I love to write. The act of stitching words together to create order out of the often chaotic thoughts in my head really helps my mind to focus and extricate itself from my immediate surroundings. But recently I began to notice that it was no longer quite enough. I started to wonder whether I needed to find another creative outlet that might help me take a more extrinsic look at the world around me. I suppose I’d grown a little tired with being so inside my own mind.

Understanding that writing was beginning to have its limits, I picked up my camera and went out looking for a new focus. After sixteen years of saying that I was going to ‘take a photography course soon’, I finally signed up and did it last week.

It’s wonderful to step out of your comfort zone and try new things. I think it’s all too easy to live life with your eyes shut but, sometimes, when you open them up fully, you see things all around you that you never even knew were there.

Over the last two weekends, I’ve been learning to master a camera with more buttons than a Christmas pantomime. I’ve been entirely immersed in light, space, speed and colour. I’ve been challenged to look at things and look again. A mind that I thought was growing stale and set in its ways has been entirely stimulated. But most significantly, I’ve felt real joy in living – and documenting – life entirely in the moment.

This blog is broadly about wellbeing. I set out to try new things and learn as much as I could about what makes my soul happy and my mind calm. These days it’s easy to get trapped by somewhat cliched notions of relaxation and escape from the stresses of everyday life – a day at a spa, for example – but really we can all choose our own routes to mindful practice.

While shooting around London last week, I discovered that my usually hectic mind was entirely capable of stillness and concentration. Frustrated by the imbalance of life before the course, I felt completely rejuvenated by the end. I’ve learned something new and I’m seeing the world differently after all these years. Everything around me seems more beautiful or striking, even when I’m taking pictures of graffiti, rubbish or abandoned luggage in supermarket trollies watched over by black cats.

As someone I admire greatly taught me in summer this year, ‘It’s all about seeing the shine and not the shit.’ What a wonderful way to view life.


  1. Brilliant, hopefully we may get to see some of your work. I would love to write so maybe you can share some skills with me on that one. xx


  2. I am happy for you Ben that you seem to have found something that makes you happy.
    Like you say, currently our world can rob us of enjoying the beauty that surrounds us because of all depressing events. I am sure this new blog is going to be refreshing I look forward to more very well thought out posts. All the best in your new found interest.


  3. I love this. There is often staggering beauty around us that we totally miss. Not just because most of us are so busy but because to truly appreciate beauty we have to stop *thinking* too much. I’ve found I have to stop the “history chatter” and the “what if chatter” – avoiding past and future storytelling. Suddenly there’s this huge space – the present moment! And it’s as if peace and calm floods in like a wave. Truly mindfulness at its simplest and most energising


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s