Thursday, 24 March 2016

A Photo and a Moment

Going into my bedroom to fetch a book, I noticed a bee on the window ledge. For minutes I watched, fascinated, as the tiny creature groomed himself. The fur, if fur describes the hairy coat of a bee, was smoothed and combed, followed by a thorough job on the wings - a compelling ritual. The bee on one side of the glass I on the other. When he had finished the bee turned and posed. Clearly not a wildlife photographer, but with an iPhone to hand, I recorded the moment.
Earlier that day I read that Edward Thomas, nature and WWI poet, made a journey by bike from London to Somerset in 1913. Sheep grazing in pasture, church towers rising above thatched cottages over a hundred years ago provide a pastoral record of a time and way of life never to be recovered.
The snapshots have a fascination and sense of a moment in time. Found whilst browsing on the BBC website among stories of global horror and Man's inhumanity to Man,I seized my moment with the bee as respite from all that I cannot influence or change. 
William H. Davies - twentieth century Welsh poet writes about having the time to stop and wonder.
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare. 

This is my homage to World Poetry Day - 21 March.   

Monday, 14 March 2016

It's all in the Detail

Out and about yesterday I noticed this door. Small, I should say bigger than hobbit size - not for modern Europeans or basketball players.

Doors, portals, thresholds... a way inside. A barrier offering shelter, peace, space and protection. An interface between general society and your own.   

Handles, locks and keys...latches bolts and bars. Note the incongruous yale lock top right. Was this an after thought? Was there a time when a key wasn't needed. How then, was the door locked from inside? Who nailed the horizontal piece of wood to the top of the door? Why? What purpose does it serve? There is no letter box. Was there no expectation of a letter? Were there other arrangements made for post?

How old is the door? Who built the cottage? Was the door ever slammed in anger? What storms battered and punished the wooden studded panels? What quarrels, reconciliations, births and deaths occurred within? Is there a lintel hidden under the pink icing-sugar render? What secrets are kept by the door?

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

A Pear Well-Travelled

I picked this pear out of the fruit bowl because there was a tiny spot of decay no bigger than the nail of my little finger. I don't like waste and don't mind blemishes or imperfections, they add character.  When I eat a pear, or an apple for that matter, I eat the lot.  All that is left at the end is a stalk - where the fruit clung to the tree. Even the calyx, the little black gritty bit - remnant of the flower, is consumed. 

So I put the fruit into my rucksack encased by a plastic pot which offered some protection, but my companion for the day was jostled and disturbed, an unwitting follower of events. Bruised, aged and some might say spoiled, the pear came home again, uneaten. 

With a knife to hand I sliced off the deeper decay and was still able to enjoy the sweetness and taste.