Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Monday, May 29, 2017
Over the past week, pockets of poppies have appeared everywhere, from the edges of fields and vineyards, to the scrappiest of building sites and scruffiest of wasteland. Whatever the location, the image of these flowers always seems to have the same visual impact.
I saw these near the fast lane of a dual carriage way, just in front of the ugly concrete mass of a bridge which has nevertheless been decorated with the head of the Smiling Angel (L'Ange au Sourire). The original sculpture became a symbol of the suffering of France during the Great War, when the cathedral of Reims was victim to the violence of war. During the bombing of the city, the angel was decapitated, the head duly fell from the façade of the edifice and shattered, thus marking "French culture destroyed by barbarity". Despite this, the angel was pieced together and just as the cathedral itself, emerged again, in phoenix fashion, from the flames and destruction, its enigmatic smile intact.
There was very little to smile about this week as yet another terrorist attack was carried out, managing to surpass others in sheer brutality by targeting the youngest civilians. Lives lost before they have even been lived. This was Manchester, but it could have been any other worn-torn country, for whatever the land it falls on, blood is still blood. Tears are still tears. And so the little poppies that emerged over the past few days seem all the more symbolic this time, ever more the image of those fallen. Here, however, the victims, as civilians, never signed up for this war, nor were they conscripted.
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Another month racing by; time-management failing dismally, punctuated by the weirdest extremes of temperature! However, here's one feline looking suitably pretty-in-pink, yet snooty/snaky, curled up in the sunshine on a shawl that I brought back from the Witches' Market (El Mercado de las Brujas) in La Paz, Bolivia - a long time ago now.
Strange to think of the origins of objects - preferably old and/or second-hand - that end up becoming part of the fabric of our everyday lives, and rather sad when we no longer notice them as we should...
Here are some of the flowers I pass by, on my usual way to work. I always keep an eye out for the changing plants in these beds, set next to the tram stop, and try not to just take them for granted as I race on. These looked all the more delicate today, with their ruffled petals and raindrops.
With their bold pink colour, the rosebushes along the canal have likewise come into flower, so much so that it is hard to remember the biting cold period when we actually had to break the ice on the canal when rowing!