So, clearly I need to work on the frequency of my blog posts. There was a period in which I was able to drive one out around once per month, but since life has became more hands-on and full of things to do, I’ve lagged behind, big time!
It’s now 2018! As much as this update is late, it doesn’t feel like it was that long ago that I wrote the other post, however, so much has changed, it’s almost completely different that 2017. I won’t spend too long on each section, but in order of timeline… here’s my update:
Untold Festival 2017
Yes, once again I was at Untold Festival. Actually, this time, it wasn’t planned at all. Long story short, I decided that I wouldn’t be making much effort to attend the 2017 edition of Untold, mainly due to the fact that although it’s an amazing experience, it’s also completely exhausting. Imagine, you’re getting up at around 9am, to be there at 11am and then on your feet pretty much all day until maybe 2/3am, and even later if you want to catch the headline acts (which typically finish at 4-5am).
Well, here’s what happened. I was sitting at work, on the first day in to the festival, me and some colleagues were discussing the fact that we could heart the low bass lines travelling through the late evening sky… and there was a little part of me which just thought, damn, it would have been great to be there.
Lo and behold, the next day, I get a phone call from the management team of Era Istrefi, and for those who don’t recognise the name, you’re sure to recognise the song, so as nice as I am, here’s the popular Bon Bon video.
Anyway, as I was saying, I received this call and they were asking me if I could come to take the photos for her performance after finding my previous Untold Festival photos online. Naturally, I accepted to take the job, and as modest as I am, I only asked for access to the festival in exchange for my services, as this would be a great opportunity to work directly with a main-stage artist.
Well, I must say, it was a great experience, having the opportunity to sit in the Artist’s Lounge, with the managers and organisers for all the big names was pretty cool, not to mention having the opportunity for some one-on-one conversation with Era, who, and I know you’ve heard this before from other people who discuss working with big names, “is actually a really normal person” – was totally comfortable chilling and talking, like I’ve worked with her before or something.
Anyway, the performance went well, although only for two songs, I got as many photos as I could in around 10 minutes, went straight back home, edited them down and returned to the festival. Here’s a few images from her performance:
Although I had access for the remaining days of the festival, I decided not to go for the lasts night, simply as I wanted to work through the rest of her photos, and upload some from other artists of the previous day, by then it was late and well, raining.
Here’s a collection of images from Untold Festival 2017, day 3. The rest can be found by clicking here.
Next year, or rather.. I should say this year, I aim to work at Electric Castle and maybe not Untold Festival, however, as you can see, things can change at any moment.
On the subject of things changing:
I moved… AGAIN!
Yes, I know, I know… I move more than probably anyone else you’ve ever met… but fact this, this time, I really had no choice.
So when I moved to Cluj-Napoca in 2014, the rental prices were pretty reasonable. In my last apartment, I was paying €300 per month, for a ~60m/sq apartment, in Manastur, in a well-connected area. Unfortunately, being that it was on the ground floor, and the winters here are crazy cold compared to England, I wasn’t expecting my 700 lei gas bill in February, which resulted in me having to pretty much shut down the heating for the rest of winter just to save some money.
The apartment in summer was fantastic, it literally was perfect for me. Ground floor, close to friends, next to the bus stop to work and even within walking distance of the centre (although it’s still far). So imagine my horror, when my landlord decided that it was time to jack the prices up… not by €10, not even by €30… but by €50 which apparently then increased to €70 when I decided to leave and he found someone else.
Okay, fine, if you are the owner of a building and know it’s worth more, you’re within your right to increase the rent, but honestly, increasing it by €50-70 in less than 1 year is incredibly greedy. Unfortunately, that’s the way the rental market has gone in Cluj and it will eventually crash, and that’s a fact. Give it 1 or 2 years, and honestly, this city will unfortunately be in trouble.
People won’t have enough money in their pockets for leisure activities and people will stop going to bars / restaurants etc… which have a knock on effect to the local economy… all this because the private rent sector wants to have a little bit extra pocket money.. “Have fun when your tenants leave”.. that’s what I say, long-term lower income is better than short term high income.
So where did I move now?
Floresti…. yep, Floresti. Luckily for me, I snagged an apartment for €240 with around 55m/sq, I can’t remember exactly, but it’s sufficient.
It’s in a relatively okay area of Floresti too, direct connection to the city, frequent busses and Profi (a local store which sells basically everything you need). However, there was work needed to be done in the apartment, sadly, the previous tenant clearly had / has some hygiene issues. So me and some very helpful friends got to work and solved what needed to be solved.
First thing to do was to completely undo, everything that I did to the previous apartment (in terms of studio). That took a total of one day.
Then, and with the assistance of the friends, had to clean and repaint the entire new apartment. Although, it looked fine through a camera, it actually needed every wall and ceiling to be painted. Here’s some photos from before, during and after!
The apartment is really warm, even with the heating off, it’s sitting at around 22°C, which means my bills are and should stay low, which is exactly what I need in order to reset my financial situation.
The goal will be to move back to Cluj, once the market stabilises, or I win the lottery.
A sad piece of news.
Unfortunately, my trusty sidekick, companion and pretty much only constant since I moved here, Mr. Hog, died just after I moved to the new apartment. I’ve had the little guy since I arrived in Romania, after picking it up in my ex-girlfriend’s garden at her country house near Tarnaveni (Mures).
This little dude has probably been the most photographed hedgehog, featuring in a number of shoots, people posing with the little guy and well, he’s been awesome, but it was his time to go.
I have many photos of the guy, and I definitely plan to get myself another one as he was too awesome and sweet!
I have a girlfriend.
Yep, sorry if I’ve been keeping it quiet, but that’s sorta just who I am. There are just some things in life that you keep for yourself and this was one of them. It’s been over a year since I had any proper girlfriend due to the fact I’ve been so damn busy with everything, and well, I still am… but we’re making it work!
I’m not one to share too much personal info about these sorts of things, but bottom line is, things are going very well, my life has increased in value (or at least I feel that way) and I’m feeling pretty good about it all.
She’s intelligent, pretty and very supportive, which I suppose, is everything anyone would want from their partner! No photos yet, sorry folkes, again, private life is private life… try to find photos of me any any of my other relationships in the past 5 years… you won’t find any ;)!
That’s it! – I think.
I think that’s mostly everything, I mean… I know I said I’ve been super busy over the past 6 months, and this may not seem like it… but trust me, I have.
I will start posting more frequently, and with more photography related subjects, so stay tuned for that!
If you have any questions, or you feel left out.. because maybe I forgot to say something that involved you… let me know. It doesn’t mean I hate you, it mean’s that for the moment, I just don’t recall it 🙂
Thanks for reading!