Red – A Photo

‘Red’ as a prompt opens a Pandora’s Box of ideas for me.  I love red, and have many things that colour; but memories are many and various, and conjure both good and bad.  What to pick today?

In the days when mountaineers went out in tweed jackets and plus fours it was good practice to wear brightly coloured socks so that one might more easily be found should some accident befall you on a mossy hillside.  These days all outdoor clothing is made in dazzling primary colours; does gortex even come in dull colours?

My waterproof jacket, and various fleeces are red.  Consequently I have a choice of photos of red blots on beautiful landscapes.  Here is one in the Kumbu in Nepal, which I think captures how much the colour would stand out in case of emergency.

I have quite a collection of books on recent modern Russian history, and when I looked, of course, a number of them have been bound in red.  But the most prized one is called ‘Modern Moscow’ by Eugene Lyons.  It was published in circa 1935 and was given to me as a gift last year.

Inside is a label indicating it was presented as a prize for mathematics on 16 July 1937 to R Bundle, by Orleton School, Scarborough.  I am intrigued by the thought that a book on contemporary Soviet society would be given as a prize in an English school, and not for history or languages, but for mathematics.

I spent hours googling all the tidbits of information available about the school, the writer, the publisher, and found only more snippets which intrigued even more.

Lyons was an American journalist, who lived in Moscow from the early to mid 1920s.  Very pro Soviet, pro Bolshevik  when he went, he subsequently became a major critic of the country in the 1930s.

One of the great pleasures in reading the book which was drawing a portrait of the society on the cusp of massive social and economic change in the 10 years after the Revolution, was the similarities in what he observed to things I experienced 70 years later, in the period after the economic convulsions of the end of the Soviet era: the make do and mend attitude of his Russian friends, their ability to make a party out of very little, their reliance on each other when governmental structure breaks down.

And finally, here’s one I found in my photo files which shows that I had definitely been spending too much time in hotel rooms in 2008.

Nothing worth watching on the TV

PS I didn’t do the photo last week because the ‘prompt’ inspired nothing.  (‘Wildlife’ in case you’re wondering.)

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