Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a Muse in the wardrobe. A little creature that is hard-wired to your inner creative that you can take off its hanger and plug in to waft around your space like a visionary air freshener, inspiring as you respire making the process of conceiving and forming as easy as pie. Failing that, I suppose we all have a mechanism that works in a sort of a way and for me the sort of a Muse is generally a mountain or some water. Up at 7,000 feet plus in the pre-Alps of the Belledonne mountains above Grenoble you find lakes. The ones in the picture are called les Lacs Roberts. Align them to a perfect sky (note the sticky candy clouds in the otherwise perfect blue – imperfection is perfection I always feel) and something in me soars and sparkles and I feel the inspiration bubble. Whether it makes any sense to anyone else or whether it is just garbled rubbish is neither here nor there – the fact is that my soul is free and light. It’s a start.
PS: The title is from a song called Supermassive Black Hole …. My husband is another sort of muse for me though I don’t keep him in a wardrobe on a hanger – he of the two brains who has been working to get the first images of M87 a common or garden supermassive black hole and looks to the stars for his muse (when he’ not looking to me of course!) The song is by The Muse … it amused me. Here is is:
Here is The Bean demonstrating the joy of being outside in uninterrupted open space. The grass tickles her underside, the sun beats down on her topside and she is solitary except for the necessary human behind the camera capturing her off-season delight at a mountain to herself. This was June last year but here it is mostly off-season
In the high range of extinct volcanos that spirals upwards to its climax at the Plomb du Cantal, July and August bring all manner of tourists. Hikers, bikers (those using their own pedalling power and those with petrol horses between their leathered thighs), caravaners, motorists and wanderers. For a couple of months it is difficult to get around without coming face to face with far too many bothersomes for my liking. I’m a bit schitzophrenic about tourism to be honest – I want it and encourage it because I want the region to thrive but I detest it because I have the soul of a hermit.
It’s a family trait – I remember well a holiday in Scotland. We normally went on that unseasonal cusp between Winter and Spring, but for some reason, this particular year, the sharabang north happened in August. We went to the gloriously named and, as it turns out, hugely popular, Trossocks. Each day my father got us out of bed earlier and earlier in the morning and drove us hell-for-leather to avoid the ‘wagons ho!’ of caravans in convoys sometimes hundreds long winding relentlessly towards whatever beauty spot had been picked by one of them and seemingly passed on to all the others by osmosis and which always seemed to coincide with whatever the parents had planned for our day out. From our hotel. In our estate car. With no caravan. We had no caravan. We did not WANT a caravan. The wagoners seemed quite happy to chug along nose to tail. We werent. Selfishly we preferred the wilderness to ourselves and would park the car and stride or, more accurately scramble for those of us on more juvenile, less emphatic legs, penetrating deeper and further into the hills through prickly heather and crunchy bracken and the odd morass of unsolicited bog, each day dragging our picnic bags and groundsheets and rugs to happily enjoy some family isolation. Every day, every SINGLE day at around 1 o’clock my father would bellow ‘bloody hell!’ as he spotted life trudging towards us. We seemed to magnetically attract others. I think the truth was that no-one else shared our desire to just BE in unperturbed nature without the company of strangers who, though Blanche Dubois took such comfort in the kindness of, sometimes, indeed mostly, one could not stand to be near. I haven’t changed.
PS: The poetry lovers amongst you will have spotted that the title is stolen from The Lord Byron ‘I love not man the less, but nature more’ from There is Pleasure in The Pathless Woods which, albeit referencing the seashore and woodlands rather than mountains, pretty much captures my attitude perfectly.
Is that the time? Is that really the time? Or more accurately, is that really the date? June. A week in already and I haven’t posted a single thing since the end of April. Shame. On. Me. No excuses – plenty of reasons. Mostly too boring to share but I shall now bombard you with stuff and I will start as I ended with a photo challenge – this one is called Vivid and this little fellow who I captured near Le Rouget before taking my long absence seems so vivid that you would think I had painted him. Except I can neither paint nor draw except with words so I am not guilty of that crime at least. Enjoy him – he stayed stock still for the camera and The Bean was similarly statue like in her shock at finding him. He is a he, by the way – if he was a she he would not have that beauteous coloured throat. Perhaps Bruce Jenner transgendering from male to female Caitlyn and posing in corsets for Vanity Fair should take note – we girls generally don’t get the most exotic plumage and thinking like a woman should not at all be to do with looking sexual.