Monday 30 June 2014

The new old walks

Whenever I set off for a familiar walk

I invariably wonder aloud whether

I really want to carry my camera

because I can picture it so well

and nothing will have changed much.

I am always wrong.

I left the camera behind when I went for a short walk by the sea.
There was a beached ray on its back, smiling up from the sand
just like a Disney character.

Friday 27 June 2014

The Lovatt jug

One of my mother's jugs, often filled with Dad's gladioli
and always seeming huge.
It is big, and I don't often have big enough flowers
to do it justice.
These came from the meadow bank where the ox-eye daisies
are tall enough to make me feel like a child again
when I walk down the path between them.

Wednesday 25 June 2014

Garden wish list

This sweet rose, without any blackspot.

Some well organised clematis, this one climbing through a white rose.

This one scrambling up onto a deck.

Or this one with its own pillar
instead of our wildly uncontrollable clematises up a pear tree,
 monopolising the washing line and disappearing next door.

Some gravel without weeds.

This stylish garden furniture
instead of the rickety collection we own.

 A hammock between two trees.
We had one once in its own frame, 
not having suitably spaced trees,
but too many teenagers piled on to it 
and put paid to that arrangement.

A pond that doesn't leak and isn't covered in duckweed.

Nasturtiums threaded through a clipped yew.

Either of these windows in outbuildings
 and I'll have that jug too.

This view framed by

these roof tile sandwich pillars.

All seen at Great Dixter and a garden in Sussex open under the National Garden Scheme.

Monday 23 June 2014

The longest days

Soaking them up.

Thursday 19 June 2014

When the sun comes right in

In this north-west, south-east facing house,

the sun only shines in through the back windows
 at this time of year.

 But everything is lined up and waiting for that moment.
I just have to be there with the camera.

Tall Cat knows where the sun is in the morning.

They're changing guard at Sveriges Kungahus*

I was standing on an island in the middle of crossing the road
when who should hove into sight

but the Swedish Royal Life Guards,

a combined cavalry/infantry regiment of the Swedish Army

accompanied by the mounted band.

They were on their way to the palace for the
changing of the guards ceremony.
They have been protecting the Royal Palace in Stockholm since 1523.
Apparently 800,000+ spectators visit the outer palace courtyard
each year to witness these ceremonies.

I was in a crowd of three.

Here's how they sounded.

*'They're Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace'
was an oft played record in my early years.

Tuesday 17 June 2014

The archaic smile

John Fowles described the archaic smile in The Magus as being
'full of the purest metaphysical good humour'...
'timelessly intelligent and timelessly amused.'
With this hovering smile, Greek archaic sculptors were thought to be
suggesting that their subject was alive and infused with a sense of well-being.

Well the MillesgÄrden certainly had the same effect on me.
The sculptor Carl Milles and his wife Olga a painter,
came to live in Stockholm in the early 20th century.
The house, sculpture garden, and gallery
were donated to the Swedish nation in the late 1930s.

The breakfast nook in their kitchen with Olga's decorative paintings
on the cupboards inspired by the Delft tiles on the walls.

Sadly behind a window, with some touristy bod
(you know who you are P) reflected in the glass,
Anne's house, built for Anne Hedmark, Carl's assistant,
who lived there after his death in 1955.
The furniture is designed by Josef Frank.
I could have settled quite happily into the armchair
by the fireplace, perhaps listening to this

We visited Svenskt Tenn of course,

where I would happily have chosen any number of lampshades
were it not for their eye-watering prices,
so after a rather sobering discussion with the very cool sales staff

I came away with these scraps
rather specifically described as breadbasket liners.
I will not be burying them under my bread rolls.

A strange thing happened to my camera
while I was there.

It decided to take pictures in black and white for a while.

 I rather like them.
Here is Glenn Gould in black and white.