You know the feeling. It is the start of the day and the computer has just been re-awakened after its overnight sleep (I don't know about you, but I have a fear of turning mine off all together in case it never starts up again). Anyway, there is work to be done : letters to write, bills to be paid, blogs to be written. All the things that count as life here in the fast track of the digital speedway circuit. But before you launch yourself into the data stream, you seek a few moments of serenity. You seek peace, reflection, contemplation and a reminder that we are individually little more than an unimportant byte in a terabyte world. Some, I dare say, might reach for religious iconography or Good Books (capital G, capital B). If it was later in the day I would probably reach for a bottle of 18 year old Lagavoulin. But at this time of the day I crave peace rather than stimulation and therefore I seek out The Commons on Flickr. The Commons is where the image archiving and display site, Flickr, exhibit images from some of the great on-line digital archives. Working in co-operation with museums and galleries from around the world they not only increase knowledge of these magnificent publicly accessible archive collections, but also invite people to add to the information available about individual images.
I just go there to browse, to flick through the wonderful old images and delay just a little bit more having to write that cheery e-mail to Cousin George. Sometimes I will find pictures of far and distant lands, other times pictures of the opening of a motor cycle garage in Oswestry. It matters not. Whatever image I find there, it will always be one of my favourite places.