Day 3 of 100, Singapore

Flemming and I attended the local Fujifilm launch of their three new cameras this evening. Still smarting from the whole debacle with the airline for Sunday’s flight, we’ve decided to add some vodka to that lemon of a situation, and make the best of our additional time here. I’ve genuinely enjoyed myself at these events, which is unusual: I am very awkward around lots of other people. Parties are a special kind of hell.

In her Journal Of A Solitude, poet May Sarton likened “every meeting with another human being [to] a collision” during periods of depression. Social situations and/or large crowds have a similar collisive effect on me. You know, when you don’t know if you should have dialed yourself up or down, said something differently, not said it at all, hung bells on your ears or over your head, then you retrospectively overanalyse each twitch that everyone around you made and decide MY GOD, THEY ALL HATE ME, I SUCK AND WILL NEVER INFLICT MYSELF ON ANYONE EVER AGAIN?


Bugger. Well, some of us live in the throes of this madness.

I am learning though, that it gets a little easier with practice. The sense of collision never goes away, but it doesn’t appear to be fatal. It’s easier at camera/photography events, because I carry a camera like everyone else, when there’s absolutely no reason to. And it’s completely acceptable to wander away and make pictures of a blank wall outside when it all gets too much. Photographers do stuff like that. Thank goodness.

And, lately I’ve made connections that remind me of the richness of this travelling life I’m lucky enough to live at the moment. Those are precious, the recognition of mutual oddballness from poles away.

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”
― C.S. Lewis


  1. Michael says:

    Really enjoying your 100 day journal. Sorry to hear about your airline troubles. I love your style of expression and can so identify with that “collision” feeling. Looking forward to the next 97 days!

    1. Mads says:

      Please stick to your promise of hundred days of this. And please put forward/backward-buttons on the page so we, your avid readers, don’t have to go the journal page every time.

      1. Charlene says:

        Mads, I’ve been thinking about next / previous arrow links on individual blog posts for the past year, at least. It might happen, but don’t hold your breath

    2. Charlene says:

      Thanks Michael

  2. Ned says:

    I filter myself before I say it, afterwards thinking “I should have said this, or that” and I carry my camera so that I can disappear for moments of calm

    Keep it going :-)

    1. Charlene says:


      There’s a word for this retrospective revelation, but i can’t remember it. On the bright side, we might learn one day. In the meantime, there’s always the camera!

  3. greg g says:

    Perhaps the numbskulls that kept you off that plane happened for a reason. Perhaps you were meant to undertake this project. Its beginning is certainly… what?, encouraging, suggestive, engaging… not sure I have the word. And the images that are accompanying the written explorations have been quite extraordinary (especially this one), even perhaps going back to “Good-bye” which now looks for the world like a precursor.

    I certainly identify with the angst of encountering strangers at a social/business gathering, but (given my own argumentative nature) would dispute the “collision” description, more (for me) it resembles the endless-seeming skid on ice, out of control, waiting for the sickening crunch you know must be coming. The extrovert’s battery charges among people and drains alone, the introvert’s just the opposite. I’ve read a couple quite good books on the topic. “Quiet” by Susan Cain and (even better, IMO) “The Introvert Advantage” by Marti Olsen Laney, Psy. D.

    As always, my very best wishes to you (and Mr. F) and heartiest vote of confidence and encouragement. Keep on keeping on.

    1. Charlene says:


      Maybe it was the push i needed. Time will tell. Agreed re the skid and crunch. Crunches are collisive too.

      I’ve heard of those books, though I’ve yet to read them. On my burgeoning list of ebooks to rent from the library!

      My thanks and best wishes to you too Greg, it’s always lovely to hear from you.

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