Friday, June 29, 2012

delights and perplexities and ambiguities

In the sun dappled Ashdown Forest, smaller trees are occasionally to be seen encased in honeysuckle, and others in roses.

A woman seated at a bus stop in Acre Lane opens a small handbag and pulls forth a large mirror with a black plastic frame that exactly fits in to it.  She turns her head very slowly from side to side for a minute whilst holding the mirror perfectly still.  It has two cracks, widthways and length ways which cross near the centre, and the four segments are non-aligned.  I can guess what she sees but have no idea what she is looking for.

Before leaving work, I approach Mick, probably the best Irishman that ever drew breath, and shyly beg to ask a question of an unusually personal and intimate nature.  
“Is it true that you have had your body tattooed all over with shamrocks ?”  
In less than a second he replies, “Not entirely !”

"must see" mosaic films animations about children who are refugees

i wandered in to the drivers' rest area at four thirty this morning and this was playing to an empty room

i was rooted to the spot, and tearful


Sunday, June 24, 2012


Flying south between downpours, brushing across the waving tops of storm bruised trees, beneath a background of rushing tumbling waterlogged cloud, two herons struggle to hold close their courses along a wiggly line on their way from Battersea Park towards the pond at Clapham Common.

Resisting the temptation, but gladdened by having the option, of using our central heating at midsummer.

Rediscovering cocoa-induced oblivion whilst falling in to a deep sleep on the sofa.

graham carey died ...

... he arrived in malmesbury when i was about twelve

he was a full-time controversialist and a part-time egoist who annoyed and upset quite a few people

but wherever i was concerned he was unsparingly generous and tolerant

... and i must surely have annoyed and upset him a few times

best of all, whilst my educators were numbing me with everything anodyne,

he introduced me at an early age to the appreciation of such things as ...

brecht and john osborne
richard avedon and bill brandt
hans coper and ben nicolson
ben shahn and jackson pollock
walking the hills and valleys with maps and marching with protestors
alan ginsberg and walt whitman
the civic trust and john betjeman
stanley kubrick and francois truffaut

... and the notion that anyone, however high and mighty, might occasionally be persuaded to listen to reason, or poetry

later ... i discovered his touchstones were Rousseau, and David Holbrook

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


In a tree lined village street at Lingfield, as I drive cautiously along the approach to a busy junction, a jay emerges from the last tree and comes gliding down towards something I cannot see that lies in the path of my truck.  For a second or two as we approach one another, I am able to look down on him as he spreads his beautifully coloured wings in preparation for landing, but just as I am about to panic so he changes his mind and swoops up again to disappear beyond my shoulder.

In a winding country lane running along one of the Wealden ridges, as I slow to make room for an oncoming van, a kestrel with wings held high and tail in the up position, drops down along a dead straight landing path, touches the road for half a second, and then flies back up and away, along that very same line; carrying something in one talon that is small enough to be a vole.

As the truck trundles along the edge of a vast undulating field of wild flowers, so a skylark slowly descends until she vanishes in to a mist of buttercups.

Friday, June 8, 2012

check out the solar weather ... nasa's solar dynamics observatory shows the sun in lots of wavelengths

scrabble about in the small print and you will find links to up-to-the-minute HD images, filtered and then re-integrated in "false" colours, allowing you to see what's going on ...

, for instance

most of whatever else you might want to ask is in the booklet / pdf