Day to Day

I’m charmed by many of the books Princeton Architectural Press publishes. A recent PAP favorite is The Day-to-Day Life of Albert Hastings.

Photographer Kaylynn Deveney struck up a friendship with the then 85-year-old Albert Hastings after becoming his neighbor in Wales. She began to photograph his simple daily acts, asking Hastings to write captions under each of her pictures.

With so much bad news these days, there’s something surprisingly heartening about the pictures that fill this book. It in essence looks at the often lonely life a widowed man living hand-to-mouth, sure. We see Hastings claiming his pension check and filling in a handmade chart of TV programs for the week ahead.

But it’s also comforting to see someone living well who is also living very simply. In one photo Hastings takes homemade scones out of the oven. In another he discusses a book with a friend

This cheeky shanty by Hastings gives the finger to the nightly news. He penned it before his death in 2007 at 91 years old:

Death of a Cynic

Not an awful world I’m leavin;

Let it be short quick and sharp.

Then I can go up to my Evelyn

an’ learn to play me bloody ‘Arp.

Then I’ll see our Dear Savior

Oh, how happy I will be

I will clap my hands saying

To Hell with Radio BBC

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