Thursday, September 30, 2010

Three, and three, beautiful things from the week just gone, and another Finistère collage.

I have changed my screensaver.  Previously I had a Jacquie Lawson one of fish and waterlilies which was pretty, but which I suspected of using a lot of processor juice, as it made the fan go a lot while it was on, and contained music which I didn't get to hear anyway because we keep the computer volume on mute.  Now I have a Google photos slideshow, which takes all the pictures stored on my side of the computer - always a significant number, despite trying to be good and have regular clean-outs to the external drive, and including collages and those other people have sent me - and displays them randomly.  Part of its appeal is not only is the order in which they appear random, but also the method of transition, so sometimes they slide in from top or bottom or either side or diagonally, sometimes they come together in two halves like shutters, and sometimes they appear with an interesting pixellated fade-in.  I am transfixed, and often refrain from using the computer because I prefer to watch the slideshow.  Why haven't I done this before?

The first day of the hunting season is not a beautiful thing to us.  'Why can't they shoot some hornets?' asks Tom.  We doubt their aim is that good, but then light on the agreeable fantasy of the hunters' stumbling into a hornets' nest as they crash about the woods and hedgerows.

I remember Az, who as a girl, having the figure for it, liked to dress a bit skimpy, saying how she loved giving in in late September and putting on a woolly jumper for the first time.  I think of her as I pull on a fleecy again after many months, along with the thick soft, hand-knitted socks in unbleached wool which my other sister brought me back from Madeira.  My sisters are keeping me warm.

I wish I could paint abstracts from these poplar woods, rather as Joan Mitchell did from dying sunflowers: the austere lines of their trunks going upward forever, how the desaturated dullness of the day becomes them, the modest way they wear their spattered sheen of gold, the clotted masses of brambles and mistletoe at their feet and among their branches.  But most of all I'd need to find a colour or texture which would convey the rich and pungent, tanned-leather smell that comes from them just now.

J and D are going away in a few days for a long holiday.  They offload things onto me, and I leave with a wooden box of small hard brown pears, a leggy basil plant and a bundle of timber offcuts for firewood.  I eat three of the pears for lunch with a piece of Pyrenees cheese.

Go about ordinariness.  Fill the tall blue tin -the one with the strange gilded picture on it, exotic as a comedia del arte - which once held amaretti biscuits, with tea bags, and the square red plastic pot with brown sugar cubes.  Watch the thinning, faded yellow sun through the thinning faded yellow leaves.  Store it.  Try not to forget.

Birds of Finistère.  Curlews, oystercatchers, an egret and a gull, a sandwich tern and an albatross.


Kelly said...

That was a fun read while waiting on my flight which was delayed by weather. It gave me a much needed break for my facebook farce on airport pranks. As the warmth fades and the nights arrive so early, we wrestle for our wraps and stiffen our stance to brace for the impending brisk wind.

Fire Bird said...

a white egret!! love the seagull against the waves...

Roderick Robinson said...

By calling it la chasse the French are suggesting an athletic pursuit which is clearly false. Most hunters I've seen have been portly, incapable of any type of chasing. I think I take accidental death reasonably seriously but I fear I relish occasions where one hunter blasts another into oblivion - seeing these events as variants of the justification based on a supposed symbiosis between the fox, the hounds, and the pink-suited gentry doing the hallooing. Except that in this case it is the buckshot and the dead hunter who enjoy the relationship. There must also be a temptation to read a cliché phrase, forbidden in all other circumstances, over the prone one: "It's the way he'd have wanted it". Many hunters claim to be environmentalists, and there's an irony. Tom's idea of them shooting hornets is brilliant because it diminishes these pipsqueaks.

Unknown said...

At least it's not big game that they hunt.

I appreciate the pleasures of Autumn, the chill in the air, the shift in the spectrum, and, yes, the opportunity to slip into discarded cold weather clothing.

When I was at school I had a friend who used to shoot wasps with an airgun. He was not true sportsman, because the wasps were invariably "sittin" on an apple placed on a nearby table to attract them.

Dick said...

I love the notion of hornet hunting. Tiny matchstick-sized guns or fishbone crossbows and men lying in the long grass, their thick fingers fumbling with the firing mechanisms as a single hornet wobbles into view.

HKatz said...

I love the description of the poplar woods and the possibility of conveying their odor through the texture and color of paints.

And the collage has so many blissful shades of blue in it.

Rouchswalwe said...

Lucy, I am catching up with your last three posts. What fun! What beauty you have captured! And your thoughts are tickling at the fuzzy edges of my sleep-deprived brain leading me to meander a bit ... thank you, Lucy!