Tuesday 30 July 2013

Hey, hey, you, you, get off of my cloud!

The same but different subject from my previous post; let’s say that in a strange way they complement each other. Blue sky thinking or just plain Cloud-spotting are two of my favourite pastimes. But the other night whilst sitting on the balcony the clouds were so spectacular that I just had to get up off my arse and go and get my camera. Here are a few of those pics:






Cloud computing

Cloud computing is just about here. It’s been talked about for such a long time but people are adopting it bit by bit. Web mail was the first part of the transition but now web storage is following on rapidly behind. Undoubtedly Google has done a lot to further the cause and others have followed suit. Photos are stored online by many people now and are an easy way to share. Online music storage is also beginning to take off. But for good honest plain storage of a reasonable size and without masses of adverts I’ve found Dropbox to be a really useful, reliable and free storage space.

Give them a go. I think you’ll like!

Wednesday 10 July 2013

Earth, wind and fire

The ancient Greeks believed that there were four elements that everything was made up of: earth, water, air, and fire. I think they omitted to mention that little boys are made of slugs and snails and puppy-dogs' tails, and that little girls made of are sugar and spice and everything nice. But we won’t hold that against them.

Whilst science has explained that they can no longer be considered as elements I have always felt an affinity with them; considering them to be spiritual friends. Finding comfort and solace in them. And before you ask, no I’m not an arsonist!

Thankfully I no longer have to garden. When I did I all too often found it a chore. But one thing I have always loved is the feel of earth on my hands. It is a feeling that’s quite sensual; be it breaking a lump of dry earth and letting it slowly run through my fingers or kneading a claggy sod of clay-heavy soil. The digging and breaking soil with one’s hands is an activity that is as old as cultivation and which in turn is a key element in human evolution. As a kid I could often be found, arse up with my head down a hole removing handfuls of earth as I dug deeper. I was an avid hole digger and I was thankfully given the freedom to dig in our back garden by my parents. I have an appreciation of good soil.

Sunday saw me on the Norfolk Broads crewing on a Wherry. I love boats. I always have. It stems from my love of water. River, lake or sea, I love a watery environment. The sound of water lapping on a shore or a riverbank is most efficacious indeed. Deserted waterlines can facilitate meditation. I find I can lose myself in such situations. Blend into my surroundings. Sometimes I think how nice it would be to be the only human left. Only nature for company. The feel of water flowing through my fingers is quite sensual. Spume and spray in one’s face can be quite refreshing. Water brings life but can also be a cruel mistress, bringing death and destruction. Water needs much respect. I suppose it’s part of being born and raised in the British Isles as I love looking out to sea. There’s hope, expectation and mystery wrapped up in this activity of gazing into the distance. I dream of being on a desert island, but the dream turns into a nightmare when I try to decide which eight records to choose. Only eight!

I love fresh air, in its rightful place of course. Sea air is especially joyous. Or a gobbing great lungful of country air on an isolated walk. I feel so alive feeling the wind in my face when on a boat or standing on raised ground; a feeling of cobwebs being blown away. Sweet smelling fresh air cleanses and makes one feel good to be alive.

There is something quite primitive about staring into flames. I’ve always enjoyed a log fire or a good bonfire. The warmth and comfort they offer in the cold of winter brings succour to the soul. Watching the flames dance and feeling the heat on my face and hands can be most mesmerising. The striking of a match provides a short burst of instant gratification. Toast made on an open fire always tastes particularly good. It is the taste of childhood and dark winter evenings. The fire was the focal point in the family home, sadly now replaced by the idiot box; the flames providing colour images in the days of black and white telly.

So the ancient Greeks may not have got the science quite right but they knew a thing or two about the human condition and how we bond with their ‘elements’.

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Self portrait

A study of ugliness or blatant self-promotion or both. You decide.

Monday 8 July 2013

Lateral ruminations

This morning, as I was getting dressed, I witnessed a very large branch of a tree, in the wooded area opposite, break with an almighty crack, free fall almost in slow motion and disappear amongst the other trees. I saw it snap before the sound of the crack reached me. The immediate area between where I live and the trees is relatively quiet first thing in the morning in my little part of the city so the sound of the crack was quite loud. Rather musing on what caused it my immediate that was of that old philosophical chestnut “If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound?" The joy of that question is that there isn’t really an answer. But then I suppose you can also ask the question, what is an answer?

All my life I’ve suffered from ‘going off at a tangent thinking’ syndrome. I think it’s what has given me my creativity. Shame I’ve never been able to harness it fully or to good effect. Creatively I’ve always felt unfulfilled.

I then went on to ponder about the tree. Was it the victim of a disease, what humans have done to the environment or just old age and the cycle of life? I never reached any conclusion of course. There are no answers. There are only ever questions.