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Give me silence, water, hope

I like silence and I like water.  In truth, I am really not quite happy living away from water.  I love the sea, rivers, lakes, even puddles.  I like rain.  Not all the time but I love the soaking showers that spring gives us, sudden fat wet summer rain, misty autumn rain, freezing winter rain and the chance, that teeny chance that you might see the perfect rainbow.  I have many rivers and volcanic lakes to choose from close to home and I have tried and tried with my myopic point and shoot camera technique to learn to photograph it.  I therefore present to you, quite proudly, my first good picture of moving water.  Movement  assigned by the weekly photo challenge is represented beautifully by many other entries here.

DSCF1656PS:  The line pinched for the title is  Pablo Neruda in ‘The Heights of Macho Picchu’ in which he painfully eloquently cries for the men who went before him, the ordinary men of the past and in so doing brings their voices, their lives before us to honour and respect as we ever should but so seldom do.  Today, I think of those in Nepal, their lives ravaged, ruined through no fault, no deed, no action of their own and wonder how long before we all move on and forget them again.  I urge you to remember and to give whatever you can to give them hope.

Even my soul is wet

It’s a new dawn! it’s a new day! it’s a new blog! … well not entirely, Michael Bublé,  but I AM feeling fine and the style it is a-changing.  And you might notice a new title in the next few days.  It is time.  I have published my first book, Russians Love Their Children Too in France and am now well entrenched in the second which needs some of my stories to feed it and so the blog needs a different emphasis.  Et voila! it will be a little more life-stylee … Eat Pray Love meets Gertude Stein on the set of ‘Allo ‘Allo if you will.  There will be food to share, some house renovating (our little project in the South) and much house searching for that elusive maison principale, crucial questions like ‘what should I wear to le marché on Thursday’ and ‘what do I do when cornered by the local buveur (boozer) on Sunday morning whilst taking coffee, tout seul‘ will be asked and possibly answered, all against a backdrop of an English siren dropped into a sparcely populated area of a foreign land whilst her love labours for a deaf super-power.  And of course photos with lyrical or poetic associations – and stories too … old habits die hard – now there’s a thought … Maria von Trapp meets Bruce Willis – by George, I think she’s got it!

The picture, chosen for the weekly photo challenge from The Daily Press, this week titled Early Bird, was taken by that very same husband in Chile at Los Salar just south of St Pedro de Atacama.  He has Two Brains and built an observatory on the mountain some years ago because he knew it could be done.  He also handles a camera quite well


PS:  The quote, appropriately, is Pablo Neruda, ‘Sometimes I get up at dawn and even my soul is wet’ in ‘Here I Love You’ which forms part of his  exquisite first collection Twenty Love Songs and a Song of Despair

No Man Is An Island

I do appreciate that my interpretations of the photo challenges set by The Daily Press may appear a little random to the casual observer but I can assure you that I do have a process.  I clock the word, in this case ‘afloat’ and then I scour my photographs for something that strikes a chord within me.  It’s a bit like when I was at primary school.  We had the most inspirational music teacher, Mrs Russell who pursuaded the Headmaster, Mr Caldicott, that we should do music every single day.  So we did.  And we had an orchestra and a choir of course but we had so much more – Miss Gardner-Brown led the pop group in which we sang Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel songs, 59th Bridge Street Song being a favourite on account of being allowed to click our fingers; I played double bass in the orchestra and we had a subgroup of 2 violins, 2 cellos a viola and me and a recorder group with the  impossibly beautiful Sarah Chant trilling on her sopranino.  We went to Eisteddfods and won prizes and we went to other schools to demonstrate what music could be in a school.  We played in the Church of St James The Less down the road  (I always wondered about St James the More) and they used my Bass to stop the traffic as we crocodiled giggling and higgle-piggling through the lychgate.  And sometimes I was given chime bars to play and I loved it when the sound of the chime rang true and sweet and gave vital chime-ness to the piece that we were playing.  So simple – strike it when asked and it resonates perfectly.  In principle, that is my process – find it, strike it and hey presto, bongo we have lift-off.  In principle.


Voila!  Here is a picture that, for me, evokes the algaefied tree island in The Life of Pi or Asteroid B-612 when the baobob trees have invaded it and forced The Little Prince to leave his beloved home planet.  It is afloat in a lake in the park that surrounds Tsaritsyno Palace one of many summer palaces built on the periphery of Moscow for the uber rich of their day, these days superceded by equally super-rich oligarchs who strut and swagger and swamp the city with petrol fumes from their hefty cars steadily choking their planet in no less a profound way than the baobob trees have ruined the asteroid and made the Little Prince’s Rose ill or the algae has made the tree island an acidic flesh eating hell whilst appearing to be a tranquil haven to Pi or any other cast upon its shores.

PS:  There is the odd day when I wish I was on Asteroid B-612 or afloat with Richard Parker in a vast ocean.  Just the odd day you understand.  An odd one here and an odd one there.  I try not to let them join up too much for Donne is right – I’m no island.

They shoot horses, don’t they?

Actually, I sincerely hope they don’t.  But this camera-shot horse skittering in the thick fog in the Chataignerie de Cantal last Autumn rather fits the prompt, blur in a way that pleases me.  Sitting, as we have been, seemingly for a life-time (though in reality just for a few days) in persistent drizzle and mizzle, the picture also serves to remind me that it is not always sunshine that enhances, but that mist and cloud shrouds can provide a mysterious glamour all of their own.


PS:  On the eve of Easter, I have to hope that the Bunny won’t get lost in the fog, nor the Bells take a wrong turn in the obscuring mist for that would be a catastrophe, indeed.  Bonne Pâques a tous mes amies!

lumière magique parmi les nuages de notre destin…


Sometimes, not often, I grant you but occasionally, I AM lost for words.  To find that the lovely and gifted Melanie had dedicated this post to me left me dumb.  It is a beautiful piece, written as she ever does, straight from the heart.  What prompted her was knowing a little of my story.  The story of Two Brains and I.  Separated by 4,000 miles and with the clock ever ticking, we both thank Melanie for thinking of us and for giving us the most precious and ever-lasting gift of words and pictures.

PS:  I’ve just thought … since I am struck dumb, this can be my Wordless Wednesday contribution, it being Wednesday as I write!

lumière magique parmi les nuages de notre destin….