Monday, February 14, 2005

Stay out of my way...

Well it's Valentine's Day, so what better to quote than a song of the same name? It's by Ruth (no, not the girl I fancied by proxy at school. I was too scared of her to fancy her directly, so I pretended to like her friends instead). Who some of you may remember later became the 45s, and then broke up creating Aqualung along the way. The only source I can find for the lyrics is another blog, so I'll cheat and post them below (I'm not sure about the brick line. I might have to dig out the tape to check).

So what did you get through you letterboxes today children? I got something today. It came in a suspiciously blank envelope. Feigning indifference, I tear it open. The first thing I see is a signature. Um, I thought the whole point of Valentine cards was the anonymity? This is not good. The signature says Jerry. This is really not good. Maybe it might read Jenny, but no, that's definitely an r.

Yep, it must be St Valentine's Day: all I get is some blurb for the local Conservative candidate. Sorry, you're called Jeremy, and um, you're a Tory, and there's that whole right-wing thing going on, and well, Howard scares me, and anyway, it's nicer to vote Lib Dem (even if I haven't got a clue who the candidate is - Democracy at work peeps).

Oooh, and isn't half-term great? Go into work, and all the roads are eerily empty. Have lunch outside (I know it's cold, but it's less depressing than pondering the ceiling tiles), and there's added entertainment. Children playing football in the park. Actually in the rough grass bit of the park. Watching, thinking about them, mostly with a sense of foreboding. And soon enough they discover why no-one ever uses that bit of grass, not even errant dogs. Because if you run after that ball, just over...yep, there, you suddenly discover you've lost a shoe, and have mud up to about the knee. Who the hell wears white after Labor Day anyway (and when the hell is Labo[u]r Day anyway)?

The next entertainment comes from a mother and her son on bikes. The mother is riding slightly behind the son. As they approach a t-junction the boy veers left. The mother goes right, and calls her son after her. The son turns back towards the right. The son disappears from sight behind a wall, and the bush sticking above the wall lurches and shudders. The mother stops fifty yards down the way and wonders where her son has gone. The muddy son reappears wheeling his bike and trailing foliage. The mother tells him to hurry up. Such compassion.

And speaking of mud and bushes and stuff, photography is fun huh? As it's half-term there's no class this week. Instead we get double the homework. Yes, that's 72 pictures to take by the 23rd. The first film has to be on landscape, or failing that architecture, and each time we take a shot, we have to take a second which makes whatever it is that originally drew us to take the shot more prominent. Except our tutor tries to avoid constricting us, and therefore tried very hard not answer questions on what she meant by that.

Two problems with this:
So far virtually all my shots have been of landscapes or architecture. I'm running out of easy subjects.
I tend to have already found the best place to take the photograph from before I take the photograph. So having to adjust where I am, and the zoom or aperture or focus or whatever, tends to make the picture worse. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be learning. I think it's meant to make us think about the options we have, but I already tend to be aware of them (even if I do forget to use all of them).

As I was stuck for subjects, I decided to go off and seek out new ones. Fortunately the National Trust has just sent me this year's handbook, so I went gallivanting about Sussex. For gallivanting read discovering Uppark's park only opens from March onwards, and hence doing Petworth instead. A long walk round most of the parkland belonging to Petworth House later and I've learnt several things.
- Firstly, deer can look like cows, when far off and en masse: they were a muddled mix of brown, black and white, and deer are brown, with occasional bits of red and white, aren't they?
- Secondly, no matter how far round the park one moves, the views of the hills breaking the horizon do not shift much.
- Thirdly, one can see a long way from a big hill.
- Fourthly, snowcones exist. They really do. We got caught in a shower of what we thought was hail, only it was far too white; bounced and blew around too much; and looked generally like balls of polystyrene. On closer inspection, the balls were too light for hail, and could be compressed to from ice. The balls also were not balls: they were conical, with a slightly rounded base opposite a definite point. Sort of space probe lander shape. Very odd, as I've never seen anything like it. Some of them were also pretty big, with a diameter of about a centimetre.
- Fifthly, nice houses can belong to nasty men. Well ok so we don't know whose house it was. But somewhere off to nor-northeast (ish), a house was catching the sun. We couldn't think where it was, nor whose it was. We decided it must belong to "that nasty man". Otherwise known as Nicholas van Hoogstraten. Although, I've just realised it wasn't ugly enough, and Google informs me that his house is about a county away from where we were looking. So if anyone knows what the house is between the hill beneath the tower in Petworth park, and what we assumed to be Hindhead, could you tell me please?
- Sixthly, wind can be strong.
- Seventhly, wind can be cold.
- Eighthly, wind can be noisy.
- Ninthly, kestrels won't come out from that distance on black and white film. Neither will woodpeckers.
- Tenthly, odd men make stupid comments about Hello! magazine. My camera lens isn't that big.
- Eleventhly, Petworth is very pretty, but very confusing to drive round (well not that confusing, just tortuous).
- Twelfthly, on the road south from Petworth is a great sign. There is a triangular warning sign (the type which is just a big exclamation mark). Below it is a single word: Badgers. You can't miss it, as it's just before the village of Mushroom-Mushroom. God, I'm far too easily amused when both hot and cold, and with only a Kitkat staving off the low blood sugar. Had me sniggering till within sight of Chichester cathedral.

I'll stop the nthly's now. And then we went to Bosham, because it's pretty damn photogenic, and I like the sea (I know it's a fair way from the sea proper, but it's more interesting to have Itchenor in the far distance). Most of my Bosham set were from round the other side of the inlet, so I had the town across the water (and because I'm not paying for parking). Gorgeous sun, but I was still on the black and white film. I'm not sure how good the pictures will be, as I was tired, but knew I still had another film to go. We try going along south along Shore Road, having decided the tide was going out, but it appears to be coming back in, and is blocking the road ahead. Crossing water when it's passable but rising, and we've no idea of where the road goes, and at what level it runs, does not seem a good idea.

Does Chichester Harbour also suffer from a double tide, or high-tide hiccup, like the areas around Poole? I thought that was caused by a theoretical amphidrome in the middle of Salisbury Plain, so Chichester seems too far away. It could have just been the wind forcing water up the channel. Speaking of faraway, the grandstand at Goodwood must have a stunning view, as it was glowing frantically from the top of the downs.

After some dubious navigation, and trying to reach the next inlet over, we end up driving up the road we couldn't drive down earlier, all the while discussing which houses we would like to live in. For some reason none of us were too keen on the bungalows on low ground behind a bank which the road hops over and back again. And I don't think it was because they were small either.

Having switched to colour film, and been all Bosham'd out, we head back, via the Midhurst road this time. The sunset becomes ridiculously colourful, despite being fairly high in the sky still. I finally get round to connecting Cowdray of the yellow window frames with Cowdray of polo fame (unless there really is another on in Gloucestershire).

And once again I'm describing things I tried to get pictures of, without having the pictures to hand. I think I'd better stop.

And it's nice to know I'm forgetable.


Valentines Day by RUTH

Time for a surprise
Thought you ought to know
So you can be ready
When I shock and scare you
And then pretend to be asleep
Thought of a surprise
I think I shall grow a moustache
And surprise you in public
In the name of the Lord
And then pretend it was somebody else

Stay out of my way
On Valentine's Day
Stay out of my way
And you'll be OK
On Valentine's Day

I think I'll make a film
About our life together
I'll send you to the cinema
Put a brick in the microwave
And pretend to be dead
Time for a surprise
I shan't tell you what it is
But it won't upset you
It won't even surprise you
But I'll pretend it did

You mustn't think that I don't love you
(I don't love you)
You mustn't think that I don't love you

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?