issue/15

Think Different

hello friend

How has your week been? For me it’s been a bit rocky. More on that later. For now I’d just like to say how nice it is to have Star Trek back in my life. I am loving the new Picard series and I loved Disco too. That said, having recently re-watched TNG with my wife I do feel like there is an opening for Star Trek that explores. These new shows are great but there’s no discussion. What is life? If a transporter accidentally clones you who is the real you? Could you make your own personal army? If you are a hologram and you think are you alive or are you responding to programming? 

J. Michael Straczynski once said about Babylon 5 that he didn’t have the answers. He used the show to pose questions to the audience and we should figure it out. I miss that in modern Star Trek. As a kid I was there for the space ships but as I got older I was there for the ideas. I’m even older now and I’m here again for the ideas. Star Trek has always been great at that. 🖖 


photography

The other week I was on a job that involved having a tour of Manchester. It was fascinating to be taken to areas I’ve never been before. I found a new coffee shop but there was no time for coffee so I have a reason to continue exploring. 

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mental health

It has been a rocky week for me. I’ve been working on my portfolio and in order to do so I’ve been looking at other photographers sites for ideas. Comparing yourself to others is an easy way to fall into depression. How can you ever fully understand what they are going through and what it took to get where they are now? You can’t. But you can happily compare yourself to their best bits and never measure up. So in my attempt to improve my website I started drowning in comparing myself to others. 

I managed to claw my way back out of that mindset and get on with the week. However, it happened again. I started thinking about money. I need to make more. How do I make more? I get more clients. How do I get clients if I don’t know what kind of photos I want to do? But I do. Portraits and architecture. Oh but I need more focus than that. Photograph what you love. That’s the key. Photograph things you are passionate about to show others that energy and passion. If you love electronic music then photograph the culture surrounding that. Ok, well I like technology. How do I photograph that culture? I can’t take a camera into a game of Destiny and showing people sat at a computer is boring. So… I dunno. Guess I’m a failure. I can’t photograph what I love and so I can’t make money. 

It’s catastrophising. If this then obviously that. There’s no real logic to this. It’s my brain tricking me. There is an element of truth to it all. It wouldn’t be able to get its hooks into me if there wasn’t. While there’s truth to it there are also holes in it and it is my job to find them.

I’ve been fighting this for over 10 years and I’m not sure it gets easier. I understand the triggers and rabbit holes to avoid. I understand how to get back out if I do fall in but when its a monthly, weekly, daily occurrence it is absolutely exhausting. Maybe this is just the life of a freelancer? It is so easy to be alone with negative thoughts and to fall. 

So how am I today? I’m ok. Sort of. I think what helped was that I have a better understanding of my negative thought patterns. I know where those roads go. I’ve been down them before and I don’t want to go down them again. So I know to stop thinking about those issues, and they are pressing issues but ones I cannot solve by curling up into a ball and trying to think my way out. What I have to do is find something else to do. If I am mentally fit then those issues will hopefully work themselves out. Hopefully. 

Things I have found to help include;

  • Cold shower - “OMG WHY! This is unbearable!” It is. It really is. For a minute or so. After 5 minutes it’s exhilarating. You get out feeling refreshed in a way that no espresso ever managed to achieve. I am apprehensive every time I turn the tap on but I am happy every time I’ve done it. I’ve overcome something I thought I couldn’t do. I’m better for it. 

  • Exercise - I’ve been trying to become a daily runner for about a year now. It’s not possible due to work but when I can I get out there. No headphones. Just me, the prom, the waves and the birds. I go out in any condition and just do it. It’s only 30 minutes. If I feel the urge to give up and walk then its 60 minutes and I won’t stay warm. So I run. Is it a cure? No. I can’t out run my issues. They come with me or they stay at the start / finish line waiting for me to collect them. So how does it help? I think I’m just happy I’ve managed to do something I’ve been trying to do for years now and get out and run most mornings no matter the weather. It’s a little step in the right direction. 

  • Community - This is the big one. The hardest one. In the past few months I’ve joined a running club and a swimming club, sort of. Every Saturday I go for a dip in a lake at 7:40am with a bunch of other people. We laugh and scream. It’s quite an experience. While running never gave me a high I’ve found that this does. The cold really really focuses you like nothing else I’ve done. You have to respect the water and listen to your body. Breathe. Take it slow. Enjoy it. Laugh. Scream if you need to. It’s all good. The best part of it all is the community though. I’ve not been doing this long but I feel like I’ve found a little something missing from my life. In this easily connected world where surely I could join any community specialising in any niche interest I’ve found that what works for me is laughing with others in a 5c lake at 7:40am. 

These are actual real world physical things that I’ve found to have a positive affect on me on a daily / weekly basis. I doubt I’ll ever be cured of depression. It’s a constant fight. What I’m starting to find is that I need the Saturday morning dip to look forward to. I need the run or the swim to make me feel like I’m building a better me. I need the cold shower to remind me that I can do anything if I put my mind to it. I need to be out there in the world in shorts and a t-shirt running into 50 mph wind and torrential rain because I’m happier to defy expectation and what I believe I cannot do. I need that reminder. 

“…shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just gonna live in it, versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it.

I think that’s very important and however you learn that, once you learn it, you’ll want to change life and make it better, cause it’s kind of messed up, in a lot of ways. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”

- Steve Jobs

Think different. 

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Francesca McColl documents the intrepid women who brave England’s wild waters

The Subversive Joy of Cold-Water Swimming | The New Yorker

Swimmers - Alice Zoo


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/pete_carr

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issue/14

Give us a wave.

hello friend

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Sorry friend. No newsletter last week. I was doing a big photography job for multiple clients and the week just got away from me. 

It’s been a while then. How are you? Did you survive Storm Ciara? Are you prepared for Storm Dennis this weekend? I’m hoping it hits just after my dip in the duck pond. That probably sounds odd to a non-local but its what we call the marine lake round here. It’s not a duck sized pond. While it could be quite exhilarating to have a dip in a storm I’ve personally had enough of storms to last me a while. 

photos

We don’t get the same weather as the rest of the UK in New Brighton. When the country is shut down from snow we’re having BBQs. It rarely snows here. Oh but when it snows it snows. You snow? 

What we do get is a good storm. In 1990 we, I say we but I wasn’t living this side of the Wirral then, we got a storm so bad that the lido flooded and had to be knocked down. The entire waterfront area was heavily flooded. I have a vague memory of going down the Eggy Ferry with my mum and watching the waves crash. I was maybe 11 at the time and I have no real memories of New Brighton before I got into photography. From what the neighbours have told me it was a bad storm. Only 1 gate in a row of houses on the prom survived it. 

In 2013 we had a repeat of that. I don’t think it was as devastating but the waterfront area flooded. Morrisons, the hotel, restaurants all had to deal with knee high water levels. I was having a break from social media that month so I had no idea it was happening until after it happened. I saw the aftermath and the power of the waves. It’s not something you mess around with. 

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Pirate ship before the storm.

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Pirate ship after the storm.

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Pirate ship after a rebuild. It has survived every storm since. 


This week we had Storm Ciara. My wife and I enjoy seeing the big waves crashing over the promenade wall. From a safe distance of course. We’re always shocked to see just how close some people get. I guess it’s just a wave at the beach. Bit of seaside fun. You have no respect for it until something goes catastrophically wrong and then its too late. 

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Flashback to 2008 when I was almost too close (see above). These days I’m older and wiser. I know not to get too close. So from a safe place it is fun to watch the waves. They can really get quite high. 

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We went out on the Sunday to see the waves and they were quite big. I was a bit annoyed that we had missed high tide, even though there was torrential rain at that time and I chose to stay inside. Still, I was a bit annoyed given how big the waves were 2 hours after high tide. On Monday I managed to get out just 1 hour after high tide. Big waves. Bigger than the day before. So on Tuesday I went out just before high tide. This was dangerous. 

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The past few days had been a fascination. Look at the big waves crashing against the promenade. Amazing to see. Tuesday at high tide in a storm was flat out life threatening if you misjudged it. I could see where poets and writers from days of yore got their inspiration for the rage of Poseidon from. Building high waves. Even though I’ve been photographing storms here for over 10 years I’d never seen it like this. 

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I was cautious about getting footage but felt safe hanging on to poles and I was wearing waterproof clothes so I was prepared to get my feet wet. I always kept my distance. I was a promenade width away from the waves. The worst thing that would happen is I’d get wet feet. I was fine with that. I could see a group of people up by the pirate ship and considered walking up there. As I started to walk up a big wave flooded the prom. My feet were quite wet by this point even in waterproof socks. So I stopped and decided to turn back. 

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Next thing I knew I was staring into a wall of water. I’m 6ft 5 and out of nowhere there was a wall of water towering over me. I quickly grabbed the railing and held my camera up high. My hat was ripped off my head. My camera gear was soaked and I was dripping head to toe. I managed to see my hat and grab it before the next wave took it out to see and I headed home. I was in good spirits despite what happened. I wasn’t really sure what actually had happened. I was far away from the wall and behind me was quite open. Yet the wave somehow bounced off the ground with such force that it covered me. 

Alternative angle.

You can see roughly what happened in that video. Here’s what could have happened. A photographer turned her back for a moment and a big wave took her out. 

My t-shirt, under my coat, was covered in sand. I hate sand. It gets everywhere. My lenses all made crunchy noises when I turned the focus rings. Sand. Everywhere sand. 

Hours later my shoulder started to hurt. It took me a moment to realise why. I wasn’t just casually holding on to the railing when the wave hit. I was holding on with everything I had just so I didn’t get knocked over. I found a park bench had been ripped out the ground by the same wave so that’s the level of force this wave had. I was very lucky. I saw on the local news that a man had to be rescued from just a bit further up the road. 

That evening I started to really think about the whole situation. I miscalculated and underestimated the river. My camera gear is all in the repair shop. £4,000 worth of gear ruined by one wave. I don’t want to sound overly dramatic but I really felt traumatised. I googled the symptoms of shock just to make sure it wasn’t that bad. Every time I blinked I could see that wall of water. I felt on the verge of a panic attack with each breath. I’ve never experienced anything like that and as simple and basic as it was, just a splash of water, I was very shaken. 

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This week I saw a video of the RNLI going out to save a surfer. A local life guard received an award after risking her life to save a surfer. Huge respect for them. Their sheer strength of character to risk their lives that way is amazing. 


mental health

My mental health took a bit of a nose dive this week. Perhaps understandably after being traumatised by a wave which does sound kind of silly. It wasn’t, at least I don’t think it was a near death experience. It was something though. Something that caused distress. Reflecting on it led me down bad path.

I was annoyed that I had potentially ruined my camera gear. It’s insured but I was still annoyed. £4,000 of camera gear, potentially some actual injury and for what? A photo of a wave that no-one will buy or license because they’re 10 a penny. What the hell was I thinking? I should have been safe inside working on my portfolio update. That was this weeks big job. I shouldn’t have been outside playing with the waves like some HDR Flickr photographer (Hi 2006 me). 

I do architecture and portraits. This silly “documentary” look at New Brighton isn’t going to pay any bills and I’m too afraid of people to get to know anyone in a way that someone like Tom Wood did. So I’m just wasting my damn time when I should be working. 

I was annoyed at myself. I was questioning my decision to photograph the waves. I knew why I was there. It could have been another 2013 or 1990 and I wasn’t about to sit around at home while something big was happening outside my house. I was shocked by what happened and I my mind was racing to darker places. It twisted these ideas and combined them with my portfolio update. I didn’t feel like I had any “WOW” photos from 2019. I’m sure I did but at that time I really felt like 2019 was a wasted opportunity. I should have been doing more and working harder. I’m just not doing as well as others. 

Throw in some fears that I’m still just a computer geek with a camera. That I should be trying to do what I love which is be a computer geek with a camera instead of a real photographer out there in the world. Boom. I’m a hot mess of depression and anxiety. 

I’ve had far worse days. This was just an understandably bad response to external forces. It’s the times when there isn’t an external force that’s the problem. When it’s all internally driven and there’s no escape from it. This I could endure and come back from. I swam. I ran. I can’t say that those activities instantly cured me but it’s better to try. 

I ran with a running group on Wednesday. It’s part of my attempt to regain lost connections. Join real world communities and engage with real people. Being autistic makes it a challenge. Hell, running and talking makes it a challenge. Yet I keep going back to this running group for the same reason I do portraits. A real human interaction seems to lift me up. So that helped a little. I’m out tomorrow morning with the lake dippers. I’m starting to form a routine. Wednesday beer run and Saturday dip. I actually feel like I’m starting to build a better me. 

Just like the waves don’t underestimate depression. Please don’t. As someone who isn’t a people person who does people person things for a living because it’s rewarding, don’t shut yourself off from the world. Take a break by all means. We’ll be here for you. 

Ugh. That’s too motivational vomit. I’m sorry but we all need a little hand now and then.

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🙃

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Urban charity Park Palace Ponies by Harrison Stringfellow wins MacEwen Award | RIBAJ

Knives Out, Last Jedi DP has a plan to end the film-vs-digital debate - Polygon

SoundPrint - Find your quiet place

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Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter. I’ll be back. Feel free to subscribe or send to a friend.

/pete_carr

shutdown -r

issue/13

Bye Europe

Reykjavik, Iceland

hello friend

Brexit. It’s happening today. I’m sad. I’ve been lucky enough to travel around Europe over the past 10 years and it’s always been a fascinating, changing, warming and joyous thing to do. I’m a better person for experiencing Europe. I’ve listened and learned from alternative points of view. I’ve considered new ideas. I’ve seen the Milky Way from a beach in Croatia, the Northern Lights over Iceland, rode on a mechanical elephant around the docks in Nantes (France), discovered a love of beer in Budapest to later be educated about it in Bruges and I’ve seen the sun set on many a landscape in the company of my wife. I’ve been very lucky. 

I hope to be back before the end and if it’s possible I hope to be back after it all goes to hell. I’ve pondered an Icelandic photo / knitting company. They’ve got amazing chocolate up there too. Liquorice chocolate. The UK fails at that.  Anyway. Here’s a few of my highlights of Europe. 

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Bruges, 2019.

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The Hague, 2020.

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Amsterdam, 2014.

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Amsterdam, 2015.

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Iceland, 2015.

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Paris, 2010.

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Valencia, 2011.

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Budapest, 2012.

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Bulgaria, 2013.

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Venice, 2014

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Amsterdam, 2015.

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Iceland, 2015.

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Florence, 2018.

I know Europe will still be there and accessible via 20 more forms to fill in. I’m deeply saddened to live in a country that has actively chosen to turn its back on being part of such a wonderful place. 

I’ll miss EU. 


Another vignette just for you subscribers. A brief look at Amsterdam after Christmas and before New Year.


swimming

I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s dip in the lake. I bought some neoprene socks to take the edge of the cold. My feet suffer the most from these dips. I’m fine after the swim but my feet take ages to warm up. Toes crossed that this does the trick. I can’t wait to be swimming around and getting comfortable enough in the lake to go in the Mersey. Long way off though. I’m being very cautious about it because I don’t want to underestimate the strength of the tide flow.


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The Europeans • Henri Cartier-Bresson • Magnum Photos

Made in Belgium • Harry Gruyaert • Magnum Photos

Chris Steele-Perkins on shooting long-term projects - Canon UK


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Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter. I’ll be back. Feel free to subscribe or send to a friend.

/pete_carr

shutdown -r

issue/12

Wild swimming

hello friend

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Here we are again. Did you enjoy this week? I’m writing this 2 hours after taking my first dip in the marine lake. It really was an experience like no other.  I’ll get to that in a bit. 

It’s been a very water focused week. I went for a dip in a lake and the following day a walk along the river in the fog. It’s been a beautiful week. I even produced a video about it. I’m trying my hand at doing little vignette videos. A series of 20 second clips without music. A sort of motion picture if you will.


photography

I posted some black and white photos from my walk yesterday on Instagram. Here are a few colour ones just for you.

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I also saw a fogbow on my walk. It was like a feint white rainbow. Quite stunning and easily missed. 


open water swimming

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I went to bed the night before the dip feeling very nervous. I had a bag packed with everything I needed to recover after. Thats the important part. Get warm after the swim/dip. I had my Jedi dressing gown so that must have been quite a sight for any random person walking by. I was technically prepared but not 100% mentally prepared. 

7am. ALARM! I got out of bed as soon as the alarm went off. If you don’t do that and have a single second to think “5 minutes more” then you’re never getting up. So I got up. 5 minutes later I was thinking that I was mad for wanting to do this. I could get back into bed and cuddle up with my wife instead. 5 minutes after that and I was properly awake and had acclimatised to the cold. I knew that as cold as the water was I would acclimatise to that too. So I got my coffee flask sorted and off we went. 

Dusk. Beautiful morning dusk light filled the sky. I still thought this was absurd and I was nervous as hell but at least it was a beautiful morning. At the very least I’d get some good photos. There was a good small crowd of people getting ready to go in. I spoke with a few about what the best approach was and the most important thing was to do your own thing. Don’t be an idiot and go diving in. Take it slow. Know your limits. Know yourself. If all you do is get knee deep then that’s perfectly fine. 

People start getting in. There’s a diverse range from young to old. Some have swam the Channel and for others this is their first time. Everyone is accepted. It’s the strangest social experience I’ve had. I take my Jedi robes off and force myself in. I’m standing at the waters edge in diving shoes, shorts and my Snoopy beanie. There’s a photographer I know documenting the group. There’s a guy from the running group I joined before Christmas already in the water and there’s another photographer who knows my work already in the water. I’m surrounded by strangers, friends and people I sort of know and I’m just wearing shorts in a lake. It’s surreal.

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10 years ago when I got into running I used to train around the back streets. I would hide away just in case I ran into someone I knew. I didn’t want them to see me sweating in skin tight running gear. It took me a long time to get used to running in public. I was very self conscious about my body. I still am. I bought a new jumper yesterday and while trying various sizes on I kept thinking “This really accents my man boobs so maybe not for me.” I’m pretty good at appearing tall and not fat. People are surprised when I say I’m 16ish stone. So even though I’m happy to run around in tight fitting running gear I still have image issues. But on this day I’m just in shorts. There is no room to hide how I look. I have to accept it and enjoy the morning. 

I do accept it because at that moment I may look like a fat guy in a beanie but I’m doing something to better myself. I may look like a fat guy running and no-one wants to see bits jiggling but at least I’m out there trying to better myself instead of sitting on the couch eating Pringles. At the moment where I’m standing at the waters edge of the marine lake in just my shorts and a beanie being photographed by a photographer I admire and respect knowing that there’s a remote chance everyone I know in the photography community could see me like that I chose to feel that this is me at my best not my worst. It is by admitting that we are all flawed and imperfect beings that we can inspire others to have a go. You don’t have to have the body of a god to take up running or swimming. You just have to try and then try again and do a little bit more. 

I walk in. It’s cold. It’s painfully cold but I’m ok. I get up to my knees and take in the moment. I see others going further in but I’m ok where I am. Some people simply walk into the lake and swim off. I’d like to do that too but today is all about testing my limits. After a short period of time I go a bit deeper in. The water and I make contact in a very refreshing way. It’s very very fresh. Someone makes a joke. We laugh. We’re all laughing. Are we mad? Maybe. We’re having a laugh though. The woman next to me says this is the coldest temperature she’s ever been in and she’s been doing it since November. I feel happy about my progress. I’m doing this on the coldest day possible. This is my introduction. So if I can do it today I can do it any day. 

The woman next to me dips down and screams. It’s bloody cold. Strangely though the top half of me out of the water feels colder than the rest of me. I’m not sure I can feel my feet. Is that a plus at this time? Is it a sign I should get out? I can feel the sludge around my feet though and I’m very glad I had diving shoes on. I dip my hands in and take them out. They instantly feel like they’re twice as big. “What the hell just happened?” I think. They look the same size but they feel huge now. I’m trying to wrap my head around the idea of pushing myself, finding my limits and knowing the difference between being in trouble and waiting to acclimatise to the situation. The feeling in my hands really freaks me out. 

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I decide to be brave and go just a bit further out. I want to see if I can dip down to my neck. I drop down. “” I think. It’s so cold. Man alive it is cold. I breathe. The trick is to keep breathing. Don’t freak out. Just breathe. It’s all fine. “ it’s so cold.” After 30 seconds I decide to get out. The key thing is to get out while you’re having fun not when you’ve had enough. I’ve had fun. I’ve pushed myself. This is the first step. I’ll be back next week. I don’t have to swim a mile today. Just test the water. 

I get back into my Jedi robes and get in the car. I’m not as cold as I expected to be but my feet feel odd. They were in the longest. I get changed. There’s no real time for modesty as I need to get warm and to be honest the cold has shrunken my manly bits so much that there’s nothing to be modest about. I change and have some coffee to warm me up before heading home. It’s been quite a morning. 

“When you put your mind to it you can accomplish anything.” - George McFly

That’s the feeling I’m left with after my dip. The water temperature was around 5c. The outside temperature was 6c but felt like 1c. I stood around in that in just shorts and a beanie before getting neck deep into the water. I put my mind to it and accomplished it. I rarely get this feeling from running. Maybe when I do a 10k but it’s incredibly rare. I can see why people do this every day. Imagine starting the day with a sense of “hard parts over”. That if you just did that swim then everything else is a doddle. There’s every chance that how I feel now is simply because it is new. So I’ll just have to go back and keep going back. 

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mental health

I’ve been thinking about my lake experience from the perspective of mental health. I’ve seen some discussion that wild swimming is a cure for depression. I’ll be interested to see how this affects my mental health over the next few months. Will a weekly dip give me a weeks worth of energy? I’m not sure its a miracle cure but there might be something in it. In Johan Hari’s book ‘Lost Connections’ he talks about two topics that fit with joining a wild swimming group. Disconnection from other people and disconnection from the natural world. 

Ok sure this dip in the lake wasn’t like being in the mountain lakes of Snowdonia. The calm. The quiet. The stillness. The landscape around you. It’s a bit different to that. There’s the Burger King. The chippy. The doughnut shop. Hmm. This probably isn’t what Johann had in mind when he suggested people reconnect with the natural world. But it’s certainly a step in the right direction. I took to this more than I took to swimming indoors. While I enjoy swimming indoors I do wish they could renovate the building to take advantage of the location. It could have a cracking view of the river outside. If there was still a lido in New Brighton I would be there all the time. Indoor vs outdoor are worlds apart. At our pool it’s one big enclosed room with some absurd audio track playing. 5 minutes of ads and 5 minutes of cheaply licensed music. Repeat. Then there’s the chaos of every man for themselves swimming attitude. It’s just too chaotic but I make do because it’s all we have now. 

Compare that to swimming outdoors. There was so much openness to our dip. Fresh air. I could see the pinkness of the sunrise in the clouds. The fading blue light of dusk. It was really stunning. I felt that connection to the outside world and here’s hoping I do get to go wild swimming in a vast landscape some day. It does wonders for your mental health. 

I connected with people too. I don’t at our indoor pool. I’m not made for small talk with people in that way. I go to the pool to perform a task and leave. The staff are friendly there and the swimmers are nice too. There are regulars I recognise but I’m not one for “Hey how’s it going.” Occasionally men will make small talk in the changing rooms. While I’m butt naked is not a time for small talk. My autistic brain just isn’t wired to do those things. It’s a shame because it’s a great skill for a photographer to have. Who knows where a casual “Hello” might lead. 

Today at the lake I had no such issues. Maybe it was adrenaline? Maybe because I was having fun in a strange sort of way? I was able to have a few sentences conversation with people. Not a lot but enough to make me feel like I connected with the people I was sharing the lake with. That’s really important. I hope I can build on that over the next few months. 


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Wintering in Whitstable – Outdoor Swimming Society Outdoor Swimming Society

Winter Swimming……….is it cold? Why bother? – Open Water Wheway

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/pete_carr

shutdown -r

issue/11

Wild Swimming

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hello friend

It is Friday. How was your week? Mine has been an exercise in anxiety management. Tomorrow morning I’m voluntarily going for an open water swim (probably a dip). It is cold enough right now that standing around in just shorts would be considered silly. Walking into a lake would be an absurd idea. Yet here I am. I’m not doing this for charity. I’m doing this for me. There’s a local group who meet up and either swim in the marine lake or the River Mersey. I’m on their WhatsApp group and every morning I get a message from some of them who have already been for a dip in the Mersey by the time I’m getting up. It’s impressive.

About 4 years ago a life guard at the pool suggested I join the advanced class designed for triathletes. Me? Apparently I self taught my er self too well. The teachers at school couldn’t get me to swim. They didn’t understand I autism and I didn’t know I was autistic. A hard to work around. 30 years later and I spent a number of years learning how I swim. I’m ok at it. In the pool anyway. When we go away and I swim in the ocean it freaks me out. “What was that?!” “SHARK!!!” There’s never any sharks. The only real thing to worry about is your overactive imagination. For that reason it takes me a few days to relax into sea swimming. My wife is a total natural at it. She grew up swimming in the sea all the time. I’d like to be a natural at it. 

Around 2 years ago I saw a video about someone who would swim naked every day in the lakes of Wales. That seemed a level up on everything. Not only where they swimming in random lakes but naked too? A thought developed in my head. I’d like to be the kind of person who does that. Maybe not really but I’d rather be the kind of person who does that than the kind of person who thinks people like that are crazy. I guess I would like to be the kind of person who doesn’t fear living as much as I do. 

When we were away in the Netherlands over Christmas I was tempted to join the New Year Day Dive. It’s where a huge number of people all run into the sea to start the new year. Unfortunately I was too ill. But the intent was there. 

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Last weekend while walking along the prom there was a crowd. They were watching 2 women strip down to swim costumes, one of which was a simple 2 piece, and go for a swim. There was no fear. They simply walked into the River Mersey and swam off. I was in awe of them. I decided there and then that 2020 was the year I took these thoughts seriously. I found a group that meets up every weekend and this weekend I’m taking my first plunge. I hope to do some portraits of people too. There was something so inspiring and yet something so every day about these women swimming in the Mersey. I’d like to try and capture that. 

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I must admit that I’m a little nervous about tomorrow. I want to be able to do this though. 


Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.

Just keep going. No feeling is final.

From Rainer Maria Rilke’s “Book of Hours”


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14 day timelapse of a container ship going around the East Coast of America. YouTube

Noah Takes a Photo of Himself Every Day for 20 Years

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Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter. I’ll be back. Feel free to subscribe or send to a friend.

/pete_carr

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