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Palace one of many summer palaces built on the periphery of Moscow for the uber rich of their day, these days superceded by equally super-rich oligarchs who strut and swagger and swamp the city with petrol fumes from their hefty cars steadily choking their planet in no less a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.