LIFE IMITATES FICTION


ESTRAGON: I’m going.
VLADIMIR:   Help me up first, then we’ll go together.
ESTRAGON: You promise?
VLADIMIR:   I swear it!
ESTRAGON: And we’ll never come back?
VLADIMIR:   Never!
ESTRAGON: We’ll go to the Pyrenees.
VLADIMIR:   Wherever you like.
ESTRAGON: I’ve always wanted to wander in the Pyrenees.

picnicbluesky

When I was  asked,  “Where are you off to this summer?”  out of the blue the exchange from Waiting For Godot crossed my mind so I said “I’ve always wanted to wander in the Pyrenees” and having made this destination public felt bound to live up to it.
So.
I got the overnight bus to London, the train to Dover, the ferry to Calais then by taxi, train, bus, train, bus  and hitchhike to Caldes de  Boi then uphill by foot after foot to the  Estany Negre with wild horses in the foreground and the distant blue peaks of Els Encantats (?) towering in the background.
Here I was at last, in the Park of  Swirling Waters,  Aiguestortes,  in the Pyrenees,  where I’d always wanted to wander.
Thanks be to Samuel Beckett.

( On the way back, at Santander, taking photographs behind the cafe at the ferry terminal – the PELIGRO  sign obscured by a parked van –  I was savaged by a couple of Alsatians. One on each ankle.  Impressive inartistic scars and a few photographs to show for it all .
But that’s life for you. )

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A Handful of Similes



dun t

Lonely as a truck on a siding in the Czech Republic

twa dugs Embra

Dispirited as 2 patiently waiting dogs outside the Weston Link in Edinburgh


BeggarMiserable as a  Glasgow beggar in the rain

behind bars

 Friendly as a tail-wagging terrier behind bars in Blairgowrie


Donald

Lithe as an early-riser in Iona

Jasc Ponte 4pic CanvasPreoccupied as a boy with his finger in his ear in France


Main Street, Stromness, May2011Empty as the main Street in Stromness

em 6k

 Happy as a Festival crowd in Edinburgh

SIGNS and MESSAGES


Notice in a student kitchen:


sign bm

The indignant voice of John Knox lives on in Edinburgh:

sign v

A Glasgow road sign no doubt trampled underfoot in the rush:

Byres Road sign

Dull & Boring

Dull is a small, one-street village in Perthshire on the North side of the river Tay; Boring, in Oregon, has a population of 8,000. They got together in 2012.

Ab 7

I came across this existential/defiant/plaintive fading statement on a wall in France:

j'existe 6

A sarcastic sign:

crash 2

A plaque on the wall of a house in Lerwick, Shetland:

Mrs Humphrey's

A security-conscious Christmas card:

Xmas card

An Asian alleyway in Lerwick, Shetland:

ORK THURSO 025

A reassuring neon sign outside Edinburgh’s Modern Art Gallery:

sign ok

Lanzarote


laz tyw

I went to Lanzarote, Cesar Manrique’s volcanic island, for a couple of weeks – interesting places, interesting faces: laz vgt

This guy in Arrecife for starters, very relaxed, leaning nonchalantly against a white wall rubbed out by the heat, dressed and sandalled for coolness and comfort,  listening not looking, focused  on his own cyberworld;

and this woman, man, baby, not so relaxed, tense lanz pp0   he’s an artist (the two cruciform paint brushes in the jar), vivid clothes (compared to her and the baby’s pastel colours), growing a beard or perhaps just unshaven, seated in a slumped sort of way, looking straight ahead(thinking, moody, angry), not looking at his wife  or his baby, hidden but not hiding behind his sunglasses, ignoring them both, aggrieved while she is patiently waiting for some  sort of reply/response, firmly protectively grasping her/his baby, leaning slightly away from him, not angry, not apprehensive, a kind, gently, long-suffering face, Madonnaish and the half-empty (half-full) glasses of beer and why is she standing, he sitting and who/what is the baby looking at….. has there been a quarrel, has she just left the table or has she just arrived on the scene?…We’ll never know. and this little Spanish girl lanz v2   I was a bit apprehensive about photographing her but what was she carrying in her hands, was she running from or to someone or just burning off excess energy? Spanish kids are left to their own devices in public but seldom seem to create problems for their laid-back parents…

  Lan 6 picOn the beach at Famara, grandfather and grandson see the sea in different ways – the grandfather trying to remember something from the past that the relentless waves bring to his mind, the grandson focused on the immediate present de e

My Lovely Amelia


 Amelia

I like nothing better than taking photographs of my lovely Amelia against some famous landmark: Amelia and The Eiffel Tower; Amelia and Nelson’s Column; Amelia and The Coliseum; Amelia and Edinburgh Castle; Amelia and The Angel of the North; Amelia and The Great Wall of China; Amelia and Ayers Rock; Amelia and The Great Pyramid.   I have them all.

Last week we went to India so I could photograph her with The Taj Mahal in the background.  The Taj Mahal looked  wonderfully grand, touched with pink by the setting sun and framed by majestic palm trees. It brought to mind that wonderful photograph of red-jacketed Princes Di  seated primly on the little wall  in front of the oblongs of water with this magnificent pristine building behind her not quite managing to put her in the shade. People have often remarked when I show them my photographs that my Amelia has a touch of Diana about her, the eyes mainly I think, the way she lowers her gaze at times.She is too beautiful for words.

My photograph of Amelia in front of  the Matterhorn, cheeks aglow with the cold. eyes sparkling, head slightly tilted, is another that people seem to like but my own favourite is of Amelia against the background of The Victoria Falls, not just because I have managed to catch little ribbons of  rainbows in the spray behind her with the water seeming to hang in the air like smoke but mainly because I seem to have finally captured that little smile of hers that I think is every bit as enigmatic and beautiful  as the Mona Lisa’s.

The one Amelia likes best is of her outside Buckingham Palace where the Queen and Prince Philip waited patiently till I had taken the photograph before passing between us.

Da Last Plesiosaur



magrittes-idea2oil

Eftir aw dat fechtin,

aw dat movin an hidin an listenin an warnin,

we fund dis lang deep dark loch

awa up idda Nord

whaur at lang last we’d be left tae oorsels,

left in peace.

Or so we thocht .

*

WHWHWHU R R R R Z Z Z

Oot o da blue

*

SSSPPPLAAAASHSHSH

dis muckle chukkie da size o da mune

cam  thunderin doon,

dis muckle stane 

cam whudderindudderinspludderin doon

wheechin us aa,

da hale shebang o us,

muddirsfaidderssistersbruddersdochterssons,

wheechin us aa in ae fell swoop

                             cept me

                                            aa cept me

                                                                    aa except me

*     *     *     *     *

Aa dat wis lang syne,

lang lang syne.

Nooadays A cannae even see

bit still

fae time tae time

A poke ma heid oot o da waatir

oot o da cal dark  waatir

an mak a sort o saft lang moanin soon

OOOOOAWAWAWAWAMMMMPHPHPH

OOOAWAWMMMMPHPH

OOOOOMMMPH

bit der’s niver ony anserin caa,

niver iver.

LANZA NEW

No dat A expect der tae be.

No dat A’d ken whit tae dae

if der wis.

Songs of Two Cultures


Sarie Marais

.......

South African song (Afrikaans)
Nostalgic, folksy song
dreamy,
living in the past,
sad

O bring my terug na die ou Transvaal
Daar waar my Sarie woon
Daar onder in die mielies by die groen doring boom
Daar woon my Sarie Marais

*   *   *   *

Jambo

bright

Kenya song (Swahili)

Jambo,
Jambo Bwana,
Habari gani,
Mzuri sana.
Wageni,
Wakaribishwa,
Kenya yetu
Hakuna Matata.
Kenya
nchi nzuri,
Hakuna Matata.
Nchi ya maajabu
Hakuna Matata.
Nchi yenye amani,
Hakuna Matata.
Hakuna Matata,
Hakuna Matata.
Watu wote,
Hakuna Matata,
Wakaribishwa,
Hakuna Matata.
Hakuna Matata,
Hakuna Matata

Very African,
fun to sing
fun to listen to
 fun to dance to,
living in the present,
optimistic.