Hey reader, I hope you’re doing alright. I’ve had a pretty tough and unpleasant week, dealing with a personal crisis that I’m not particularly well equipped to handle, owing to… I don’t know, OCD? Control issues? Mild autism? Vestigial childhood hang ups?

Life comes at you fast: a couple of days ago I made a crack about how everyone seemed to be in therapy but me, and by the end of the week I was ready to seek professional help. In the grand scheme of things, the problem is/was minor; it just happened to stray into a zone beyond my tolerance — youngers would call it being triggered.

Talking to several people certainly helped: some who’ve been in a similar situation, others who I know have the same issue on occasion. Maybe I’ll embark on some longer plan of action to reduce my anxiety around this topic, but I’m doing better for the moment.

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Photo from my lowly CL

I mentioned Rosalynn Tay’s images at the Leica exhibition, A Celebration of Photography, last week. On Thursday we made it down again to hear her presentation about how she works. Amazingly, she only started taking photos eight years ago, when she decided to do it seriously and was recommended by a friend to walk into a Leica store and ask for an M camera with a 35mm Summilux as her first camera. I was stunned by the privilege, of course, imagine starting with an M and learning the craft on that. But nice work if you can get it, and if you get it, it shows real dedication to learning the physics and mechanics of photography!

She then admitted that she left the camera aside for the first two months, too intimidated to use it. Until she signed up for an introductory course offered by the store, which I used to find a strange service: why would new Leica buyers need to be taught photography basics? Surely all of them had already cut their teeth on lesser cameras and were now upgrading to the gold standard? And then I understood Leica’s customer base to be somewhat similar to any luxury performance brand. Not every Lambo buyer actually makes the most of them.

But not her, in any case. After that false start, she put in the time and curiosity and now has an incredible professional body of work to show for it.

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Oh and we got this year’s Christmas tree! Some years we end up with trees that don’t smell particularly piney but this one has filled the place with a lovely scent already. Cubie seems to like chewing at its leaves so I’ve gotta watch out for that. One more worry on the pile.

Not a lot of music listening but I discovered dvsn’s new album Working On My Karma and it’s modern R&B I actually want to listen to for a second time. It’s on the OVO label if that helps convince you.

I didn’t buy any new gadgets on Black Friday but got quite a few Switch games on sale, including Persona 5 Royal. I never finished the original version on PS4, but perhaps I might now? (Who am I kidding)

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