too much effort to find, it just happened to be one that sort of jumped out at me. But now we’ve chatted about it a bit and I’m more clear on what you’re saying I’m of a mind to do a bit more research.
      😉

      As for the beans… er… well, that’s not quite what’s happened to ’em. Oops!

  3. David says:

    OH having gone back and read the comments from the other person who commented on the coffee, I can vouch for the Kenya Story, I have a friend who goes out there occasionally, to do work with a church group we are related to, and he says the same, they have Nescafe everywhere, you see I am braver than the other contributor and will NAME and shame the company, but it is more expensive than the proper beans, and in my view one of the worst tasting instants available, but it has been marketed so cleverly as the ‘western drink’ which is why they buy it.

    • fotdmike says:

      Ah, now the ethics of the coffee trade is another matter entirely, and just one more example of already financially disadvantaged people held in thrall to the transnationals.
      (Which, incidentally, is why I try to buy fair trade products whenever I can… and not just coffee.)
      I’m rather pleased you’ve mentioned the name of the company though cos it means I can now link to a bit more info on it that some folk may find quite interesting…
      http://www.babymilkaction.org/index.html
      There’s also some interesting info to be found on this site (just do a search on Nestle)…
      http://www.knowmore.org/

      Pity the original commenter hadn’t thought to name them.

      However, the ethics (or lack of them) in the coffee trade has little to do with whether someone prefers the taste of “real” or “instant”, and that preference doesn’t necessarily indicate that someone’s been hoodwinked by marketing hype.
      Its worth considering the possibility that some people simply prefer the taste of instant coffee simply because they… er… like it.
      I know I certainly do and (whilst not daring to speak for the “majority” or even “most” cos I don’t have the data to hand) quite a few of my mates also prefer the taste.
      In my own particular case, if instant coffee had never been marketed then I doubt if I’d ever buy coffee at all. And that’d be of absolutely no help to the coffee growers whatsoever!

      • David says:

        Perhaps your other contributor was scared of a law suit? Not something that would put me, or you, off naming and shaming such an unscrupulous company, those articles you flag up, along with the one to do with Coffee, are just some of the reasons why I refuse to buy their products, not just their coffee.
        Mind you, this blog post is beginning to sound more like it belongs on an activist blog rather than a photography one! Which I guess is what your ‘mate’ fork boy is on about!
        But hey whatever gives.
        And I don’t mind the fact that you like/drink the inferior rubbish that is called Instant Coffee, to me they are definatelly 2 very different drinks, just dont expect me to drink and enjoy it, I will drink it when its all that is on offer but if you come to my house you wont find instant availble.

        • fotdmike says:

          In reverse order then… that’s how it works for me too. I’m fine with others drinking the “real” stuff, just that I don’t care for it. But if nowt of my fave’s available when I’m out and about then I’ll have a mug or two of it without too much fuss. But folk that visit me have a straight choice… instant or tea (of which, curiously, I have multiple varieties). Its not really a big deal and certainly wouldn’t have attracted this much attention here had it not been for that original commenter. So I s’pose in a way that commenter has actually achieved something quite positive… if inadvertent.

          Yeah, you’re right of course. Sometimes this blog does tend to have hints of activism about it. Hardly surprising though, given that’s how I spend a helluva lot of my time, and indeed was my “route” into photography in the first place.
          Though I do try to keep this particular blog distanced from that somewhat, and have a far more lighthearted tone here. Different purpose entirely y’see.

          I suspect the commenter was far less concerned about any possible lawsuit than simply having a bit of a go at me. A suspicion fuelled by the very first sentence of the comment, possibly provoked by having taken offence at my having the temerity to mention on my own blog that I happen to prefer instant coffee to ground coffee. Oops.
          Bit of a foolish thing to do though, given that this person clearly has no idea of my background or “other activities”. But hey, it all adds richness to the content.

          And I thoroughly enjoyed doing those coffee pics.

          😉

  4. forkboy says:

    Well any poor soul who swoops in and catches a single posting on this site is surely going to be confused. This is a site where one must truly appreciate the trees to figure out they are in a forest!

    😉

    But I’d like to address a particular point you make where you write I still can’t quite figure out what the attraction is, but hey, I’m not knocking it…. regarding those dedicated folks, such as myself, who drop by and read your various tomes. I can give you two reasons: (1) they are well written in that they are funny, poignant, and sincere, and (2) they compliment your photography.

    I believe you are quite right in that the two now feed off each other in something akin to a feedback loop. And I for one think this is a very good thing.

    Now please don’t get all misty eyed over my unusually complimentary statements here. I know it’s out of the ordinary and quite unsettling, but I will be back to my usual self in no time I’m certain.

    • fotdmike says:

      I can’t quite make up my mind whether that first para is a compliment disguised as an insult or an insult disguised as a compliment. But knowing its source I think I’ll err on the safe side and assume the latter.

      But then you go and blow it all with what you say next. I’m not sure I can handle it.
      😉

      Seriously though, those are some truly thoughtful observations, and much appreciated. Thanks.
      🙂

  5. forkboy says:

    You’re welcome.

    But knowing you and how you know me I’m certain you’ll be wondering whether I’m jerking your chain.

    Dont’ we just have the best of time in comments?!

  6. Pingback: Some days are just plain not | Adventures of an Idiot – occasional ramblings of a photography freak

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