Monday, July 30, 2007

Perpignan - flora


I may resist the assumption that french food is always better than British. Or that french cheese is necessarily superior to local cheeses over here. (if you can find somewhere to buy them, that is...)

But windowboxes and balconies - the french do better.

I first saw window boxes with cactus and these succulent-type houseleeks in Barcelona - tumbling, sometimes for 4 or 5 storeys, down the side of the building.

I love the way these complement the colour of the paintwork around the window, against the peachy colour walls.

This next one I like because the plants are so wantonly unkempt.

And this one - is just so..... french!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Perpignan - pavements

We have gargoyles over here on rooftops - but not generally at pavement-level.

Hydrants we don't have. They are "foreign" to us Brits.
And they do look, to me, like little aliens.

Bougainvillea petals - wouldn't this make gorgeous confetti?


well, there is a little bit of paving in these pics....

see, i did warn you about the LOTS of pics (and more to come, feel free to take a break if you want).

But i've managed some words as well, haven't I?

and here is an entertaining link for you:
screaming beans

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Perpignan - shadows

Its not just the shapes of the shadows which are different in different countries - its also the quality of the light. The shadows in Perpignan had me looking down but also looking up...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Well I took lots of pics while I was in Perpignan and if I'm going to share any of them with you, now is the time to do it.

In a week and a half, I'm off again for 2 weeks family holiday and it seems entirely possible that i may take a picture or two while away.

So I'm going to try and do slightly more frequent posts over the next week or so, before my Perp pics go past their sell-by date - but probably mainly photos rather than words. Well, unless i think of some words that is.

So, to begin with - Perpignan - colours:

Sunday, July 22, 2007

anger laughter tears OR "Ninety-three"

Anger (and laughter)

(on a toilet wall in East London)

I discovered this morning that somehow, i don't know how, certain albums & groups from LG's playlist have found their way onto my iPod. Certain other items were already there- yes, i do like some of her musical choices (White Stripes, Leaves Eyes, Muse, Lost Prophets, Green Day, Nightwish ...). Some of it is rather too screamy for me tho' and therefore hasn't been included on my iPod playlist.

Until Friday morning, that is, when I found myself listening to the following:

If i only could i'd set the world on fire
F*ck the world
Eat shit and die or f*ck off at least...

...f*ck the beastie boys and f*ck the dalai lama...

...f*ck Oprah f*ck opera f*ck soap opera...

Don't bother trying to analyse these rhymes
in this song i say f*ck 93 times.

I didn't half larf.
I received strange looks from passers-by for my (presumably inexplicable) smiles and laughter.
It was all the more amusing, somehow, because I was walking to my yoga class.

I also strangely enjoyed the anger, I think I've been needing to feel and express some.

So I've decided to create an Angry F*cker playlist, for certain times, days and moods.

Or maybe I'll just call it "93".

Pink angry

En route to yoga, I noticed a new recycling bin - for small electrical appliances.

All power to the Council for extending on their recycling programme, good idea huh?

But look at it.

Its f*cking PINK.

Am I overreacting in being somewhat peeved about this? Am I imagining that there might be some gender agenda here, with the illustrated electrical items being an iron and a hairdryer, and the extreme pinkness?


I fully expect the introduction of complementary recycling bins for large and particularly IT and entertainment-related appliances and power tools. They will be larger, squarer, decorated in combat colours and adorned with pictures of footballs and naked women.

(any other suggestions for similarly "targeted" recycling bins?)

Tears (and some laughter)
In my yoga class, a headache I'd fended off first thing this morning returned rather aggressively.
Bendy Wendy, my (wonderful) yoga teacher, gave me a sequence of special poses to do in a quiet corner. I had a good cry, which I also needed and my tense shoulders relaxed quite a bit.

Here are some of the things that were said during the class:

"In this pose the flesh on your buttocks should move down towards your ankles."

"Don't look down!"

"now suck up your inner ankles"

"Does that feel good?" - ".... good in a yoga way."

I did feel good - so much better - on my way home.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

looking up

Some things which lift the heart:

good books
physical exercise
juicy french peaches

i've had a thoroughly sun-drenched 5 days, and have done lots of looking up.

Here are some of the things i saw whilst looking up:

Tat's bats

no pun intended.
(though in France it wouldn't be punny anyway, cos they say "spiders on the ceiling")

Wednesday, July 11, 2007



blankety blank

is how i feel at the moment.

blank on various levels
in various ways

and for a depressing variety of reasons.

and i'm not sure whether its better to feel blank
or to focus a bit and feel the misery

sorry if i've been a bit absent lately
and not many words here

just some recent random pics.

There is, however, some brightness on the horizon as i'm off on Thursday to spend 5 days with lovely Tat. A brief escape just in the nick of time.

I'll be internet/broadband enabled, of course, but might be a bit absent from blogland for a while.... back next Tuesday.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Tree people

My long-suffering father has quickly come to realise that any walk he takes with me these days is likely to be punctuated by multiple stops for photographs.

In fact, he has taken to spotting and pointing out photographic opportunities for me.

A recent walk around Greenwich Park was considerably stretched by discovery of some of the tree people who live there.

My mind has been playing around with the possibility of writing something about this identification - recognition? - of the personal in the world around us. Its often seen as child-like (childish?), don't you think, to invest the world with personal attributes and characteristics?

Susan Griffin gives examples from story-telling (Goldlilocks, Thumbelina... ) and notes that "when we hear in the Navaho chant of the mountain that a grown man sits and smokes with bears and follows directions given to him by squirrels, we are surprised. We had thought only little girls spoke with animals." (Women & Nature, The Women's Press 1984 - i will try to find and add the page no. later)

I have some interesting debates with students about whether or not animals are "persons". Do they have self-awareness, consciousness, rights, expectations? Its a matter of hotly contested debate at the moment and there is some fascinating writing on this.

Some would say that we wrongly project human characteristics onto animals - that they don't have a subjective life/being like our own - or, that we can never know whether they do or not. But how much difference is there, really, between the ways we interact with animals - getting to know them, responding to (interpreting) their behaviour - and the ways we interact with each other?

And I think it has to do partly with whether or not we feel at home in our world. And whether we think that emotional and imaginative responses to it are as important and valid (as much as - if not more than) as "rational" "objective" responses.

These are some of the things i would have written about if I could have been bothered. But its a bit worky, don't you think?

So here are some more friendly [and otherwise] tree people for you become acquainted with.