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  • Writer's picturePatrick Mills

Ennui


I was going to call this post apathy, however it made me feel awful (consequently it has taken me ages to write!) - it felt like a disease or perhaps malaise. Chatting to a friend the other day he suggested ennui as a more positive type of apathy, it has a kind of romantic air, ‘an artist with no inspiration living a life in poverty in his Montmartre studio’.



The dictionary says a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement. "He succumbed to ennui and despair”.


I prefer this, but it is not completely how I feel or am. I am nowhere near despair, in fact life is good right now, but there are certain things that I am not ready for, so struggle to get on with it.


Simply put I find it very hard to stir my stumps.


Airports, stations, crowds, shops, the West End of London, motorways or sometimes just going out all make me uneasy to varying degrees.


It is one of the most annoying symptoms.


One stands out:


Flying.


I really don’t understand what there is to like about air travel, except it gets us everywhere quicker (at what cost to our planet?). Passports, tickets, packing, getting to the airport, check in (weirdly even online check in gives me a mild pang of anxiety), sitting around in a packed shopping mall, the gate, the plane, take off - Nightmare.


But I have to beat this one. Hypnotism, hard core drugs? Any ideas would be great. I have to get the travel bug again.


I know I can do it.


About a month ago I was asked to photograph various scenes in Hampstead for a book about to be published. Exciting yet challenging.


I worked hard before hand and planned my day using the path described in London’s hidden walks by Stephen Millar (fab if you like exploring London). I walked around 20km that day and got some great photographs.


Planning was the key and adventure trumped apathy.


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