24 Jun 2009

Trying to Write

I'm looking out of my study window, through the two wolfhound sculptures that sit on the window sill, and out into the garden. The view from my seated position is of trees and shrubs and the colours I see are almost entirely shades of green, backed by a pale blue sky.
The rhododendron is still only in bud but will shortly break out into vivid pink flowers. For some reason the rhododendrons in my garden are always behind those of everyone else. This may sound paranoid, but my poor old backward shrubs are weeks behind everyone else's and are in flower long after all the others have died. I'm living in a rhododendron challenged space - a parallel world.
There's a slight wind creating movement in the foliage. An occasional pigeon visits the ivy that has been winding itself round one of the pine trees since long before we moved here so that its trunk is almost as thick as that of the tree itself.
The sun has just come out, completely changing the colours and accentuating the difference between the different leaves. Some are golden, some silvery; the pine needles are the same dull, blueish green as they are all year round. The pines stand like sentinels in the garden, watching the other trees change from pale green to deep green to yellow, then red, and finally brown, but barely changing colour themselves.
It won't be long now before the roses are out. There are three rose bushes just behind the wooden table and bench, the tops of which I can just see from my position. When the roses come out I'll move my chair a little to the right and put the wolfhounds on another window sill so I can watch them while I'm trying to write.
In the background is the hum of traffic on the road outside, reminding me of how near to the busy main road my house stands. But I've got used to it over the years, and though I'd dearly love to live somewhere quieter I also dearly love living in this house, surrounded by its beautiful garden. So I switch off the sound of the traffic and try to write.

The Best of Days and the Worst of Days

It's been the best of days and the worst of days!

At work this morning things were really getting on top of me. It's all so complicated now - there are so many things to think about and to remember and I'm really worried that my memory isn't up to it anymore. But if the adverts are to be believed, using it is the antidote to losing it, so you'd think my memory would be brilliant!

But this afternoon... now that's another matter entirely. It was absolutely lovely - the sky blue but with a cooling wind. I walked Misty at Gullidge and we both got pretty hot - although at the top of the field, alongside the paved track, the wind was quite fresh, at the bottom it disappeared completely so Misty was panting a bit.
After I brought her home I walked down to the lake with my camera and a bag of stale bread. I went out onto one of the fishermen's platforms and threw some to the ducks and that started the stampede! I had crowds of ducks all around; every time I threw some bread in they all rushed towards it - how the manage not to collide and hurt themselves I have no idea. The swans started across at a more leisurely pace, line astern, following Mum. Dad brought up the rear looking rather above it all. I fed the cygnets by hand - their beaks didn't hurt me although they snatched at the bread. I offered some to Mum but she didn't take it and nor did she eat it when I threw it in the lake in front of her. I think she was happy to let her kids have it but just wanted to make sure I was nice to them. Dad stood off a way and watched - he didn't deign to eat anything when I threw it for him either. I took loads of photos of the ducks and the swans and cygnets:

Then I walked into the bottom of the field opposite the lake where the wild flowers are and took some photos of those too. It was very windy though so I played around with camera settings to see what worked best. I guessed a high ISO and about .1500 sec exposure. I'll download them and have a look.

1 Jun 2009

Requiem for a Horse

A horse was killed just down the road from my house today.

I came home from work and the traffic was backed up. When I got near I saw what I first thought was a large white dog lying beside the road, but as I got up to it I saw that it was a white horse. Next to it stood a man sobbing his heart out; I don't know if he was the owner of the horse or the driver whose vehicle had hit it. The horse had no saddle on so maybe it got loose and ran out into the busy road.

I don't know any of the detail - I just know that a beautiful creature was lying by the road, possibly dead, certainly with very little time left to live.

I do know that I was grief stricken for the poor animal and that it made the sun go in on my day. I also know that my grief was probably more for this animal than it would have been had a person been lying there. Why is this? I think most people would consider it to be wrong, but it is certainly the truth. I believe it's to do with the innocence of animals.