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RJ Askew

I'm here to tell you a story, a beautiful story you'll warm to love, in a beautiful sad sort of way.

Hi, Emma Saywell, photo-journalist who’s seen one too many wars. Caught him in the cross-hairs of ‘Broken’, my Canon. CLICK. Where was this going? CLICK. CLICK.

Only went to Kew Gardens to chill and take some shots in the Lily House - beats rocket attacks in Helmand. Afghanistan, Libya, Syria. Keep getting drawn back. Shouldn’t. The Lily House is beautiful. And so was he, my swift man.

Flying back to Syria tomorrow. Get the picture. Get paid. Follow the rules. Stay alive.

All he had was a pencil he’d found somewhere, a pad of paper, and this incredible something or other. He drew me in, literally. Was hooked, one swift summer.

It started slowly, but I so needed slow. Slow is good. You can’t be too slow sometimes.

Take your time. You’ll get it. I did.

My story involves a monkey puzzle tree, a rubbish bin, two opposed men, and these incredible birds…”

In The Chronicles Of Wasted Time


I’ll be brief. I have a cheque to bank - a rare event.

I’m gazing at it now. Seventy-eight pounds and forty-five pence. It has my name on it and it and that of Deutsche Bank, with the bank’s fetching logo - the bold outline of a blue box enclosing a diagonal line floating in white space from bottom left to top right.

Doubtless there is deep meaning locked in the logo. The euros it must have cost in design fees. Move over seventy-eight pounds and forty-five pence!

Nothing will have been left to chance. Image analysts with doctorates galore will have earned buckets.

Not that I’m envious. For there’s another name on my cheque, that of the payor:

The cheque, you see, is my first royalty payment for works rendered in the name of ebook-writing.

As it has taken me over 10,000 hours - more like 20,000 - to earn, that’s an hourly rate of 0.8-to-0.4 pence. And I am doing better than most indie authors who will never cross amazon’s royalty payment threshold of $100.

The cheque is dated June the 20th, 2014. I’ve pondered framing it. But, no, today I’ll bank it.

With luck I’ll see more of Deutsche Bank’s 12-by-12mm logo on a cheque with my name on it. Perhaps in 2020.


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