Saturday, March 31, 2018

Third and Final for the Month...


As there is no way I'll ever prepare a third post for this mad month of March, I'll just cheat and use my orchid shots - pink and purple this time.


Maybe these colours will bring some warmth to the temperature outside and the mood within!


There is a magical full moon tonight - perhaps the best way to usher in the month of April and say goodbye to March!



Plimsoll Lines....


According to dictionary definition, the term 'Plimsoll Line' refers to the marking on a vessel's side, showing the limit of legal submersion when loaded with cargo under various sea conditions. Right now, I feel like some old boat, sinking under the weight of my work obligations. So, while I had actually planned on writing a proper post, this one will have to do.... Still, I do think these are such beautiful flowers and of an appropriate colour - blue !


Monday, March 19, 2018

Last Day of Winter...


So this was the last day of Winter and yet the snow and ice have returned!


So what better than some bright warmth from orchids...


These are so exotic, yet as they are seemingly available everywhere, they seem strangely commonplace...


However, one careful look would be enough to awaken our jaded senses, especially in this extended winter period.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Purple - again...















End of the month, and no time to write anything... This seems to have become more than a passing trend, and whilst time ticks along at the usual pace, 
I seem to be doing less and less in absolutely every area of life - except work.
 I have to find a way out of this particular set-up and state of affairs.
But in the meantime....


Since the rabbit has taken residence at home, I have been making time to go to the garden centre each Sunday to stock up on bunny-adapted supplies. Well, that's my official excuse to look at the array of plants and animals there.


I saw these beautiful cabbage leaves - sold as floral decoration - a few months ago, and kept them in my mind's eye.


Even the humblest of vegetable can be a source of aesthetic wonder!


Even if the more obvious forms initially catch our attention, each has its own beauty.


City Snow...


Little did I know that the blue skies at the beginning of February would give no indication to how the weather would change over the weeks. Snow came and went, cloaking everything in a fleeting layer of calm, momentarily muffling the usual humdrum sounds of city life, yet leading to chaos on the roads, rails and runways. With a little imagination, you could almost imagine yourself to be somewhere else, in some other time…


This reminded me of a beautiful card that I have kept over the years – Riders and Dogs in Snow – by the British watercolourist, Leslie Worth (1923-2009). The simplicity of this peaceful scene offsets the precision of the details so that you can feel the cold, with all the associated sensations in the tranquility of the landscape. The ruffled feathers of the blackbird, puffed-up against this harsh environment, stand out against the simple, stark bramble branches. The static gaze of the riders towards us, is contrasted by the excitement of the dogs, whose energy you can feel in their eager tails as they wait for the masters’ command.


This, in turn, reminded me of the painting Hunters in the Snow (1565) by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Strange how animal traits change little over the centuries, and how well artists capture these, when their portrayals of key human features often fail, or remain caught in a specific moment of time, that are poorly 'translated' in the present...


It seems that much of Leslie Worth’s art captures a similar mood, centred around the changing English weather– hazy views over landscape transformed by rain, mist, sunlight and storm. Although his early work was largely carried out in oil, after having submitted two watercolours to the Royal Academy summer exhibition in 1951, he then turned towards this lighter medium. He had not studied the use of watercolour, but his technique and choice of scenery seemed to be instinctive. Born in North Devon on Derby Day, Worth would say the winning horse ‘Papyrus’ was surely a sign of things to come. Indeed, much of his life was spent around Epsom and paper was his material of predilection, and the base of the watercolours for which he was mostly, yet not exclusively, acclaimed.


Here we are at the end of the month – again with radiant skies that belie the minus 10° outside…

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Progression...Towards lighter evenings - Le Progrès

Le Progrès - Levalet - Reims
On this beautifully sunny (and cold) tail-end of a Sunday afternoon, I came across these two surveyors near the cathedral. Another work by the street artist Levalet. I do hope he carries on lightening up the walls around the city! Still bright skies after 5pm here...

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A is for......

Have yet to buy a car - but here's the sticker!!!

A is for... aardvark, Acrocanthosaurus, African elephant, African penguin, African wild cat, African wild dog, agouti, Airedale terrier, Alamosaurus, alligator, Allosaurus, alpaca, amoeba, amphibian, anaconda, angelfish, Ankylosaurus, ant, anteater, antelope, Apatosaurus, ape, arachnid, Archelon, Arctic hare, Arctic wolf, armadillo, assassin bug, Avimimus, aye-aye…….and the list goes on...

And A is also for another species - the apprenti conducteur or young (!!!) driver who has passed the driving test, but will maintain learner status for the following three years.

It is said that you should probably envisage as many lessons as the years in your life when learning to drive…. Let’s just say that I must be planning to be around for some time yet – but with wheels!