To get hold of my Spoons please visit my Shop at 260 Hackney Rd London.

Saturday, 12 February 2011


The nervous laugh that is this Post title is fitting. I took the decision before leaving for last years spooning not to take a camera with me, this was in part due to the hassle of carrying one and batteries etc. The main reason though was i believe it would have distracted from the experience, the straw that broke the camels back was on a visit to the science museum with friends they had some young relatives with them and photos with their accompanying smiles were the main subject of the day. Instead of experiencing the wonder of the museum which is certainly wondrous, we were constantly focusing on proof/evidence of enjoyment which would have doubtlessly been relayed via the magic of the internet.

Throughout last year people were constantly asking if they could take a photo, i never said no, but i asked those that did take photos if they could perhaps email me a copy. Well only one person has and i just received it via the magic web online yesterday.

I must admit it is always a shock to see a photo of myself. I don't feel like that person looks like he should feel. The second photo pulls at my heart strings because he looks so sad, and then i realise it is me. Photos lie, one split second is not a proper representation of a meeting or an experience or even a feeling. Though it is hard to argue that it does not represent that split second. As someone who is completely obsessed with 3D reality i have a very poor relationship with my own.

unfortunately i do not remember this meeting, like i said i do get people asking if they can have a photo but it makes it special that Ian Horne has bothered to send these photos to me, and i am very grateful to him for doing so.

I do know the location because i have sold many spoons there and spent most of the winnings in the cafe opposite. The grass i'm sitting on is in Spitafields i'm surrounded by high rise office blocks just round the corner from Liverpool street tube station. There is an allotment behind me which was created by Paul Wylde and others from the Providence Row Ecotherapy Group. The allotment has a great variety of different things growing on it, many of which are reputed to be therapeutic which is appropriate as the allotment is on the site of old monastery that made herbal remedies. I like that right in the heart of all that capitalism there is a little allotment growing morrocan mint.

I like the little cardboard sign saying hand carved wooden spoons, it's from a pizza express box and has fancy squiggly bits cut into it. The dappled shade was perfect for carving spoons and i spent many happy hours sat carving on that patch of grass.


  1. Nice couple of photos, it is a shame no one else sent you any. I wish I had more of a record of some of my many lives. May be get them to photograph a piece of card with your email address on it, so when they see your photos on there computer they will also get reminded to send you them.

  2. Nice post Barn and when I see the picture I don't see sad I am filled with happy memories of a wonderful person with deep and interesting ideas and fun too. I do look forward to sharing more time together.

    The description of the experience at the science museum is interesting and clearly way too far one end of the spectrum. Is there a middle way using a camera thoughtfully that would still fit with your technology and hassle free lifestyle? Perhaps though it may be the thin end of the wedge. If you want to try it I have a reasonable compact that is surplus to requirements I would be happy to send you, you could carry it for a few weeks and see if it was a positive or negative experience.

    I like the Spitalfields site. When the hospital was there that gave it the name in the medieval period they ate from wooden utensils and there was a remarkable archaeological excavation there which recovered about 20 near perfect medieval bowls and plates. They are occasionally on display at the Museum of London.

  3. Barn,
    I see a person whom I admire greatly. You have made your life's journey truly your own and not one pre-programmed by societal expectations...

    From across the pond in Rochester, New York
    Dave Esposito

  4. Barn, I know what you mean. I really don't like posed photos. Lots of pictures of people smiling to a camera in different locations is not something that appeals to me.

    However, I do think that a camera has a place and if it's used sympathetically then a photo can be fantastic.

    I think the key thing is to have it to hand and be able to snap a shot quickly without influencing the situation.

    Since my wife got a digital SLR camera, I have come to realise how slow our compact is to use.

    If I had a camera with the size of a compact (or I could live with one slightly larger) but the speed to shoot of an SLR then I would be a lot more happy taking pictures of people.

  5. Hi Barn,

    Sorry it took a little to get the photos to you, the one day I take a film camera into work :-)

    I'm actually quite reticent asking people to take their photo, it's out of my comfort zone, but you seemed such an interesting character that I had to. Having read your blog and facebook I was right :-)

    Will follow you online and hope to say hi again when you are next this way.

    All the best,


  6. What I see is an unencumbered man. A man able to be himself despite surroundings which are totaly not "him". I also see someone who looks a little lost in the environment he finds himself in. That's not a bad thing. It means being open to new ideas yet firmly rooted in older ideals.

    Myself, I rarely take a camera with me. A couple of years ago we spent a week in Florida at Disney. In that week we may have taken 100 pictures and most of those were multiple shots of the same thing/time so we knew we had a least one good shot. Most of the pics were of our smiling kids. I do not remember the last time (if ever) I took a camera to one of my girls soccer games, or a school play or even to the forest. THOSE "pictures" are stored where they belong, in my head and in my heart.

    Be well,