As somebody with a birthday right smack dab in the middle of the calendar year, it’s hard for me to truly understand the anniversary plights of those with a birthday near Christmas. But I try my best, I really do.
Poor Simon’s birthday is on the 21st and tends to get a little overlooked in the run-up to the big holiday bonanza. But we opened presents and tried to have a birthday outing and we had a birthday meal and birthday cake, of course – with candles and everything. Bill loves the Happy Birthday song – and of course he’s quite fond of fire, too:
Despite myself, I quite like Covent Garden. Lots of fabulous buskers, lots of kinda cool things that you really don’t need.
I went there last year with my brother to check out the Transport for London shop (for all your Underground poster needs) and to buy a t-shirt for some girl he knows, he said it was in exchange for taking him to the airport. But since we went to rather trendy t-shirt shop, it would have been cheaper to take a cab (depending on the strength of the dollar, of course).
Don’t get me wrong – their T’s are super-cool. And I was able to pick up a t-shirt I’d had my eye on since before our Bill was even born – as in “wouldn’t that be such a cute shirt if I ever had a baby”. It was a price so high, that I was tempted to evade an honest answer when Simon, ever the miserly husband, asked me how much it cost.
This morning I had an email from the shop asking me if they could use this image.
I do think my little guy is adorable, but I don’t think much of this picture for either my photography or his cuteness, but I guess they were only interested in the T.
Free for all
Most of my photographs are published under a Creative Commons license, which means that anyone can use them – I only ask that I get credited. I used to allow it for non-commercial use only, but generally would allow my photos to be used for commercial purposes for free. The requests were so infrequent that I don’t think I could ever make any money out of it – so I’m generally quite happy to just let them use it.
I use other people’s photos a lot, too in presentations – and though I work for the public interest – I may be stretching non-commercial licenses. So, I thought – what the heck – I’ll allow people to just use my images.
But when it comes to images of my son, I’ve decided I’m keeping it at All Rights Reserved. I may have taken the pictures, but they’re not of me.
I can’t decide if I should let him be a child model at all (however limited) and I definitely don’t think I’m going to farm out his image without at least getting a t-shirt out of it. The one he’s wearing is a little tight these days.
Having believed the weather liars, we packed the family up for a day of fun and carnival atmosphere on the South Bank. Our balmy day of bliss was blighted by a light mist and overcast skies – so we headed for Tate Modern and its vast indoor spaces.
Our toddler hasn’t been to Tate Modern since he could toddle and we were hoping for a good turbine hall display. But it was empty, bar the other families with very young children, I suppose it’s between displays or perhaps it was an artistic commentary on the emptiness and futilityof modern life. Simon and I discussed where the empty hall placed in our mental ranking of exhibitions. Definitely below The Weather Project, a bit below the giant spidery things that were the first installations in the hall, but well above that weird audio installation and the crack in the floor. (I ranked it below the q-bert boxes, but Simon disagreed).
Our boy decided to get into the artistic spirit and created his own performance piece on the mezzanine. Hope there’s a lottery grant forthcoming.
As per usual, the boy wreaked havoc in public spaces, literally crawling through one exhibit of enamel metal boxes. Museum staff said nothing, although I was warned fiercely against photographing any of the art.
At one point, he screamed Dada and then sat down in a shiny red pod to watch a film on just that movement, hurling red cushions in a suitably anti-conformist fashion. Clever boy.
I find your bourgeouis arrangement of cushions oppressive