Bartering – ‘doing my stint’ – more on deer – black and white photographs – diary writing

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Wednesday 28 September 1664

.. he would needs carry me and another Scotch Lord to a play, and so we saw, coming late, part of “The Generall,” my Lord Orrery’s (Broghill) second play; but, Lord! to see how no more either in words, sense, or design, it is to his “Harry the 5th” is not imaginable, and so poorly acted, though in finer clothes, is strange. And here I must confess breach of a vowe in appearance, but I not desiring it, but against my will, and my oathe being to go neither at my own charge nor at another’s, as I had done by becoming liable to give them another, as I am to Sir W. Pen and Mr. Creed; but here I neither know which of them paid for me, nor, if I did, am I obliged ever to return the like, or did it by desire or with any willingness.

Pepys has a very good sense of fair play which has probably stood him in  good stead throughout his business and social and certainly his trading life. I keep a note of who has done what for me and it goes into the pot of goodwill should they require anything from me. In my personal work with people I have a good instinct for those who are unselfish and who have given lots of time and energy to others with little or no payment. To these people I am happy to give my own service without stint* and without payment. When people ask I tell them that it is the universe’s way of thanking them for their efforts.

  • Stint is a lovely word that I do not often hear. It is from Middle English stinten, and Old English styntan, to make blunt, dull. It is cognate (related to)  with Old Norse stytta, to shorten.
    The verb ‘to stint’ means to supply a very ungenerous or inadequate amount of something. Also, we can use the word to describe a fixed period of work “I did my stint as a washer up”. As in the above  example “I indulge my fascination for antiques without stint” (or without stinting myself)

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I shall be writing to the lady who asked me to do gardening. It is a wild space on a slope next to a forest which has been inhabited by nature for millennia. In order to tame it and use it for cultivatory purposes, continual attention is required. Keeping off deer requires structures of considerable strength and height, the more so because deer jump over obstacles if they see a tasty mortal. We must also not forget rabbits, who love leaves but have a custom of burrowing (though they may jump) so you need quite a fortress to construct something in this environment. There is a question whether it would adversely affect the appearance of the area.

According to a source in Google “One of the most hunted animals in the country, white-tailed deer will eat almost any plant including saplings, shrubs, grass, fruits, nuts and leaves. Because of their size and makeup, deer feed on plants close to the ground, making blueberry bushes an ideal food.

The prognosis on my offer of help is not good. Unless we barricade the garden area there will not be much left after the deer have had their feed.

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I have always been fascinated by black and white photography. I feel that colour does the work of imagination for you. While we are on this retro theme, I note that a new TV channel has opened called ‘Talking Pictures (343 Sky) where they show 24/7 classic old films most of which are black and white. What a lovely way to pass a winter evening or any evening come to that.

I also noted that there is an exhibition coming up at the National Museum Cardiff entitled “Swaps: Photographs from the David Hurn Collection

This exhibition celebrates the major gift of photographs from David Hurn’s private collection and marks the opening of Amgueddfa Cymru’s first gallery dedicated to photography.

come and see more at the Museum of Wales

Throughout his career as a documentary photographer and member of Magnum Photos, Hurn has been an avid collector of photography. Remarkably, he has amassed his private collection by swapping works with other photographers.

The collection comprises approximately 700 photographs by leading 20th and 21st century photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Eve Arnold, Sergio Larrain, Bill Brandt, Martine Franck, Bruce Davidson and Martin Parr, through to emerging photographers such as Bieke Depoorter, Clementine Schneidermann, and Newsha Tavakolian.

The exhibition presents a selection of works that reflect on Hurn’s own career and influences, his eye for a good photograph and the friendships he has developed with photographers along the way.

It is on until March 2018 so what more ideal excuse is there to go and view the best of the best.

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I had the idea today of starting a diary group for those who are writing diaries or have written them. It would be fascinating to hear fresh first hand accounts of personal experiences of the war, of childhood, of anything with personal significance. With the coming of instant fame and instant reproduction I do feel the significance has gone out of our own history and growth. It should be taken seriously as should each and every individual with a combination of characteristics unique on the planet.

There are at least 638 primary personality traits so if they are present in us in varying degrees the number of combinations would easily exceed the number of people on the planet. Everyone therefore will write a unique diary. No one will even approach the way we look at things. Is that not a bit exciting? That is why MASS stimulus including ‘entertainment’ is so damaging to this feeling of uniqueness and is the only way to control our minds. <cough>

Once again – WE ARE ALL UNIQUE. Got the idea?

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This evening we watched two programmes on the Community Channel. The first one was about the history of boat building on the Thames with emphasis on Eel Pie Island and Richmond itself. The second was on the history of London buses. Both programmes had one thing in common. They were filled in their entity by witness statements from either the boatman or the bus drivers and conductors. No sudden scene changing, no gimmicks, no sudden music just good old conversations telling a story. So refreshing. We shall spend more time with this channel. I call it “The Real People” channel.

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