Wednesday, 26 May 2010

I'm just not that into you....

I haven't been that into words recently. They can be overrated, and coming from someone who loves text and everything it does, that might sound a bit strong. But I am pretty sure my love affair with words waxes and wanes just like the changes of the natural world. Sometimes words just don't have the power for me to express my emotions, and then I look to other pleasures.

So, what have I been doing? I have been really into my music recently, and have been playing my cello until my fingers have been quite sore. And then I just wanted to be outdoors, and when the weather changed for the better I just had to get out and get soil under my fingernails. And we went walking to the Brecon Beacons with some friends. That was wonderful. As you can see from the photo above, we actually walked behind a waterfall on part of our route. It was fantastic, if slippery!

And so writing has taken a bit of a back seat. And also the other day a rejection come through for something I was (probably a bit too) fond of, and so that pushed me a little further away from the keyboard too. As much as I try to pretend I'm thick-skinned, every 'no' is a little barb.

But I know that I will fall back in love with writing again, the way I always do. Writing's like that rakish, good-for-nothing, devilishly attractive man that turns up like a bad penny, and that you just can't resist!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

This morning

It is a really lovely day here today. And I have seen some wonderful things already:

Waking up next to angelic sleeping Small Son. A flock of sparrows surfing along the hedge. A family of starlings worm-charming on the lawn. A field of yellow oilseed flowers lighting up like a beacon when the sun hits it. Explosions of blossom in every colour on almost every tree. A long-necked heron lazily flying south. The smiling face of a newly-pregnant friend. My germinated seedlings.

Have a good day.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

The Boss of Colour

I was just watching Modern Masters on BBC1, presented by Alistair Sooke. Tonight's episode was about the painter Henri Matisse. It told the story of his life and work, and the influence that his paintings have had on other artists, fashion and interior designers. I found it an incredibly moving programme. Matisse had so much humility, so much humanity. He strived throughout his life for artistic expression, and produced work right up until his death in his eighties. The beautiful cut-outs, like the one above that he is so famous for, were produced from his sickbed using a pair of shears.

His very last 'work', though, was not a painting. It was a chapel, designed fully by Matisse, with murals painted by him. The chapel was near Matisse's home, in Vence, and is called La Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence. When Alistair Sooke, the narrator of the programme, went into the chapel, he was visibly moved. And I have to say, I felt the same. The light and serenity and peace of the place was astonishing, even seeing it on a TV screen. The photo below does not begin to do it justice; I would love to visit it some day.

If you get a chance, and you're UK based, you can watch the programme, Modern Masters, on iplayer. It's well worth a look. As the designer, Paul Smith, put it, Matisse really was the 'Boss of Colour'.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Header Photo

I've been feeling the need for a bit of a calming influence on the blog, so I dug around in my photo files and found the above for the header.

It is a place in the Pyrenees in France called Lac d'Oo. You have to get there on foot, as it is a glacial lake up in the mountains. It takes a couple of hours to walk up from the car park which is doen in the village, but it is worth the climb. It is stunningly beautiful. The lake is crystal clear glacial water, and the waterfall you can see in the photo is about 270m high. The snow line is visible, even in the heat of the summer, when we last visited. A truly magical place.

Enjoy the photo.

What a shambles!

Last night I stayed up until 2am in the hope of getting a feel for the way the election might go. But, as my eyes were closing with tiredness, we were none the wiser, as the declarations began to only trickle in. Worse than that was the steady flow of stories about the organisation of the polling stations, with people queueing for hours only to be locked out and unable to vote. I remember when I was at university, one of my tutors went to Georgia as an independent observer to oversee their election. I wonder what he is making of last night's shenanigans.

And here we are, the morning after the night before, and no-one seems to be any the wiser. The results have been highly individualised, and have not really followed any discernable pattern, with surprise results happening all over the country.

My feeling is that maybe there is a pattern. If you shade in all the constituencies in their respective political colours, the geographical results might form into the shape of a single-finger salute pointing in the direction of Westminster, in a public act of collective unconscious, the like we have never seen.

Anyway, it's looking like we might be doing this all again fairly soon, so we might stand a chance of getting it right next time. Here's hoping...