Shadow – A Photo

IMG_2918I love it when a random photograph taken simply because the camera was at hand, and a pattern or a shape has caught my eye, gets an outing.  I would never have taken a shot like this before the age of digital photography; or I might have done, but it would have been a mistake when I was replacing the film, or accidentally pressed the shutter button storing it away.  But these days I take all sorts of insignificant things, if the light intrigues me, or I want to remember the colour of something, or, just because.

In my drawing classes I have discovered that not everyone is drawn to pattern in the same way as I am; and in my writing I know that the telling detail is what can define a character or a situation.  Some day soon, knowing the colour of freshly fallen snow on a Parisian balcony under the street lamps, and remarking how the flakes can collect in the curves and corners of the balustrade, are going to be important, I’m certain of it.  It always a good thing to be a noticing sort of person……

And thanks to Ailsa for giving me just another excuse.

Cheese in the Snow

I’m in Paris today in the snow, but the inclement weather can’t stop the dedicated market stall holder and shopper when cheese is at issue.

At least now I’ve a little snack of comte and Saint Marcellin if the train back to London gets stuck in a snow drift……

So much for good intentions….

I have been foiled at the first hurdle of regular posting into my third year by an annoying technical failure. Both my telephone landline and my broadband ceased functioning on Sunday evening. Several calls to the tortuous ‘Dial 1 for this, dial 2 for that, dial 3 to be plunged into the abyss…….dial 9 if you’ve given up hope’, has, so far, yielded nothing more than several text messages saying it should be fixed by January 8, maybe.

Meanwhile I am reliant on my mobile telephone, which is a good country mile from being technologically up to date, and which is very grudging in its online access.

It has, of course, made me realise how hopelessly dependent I have become on the internet, and also how much time I probably waste checking on the weather, the running of the trains and the news headlines before I even step outside of the house.

My regular trips to the spare room to check on the indicator lights on the modem, to see if service has been miraculously restored without me noticing, reminds me of my summer routine in my flat in Moscow. For six or seven weeks each year the centrally supplied hot water was switched off, and the quickest way to check if it had been restored while I was out at work was to feel the temperature of the towel rail in the bathroom which was right by the front door. It became my routine, close the front door, turn the key in the lock, and reach out with my right hand towards the cylindrical bars of the rail. How happy I was when it was warm to the touch, and I didn’t have to rely on boiling the kettle to do the washing up, or on the electric shower that either scalded or froze me with water like needles.

I’m anticipating that same happy relief when in see that little blue ‘b’ lit up on the modem again.

Until then, I will attempt to keep in touch by either locating a currently elusive wifi I can use, or pick my way through the odd post on my complaining telephone……

Happy New Year

True to form I didn’t stay up til midnight, but here the calendar turned over into a new year anyway, and we did raise a glass to Russian, Belorussian and South African new years before turning in….

Making Something Out of Bits and Pieces

This learning to draw endeavour might have got a little bit out of hand.  Some have suggested that I’ve been doing the art classes as a displacement activity so I don’t have to sit down and finish my novel, and that may well be the case.  It is most likely true of my participation this week in a class learning about sculpture.

I signed up for the weeks’ course on the basis that I enjoyed the makey do-y days in drawing last term, but after the first day, I think it’s fair to say that I’ve not uncovered  a hitherto undiscovered aptitude.

We were set various tasks during the day, to reflect the essence or balance of an organic object provided by the teacher, in my case a tangle of drift wood and seaweed…. and there I was plaiting masking tape again.

Being set a challenge to produce a heavy closed object and a light open one, out of only newspaper and tape, nearly did me in.  What to do to make something look heavy, or indeed, light?  Could each class member tell which was which?  Not necessarily.  Things which I’d hope would look substantial didn’t, but looked dull and not even that solid.  Things which I’d hoped would simply float away so light were they, overbalanced and fell on the table.

It’s a different way of looking at things, and surely that’s got to be a good thing, doesn’t it?

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