On music and photography


The lupus flare continues. Reading is a struggle. Even harder is conversation. It’s taken me a week to write this post. Being coherent is tough.

When I’m in a flare the things I enjoy doing are heavily restricted. I can watch TV and films if they’re plot-heavy and/or on the silly side, but I can’t concentrate enough for slow, serious or complicated (Brooklyn Nine Nine for the win!). I find social media overwhelming and really only check into Twitter regularly for the cute animal photos and videos. I can listen to podcasts for short periods but I lose concentration easily.


One thing my small obsession with Janelle Monáe has reminded me is how much of a pick-me-up music can be. I have spent much more time listening to music this year than I had since…university, I think. In recent weeks it has been my saviour. Music has a huge emotional effect on me, so I have to choose carefully to make sure it’s an upper not a downer. But it’s a comfort to know that I can just play the right album and trick my brain into feeling better.

Something other people tend not to understand about my lupus flares (and it’s probably a failure on my part to explain properly) is that when I suffer from fatigue, I am more affected by mental exertion than physical. Though neither is easy, I would rather walk for an hour than talk. But walks with friends or family tend to be accompanied by conversation, so how can I avoid that? The easiest method is to carry a camera and keep stopping to take photos.


I love photography and this year I’ve picked up my film camera a little more often. I’ve taken my Olympus OM1N to London, the Forest of Dean, Bath and all over Bristol. The infrequency of my film photography, not to mention the age of the camera I use, mean my hit rate is fairly low, but it does make photography feel like more of an art than when I use digital.

I’m going to watch an episode of Happy! then get an early night. Happy Thursday.