The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

Exhibtion, book, camera, food, sleep, life and blogging

Blogging has taken a bit of a back seat lately. Unlike previous problems of not knowing what to blog about, at the moment there is too much, but not enough time.

Preparations for the “Staring Back” exhibition (now only 2 weeks away) continue and the mounted prints have finally arrived from the company I decided to use. They are all slightly darker than I would ideally have liked, but not fatally so.

Seeing all 24 together for the first time was quite overwhelming and I’m now really excited about how they will all look when up in the gallery.

Having all the images in digital format to begin with, as well as the writings I’ve created to go along each one, I realised making a book of the exhibition might not be too complicated.

So I am now in the process of putting together a photo book of “Staring Back” using software downloaded from, which will be available online to anyone who would like to view and have a copy of all the images and writings, but can’t make it along to the actual exhibition. It will also give me a wonderful record of the event.

Realising I had reached the limitations of my camera while shooting for the exhibition, Maggie and I worked out a plan on how we might secure me a better one without having to sell the children, although we will be tightening the belts for a long time to come.

After lots of research I finally settled on a Canon EOS 7D. After more research I found a company that offered it at a good price, and it arrived last week.

Unfortunately it wouldn’t recognise or format the memory card despite several attempts, so I returned it. Apparently one of the pins that slots into the card is bent. Apparently Canon would never have let a camera out of the production line like that. Apparently the most likely cause is something I have done. You can imagine my thoughts about that…

The company I am dealing with says they have sent the camera to Canon and are awaiting to hear their verdict and outcome before any battle commences. With any luck they will be thinking of the big picture. As a new Canon camera owner, if all goes to plan I will probably be using Canons for the rest of my life, as once you start buying lenses that are built for Canons, then it becomes a costly process to switch to a system like Nikon, for example. So getting into conflict over a bent pin could cost them many thousands of pounds of lost business in the future, not to mention blog posts of outrage.

Sort it out without a fuss and they can expect a lifetime of Canon loyalty and blog posts of praise.

It could be another week before I hear anything

Several weeks ago I went to see a nutritionist in the hope of finding an alternate route to tackling the Chronic Fatigue, having been pretty much abandoned by the medical system with lots of shoulder shrugging.

Possible Candida – an excess of yeast in the system – has meant I have had to avoid anything with yeast, sugar or equivalents, fruit, dried fruit, anything fermented (not just alcohol, but vinegar, soy sauce etc), and anything mushroom or fungi based (including quorn products).

Still no sign of improvement in my condition yet.

Sleep (or lack thereof)
Looking back through my records, it was discovered I was supposed to be referred for a trial for a machine that tackles sleep apnoea, after the sleep clinic trial results nearly a year ago. I was possibly borderline, but the general sense was there’s nothing to lose by trying.

So for the last 2 nights I’ve slept far worse than I ever have, because of a mask strapped over my nose pumping air up it all night. Every time I move, I wake up because of it. And every time my mouth opens and I unconsciously begin to take in air through it, it’s like trying to breathe with your head stuck out the window of a car doing 90mph. And that wakes me up too.

Summing up
With press releases to write, posters to design, book to finish compiling, and tiredness levels reaching a new extreme, life is keeping me away from blogging for more time than since I started nearly 5 years ago.

So my apologies for not checking in more often, or visiting other blogs, but when things calm down a bit, I’ll begin writing more frequently again.



Katie Roberts said...

Hi Kim,

feeling so overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I have to do, and areas of life effecting me at the moment too. Maybe we should both forgive our lack of 'blogginess' about it and commend ourselves for just bloody getting on with it! Oh, and remember to breathe in between.... in, out, in. Good luck!

savannah said...

just reading about what y'all are doing made me tired, sugar! all the best and i'll see you tomorrow! xoxox

Pat said...

Sometimes I think I'm alone holding the fort.
Is there any way you can make sure Canon sees your post? That should motivate them to do the decent thing. Rotten luck!

With all your extra problems it is still quite exciting isn't it? Fingers crossed that great things will come.

Jennifer said...

I am excited about the book from the exhibition! I am glad to participate in this journey with you.

My father-in-law shoots with both Canon & Nikon. He's been a professional for...ages; getting close to 30 years. He's got his reasons for shooting with both. I recently acquired through his generosity a used Canon EOS 10D at our state's photography convention. It is tons of fun, but a great deal to absorb.

I have a feeling all will work out with the Canon! My father in law has weathered many a camera storm - and he's made it through just fine!

How is your mindfulness practice going? I immediately thought of that when you mentioned food and chronic fatigue.

I cannot imagine sleeping with something over my face...

I read your last paragraph and thought, "How wonderful to be an artist!"

mapstew said...

You certainly have a lot going on there Kim! But you seem to have a handle on it though. :¬)

Sausage Fingers said...

I mentioned your blog in one of my recent posts, take a look at "Photography" and thanks for the inspiration
cheers, Sausage

Jacqui said...

I couldn't imagine trying to sleep with something over my face, it must be so wierd. Hopefully you will get used to it soon and begin to feel some benefits.

The very best of luck with the exhibition, in amongst all the mayhem and jobs to do, please take time to....


Tiffin said...

Equal parts total nuttiness and wonderful excitement: no wonder you are worn to the nub at the moment. Very eager to hear how the show is received once it is finally ON!

Systemic clean-outs usually take a minimum of two weeks for anything positive to show up. I'll be interested to hear if the yeast reduction helps you at all.

Fingers crossed that Canon does the right thing for you.

Mimi and Tilly said...

I can understand why the sir mask thing is not working out for you. Just reading it had me gulping for air.

I'm very excited about being able to visit your exhibition via an online book. Thank you!

I've used the candida diet for chronic fatigue for a while. It works for me to a degree. If I eat sugary things now I can feel the difference. But I still eat bread and have soya sauce. Where's the fun in life if you can't bloomin' well have a slice of buttered toast!

I hope all goes well for you over the next couple of weeks in the run up to the exhibition. Em :)

Mimi and Tilly said...

Just read my comment back and made myself laugh with the air/sir typo. Sounds like you're really up to no good if it's a "sir mask".

V said...

Blimey! Exciting and full on all at once. I'm sure we'll all look forward to hearing the results when normal service resumes.

In the meantime, sounds like it's all steps in the right direction (if frustrating in the short term!) and don't give in to the camera folk, there must be some consumer regulation out there to protect you - moneysaving generally full of good advice on these kind of problems. Good luck! Hope you can enjoy some of the sunshine in the meantime, looks like there's lots of folk here right behind you, V

Charlie said...

Even if it's your fault that the pin is bent, that says to me improper engineering: the pins should be more sturdy.

No need to apologize for not blogging—that is only one facet of your busy life, and a hobby at that.

I'm getting excited over your exhibition.

hope said...

I agree with Charlie: excitement over your pending exhibition rises above your guilt about not blogging.

Think of it this way: you made ME feel better because this week, I've only managed 2 posts. Feels like I'm neglecting the children somehow. ;)

Good luck...I can't wait to see the results!

Kim Ayres said...

Katie - by comparisson with what you're dealing with, my problems are a walk in the park. Hope you're bearing up.

Savannah - are you coming over to Scotland tomorrow?

Pat - it would be good if Canon saw this post - anyone got any contacts in the company?

But yes, despite all the other problems, the exhibtion is still exciting :)

Jennifer - I hope you're right about the Canon.

The mindfulness is a useful tool and is probably the only thing that's keeping me the right side of sanity at the moment...

Mapstew - on my good days...

Sausage Fingers - I'll pop over and take a look soon :)

Jacqui - I do have the occasional *smug bastard* moments...

Tui - I've been eating yeast free for 5 weeks now. I was also sugar free apart from in my coffee for 5 weeks, but have been drinking my coffee with out sugar for nearly 3 weeks now - vile. At some point soon I'll stop the coffee too. But so far I've had no improvement in my condition.

Emma - I am prepared to go the whole hog if it makes a difference. But it's so much harder to keep going when there's no discernable difference weeks later.

V - I am really, really enjoying the sunshine :)

Charlie - I tend to forget blogging is a hobby. It feels like an important part of my work life, although if I examine why I should feel like that, I can't find any reason for it. Perhaps after nearly 5 years of blogging, it's just become so habitual it feels odd and wrong when I don't do it...

Hope - I daresay I'll be blogging about the exhibition once it's underway :)

Eryl Shields said...

Canon would be insane not to exchange the camera!

The mask sounds horrendous, there's no way I could sleep with it. Perhaps this isn't the best time to be trying it.

Only two weeks to go!!!!!!!

snoble24 said...

i hope canon excahges the camera theyd be loosing buisness if they didnt.i hope you start sleeping better

Kim Ayres said...

Eryl - I just hope Canon realise that too. As for the mask, I don't have much choice with the timing - I take it back this Wednesday. Although it would be great if it made a real difference, part of me would be more than happy never to see the bloody thing again

Snoble24 - thank you :)

Z said...

All the best, Kim - nothing to add to what's already been said but my good wishes.

Sayre said...

I hope that if I order your book through, that you get a piece of it? Otherwise, might I suggest that you order some yourself and re-sell them so that you make a little profit at the same time? I think even people who see your exhibit in person would like to have a book too.

I wish I could see it in person - I know it will be amazing!

Sayre said...

Another thought... both my parents have been diagnosed with sleep apnea - my mother had the mask and couldn't stand it. My father got something like a breathing tube with two plugs that go in his nostrils. He can't sleep without it now. Perhaps a different style "mask" would make a difference in your comfort and ability to sleep?

Anonymous said...

May the Force be with you, Kim. : )

Falak said...

All the very best for the exhibition and hope you feel better soon!

Kim Ayres said...

Z - good wishes are always appreciated :)

Sayre - I'll make a couple of quid on each one, but not enough to make my fortune - just enough to cover costs. I've ordered a copy of the book myself now, to see what the quality is like and make sure there are no glaring errors. Once I'm happy with it, I'll make an announcement on the blog and link to it.

As for the Sleep Apnoea, I'm still not convinced that's my problem. I've had 5 nights of the machine and it's becoming clear the machine is making me lose more sleep, not gain any :(

~:C:~ - and with you :)

Falak - thank you :)

Mimi and Tilly said...

Yep, it does feel like you're putting in all the work for no reward. For me, it really took a while for me to notice the difference. Now when I have sugar I can feel my joints ache the next day. Very odd. I don't stick to it completely now. I just avoid anything overtly sugary like cakes and sweets and all the things that bring me joy in life. There's no bitterness, no. (Actually I've found that its about balance, but that seems to be the case for everything in life when living with M.E. It seems to be a very fine line to tread before hitting the wall.)

Kim Ayres said...

Emma - I've never had the aching joints problem that ME suffers get. And I've never had days where I couldn't physically get out of bed (I might not want to have, but that's a different thing). It's one of the reasons I've continually questioned the CFS diagnosis. But there's never been any other diagnosis forthcoming.

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