Things

71M+Ou8rssL._SL1500_A thing is not a thing until we call it a thing. The thing then becomes a thing but only in the context of how we’ve learnt to see things. Does that mean there is nothing before a thing is called a thing? Are there such things as pre-existing things? In my thinking yes, but these things are, only what they are, because of what we think they are.

Here’s a tweet from my former tutor, Ken Gergen on this very thing, “One cannot describe something for what it is, because there is no ‘thing’ before the act of describing. Why not describe in hopes of what something can become?”

The social construction of age and ageing…

These two dogs, Panda and Cassidy are about 11 years old. That makes them 60 in people years. Tried as I did, I couldn’t help thinking, talking and treating them as puppies. Found myself reflecting afterwards, what does this say about the social construction of age and ageing, and the consequences on our thoughts, actions and interactions?

 

 

 

Blackfriars

I visited the offices of the Overseas Development Institute in Blackfriars Road this morning. I took the train from Mill Hill Broadway to Blackfriars Station. Amazingly, its passenger platforms are built literally above the River Thames. The views on either side of the station are stunning.

The name Blackfriars was first used in 1317. It was taken from Dominican monks who moved into their priority here in 1276 and is so called because they wore black.

The modern bridge is known today for being the world’s largest solar-powered bridge. The roof of the bridge is covered with 4,400 photovoltaic panels, providing up to half of the energy for the station.

I brought my new walkabout Fujifilm camera with me and here are some snaps I took along the way. The images were post-processed in Topaz Studio.

If a picture paints a thousand words, then why can’t I paint you?

I took this image in the Old Quarter, Hanoi. As the old adage goes, it paints a thousand words. For me the following come to mind: busy, touristy, colourful, polluted, industry, resilient, familial, noisy, hipster hangout, chic…

But there’s a lot more that can be said that is unseen. I had watched a BBC documentary on the Vietnam war before visiting and couldn’t get the depressing images of the estimated 3 million people who were killed out of my mind. With each conversation, I found myself wondering what effect the catastrophic event that visited the parents and grand-parents had, and continue to have, on the person I was talking to. A devastating event that began with the words “let’s send in a few more advisers”.

Little wonder I was annoyed one evening when I overheard a middle aged American tourist chastising a Vietnamese waiter for bringing her the wrong order. She wouldn’t let up even after this was rectified, apologies given and wrong dish offered for free. She kept on about it with her friends for quite some time. I know, different time, different context.

Nevertheless, words are fateful. They create our social worlds. This happens one conversation at a time. Can’t help wondering what’s was being created between the American lady and the waiter in this seemingly harmless exchange.