David Ryan – Documentary Phtographer

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David Ryan is a storyteller. He tells other people’s stories with his camera.
As a documentary wedding photographer he’s a particular man who share’s other’s special moments in a very particular and unique way. Only David can tell a story through pictures the way he does. His is a special and distinctive talent.
David has a special place in my heart along this journey that’s led me to starting a podcast. A couple of years ago I was attending a good friend’s wedding in Ballina, Co. Mayo. David was their wedding photographer. Now, at this wedding I knew my wife and the bride and groom, and really, no-one else.
Following a beautiful ceremony at the Ice House Hotel I was wandering along the banks for the River Moy while family & friends took pictures of the bridal party. The one person who didn’t seemed to be in this melee was the wedding photographer. He was skirting around the edges, sometimes taking a picture of what was going on with the bride and groom, other times taking pictures of the young children as they played games of chasing while trying not to drop their ice-creams. David wasn’t doing the thing I’d come to know wedding photographers to do – controlling and directing the action. He was behaving like the proverbial fly on the wall.
I was fascinated.
So after while, having watched his modus operandi, I worked up the nerve to approach him and ask a question. Now, as you’ll hear David talk about in our conversation, the questions he gets asked as a photographer can, for him, seem quite trivial and superficial. And David hates the superficial.
Not knowing this, I went up to David and asked my question.
“What are you looking to capture?”
David’s reaction startled me, as I later learned the question startled him.
He turned to face me, took a step back and said, “Wow, what a great question.”
The rest, as they say, is history.
Having the courage to ask someone a question that was really burning a hole in my brain, from a place of genuine curiousity, and the amazing conversations David and I had throughout the rest of the day, awoke something within me that I’d long ignored.
That I wanted to spend more time with creative people learning about what makes them tick.
And most importantly, that it is OKAY to feel like this. So if I were to act from this place the results would more than not be really enjoyable.
And year and a half later, I finally worked up the nerve to start this podcast, which had some of its origins in that moment, outside a hotel along side a river on a gloriously sunny Saturday on the west-coast of Ireland.
So returning home to Ireland for a holiday in April, it was important for me to bring this full circle by sitting down to catch up with David.
I hope you enjoy – it’s a deep conversation and at one point we get much heavier than I ever expected. Thank you to David for his honesty, his openness and for not being afraid to let who he really his show through.
You can see more of David’s work here:
Thanks to:
Podcast homepage – https://widtaabbqs.home.blog/

Ep12 – Naomi Mourra



Naomi Mourra is a comedian, improvisor and co-producer of a regular comedy night on the Sydney scene.

There’s a well developed sense of irreverance to her comedy – she’s not afraid to speak comedy truth to power. In her upcoming show for the Sydney Comedy Festival she tackles a little book called The Bible.

Naomi’s performing her show, An Open Book @ The Enmore Theatre on 26, 27 & 28 April. Get your tickets here: https://www.facebook.com/events/237656840454622/ or here http://www.sydneycomedyfest.com.au/single-event?show_id=2200

The release of this podcast also coincides with the 1-year anniversary of What She Said Comedy, Sydney’s only all-female comedy night. Congratulations to co-producers Naomi, Sophie Long and Alex Potter for pioneering this weekly night @ the Chippo Hotel – you can find them plus some of Australia’s best and up&coming women of comedy on the stage each Sunday from 6.30pm.

Stay up to date with Naomi and the What She Said Comedy crew’s goings on here:


Thanks to:

Podcast homepage – https://widtaabbqs.home.blog/

The Agency of Rules

All I had was No.
And I knew it.
I was a kid and I didn’t know how else to express my anger or frustration or resistance.
As a result, I acted out when it suited.
It usually suited me when it came to food.
Meal time became my Waterloo.
I exerted my No.
I could be put under pressure to eat but no food was going in my mouth that I didn’t want to.
If I hadn’t heard of the meal before, No.
If I didn’t like the look of anything to do with the preparation or presentation, No.
If the dish included anything I considered weird, No.
If the smell made me wary, No.
Sometimes it was No because there was something else that had upset me earlier. I was, and sometimes still am, a contrary little bollocks.
It wasn’t fair on those around me, especially my parents, who did all they could for me, gave me every advantage in life. What did they get in return?
An ungrateful, obstinate little prick.
That may seem harsh to say about myself. It is. I didn’t make it easy.
What was wrong with me?
Why did I dig in so hard on this?
I began installing rules around my life as a form of infrastructure. This was Ikea-style, self-assembly for the soul. I’d built a traffic grid around myself resembling the Champs d’Elysee roundabout with No being a hard stop, red light.
I made so many things unnecessarily hard in my life.
I see it now in a way I never could because I viewed everything through the prism of No.
No was the only agency I believed I had.
I was scared, of newness, of the unknown, of having to give up control. The voice inside me screamed fear is a weakness – don’t show you’re scared.
So, I showed, instead, my utter and unrelenting ability to be unwilling.
I created rules for protection. These rules were my very own Jersey Crew. And, boy, were they tough. Soon they’d expanded their area of operation away from the dinner table to the music I would listen to, the clothes I would wear, the people I would want to hang out with, the games and sports I would play.
Every Yes I ever gave had to overcome a street-hardened, made-guy packing a Glock and a baseball bat, whose stock position was No.
I’d unwittingly brought in Tony Soprano to handle my security and in the unspoken agreement between us I’d unknowingly signed over my agency to him and his people.
I thought No gave me back power and control.
I thought No made me strong.
I thought No showed I could think for myself.
What I understand now is that No was a corrosive toxin.
I invested so much into these rules and systems of protection that they in turn held me prisoner.
Now, I’m all about dismantling. I’m into deconstruction, me and this here practice of writing that’s sometimes a sledge hammer, other times a scalpel, others still a screw driver.
Saying Yes is a daily, conscious effort, to fight back my reflexive No.
No is easy but easy isn’t always fun.
Yes is scary, yet therein lies the foundation for adventure and discovery.
In my heart, when I strip back all the layers inside me, my life is driven by curiosity and the search for meaning.
So, deep breath. One moment at a time. No big leaps here.
In 2018 I set myself the challenge to meet more strangers and fail more.
This year, it’s about living slower and creating quicker.
I’m back in this thing now, taking down one slicked suited corner hood at a time and I’ve no plans to back off.

Ep7 – Ali Whitelock


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Ali Whitelock is a poet.


Hailing from Glasgow in Scotland, her writing is both brave and bold.

I’ve been fortunate through this podcast to meet so many people who’ve decided to put creativity at the centre of their lives.

Ali’s path to poetry wasn’t a straight forward one and maybe the journey has made her writing all the richer for the experiences she’s had and the decisions she’s made.

On the page her work squirms and wriggles and challenges at every turn. Through performance her poems come to life.

You can find Ali this Thursday, 21 March @ Kinokuniya bookstore in the Victoria Galleries in Sydney city centre.

She’s one of an amazing line up of poets as part of  “The Celtic Word: an evening of contemporary Scottish & Irish poetry & prose” which includes Anne Casey, Magi Gibson and Ian Macpherson.

You can find more info on this event here: https://www.kinokuniya.com.au/events/the-celtic-word-an-evening-of-contemporary-scottish-irish-poetry-prose/

On today’s pod Ali reads two of her poems, The Time It Takes To Boil An Egg and Please Do Not Pee in The Sink.

You can follow what Ali’s up to here:

Thanks to:

Podcast homepage – https://widtaabbqs.home.blog/

What I’m Doing When I’m Doing the Dishes

It’s about the dishes.

But it’s also not about the dishes.

The dishes benefit.

Me, not always so much. Same goes for those around me.


There are times when keeping busy, being task-focused and immersing myself in the myth of productivity is all I can do from facing whatever it is I can’t.

(Edit: Whatever it is I haven’t the courage to face)

I might be upset about something.

Chances are I’m caught up in a loop of negative self-talk.

(Edit: I am for sure caught in a web of negative self-talk)

Not every time I’m doing the dishes, though. Sometimes they just need to be done, and not everything fits in the dishwasher.

Let’s take this opportunity to expand the range of what I’m talking about here:

  • General household domestic activities.
  • Putting on washing.
  • Hanging clothes on the line.
  • Vacuuming.
  • Cleaning surface tops.
  • Putting stuff away.

Doing the weekly grocery shop, filling and unpacking the trolley meticulously.

Getting home and putting all my purchases in their proper place, meticulously.

All the while there’s some broken record in my head going over and over and over how hard I have it, how much I have to do, how little appreciation there is for all I do.

It goes on like this and it gets hard to stop.

So, no, I don’t want to talk.

I don’t want to talk because I’m afraid of what I might say.

I’ll snap for sure.

I’ll whinge.

I’ll be all like poor little old me and I hate being like that.

I know my thoughts aren’t rational, aren’t right. But I can’t get my thinking all ironed out inside, so whatever I say it will come out all muddled and I’ll be misunderstood.

Please, just leave me alone.

But don’t leave me alone.

I want to be on my own.

But I need to know you want me around.


Join the club.

Somehow this stuff bottlenecks around Friday evenings if I’ve let it get out of control.

I’ve written off whole weekends by my inability to get outside of my own head.

Not so much the last year or two, though I’m prone to the odd afternoon, or maybe even day of intense self-loathing mixed with an overwhelming sense of importance all tied together with feeling completely ignored and unseen as I move about my day to day life.

So, I do the dishes.

I pour my energy and my focus into being productive.

Getting stuff done.

Showing others, no matter how badly I feel, I can still do, still function, still be a man and keep my domain together.

Sometimes, I just do the dishes because they need to be done.

Good luck figuring out which reason is which if you ever catch me elbow deep in suds at a sink!

Ep6 – Jason Dibbs



Jason is a writer, a maker and a teacher.

I’ve known him as someone who has dedicated his life to searching, exploring and learning. I often think of Jason as someone who, in his quiet moments, is listening for that original frequency that rang out in the moments just before the Big Bang because there might be something there that tells us something about ourselves.

Whatever he does, he does it with a serious and an all consuming intent. He lives very intensely and I was grateful for the opportunity to sit down and talk to him about the stories from his life that has shaped his path.

We go all over the map during this chat and I was pedalling fast to keep up. Jason speaks with a very considered and deliberate cadence yet beneath the calm surface is a mind that’s going at warp speed.

You can stay up to date with Jason here:

“Sleepwalk” by Santo & Johnny can be heard here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBRCvVpknvg

Thanks to:

Podcast homepage – https://widtaabbqs.home.blog/

Scott Hutchison

scott hutchison

I think it’s hard, and I don’t mean to divide the sexes here, but men, in particular, find something in the way that, not just me but The National, certain comics, say things in a way that’s, it’s what they feel, they know they feel it, but they don’t know how to tell people they feel that because it might seem emasculating to admit how completely destroyed you are, but there’s a way of putting it and if you put it in a poetic or funny way, and along to a heroic, joyful soundtrack then all of a sudden it’s not so weak anymore and it’s fine to admit it.


When the Zombie Hoards Come for Us

I’m not overly obsessed by zombies. I haven’t watched a single episode of The Walking Dead.

I appreciate the importance a film like Night of the living Dead has in the lexicon of the horror genre, though I’m not drawn to watch it over and over again.notld.jpg

I do, though, get a thrill out of is a good end-of-days yarn.

An all-consuming virus.

An out of control contagion.

When apes rise up or, in this case what happens when a swell of zombie hoards climb out of the earth and begin to hunt us, one by one.

And here’s why:

I want to know if I would survive.

Would I make it to the place of sanctuary, a second eden, where we are safe, at least for now, from the clutches of the living dead?

Would I have what it takes to make it?

And in thinking about this it gives me space to contemplate the broader question Do I have what it takes?

Am I a winner or a loser?

Am I a survivor or am I fodder for the mindless, gorging masses?

Am I worthy or unworthy?

Am I special or, you know, not?

Tales of survival fascinate me.

Whether from the zombie apocalypse or as one of the lucky few who followed Gene Hackman to the stern in The Poseidon Adventure.

the-poseidon-adventure-posterWould I align myself with the right people?

Would I make the right decisions under enormous emotional strain?

Would the other survivors see enough value in me not to:

  1. leave me behind
  2. kill me
  3. eat me

I think really what the coming of the zombie hoards represent for me is questions of self-worth, self-acceptance and the yearning to know what I am capable of when all I have to rely on is who I truly am.

As if this this is these scenarios where these values are tested

They are tested every minute of every day.

Each time I step out into the world, each time I interact with someone, each time I am called on to intervene in a situation.

I am questioned. I am tested.

Whether or not I have the infrastructure capable of dealing with the myriad of challenges that come my way is always under the spotlight.

Because while it’s not the zombie hoards breathing down the back of my neck, my own expectations are.

It’s not everyone else judging me, it’s myself.

I want to be tested and not found wanting.

I want to know I’ll make it, that I have what it takes to survive.

Yet I’m leaving validation for this to others, not trusting myself.

This realisation sits heavily on me. I know better than to engage in the tyrannies of what I should do or how I should feel.

I simply must believe all I’ve done to get here and know I have what it takes to keep going.

Whatever the test.

Whatever it takes.

I think we all have it within ourselves.

I’m going to go from here believing I do to.