Selling Out for Views

Recently I’ve been spending time looking into how I can get views. I’ve spent a lot of time putting down my thoughts on this stage of my life, and I want people to see it. My original motivation was to “showcase what I’m doing, to connect with people that have similar ideas, or to help and inspire.” I think I’ve lost my way a little, trying to explore ways to gain more views and in doing so my gut feeling is telling me this isn’t the right path.

I’ve looked into loads of travel bloggers that are making money from their websites, and justifying it to themselves by saying that it’s funding their lifestyle as they get sent to various locations and experience the cultures of the world. Looking into it further, I struggle to get any picture of the person, their journey or anything genuine from them at all. I’m just cleverly deceived into another form of advertising, usually disguised as a young girl travelling the world having a super, awesome, amazing time. I’ve realised that I’m looking at the social media version of travelling, which is heavily filtered.

Reading one person’s guide to travelling blogging, I’ve discovered that most people don’t even use their own pictures. You can just search for professional travel images to use, as long as you stay within the criteria of the copyright terms, you can use a photographers image for free.

The social media virus has such a strong pull, that even I’m almost getting sucked back in. This is a conscious choice. I’m not going on the hunt for views, I don’t want to spend my time travelling in search of Wi-Fi, so that I can comment online and in-turn generate views for my own site. I’m not going to spend my time pinning, hash tagging, commenting, liking or sharing. I’m going to spend my time living.

I would like to make my experience searchable, but that is the extent. Making a true account of my experiences, both good and bad is the goal, and if that results in one view, at least it’s one genuine view.

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Attending an Open air Screening of Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” at the Didam, Bayonne.

My introduction into the world of Sir Alfred Hitchcock. For some reason I had a preconceived idea that his films were cheap slasher type flicks, probably born from bad promo clips of his popular title “Psycho”. Despite a lot of hype, I’ve never felt the need to watch one before.

I think I’ve had my eyes opened. I really enjoyed “Vertigo” (based on a French novel “D’entre des morts”) it’s left me wanting more. It’s quite a testament to think that even compared with modern movies where almost anything is possible, a simple film using very primitive techniques can still captivate a modern audience. 

It’s possibly helped along by almost presenting an alien world to the current generation. Looking back in fascination at the customs of people in the 50’s. The cars, clothes and dialogue all portraying a very proper era when men wore suits, smoked cigarettes and drank whiskey for lunch.

It’s nice to see an era with an identity, but mostly an era where things were done properly, even down to the dress. Now I’m in a hot part of the world, I’m paying more attention to clothing. Not in the sense of what label is stuck to my tee-shirt, but why in the modern world when we have everything, it’s the norm to have generic fitting clothes. From looking at the Hitchcock exhibition before the film, I questioned how he could wear a full suit during his tour of southern France, but I realised that it’s down to the materials and the fit. This made me think about how my own discomfort was mainly through ill fitting clothes, where even in shorts, I’m not comfortable in the heat. An expensive suit used to be tailored to fit you perfectly and made of the correct material to the suit its purpose. Now an expensive suit is a generic fit poly blend with a label, hung next to ten others just like it.

Saying that, I do like the freedom of expression that we all enjoy today. On your average walk through town you will see such a wide variety of people, but I just wish we could wrestle with the throw away culture, and demand better quality. Fortunately some of these traditions still exist. Maybe instead of buying quantity this year, save your pennies and treat yourself to something made just for you, that you can wear for years.

Back to the film… Without giving away any spoilers, there’s controversy over the letter writing scene two thirds of the way through. Hitchcock didn’t want this scene, but was pressured by the cheque books to leave it in. I think I’m with Hitchcock on this one, I would have preferred to have had this revealed at the end instead as I started twitching in my seat after this point (a sign that you’re not completely immersed anymore).

I would have had an alternative ending, as I felt a little let down that it ended in this way, and didn’t feel it really added any chill to the film. There’s an addition to the ending on the DVD, not really an alternative ending. This basically wraps things up a little more nicely for the American market (this also went against Hitchcock’s will).

Nevertheless I enjoyed the film, and it’s definitely worth a watch if you can overlook a little sexism and the fact that if you’re following someone you may like to take more care not to park directly next to them and persistently stare. Even with the cunning disguise of a hat, the chances are that you will be spotted.

For my next Hitchcock film I would like to watch “Rear Window”, as this also stars James Stuart. A great actor of his time, one that I first came to know in “Fievel goes west”, voicing the lazy dog Sheriff – Whylie Burp.

 I can now see how Hitchcock progressed film making, pioneering new techniques to gain suspense, and how he became regarded as one of the most influential directors in cinematic history.

Nice one Fred!

Bastille Day – Bayonne

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Bastille Day, celebrating the start of the French Revolution to stop the monarchy’s 800 year reign of absolute power in France. This gave start to the Republic of France, and then spurred on the military style dictatorship of Napoleon for a further 15 years.

Now celebrated world wide as Bastille Day, known as la Fete Nationale in France.

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When in France…

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…Drink lots of Wine!!

Basically this was a nice arty picture of me, with a picturesque blurry (bokeh) background. I needed a reason to get it in.

There’s a night market (marche nocturne) in Bayonne on the quiet side of the bridge every Friday evening from 18:30. Treat yourself to a bottle of wine and some street food French style.

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According to a local source, this side of the river is about to undergo major redevelopment, but on French timescales this could be tied up in planning for years to come, so until then it’s an amazing riverside spot where you can just let time pass by.

Travel is the Elixir for the soul

This is an old saying that is true for many people, it’s widely believed that through travel you can discover more about yourself and possible become a grounded and all-round better person. I’ve had a lot of time recently to think about what this means to me, and what has ultimately led me down this path.

Fundamentally I place a lot of value in your gut feeling, throughout my life and more intentionally from my early twenties I became more in tune with the idea that you should listen to your gut feeling, stick to what you believe is the truth and work hard at everything you do. If you follow these simple rules everything will work out fine for you, and mostly this had been the case. I had a nice house, and a successful career, and I had worked myself into a comfortable position in life.

This is where another fundamental belief of mine has started to take over. The idea of equilibrium, (natures balance) and in particular my brain trying to save itself. This is quite an extreme way of saying it, but there’s maybe some truth to it. A theory/model that has been developed, called the growth rings, is a good way to explain the kickstart that I’ve subconsciously been working towards.

The basis of this theory is that repetition is the killer of time and growth. It’s commonly said that as soon as you hit certain age milestones like 25, 30, 40 etc your life just begins to accelerate and then you wake up at 60, and think to yourself where did that go? Similar to your daily commute to work, sometimes you can’t even remember driving to work. This is repetition, a state in which your brain goes to sleep, auto-pilot takes over, and time disappears. For some people, this can be your whole working career, as we all like the comfort of a secure job, usually because you have monthly commitments like your mortgage to pay.

I’ve done this for the last ten years, and I think in the last few years my subconscious has been plotting and scheming against my rational brain. I’ve been taking small steps towards the complexity ring (growth rings theory). This is a state where you’re experiencing new things, and you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. There’s more risk in your life, and you’re starting to learn new things and you begin to grow again. Similar to your early years in life, when you think time stands still and you remember each day. Travel is a good method of taking you into this state, and this seems to be the tool that I have subconsciously chosen for myself.

Earlier on in my journey and from the very start in the “about” page, I’ve been talking about these small steps that I’ve been taking. Not really knowing why I’m doing this, but knowing that I have to take this path. Sometimes questioning everything, and wondering if I’m having an early midlife crisis, but realising that I only doubt myself when I compare myself to other people’s situations, and their truth. Everyone has a journey and there are many paths to take, and the path that is right for someone else isn’t necessarily the right path for me.

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So, I find myself back in the complexity ring, and certainly not regretting anything so far. I’ve given myself back the gift of time, and as I continue to grow, I’ve opened myself up to concepts that I would have laughed at before. I’ve been spending more time considering important issues like the environment, and how I want to work towards a more sustainable life. (This is giving me a little turmoil in my head as I love engines and specifically motorbikes). Also stripping back the filters that are imposed on us every day. Social conditioning, that forces us to think a certain way, and leads us to conclusions like this is right and that is wrong. Maybe there is no right and wrong, there’s just an outcome that has been created through conditioning and applying filters. I’ve started to search for the tools to discover my truth.

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To be continued……..

 

Ps I think I’m getting closer to my yellow van!