Today’s Race

The smell of sweat. The way I can hear my heart pounding as I finish. Fingers tracing the contours and ridges of my prize. The taste of salt as I shower afterwards. Eyes widening in anticipation as my post-event pie and pint appears before me. Running isn’t better than sex, but there’s a lot of similarities…

This weekend’s monthly prompt is Senses – see how others are interpreting it by clicking on the lips below.


18 Again

Exposing 40 is a photography project and the images we take and have taken of ourselves will always be the primary focus, whether they’re images that celebrate what we love, confront what challenges us, or reveal what excites us.

But stories and anecdotes that provide the backdrop to the project will emerge.

Last Saturday I spent the afternoon with one of my oldest friends. We met more than 21 years ago on our first day at university. Over the following three years we spent many hours together in the dark room, ‘dodging and burning’ to manipulate our images, long before the days of digital. We hopped on trains to London to visit the Photographer’s Gallery. Hours were spent poring over the work of Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, Man Ray, and many more, seeking inspiration…

Guy Bourdin at Somerset House was our destination last weekend. Sexy, provocative, beautiful, funny photography. Walking around I shared the idea for Exposing 40. Her excitement was immediate. Back at her house books were dragged down from the shelf and once again our heads were together, talking through ideas. By celebrating 40 we’d become 18 again.

Later in the week I texted her with an idea for a photo:

‘Does the corset you wore to the first year May Ball still fit you?’

‘It does. Fab idea!’


‘I’ve been thinking about how to photograph my caesarean scar. It’s ugly but it’s now part of the rich tapestry of my life.’

And that’s really the essence of this. Friends coming together, celebrating beauty and reinterpreting bruises.


Stepping out

When I contributed to Exhibit A’s first Anonymous Sinful Sunday back in June I did so with a knot of nerves in my belly and an assumption it would be a one off. I loved it immediately! I couldn’t have predicted how good it would feel to be on the receiving end of the Sinful Sunday community’s warmth, kindness and encouraging words. I ended up contributing six pictures in total.

It was only in October when I had my sketch done that I started talking to some of my friends about it a little. Sitting in that way had been such a remarkable experience that I wanted to share some of my reflections. The conversations that followed were thought-provoking. I have just turned 40 so a fair few of my closest friends are also hovering around that landmark age. Life is beginning to show around our eyes. Babies have been had. Accidents and illness endured. Weight has been gained, lost, gained again. Conversations with male friends revealed similar responses to the aging process as my female friends expressed. That self-confidence is so often drawn from confidence in our bodies is not an emotional issue owned by women.

An idea began to wind its way into my thoughts.

Then at New Year I asked the friends I was in Berlin with to take my January photo. Surprise, laughter, excitement, the camaraderie and adrenalin of collective endeavour. At one point they all decided to have a ‘tits in Tiergarten’ shot, before deciding it was too cold. But it’s warm in Amsterdam in May, isn’t it ladies?

The idea was taking root.

Then last week I asked two of my best friends – soul sister types! – if they’d get up at stupid o’clock in the morning to take a picture that can only really be taken at sunrise. Before I knew it, one was googling locations from parks in Yorkshire to beaches on the south coast and shouting out ideas, while the other was showing me (great!) tit shots that her partner receives every morning (she’s dedicated!).

OK, let’s run with this idea then shall we? So here we are. Exposing 40: Friends. Photography. Adventure. I don’t know where we will go with this, how long it will last, or how many of us will get involved, but I have realised it’s so much more fun sharing this with my friends, and if they gain half of what I have from participating then it will be a project worth sharing.

Many of the photos I submitted to Exhibit A’s post focused on bits of myself I don’t like. Your comments have helped me think differently about those parts of my body. Thank you! But I thought I’d start my project with a different sentiment, so here I am stepping out and presenting my legs. I love my legs! I especially love them when my feet are in my silver sparkly 40th birthday heels. Let the party begin!