Holiday Hiatus

My poems and pix are being shelved for the next few weeks, as just as our cricket team do, I am going on a tour of New Zealand today. Nothing formal though, more like an exploration of the North and South Island, with a compañero who knows the lie of the land well. My boots will remain behind but walking sandals will be glad of a summer airing!!

I shall try to keep a journal and will update my travel blog as and when I can. Follow me over:-

Along the Long White Cloud

Carbon offsetting is one idea for climate conscious travellers but it’s akin to paying conscience money. We must just do less air travel to have any real impact so this will be the first and almost the last long haul flight I do. (Carbon offsets)

I am a terrible sailor so mostly I holiday in the UK by train -and do not own a car!

By the time Spring has begun to stir, I shall be back. Late February when the Chiffchaff, the first of our migrant passerines, has returned from West Africa and the Med. Hard to imagine those tiny wings being able to make long and arduous journeys, and now some of these birds in our more southerly counties, forgo the trip and stay out the winter, in the optimistic hope that it will be mild enough for them.

The year turns not on the sight of a flower or a butterfly but on a sound. In a brief snatch of simple, almost binary music. It is when you hear the [Chiffchaff’s] pattern of twinned notes, lobbed down jauntily from the summit of the handsomest tree around, that you know spring has arrived
The Times

I shall be listening out for this!

And as one old wag used to say to me: “When the bed falls in, I’ll see you in the spring!”

the wishbone

Wishbone, wishbone on a dish, pick it up and make a wish.
If I pull the wishbone right, I will get my wish tonight.

Another poultry Christmas, and paltry indeed
bantam weighted for one, pullet pulled
piece by piece over the fattened feasting days
crisp stripped to soupy bones and skin
nothing wasted of this small fowl sacrifice, even
the whitened wishbone

set aside to dry brittle, ready-forked
for that tug by two opposing pinkies
clavicle cleft from clavicle, the merry thought
the who-gets-the-fusion and the treasured wish
only then was I struck again, under the breast bone
winded, wounded with my loss
– the furcula, a piercing weapon, two-pronged
with only one to grasp it

So I hold to all the invocations we ever made
with bones, on starfall, or slipping singly
through kissing gates to seal a secret silent plea
with lips; always the same one, I can now reveal
wished for you Kol Tov* (all good things)
– even your death was merciful

*Kol Tov/Kol Tuv ~ hebrew ~ ‘be well’ – lit ‘all good things’

My first and last poem of 2020 until the Spring as I set off on my 6 week travels – Along the Long White Cloud – and having just enough time to join dVerse for an Open Link Night

Tangoed & Foxtrotting

Frequently I find inspiration in a given prompt and had intended yesterday to join Catherine’s word prompt ‘colour‘ which is a gift for any photographer.

For me however, colour is also one of the bigger challenges in photography as I find it quite tricky to handle. Never being quite satisfied with results I often seek sanctuary in monochrome.

Thus I thought I’d do some research to learn a bit more about colour photography – and before I knew it the day had passed but not before I had read

  • how light effects colour & how the camera sensor differs from our own visuals
  • the history of colour photography & Lumiere’s Autochrome
  • how to re-create Autochrome with an ICC profile in Photoshop

And today’s word challenge from Catherine is SLOW – and a lesson for yesterday too in that I might not have lost the day had I not tried to fit so much in so quickly. Did I mention I also signed up for an online Udemy course in ‘The Art of Finding light in Photography’?!

Slow Slow Quick Quick Slow – And now I learn there is a ‘Slow Photography Movement’ which I thoroughly concur with and am often aware of my rush to capture every moment and end up capturing a lot of dross but…

the real victim of fast photography is not the quality of the photos themselves. The victim is us. We lose something else: the experiential side, the joy of photography as an activity. And trying to fight this loss, to treat photography as an experience, not a means to an end, is the very definition of slow photography.”

” Step 1 in slow photography is spending a long time studying the subject. As one guide enjoins, “pay more attention to your subject than to your camera.”

That’s an order to actually use our eyes. It calls for consideration not just of what we think we see (a tree or a dog) but of the colours and shapes that present themselves.  “

I think this is one of the reasons I love photographing Suffolk so much – the pace is slow, the interruptions are few and far between and the scenery is seemingly empty, which make me look further into it.

History of Colour Photography
Understanding color in Photography
Using ICC Profiles for Creative Colour Control + downloads

Udemy courses: The Art of Finding Light in Photography

The slow-photography movement

And so today I’m joining Catherine’s’ 366/2020 word challenge with Slow where she invites us to write, photograph or turn it into art