Since the age of 10 I have been hooked on photography and a bit of an aficionado on the subject.
From 1970 I have taken thousands of photographs on numerous cameras - film and digital - in colour or black and white, negative or transparency.
A camera is a camera and pretends to be nothing else.
Lens quality is paramount to taking a good image.
So I have always shunned phone cameras.
I would as readily attempt to make a phone call with my trusty Nikon FM as try taking a photograph with my telephone.
Therefore, it came as a huge surprise to me the other day that I accidentally looked under the camera symbol on my Blackberry to discover hundreds of images.
Not taken by me, I hasten to add, or anyone else, but by Mr Blackberry - without my knowledge.
Most are, I believe, pictures of the inside of my pockets, although a few seem to have shot by the sneaky phone while I trying to make calls.
I have to confess the wee chap has talent.
As you see from this small exhibition of his photography, he is as much a surreal artist as a lensman.
And, considering his lack of experience and dearth of opportunity, his achievement is truly remarkable.
I am going to enter him for the Turner Prize and who's to say he won't win.
More unlikely things have happened.
At least Mr B's art illustrates my first blog posting of 2014 with more originality and verve than anything I have taken over the festive season.
Christmas was good.
On the Day we had a veggie roast and a duck roast with a large variety of vegetables. Very good.
In total I had 10 meals out of that effort, with post-Christmas curry that went on and on.
Boxing Day was beautiful and I cycled to Rottingdean and back.
Between Christmas and New Year I spent some time in Oxford seeing my parents, brothers and their families.
It was all very restful.
I went back to Oxford early in the New Year and also saw my old friends John and Dorothy Butler.
I read the remarkable Berlin Diaries 1940-45 by Marie Vassiltchikov
- one of the most complete and compelling accounts of life in Berlin in the Second World War.
On the recommendation of a friend and colleague, I also read The Genius in My Basement by Alexander Masters
- a extraordinary biography of brilliant mathematician and public transport addict Simon Norton, a kind of tetchy conversation between biographer and subject with group theory for idiots lessons thrown in.
I also read an incredibly poorly written book by a gamekeeper and escaped to re-read The Little World of Don Camillo by Giovanni Guareschi
I am pretty sure I last read it as a teenager more than 30 years ago, and found the same copy in my dad's attic. I enjoyed even more on the second reading.
This past week my nose has been back to the grindstone.
There is always so much to do.
I hope and pray that 2014 will be a successful year and a peaceful one.
My determination is to take a positive outlook and try to put past problems behind me.
Happy New Year, y'all!
Please enjoy Mr Blackberry's pictures.
He is in my pocket as a I write and, for all I know, may be shooting some more.
Labels: Blackberry, Brighton, Giovanni Guareschi, Hove, Marie Vassiltchikov, phone cameras, photography, Simon Norton, surreal art