Category Archives: Biophilia

River Stour & Leafless Willow

stourwillow

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Upriver from Constable

On the River Stour. Some people who take photos set up with tripods, and SLRs and zoom lenses and all kinds of wotnot. Me, I just prance around with a giant phablet, point and shoot, point and shoot baby.

Some good, some bad. The swan’s ok, although we had a bit of trouble with positioning the reeds…

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How does this even happen?

Getting this shot was more problematic than it first appeared.

The lack of phone for a month was chief among the obstacles.

Now that’s a sentence that would never have been typed pre-millennium.

cobweb snail

The Doing Being Conundrum

I never used to know who I was; I used to just go round doing things.

That’s changed somewhat, over the years. Part of getting older, more experienced I suppose. Sometimes as a result of bad things happening. Some of this change is sedimentary in nature – laid down over time; some of it is more igneous – born of fire and flood.

Anyway, try as I might – I cannot get the balance right. I long to just be, but the world simply will not let me and when I try it – well it doesn’t seem to much suit my constitution. Perhaps there is a way of being, whilst still doing, that I still need to discover. Meanwhile, I continue to try not to overstep the tipping point on the seesaw of life. And fail. I fail a lot. So much so, (and after the lines by Samuel Beckett) perhaps I should perhaps consider it to be my strength. And I should start playing to it a bit more.

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Where’s the exit?

The summer has raced along, and all the while the world goes mad. Or more mad, were that even possible.

Things have been done at this end, certainly, but it’s never, ever enough.

Amongst other things, I’ve been watching Mad Men over the last few days. The protagonist, ad man Don Draper, delivered the following parting shot to a group of hippies he’d been getting high with (when his offer to fly to Paris from Idlewild, New York, had been turned down by his dark-haired lover).

Taking his leave he said, ‘the Universe is indifferent’.

I’m not sure if I much like Don Draper, and I am fairly sure the Universe is not indifferent or inert, rather that it works against us rather effectively, if we refuse to work with it. If we set our faces against whatever the Universe consists of we may as well spend the rest of our lives going up a down escalator, dancing the a waltz to the foxtrot, or jumping out of the plane without checking our emergency parachute.

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Picture Window

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Spikes & Grey Skies

teazels

Back to Basics

Behold: The Dog

His life is pretty basic. My life with him is pretty basic too, until he complicates matters with his hunting instinct as well as his fear-based flight response. It’s a basic life, until he is legging it at twenty-five miles miles per hour after something, or legging it at twenty-five miles mph away from something. Only he and I know the difference.

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Flaking Paint Box Wood

I found this a few weeks ago on a dog walk, stuffed in some bamboo. It came home muddy, minus the slug I scraped off. I had intended to clean it a little and photo, but time passed, as it does, and when I got round to it yesterday, much of the paint that was left on the lower section had flaked off.

There are reasons I do this. It’s just that, at the moment, I can’t articulate them really.

Does it make sense without a rationale? Are things ‘better’ with a statement of intention? Yes, probably and no, probably. It’s something to do with accessibility maybe. Who the hell knows.

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Mudlarking

I have a deep fascination with the Thames…

Doesn’t that sound pretentious? I have no such thing. Actually, I do. I am obsessed with it as a thoroughfare, a literary device, a witness of history. With the whale that swam up it, and the swimmers that swim down. With its floods and barriers, its sunken ships (at least one full of explosives), the Shivering Sands straight out of H.G Wells, and the boat that Magwitch and Pip rowed down it in the Victorian fog, at least as far as Chalkwell Beach and the Crowstone which marks the limits of the reach of the Port of London Authority.

Which leads me to mudlarking – basically scavenging on the foreshore. Inter-tidal archaeologist or no, the bottom line is you fossick for stuff when the tide is out. Except… if you don’t have a licence, issued by aforementioned Authority, then you cannot dig.

Guess what? I now want a licence. Turns out if I want to dig to a depth of 7.5 cm (basically a tourist’s visa) it’s going to cost me ¬£70 for a standard licence for a year. Then if I want the full mudlarking shizzle – I have to serve two years probation at the 7.5 cm depth, and a build a record of submitting finds to the Museum of London. Then, if approved, I can excavate to the mighty depths of 120 cms. Watch this space.

In the meantime, I found this – too heavy to carry. I thought it quite beautiful and it reminded me of a friend. As well as all this, I sensed the ghosts of many a workman fulminating, ‘Bloody bucket!’ as they lobbed their wooden contraption with a busted galvanised handle into the deeps with a splosh. If you go, wear gloves and wash your hands.

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