Saturday, February 21, 2009

An Essex idyll; things in Thaxted; Molly's reprieve; Saved Nut 6.

In my sister's house, many things, not only the cats, are pale and shining with loveliness. Except of course the things which are deep and lustrous with loveliness, or bright and vivid with loveliness. Sigh. Oh that my life were so lambently lovely. Still, she deserves it.

I shall not waste my energy on envy, however, but simply luxuriate in such delights being open to me. And I did, drinking tea of a morning from a pale turquoise mug in pale turquoise sheets. Though my watch says 8, my body clock was still considering it to be 9, so this felt especially sybaritic.

My sister has been good enough to set up this luxury billet close to Stansted airport. I didn't really know Essex at all before. Growing up in west Hertfordshire, we knew Dorset well from holidays, Cornwall and Wales likewise, visited Yorkshire and the Pennines, Herefordshire and Shropshire, London and Brighton were popular and frequent daytrip destinations, but we never ventured into the next county, nor even really to the east side of our own.
It's something of a revelation. There's more thatch and clay-tile and half-timbering and pargetting and generally pleasant vernacular architecture than you can shake a stick at, and from what I've seen the people seem rather fun, sleek and cheerful, somewhat cheeky and chatty and gregarious.
I took plenty of photos of houses and other buildings, but more for Tom to use for drawing from; alas, the ubiquitous cars, electricity cables, roadsigns and wheely bins, which the eye often edits out of real life, squat as ugly eyesores once they appear in photos. Plus they were generally unremarkable photos. (I am aware I can't really complain about the presence of cars in pretty places when that's how I came to be in them myself.)
One day we went to Thaxted, which has a king-sized windmill, and an enormous, cathedral-like parish church which feels all threadbare and lacy and delicate with age and atmosphere. And a lot of pink buildings, and a lot of aircraft flying over. Rather than postcard shots, which others do much better, for instance here, a collage of some odd bits and pieces.

Molly just went for her check-up with the surgical vet after 28 days of injections. He thinks it should be OK to stop now, thank goodness. Even her no-nonsense Dutch lady vet was finding it hard; as she said, she's in it to relieve suffering, not inflict it. Both she and the surgeon vet are inclined to think that the gastric virus she picked up about six weeks ago might have weakened her immune system so that she then wasn't able to hold at bay the infection that attacked her ear. So they've prescribed some homeopathic stuff that might help to boost her immunities. Both vets and doctors regularly use homeopathy alongside conventional treatment here. It can't do any harm and it doesn't cost much, so must be worth a try. Then the surgeon vet roped me in to give him English conversation lessons for an exam he's got at the end of the week.
We said how painful and stressful the injections were, and he said she might become aggressive if she had to put up with much more, which made me realise -even more - how bloody marvellous she's been about it; though she's told them off and barked at them, she's never growled and certainly never snapped or had to be muzzled, and she's always stayed cheerful and jumped in and out of the car with vigour, never skulked or cowered. I feel I want to give her something for a reward, but the best reward is our love and company, and not having to have more injections. I just hope and hope it stays away this time.
Saved nut # 6.
Two posts, one mostly photos, one writing, Gear and tackle and trim 1, and GTT 2, which explain the tag. It strikes me how I always used to upload photos only medium sized. I'm more in yer face about them now. Somewhat edited and tidied up, it's a bit of fairly low-key, intellectually unpretentious I hope, commentary on an aspect of a poem that interested me.


Zhoen said...

I love your view of corners.

Dear Moll.

Funny, over on Sharpy, the cars and wires are part of what makes old photos interesting.

Michelle said...

Beautiful photographs, Lucy.

So hope Molly won't need anymore injections.

Hope you're having a lovely weekend.

Barrett Bonden said...

A good example of "How all occasions do inform against me". In your current blog you complain about "alas, the ubiquitous cars, electricity cables, roadsigns and wheely bins, which the eye often edits out of real life, squat as ugly eyesores once they appear in photos" whereas in the two retro-blogs you transform some of those mundaneities into pied beauty. Especially the perforated guard intended to protect people from being burned by a heated exhaust. Something I'd noticed on huge transcontinental lorries in America and stored away, only to have the memory re-awakened.

Incidentally, the moment of genius in the Hopkins line is the way it ends with a snap on a single-syllable word which brilliantly summarises what has gone before.

Keep on re-excavating those mines.

Dave King said...

Lovely photographs, and your writing would get anyone interested.

Jan said...

Good to be back blogging...especially reading blogs like yours after quite a while.
You have a great take on life and it results in fine writing and superb snaps...
Thanks Lucy

Avus said...

"lambently lovely"...what a lovely phrase, Lucy.
As to Essex, it is an unappreciated county and there is much beauty to be discovered there.
One favourite memory is sitting in a cottage/cafe garden overlooking the village pond, eating cream teas in the delightful village of Finchingfield.
A good end to a day visiting Ely (alright - I know that's Cambridge) with a leisurely drive back through Essex

Dick said...

Lovely pictures in this and the previous post, Lucy. Essex - that most maligned of counties. Resurrection provided here from sole association with chav culture.

Lee said...

Beauty is where you find it, more so when you find and report it for us!

Thank you.

Rosie said...

Essex is not so bad, or perhaps my homesickness is reaching new heights. The trouble is, after 19 years I am homesick for somewhere that no longer exists...

Bee said...

Until I started taking photographs, I didn't realize how the power lines criss-cross every view . . . including the seemingly rural ones. You are so right: the eye just edits it out!

Somehow that thought seems to match up with your gear and tackle and trim essay. Power lines might be a visual blot, but I wouldn't want to be without the luxuries/necessities they provide.

You always find the choice bits, Lucy.

Fantastic Forrest said...

Another great post. Scrumptious photos and delicious words.

That's it. I'm following you!