Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Polaroid Lessons:- Silver Shade

My Polaroid lessons continue, with Impossible film. This time it's been PX 600 Silver Shade. I've noticed that the Polaroids fade from black and white to sepia very quickly (within days) especially if you leave them in a well-lit place. And I think they have faded very quickly too, regardless of environment. Perhaps it's just my imagination. Regardless, I like the dreamy quality they have.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

UNdane Opinion - Documenting Vs Living

I was listening to Xfm radio in my car the other day and the DJ (I don't know who he was) said something that made me nearly crash it into a roundabout.

'What is it with girls constantly taking pictures of everything? Nights out, gigs, their friends, themselves...why do you have to document everything that happens? Don't document your life - live your life!'

I wanted to reach through the radio and throttle him a bit for being so stupid. Whilst hissing 'you just don't get it, do you?' in his ear. It was a somewhat irrational response but here's what was behind it:-

Sometimes I wonder if all this social media we have access to is a good thing. Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and Blogger and YouTube and whatever else is going on online. On our computers. On our smartphones. On our tablets, if we're lucky/stupid enough to have one (I'm not, yet). Because you hardly notice the transition from eyes-open to eyes-down but it does happen, and one minute you're looking at the world through big eyes, experiencing things and thinking 'wow that was good wasn't it?' and the next you're looking at the world through slightly glazed over eyes thinking 'wow that was alright wasn't it?' and composing the tweet in your head. Then you've whipped your phone out and the next 25 minutes is spent documenting everything you've just seen and done using the aid of photographs and statuses and messages that start with an @ symbol. It really annoys me. But I do it too. And then I annoy myself. And sometimes I feel a little bit dirty, a little bit tainted if I've just fired off sixteen tweets in the space of an hour. Like I shouldn't be doing it. Like I shouldn't need to. Isn't living it enough? Why am I doing this? Is it attention seeking? Why do I feel the need to have everyone know what I'm up to at any given point in the day? What happened to the air of mystery? Why can't I leave Facebook alone and just get on with it, safe in the knowledge that me experiencing all these things that life has to offer is enough?

So perhaps this radio DJ struck a nerve. (Although he was being an idiot. I mean, it's not just girls is it? I know plenty of guys who never get off Twitter. If they haven't posted anything for longer than 45 minutes I start to worry that they've died. Sometimes I call them to check they're still alive, and it usually turns out they were in a no signal area briefly, but during this time they had several small strokes and clawed out their own eyes because the world wasn't keeping track of them). And honestly? Yeah sometimes I do ask myself questions like 'am I so busy documenting that I'm missing out on just experiencing it?'

Then I Because documenting comes naturally to me. I've always done it. I've kept a diary in some form or other since I was 11 years old. Thanks to those diaries, I now have over 20 years of my life locked down, kept safe, never forgotten. And I would hate to forget. So I write it all down. When I get the chance, not obsessively. But it makes me feel better knowing that my movements and thoughts are not lost. Almost like it wouldn't mean as much if I couldn't record it for posterity, or so that someday way in the future someone else might read it and think 'wow, I felt that way at 18 too!'.

I do the same with photographs. Sometimes, seeing something is enough. Sometimes, something happens and I have to take a photograph of it. I can't explain it beyond 'I want to capture this moment and keep it' and sometimes 'I want to capture this moment so other people can see it'. I guess it's a pretty natural photographer instinct. It's not in our nature to stand back and let sights and moments go by us. Once, aged 22, I was standing in the middle of the main hall at the Natural History Museum in London, with a friend I'd know for a few years. We were staring up at a giant dinosaur skeleton. 'What would you do if a real dinosaur came into your garden?' I asked her. 'Scream and run away' she replied, before adding 'why, what would you do, stop and take a photo of it?'

Yes, probably.

The bottom line is, I don't like letting things go by without recording that they happened. Especially if something makes me really, really happy. Hence the years of diary making, photo taking, scrapbook collating goodness. I also like to share it with people. Maybe to try to make them smile, maybe because I'm a big fat attention seeker - hence, in this day and age, Twitter, Instagram, and this blog. Yes, it's possible to be so busy furiously social networking that you miss things in the real world. But for some, it's just a supplement. And for me, it's a set of tools I was already using to document my life before all this technology came along. It just makes it easier, and accessible to a wider audience. Sometimes I do wish I could stop doing it, delete my Twitter account and go and live in a cave on the side of a hill, just watching the world and not feeling the need to tell people about it...but that's not who I am.

There's nothing wrong with documenting, Mr radio DJ. You can document life and live it at the same time. You just have to know when to pull the smartphone from your eyes and have a good time.

Want to write a guest post for The UNdane? Get in contact - or find me on Twitter - @irismacro. I'll be the one tweeting too much about nonsense.

All photographs by Iris Jones

Thursday, 23 August 2012

UNdane Postcardiology :- Postcards from the 80's and Bold Slogans

More picture postcards from my ever growing collection. This week includes a postcard I found on my parents cork board, that has been there since 1988 (sent from America by an old family friend), a postcard given to a friend of mine, passed on to me, and some from a recent binge-buying episode in Paperchase.

1 - 'Cake' - Inkworks
2 - 'The Weather is Here' - Dean Morris Cards
3 - 'Cream in my Coffee' - Keep Calm LTD
4 - 'Munch's The Scrum' - Simon Drew TQ6 9DR
5 - 'Optimistic Map of the USA' - David Jouris 1987, Hold the Mustard Productions, Berkeley CA

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Mixtape Wednesday: A Green Day 90's Punk Rock Revival Playlist

When I was 17, my favourite band was Green Day, thanks in whole to a mix tape of Green Day songs a friend made me. I would listen to Nimrod incessantly. I went to see them in a bunch of giant venues, like Wembley, because by this time they were already huge. They had just released Warning and in another year or so would release International Superhits. In 2002, after a London show, my friends and I hung around the back of Wembley Arena, hoping to meet the band. A handful of similarly desperate kids were knocking about, hassling the security guards. After about half an hour and just as we were deciding to go home, Tre Cool appeared wearing a fur coat, a deer hunter and smoking a pipe. We all scrambled for something on which he could scribble his name. I chose the back of a receipt, which I tried to keep forever but which has been long since lost (I probably forgot what it was and used it for gum). My friend chose her passport. Rendering it immediately void and useless. But she'll tell you it was worth it.

This week's mixtape, in tribute to Green Day announcing a last minute show in London and playing a secret show at Reading Festival (even though it's not a secret because everybody knows about it), and in tribute to my inner 17 year old, is nothing but Green Day. But er - the good stuff. Before the 20 minute hand clapping routines (although there is one of those in here somewhere) and big budget pyrotechnics. And before International Superhits. Because nothing after that really counts.


80, Live in Wigan, UK (1991)

2000 Light Years Away, Live in Illinois (1990's)

Longview, Live at Woodstock (1994)

When I Come Around ,Live at Woodstock (1994)

Brain Stew, Live at Milton Keynes UK (2005)

Scattered, Live on TFI Friday (1998)

Welcome to Paradise, Reading Festival (2001) (I was there - getting squashed somewhere near the front, wearing a bikini. Good times.)

Macy's Day Parade, Live in New Jersey (2001)

Minority, Live in Italy (circa 2005)

Good Riddance, Live in Italy (1997)

And thrown in...
Hitchin a Ride, Live at Coachella Festival, 2012, performed by Florence Welch and Dev Hynes

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Tattoo Business Cards.

I grab a few business cards from every tattoo shop I walk into (and I walk into them quite frequently). In fact, I grab business cards pretty much wherever there are business cards to be grabbed.

To date, this is the best tattooist business card I have ever picked up:-

(and a quick, free advert for the tattooist!)


It measure 2ins x 2ins and is also the cutest tattooist business card I have ever seen.

Have you picked up an awesome business card from somewhere recently? Send it to me!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Things We Learned: During Our A-Levels

A-Level results came out today. Which takes me back 10 years to when I got mine. A Levels were a simpler time when life should have been fun and carefree and exciting, but we all thought things were exceptionally complicated and we all had it so hard. I wish I could go back and tell my 18 year old self what I know now.

I kept a diary during my A Level Year and here are some extracts from it:-

18 March 2002
"I just cannot believe the drama showcase is tomorrow. My last ever one. I've done four showcases now and played a pyschopathic, murderous barber called Claus, a lesbian, the mother of a beetle and some camp guy who ends up being crowned king cos everyone else is dead. Wickedness.
After this, what will happen to our drama group? Seven of us: One is going into science, one into dance, one to Australia, one into media and three into drama. We so better meet up twice a year and have Covent Garden where we can dress up in ivy and do street theatre!!"

22 March 2002
"I hope the examiner gave me an A. I got an A last year and I didn't think I deserved one then. I got 111 out of 120 for the performance module. I really hope shes given me an A. Thing is, I think my performance last night was a bit dead. I was standing backstage all ready to go out there and give it some welly but I never really got round to the welly bit. Maybe a small sock. Yeah thats right, I gave it some small sock."

21 April 2002
"I just wrote a whole essay for Media in 25 minutes flat. I didn't even look at my notes...wahey. Its a bit crap. Its not proper coursework, which explains why it was so bloody easy. Mr D has had a nose job. His nose is all straight and shiny and he's got two black eyes. Its not attractive. Also he seems to be in a perpeptual bad mood which shouldn't be the case at all. I mean, theres starving babies in China and Mr D is privelidged enough to have access to as much cosmetic surgery as he wants and he's in a fucking bad mood and blaming everything on us. Even though actually we don't do any work, and are a bunch of smart arses. Thats just a detail though. We had an argument last week about how the Buscemi of Steve Buscemi shouldbe pronounced, when we were supposed to be having an informed and mature discussion about Kilroy. F**cking Kilroy. I watched his show the other week so I would have something to say if I had to. It was the most boring thing. No transvestites or men with their large intestines hooked up to their esophagus's anywhere."

26 April 2002
"Hehe. I wore my banana tee shirt to school. In years time, when our Year 13 picture is hung up outside the office and people look at it they will see a girl in the back row with an insanely false grin, and a big yellow banana on a jet black background. Or perhaps they will miss me and look at the beautiful people. Thats probably what I would do."

14 May 2002
"Ooh I have to write down the song I just made up instead of revising. It goes to the tune of 'You are my sunshine'.


18 May 2002
"End of school T-Minus two weeks. Hooray! I have a game plan for when that lovely lovely day comes. I'm going to quit cleaning and get a full time job for the summer. I'm going to join an aerobics or step aerobics class at The Spa or some other exercise class (but not the gym cos I lost my card) I'm going to revise, I'm going to see my friends and Ciaran, I'm going to go to the pub whenever Leon or Ciaran or b asks me to, I'm going to start writing my terrible poetry again, I'm going to shop for Cornwall, I'm going to do more housework and I'm going to read books. Lots of books."*

15 August 2002
"Well its over and at least we all know now.
I did pretty good, ABB. The A is in Media. This seems to be unexpectedly where my talents lie. Huh. Fancy. Anyway, Winchester is a definite thing now. Same for Sarah and Kate. Most people got into their first choice. Its still a bit up in the air for some. Whew. I guess theres a lot to do over the next month. One things for sure though, I'm not even gonna start thinking about it all until after Reading. Ciaran got AAC. And he didn't revise. he told me on the phone and I have to admit I screamed 'WHAT?' in the middle of the pub. He is a bit of a genius though. And I am very proud."

30 August 2002
"But today was better. Mum and me went Uni shopping and I bought a Clangers pencil case! A Clangers pencil case! Shaped like a Clanger! Its either really good or really sad but either way it will be a talking point. Like, everyone on my course will come up and ask me about my pencil case and say its really great or really pathetic and then I will make millions of new friends! Wahey! Ahem. Its not a great plan. But no matter. And I bought a big folder with stick-of-rock stripy patterns all over it...and a pink notebook with a cow on it! And a matching pencil...and some jumbo Crayola crayons because you can't go to Uni without crayons can you? And some cow stickers and...well, just because we've grown up doesn't mean we have to carry around one pen and thats it for the rest of our lives. And then we went to Virgin and bought a CD rack and a Resevoir Dogs poster and a Clangers poster. In terms of essential items it wasn't the most productive day but hey ho. Mum showed me all the pots and pans and stuff shes bought me the other day and she teared up and it was quite sad really."

4 September 2002
"Got my TV license.
Got my accomodation.
Got my insurance.
Got my bank account.
Got my loan (nearly).
Got my passport (I'm told that Winchester is, in fact, not overseas though).
Got my passport photos.
Got my saucepans.
Right, I'm off then.
Oh okay, on second thoughts I'll just sit around here for three more weeks. "

7 September 2002
"Everything is sad at the moment! Everything. Everyone is leaving. I suppose it will be worse for those who are staying here but at the moment I feel very miserable. It feels like, this is it. I'm standing on the edge of a precipice, a divide, looking across at whats on the other side. There isn't anyone there that I recognise. I just want to stay here forever. When will I see my friends again? Will they still be my friends? I'm not ready for this. And I don't think I'll ever make such good friends as the ones I've got now. I didn't think it was possible for anyone to be like me, to have the same sense of humour and be happy sitting around talking about crap and doing dances with their elbows. Who will I ever find again who will do that? What if there isn't anybody like that out there and in order to make friends I have to revert to being normal? Just sitting in the pub of an evening instead of sitting in a pub watching four of my friends lined up on a sofa doing the greased lightning dance or having lets-throw-these-bits-of-paper-into-each-others-glasses fights. "

2 October 2002
"I've come down with 'freshers flu' and I can't breathe. I had the longest lie in so far today which I think got rid of it a bit but I have to go into town in a mo to get my vitamins...oh and also some food because I've run out! I dyed my hair this morning and now the bathroom is pink. I've got loads of stuff to write but right now I can't actually be bothered. Last night me, Dan and Jess went round next door and much drinking, junk food scoffing and watching of scary films occured. We watched Long TIme Dead and wet ourselves. 'Next door' is Kate, Taz, b, Vikki, Anna, EmJ (who reminds me of Mel) and Jo. Taz, Vikki and b especially are completely the same sort of person as me (casual, happy to stay in of an evening and eat drink and be merry, same sens eof humour etc) and so I reckon we get on well. They don't mind us coming over all the time either because Jess is SO loud and just provides the entertainment constantly. Its really odd, I've never met anyone with so much energy before. She called me Christingle today which I thought was impressive considering I've never told anyone any of my nicknames."

*I did very few of these things, except the terrible poetry, which was actually terrible.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

UNdane: Photograph of the Week.

During the Olympics in 2008, my friends and I piled into cars and drove to West Wales, where we stayed in a cottage and spent the summer playing Olympic Stone Skimming.

We all won gold.

Photograph by Iris Jones.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Things We Learned: In 2008.

A diary entry from 9 May 2008:-

Conversation with Sarah last night in my porch (about being Pisceans):

Sarah: Apparently we're The Last Reincarnation.
Me: Are we? What does that mean?
Sarah: It means we're on the last of our 12 lives now.


Me: I guess we'd better make the most of this one then.

*Pause. We nod.*

Sarah: I wish I was an Aries.

And that's the thing about being human isn't it? We're always wishing we could have our chances over again.

It's like the ultimate clause in the Genie contract.

No wishing for more wishes.

Photograph by Iris Jones