The colour palette and forms of broccoli are intriguing.[Read more…] about Broccoli Raw
It’s amazing what you get done in the bath. That was my takeaway from the movie Trumbo, based on the true story of a blacklisted script writer accused of using movie scripts as communist propaganda. And I latched onto the fact that he wrote in the bath! Maybe that’s because baths and saunas, like walking, are activities that bring me great clarity of thought: a transient clarity borne of an intense but narrow focus. Wabi sabi?
When Catherine Dunne was honoured with the 2018 Irish PEN Award for Contribution to Irish Literature, I was lucky enough to be in attendance. A round-table chat about the books we were reading that year brought me to the realisation that, sitting among so many novelists, I had read no fiction in the previous twelve months. I’d unexpectedly retired from a career in geoscience and possessing a past and a present, I was looking for a future. Determinism was parked and I was imagining multiple probabilistic outcomes while trying to make the right choices. My bedside bookshelves were decorated, if not vertabrated, with spine words like Harari, Sapiens, Syed, Black Box Thinking, Taleb, Antifragile, Frankopan, The New Silk Roads, O’Connell, To Be A Machine, Rosling Factfulness and walking here, there and anywhere.[Read more…] about World Book Day
I gave myself a simple photo challenge. I was to sit for one hour facing out to the garden and take photographs. I could use my Canon DSLR and the 70-200 lens with the 2X extender. And at the end of an hour, I had to post my favourite six. For the technical folk who might read this, I decided it had to be handheld too; no tripods. And I’d be indoors, behind a newly double glazed ‘French’ window. All photos to be taken from a seat in our living room.
We have very purposefully built up our front garden over many years. There’s about 100 square metres at the front and we converted it all into a rockery about 15 years ago. We got a lot of criticism from passers-by for returning granite boulders to a garden where they recalled a lot of granite had been blasted, broken and cleared to make way for our house. Our garden rises up quite steeply from about a metre beyond the window, running up ten metres to a road. This has a southerly aspect that has reduced direct sunlight because we are in the shadow of Roche’s Hill and surrounded by many ornamental but mature trees. So we selected plants as a botanical screen against views from the road, which is level with our first floor. And we selected plants that could survive with the benefit of indirect light reflected from the windows and white walls.[Read more…] about Wabi Sabi Challenge
The London Review of Books are selectively dropping their firewall each pandemic day. They say ‘Diverted Traffic is a new LRB newsletter, featuring a different piece from the archive each day – chosen for its compulsive, immersive and escapist qualities, and also for a complete absence of references to plague, pandemics or quarantine.’
It was there that I recently read about pigs. No matter your view on swine, I think there’s very a very relatable quote from John Miles in 1834 retold by James Buchan in ‘My Hogs ‘ in 2001: “‘A couple of flitches’ – i.e. sides – ‘of bacon are worth fifty thousand Methodist sermons and religious tracts. The sight of them on the rack tends more to keep a man from poaching and stealing than whole volumes of penal statutes, though assisted by the terrors of the hulks and the gibbet.’“[Read more…] about Pigs
13 Mar 2020 – 19:48 GMT – 6°C Light Rain – Co. Dublin, Ireland
I plan to bring a camera towards Rome. Weight is a major consideration and things have improved in that regard. In years gone by, I brought an iPhone on my walks because my DSLR kits were too heavy and unwieldy for use by brain tired, wet hands. So I’d bought iPhone battery extenders, lens kits for telephoto and wide angle options, specialty tripods and my favourite, a grip that also acted as stabiliser. These all coupled nicely with iPhone earphones, cleverly designed so the volume control also acted as a remote shutter release. Except I’d walked the batteries dead with Walkmeter and other mapping apps on iPhone versions 3, 4, 5 and 7 and wouldn’t you know, the camera kits tended to change from one generation of phone to the next.[Read more…] about Fuji Wabi Sabi