Wednesday, March 28, 2007

sun worship

this was before last week's snow (hard to believe)

in london, Greenwich Park.

or maybe it was some kind of protest?

I only managed last night to watch last week's episode of Life on Mars - which gets better an better. If you saw it you'll be happy, I'm sure, to see this again - and if you didn't, you probably need to!

Friday, March 23, 2007


in bottles....

via cyberspace..

.... on walls ....

these - on a station platform wall in my parents' town. I guess graffiti in Sussex has to be small, discreet and well-behaved.

Thankyou all for your messages on my last post. i don't have the words to thank you all, but do feel it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


- as seen from my parents house. Not this visit (new moon at the moment) - a previous visit. And not quite as it looked to me in fact - but this is what my camera saw.

I've been spending more time with my mum, who is beginning to slip away from us.

She dozes off constantly, anywhere and everywhere. She opens a letter, but falls asleep before managing to extract the contents. She eats her child-size portion of soup with effort, napping between mouthfuls - and sometimes its uncertain if the spoon will ever reach her mouth.

(yesterday evening she asked for smaller cutlery.... the usual cutlery is "too heavy")

At the worst times she's confused, incoherent, uncertain, reaching a point where she shouldn't be left alone - and may wander around looking for reassurance if she is. And then suddenly, she's in the kitchen putting dishes away. Before sitting and dozing off again. Its so strange, and surreal almost, sometimes makes us smile, sort of. Except that now, she's increasingly likely to be anxious and restless, which is so hard to see.

Her pain control has been pretty good up to now, thankfully. Although she rarely uses the word "pain". Its "discomfort" at most, and not usually acknowledged much, but theres this thing she does with her mouth which gives it away. Her "tell" I suppose.
Its my family's way, the archetypal British `mustn't-grumble`. Today she told me she was "feeling pretty rotten" - a rare admission, and needing - I imagine- to be multiplied by 20 or so, in a kind of symmetry to the way I divide by about 20 most of my daughter's claims to being in pain.

LG's pain threshold, actually, is increasing I think, with the onset of quite severe period pains. Experiencing the same in my teenage gave me a high pain threshold, I always thought. Stretched by pneumonia about 15 years ago. And then heightened waaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy beyond that by childbirth. But even with that extreme pain, its possible - feasible - to relax and breath through it and know it will pass.

This constant pain in my chest just now, with no physical cause, is much harder to deal with.

Another blogger coping with a death wrote last year about living with a dying loved one being like living in a parallel universe. I'm good (too good?) at getting on with the day-to-day and finding things to be positive about, and there is a lot in my life which gives me joy and where I can relax and find some peace. And my blog recently has been mostly everyday and mundane and maybe doesn't often reflect the other universe from which I sometimes feel I'm watching it all. I don't think (i hope) that thats dishonest. There is still comfort and laughter in life.

But then theres also this .....

.... which I want to be honest about too.

Mum has told me - and a couple of other people - that she's beginning to feel that maybe she is ready, wanting, to be in the hospice now. She hasn't told my father this because she knows he wants her at home. He will find that particular letting-go so hard.

But it feels as though the end may be in sight. And I think we all hope, for all our sakes, that it doesn't take too long.

Don't feel you have to comment, I know its hard sometimes to know what to say, isn't it? But i know that some of you have been through this. And that some of you care a lot. And it helps - itsn't it strange? but it does - to know that there are people listening out there.

Monday, March 19, 2007


... the beauty of...

Taken some weeks ago, before our false start into Spring - which has vanished again for the time being, replaced by bitter winds, flurries of sleety snow and a crackling fire in the lounge.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Despair... and stuff.... (NOT)

Devoid of Love

the night falls with a silent sigh, cold and alone are we.
the emotion for which you sacrifice yourself
flares once, then dies,
crushed by the all-encompassing dark.
all hope must sicken and die.

your heart desires no more.
how could you fail to believe?
shadows surround us, crying,
we have lost our way.

Are you laughing?

or crying?

or wincing?

did i get ya?

click here to write your own "darkly gothic poem".
hee hee hee.

Just so long as you share the results with us.

Also for your delight and delectation, click here.
No hints, just do it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Theres a bit of commentary to this picture. I saw this as I'd been thinking about a JG Ballard story, Build-Up, which I'd been discussing with students.

It imagines a future when the city has spread so much that streets are numbered in millions, there are sleeper-elevators to get up the thousands of levels to the top floor, and space is a more precious commodity than diamonds or oil.

The central character dreams of space - but, never having experienced open or free space, can't find the words or images to visualise or express his longings. He dreams of flying and draws up plans for a flying machine - but can't begin to try and realise his dream without some space to fly in. He sets off on the tube train to look for open space. When he discovers that his journey east has now become a journey west, he realises that the whole earth has become one giant city. No space left. No possibility of flying.

Bleak, huh? what a miserable old thing JGB is at times. (allegedly)
hard to deny his brilliance tho.

So that, among other things, was in my head when I took this photo.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Night light

The light from the street light outside our house comes in through Victorian stained glass in the stonework over the porch outside, before being refracted through the rather nasty probably 60's-ish patterned glass over the front door itself.

I took this a couple of weeks ago, on my way downstairs to make the morning cuppa. Even when I don't have to get up too early for work, LG has to be out to school by 7.30, so we see lots of dark mornings in the winter.

I'd been thinking that I might not see this comforting sight for some time, now the mornings are light.

For the last 2 nights, however, I've woken at 3 or 4am, and had to read, make drinks etc., in a prolonged effort to get back to sleep. I'm managing not to panic so far. Having suffered from serious insomnia for quite a long while, about a year ago, the thought is always there.... "here I go again".

It truly is the hour of the wolf [though I don't think wolves at all deserve to have their name used in such a negative way] - when my mind goes into overload in relation to issues at work {significant change on the way, may actually be good in the end, but stressful and diplomatically tricky in the meantime} - relationship issues [stalled, rut-like (no, not rutting) {I should be so lucky}] - and above all, my mother, whose remission was like a brief, wonderful holiday, but now we are back to reality. Back but not home.

I'm hoping not to be returning to the lettuce and bananas at midnight.... I could so do without this now. I've been planning to see the doctor about giving up the prozac, but maybe that would be hasty.....

I'm tired, and to be honest, struggling rather at the moment.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Leaf print.

Nature imitating art? or art imitating nature?

Nature frequently does things effortlessly so much better than our attempts.

Not that I'd want to suggest that we are not part of nature - its so hard not to drop into that kind of thinking. We're part of nature so our art is part of nature. But we still make these distinctions between whats 'natural' and whats 'artificial'.

Is art artificial?
Is nature also art?

One of my favourite weaving colour-schemes was based on a little bit of twiggy branch covered with amazing lychens. I brought it back from a holiday in France for a weaving project for the course I was on.

While we're on the subject of art, and as I'm not sure what else to say about it at the moment, art is a subject very entertainingly discussed by 2 characters in a Terry Pratchett book which I'm reading - Thud.

Fred Colon and Nobby Nobbs, policemen (and not the brightest of the bunch) have been sent to investigate the burlary of a priceless mural. Or, as the curator of Fine Art says, "burglareah" - on account of he's so posh that what he says is "not so much speech as modulated yawning".

A conversation develops as to the nature of art:

Nobby says that his girlfriend, Tawneee, a pole dancer "says what she does is Art, sarge. And she wears more clothes than a lot of the women on the walls around here, so why be sniffy about it?"
"Yeah, but..." Fred Colon hesitated here. He knew in his heart that spinning around upside down around a pole wearing a costume you could floss with definitely was not Art, and being painted lying on a bed wearing nothing but a smile and a small bunch of grapes was good solid Art, but putting your finger on why this was the case was a bit tricky.
"No urns," he said at last.
"What urns?" said Nobby.
"Nude women are only Art if there's an urn in it," said Fred Colon. This sounded a bit weak even to him, so he added, "or a plinth. Both is best, o'course. It's a secret sign, see, that they put in to say that it is Art and okay to look at."
"What about a potted plant?"
"That's okay if it's in an urn."
"What about if it's not got an urn or a plinth or a potted plant?" said Nobby.
"Have you one in mind, Nobby?" said Colon, suspiciously.
"Yes, The Goddess Anoia* arising from the Cutlery," said Nobby. "They've got it here. It was painted by a bloke with three i's in his name, which sounds pretty artistic to me."
"The number of i's is important, Nobby," said Sergeant Colon gravely, "but in these situations you have to ask yourself: where's the cherub? If there's a little fat pink kid holding a mirror or a fan or similar, then it's still okay. Even if he's grinning. Obviously you can't get urns everywhere."

*Anoia is the Ankh-Morpock Goddess of Things That Get Stuck in Drawers.**
** I was v. happy to find further reference*** to Anoia in this book.

***See my "Spong" post, Feb. 28th below, for more.

(source of the above: Thud, by Terry Pratchett, Corgi 2005 p. 55-56)

In view of which, I don't suppose I would be able to sell this to the Tate as Art, would I?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Platform Six

"You dancin?"

"You askin?"

I'm away for just a couple of days, and will be on Platform Six at some point in my travels. Don't know that I'll be dancing though.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


At the moment I'm to work. We don't have a .

The spends too much stuck in traffic. I'd far sooner walk for 40 minutes.

I should begin using my again now better weather is here. I just feel too at the moment.

And I enjoy the walk. I see stuff. Feel the weather. Watch people. I take my everywhere with me.

On my way into on Friday, I was particularly glad not to be stuck

in the ,

I saw a

I sat under a lovely in the and looked at the for a while.

Friday, March 02, 2007


This post is especially for RW and Tat who well know the Thames cycle path where I took these pictures (wish we could go for a ride along there today...) and also for Pod, who likes trolleys.