Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday 15th August

~ Today was Assumption Day, and a public holiday - this fiercely secular country is remarkably attached to its religious feasts, movable and immovable. I decided to say 'begone dull virus' and take myself out.  In Quessoy, a small town near here, there is an odd little shrine which I've never quite established the status of, one of those  modelled, I suppose, on the grotto at Lourdes. It's in a woody, gated garden and driving past on special days, including Assumption, I've observed candles lit which twinkle among the oak trees and give it the air of a something more ancient, a sacred grove, perhaps.  However, I've never had the camera or been in a position to stop at those moments, so today I decided to make a special expedition and try to look closer and take some photos.. 

But it was not to be, no candles, it looked gloomy and unpromising, so I passed it by.  It remains a mystery, which may be no bad thing.  Mol and I had a good walk in the arboretum, where we met a cheerful group of handicapped people having a picnic, and on the way home stopped at the sawmills, where I filled the car boot up with chunky offcuts of wood for winter fires.

~ Brother Phil has sent me a scan of the 1911 census, just made available, for our dad, who was just three at the time, and his family.  We couldn't work out who the baby of ten months was, I said it didn't look like Victor(known as Dick) or George or Horatio, in fact it didn't look like anything so much as 'Bagins', which I remarked would have been an interesting prefiguring of the spate of Tolkien-inspired names in the Glastonbury area (land of our grandfather's birth) some 60 years later.  Finally we worked out it was probably Bevis, and recalled that Uncle George was originally Bevis George. I remember Bevis as being a popular name of the time, from another children's book.  Phil and I chat by e-mail, recalling bits and pieces told and remembered about long-gone aunts and uncles and the places they lived, and other family lore.  We have become the elders now, I suppose, accruing enough patience and curiosity to pick over the residue of stories and  memories left by the tide of time, which washes away more and more, while leaving other stuff behind in its place, perhaps about us, when we will be the long gone aunts and uncles...

~  Photo - 

I like the exercise of picking out an odd single photo to put on these posts, trying to resist using more and making little series and photo essays. While we have established that flowers and vegetation are fine, it's good to have a change.  This is my sister-in-law A in Mayenne, in the kitchen there.  It's not a flattering portrait, she's very much more beautiful than this shows, so I hope if she sees it she doesn't mind.  But there's something lovely in the light and the atmosphere there, and I like the feel of the photo.


zephyr said...

i think she looks beautiful in this lovely photograph.

Hope your virus is gone, soon, for good.

Barrett Bonden said...

But it's a good photograph. An interesting aesthetic dilemma, so long as - in the fullness of time - this isn't the only record of her. I suppose a studio shot, proving her beauty, twentieth size, colour, tucked into the otherwise black right-hand bottom corner would interfere with what is otherwise a well composed bit of art. To tell the truth, looking again, I don't think you need worry. This is the face of someone one would like to meet and that, surely, is the function of a face.

earlybird said...

I agree with BB - it's a face of someone one would like to meet. I like this photo very much. As you say, there's something in the light and atmosphere.