Enfolded Treasures

Wednesday, 26 April 2017 18:50
songofcopper: (gaze)
And Now: a belated resumption of the Tale of the Weekend Just Gone.

We decided that on Sunday we would take a picnic into Belvidere Meadows, which is one of several nature reserves on our doorstep. I had heard that there were supposedly wild orchids there somewhere, though I’d never been there at the right moment to see them before.

IMG_20170423_134810149-PANO

Our lunchtime view.

Beauty lurks within... )
songofcopper: (gaze)
What do we do almost without ceasing? Even while asleep, or in meditation? We PERCEIVE. Information washes up upon the shores of our flesh, and we have feelings about it. It is impossible to say whether this is important or useful or significant in the grand scheme of the Kosmos, but it’s a phenomenon that is unavoidably ongoing.

Even if your conscious mind goes bye-bye, your brain is still doing it regardless.

Often, we value our various perceptive experiences very subjectively. (And why not; what else is a perceiver to do? Perception can never be truly unbiased.) We consider that sitting around in our underwear staring at an empty crisp packet is somehow less instructive or enlightening than climbing to the top of a green hill and remarking the horizon. Personally, I don’t want to exclude the possibility that the sight of a humble crisp packet might nudge my perceptive faculties towards some kind of life-enhancing comprehension of… something. But on the other hand, I happen to live in one of the most beautiful regions of our silly little fool of a planet, so I may as well put on outdoor clothes and wander around in it.

(Yes, our planet is a silly little darling. Other, more sensible planets are seemingly little disposed to bother with the confounding and sticky business of hosting life. ‘What on Earth for?!’ is the only reasonable reaction to the presence of life, really. Perceivers seem to like having reasons for things, but there needn’t be a reason. We cherish the question ‘Why?’ when we might be happier fellows if we prioritised ‘How?’ instead. Anyway - for no discernible reason, You and I Exist. Shall we shrug and humbly enjoy it together?)

Ecce: my weekend has included the imposition of Me upon several landscapes. On Saturday we took the train to Exmouth and then got the bus to Budleigh Salterton, before strolling back to Exmouth along the coastal path. I definitely, thoroughly recommend this. Here are some photographs which shall speak in tongues for eyes to hear. ;-)

IMG_20170422_113430391

The beach at Budleigh Salterton wore shades of silver and steel in the morning. It was so still that there no waves. The sea was mute, flat as a puddle of mercury. We passed various kiosks, just starting to open up. It felt as though the place was waiting for enough human beings to turn up before switching itself back on.

IMG_20170422_143234244

Wandering with eyes open )
songofcopper: (Cosmériffick)
This afternoon I’ve been doing a little art experiment. (I have no formal skill in this area, so any success - define the latter as you will - is largely down to serendipity or Divine intervention!!)

01_setup

Recently I acquired some kyogi - these are wafer-thin sheets of pine wood, traditionally used in Japan for serving food.

Writing on kyogi )

Anyway, whimsical penmanship aside, seeing the wood grain pattern on the kyogi reminded me of those Edvard Munch woodblock prints called ‘Towards the Forest’ - obsessive iterations of the same image, produced and reproduced, the texture of the wood being called into service as part of the composition.

Brooding menace )

Recently, I’ve been enjoying discovering various artists who are new to me: they fall into several categories.

Archetypal Artists )

Aside from meeting these extraordinary artworks, I’ve also been finding much enjoyment in many of the things that have inspired them. Some of these are long-standing loves, some newer.

Gleeful Gloom, in painting, word and photograph )

All around, so many proofs of possibility: at some point, looking at other people’s genius-born meisterwerks ceases to be off-putting, because you know full well you can’t emulate or equal them. There is no tension then - you can’t feel intimidated by the foregone conclusion of your own lack of skill. Somehow it becomes possible to just have a go, without worrying about the outcome.

02_light

Crepuscular Encounter )
07_full

Now that I know this works, perhaps I’ll make other things - time will tell. Anyway - clearly I’m no kind of skilled artist, but it is inevitable that buoyed in the tidal wake of those blessed with great artistry there will always be happy accidental amateurs bobbing about. What can I say else but ‘come on in - the water’s lovely’.
songofcopper: (Christina Autochrome)
On Friday, we took another train - this time in search of Castell Coch. (You get the train to Taff’s Well, then stroll to the village of Tongwynlais and up the hill to the castle.) This was the day of our anniversary, so it was befitting that we should save the most romantic of the local castles for the occasion. I had seen it twice before (once on a field trip from University, once with David on our previous visit to Cardiff); seeing it this third time, I was impressed more by its air of melancholy than its romance. The thing is, the 3rd M. of B. (yes, this is yet another of his projects!) had a tendency to lose interest in his buildings once they were completed. The planning, the design, the collaboration with architects, the imagining, the excitement, the construction… all of that was deeply interesting to him, but a finished thing held no allure. How very sad! It put me in mind of those books and films where there is a flourishing finale, THE END, and everything just stops. Many people regard weddings that way - a lot of fuss and planning and show, and THE END. What happens next? If you can manage to appreciate the non-exciting, non-glamorous stuff that happens next, perhaps you’ll do alright.

In fact, without the non-exciting, non-glamorous everyday stuff, the gilt fades, the lustre dims, you are left with an empty memory, gathering dust. The Bute family almost never visited Castell Coch after it was completed. At times, they used it as a quarantine sanatorium when their children were ill. When first I saw this place, I thought it so very beautiful and romantic. But now, walking through uselessly opulent rooms, I felt sorry that it had never been a home. On the few occasions when the castle was used, the family had to bring in servants from Cardiff. I stood in the kitchen and felt annoyed on behalf of the state of the art range: nobody habitually cooked on that thing! It was as redundant as an Aga in a show flat. What a shame - what a shame! And what a relief to know that though our house is nothing special from an architectural point of view, it contains real life; breakfast is eaten there, warm bodies sleep there, laundry is washed there. Upon leaving, somebody locks the door with care, in anticipation of returning very soon. You can get married at Castell Coch, but you wouldn’t want to live there.

Empty Halls )
songofcopper: (Albrecht Dürer Forever)
The following day, Thursday, we avoided Cardiff, thinking it might be too full of NATO and police officers to be borne with good grace. Instead, we took the train to Caerphilly in order to look at its castle. The town of Caerphilly made me oddly nostalgic for the 1990s - it seemed not to have been touched since then, so I daresay it too was feeling the same way. We had elevenses in a café that was still serving that prototypic form of caffe latte that comes in a tall glass mug and consists of slightly-soiled milk. I have been ruined, I fear, by knowledge of coffee that tastes recognisably of coffee. Still, the establishment also served loose leaf tea (which pleased the David) and was so extremely clean that I almost wanted to drop my shortbread on the floor in order to enjoy the rare thrill of innocent trust that would assuredly accompany the eating of it anyway.

As we strolled through the town, I felt somewhat sorry for Caerphilly. It had very obviously seen better days. When you think of Caerphilly you think of cheese, and perhaps of the castle, but as for present-day prosperity I am not sure that it’s very lively. Still, we did spot a local landmark…



Enormous Edifices )
songofcopper: (endless pencil)
Time at last to relate the tale of our trip to Cardiff. I hope you like castles of the earth and castles of the air, for there are many of these herein.

I note with bemusement the fact that I seem fatally drawn to individuals who have converted to Roman Catholicism. I wonder why that is? I think it highly unlikely that I shall ever go that way (mainstream religion does not suit my constitution), but anyway - there it is. A Thing about Me.

I mention this only because of the Third Marquess of Bute. He was just such a convert. He impressed me well enough on my first visit to Cardiff, but somehow I appreciated him more fully on this second sojourn. It is always entertaining to poke through the leavings of these characters who have sufficient wealth, influence and imagination to enable fantastic things to be brought about - wondrous castles with preposterously exuberant interiors - but the 3rd M. of B. does seem to have had something more about him than mere whimsy. According to Vicipaedia, ’The Marquess’s vast range of interests… included religion, medievalism, the occult, architecture, travelling, linguistics, and philanthropy… A prolific writer, bibliophile and traveller, as well as, somewhat reluctantly, a businessman, his energies were on a monumentally Victorian scale.’

I wonder, do such people exist nowadays? What are we (our generation) building? What, moreover, are we imagining? Not A Very Great Deal is the only conclusion I can casually arrive at. We don’t quite know what to do with our rich folks these days (or they don’t quite know what to do with us). Gone are the days of paternalistic patronage, and so much the better, but that just leaves us with the dead weight of such frivolous nonentities as populate the shiny society pages, creatures content to be customers - clients! - rather than patrons, sponsors, mentors. Once upon a time, profound depths of excess were mined for rare and aweful jewels. These days, all we can muster is the occasional flamboyant celebrity, scratching out some further extent of shallows - channels for orts to float sewerwards. Distance long is not the same as distance deep. Doing opulence (decoration) well is, I fear, a lost art: or rather, having been cleansed of anything approaching the merest pose of spiritual intent, it becomes something merely selfish, gaudy and inutile. ‘Good taste’ instructs that the only appropriate expression of a rich man’s fancy is in minimalism. Discreet, faceless, apologetic, antiseptic… I like this not. Minimalism was worthwhile as a species of flamboyance: when orthodoxy takes on tints of the bombastic, rendering the outrageous humdrum, your ideal next move (stylistically speaking) is subtle, subtle, subtle, white, white, white, flat, flat, flat. Do that, cutting across hackneyed-gothic, and you have something. But it’s trite now. It’s beginning to look preposterous. It’s as if nobody has the guts to CHOOSE STUFF any more - to CHOOSE STUFF BECAUSE THEY LIKE IT.

Anyway… all I am saying is, ‘Give Fabudorability A Chance’.

With that in mind, let me take you to a strange kingdom.

A Strange Kingdom )
songofcopper: (magritte)
We went for a walk yesterday, in one of the local nature reserves. I took my camera with me. When I go out with the intention of taking pictures, I often feel unequipped to make much of The View. Big landscapes - I struggle to do them justice, in the camera and in my appreciation of them. Maybe it's simply a matter of scale. Or maybe it's because sometimes they really do look like paintings you've seen. It's difficult to feel you're really there, in a way.

But small things always call to me. I use the camera's macro setting more than anything else.

Anyway, here's a series of glimpses of the way wandered.

 photo DSCF3336.jpg
We ate lunch on the bench you see here. This place is called 'Belvidere Meadow', and you can see why. Sitting there with my cheese and tomato roll, I began to mourn the loss of that old country stalwart, the Real Tramp. People who were itinerant, in a skilled and (semi-)purposeful way. Moving around to where the work was, or when there wasn't any work, the welcome. A skilled tramp, sitting on this bench, eating a cheese and tomato roll, I thought, would not be less rich than whoever owned the land.

Wind-Blown Wanderings )
songofcopper: (Christina Autochrome)
A couple of Thursdays ago, I achieved a long-held ambition: I attended a writers' group. I'd known of its existence for ages, but living in my castle on the hill, far from the city, and being a stubborn non-driver, I wasn't in a position to do anything about it. But having gained the city's bounds, there's no excuse now to ignore the opportunity to meet other writers, with the aim of getting and giving useful feedback, moral support, or at the very least a drink and a nice conversation.

Cake May Ensue )

Last week at the bookshop, on the Big Table of Interesting Things, the display included a book with the intriguing title 'Princes of Victorian Bohemia'. Hmm, thinks Cosmé; instructive? The cover shows this photograph:

Anachronauts Ahoy )

Oh Well. I don't have Mr Wynfield at my disposal, but I do have a camera of my own. Also, I wasn't in Renaissance Prince Mode on Thursday; it was more of a Listlessly-Awkard Edwardian Creature moment. Imagine Cosmé, wistfully adrift at some dully-genteel seaside resort, sulkily solitary but very much wanting a cup of tea… if only a kind person would take pity on the poor thing.

In the absence of kind strangers, one takes pity on oneself. (How very sad! And yet: occasional self-indulgence works wonders, I find. Don't you?)

The Lorn Lens )
songofcopper: (Miaow! =^.^=)
[Title Refers: Today at the shop I noticed a cardboard box whose original use was to contain fruit. It had a slogan printed upon it: "Melons with Purpose"! Now, there's a mottoe to conjure with!! Personally, I tend to feel that in life, and certainly in the bodice area, one may be given peaches, pomegranates or melons. I myself have been blessed with pomegranates, but to no great utility. Not that I mind pointlessness; it is, after all, a symptom of civility. In the words of Frank Zappa's Mr Green Genes: "Deliciousness, Nutritiousness, Worthlessness". ;-P]

Remember when young Cosmé indulged his fancy for the princely life during the Northern Renaissance? How deftly Hans Baldung Grien captured a look of doe-eyed sweetness upon the pampered one's fair face?

Well, now. Just for the sake of appearances, our very vain anachronautick wanderer needs must try on a more warlike pose now and again. Public relations demand a statement of martial intent. And so: enter Lucas Cranach the Elder.

cosme_lucas_cranach_elder_joachim_II_wiki
This style of armour has an intriguing hourglass formation. Plenty of room for pomegranates in there!!

For Maximum Effect, Co-ordinate your Palstave with your Halberd )

Meanwhile, back in the 21st Century, Cosmé is still in Renaissance Creature mode. That is to say, in black velvet and my reddest shoes I have been a decoration upon the day, the weather of my fashion gathering like a storm in the horizonless sky of denim that does infest the heavens. ;-P

DSCF3178
Der Schwarze Prinz mit Rote Schuhe )
songofcopper: (Miaow! =^.^=)
I've been having a lovely weekend. Very lovely.

Slip into sunshine... )
songofcopper: (Miaow! =^.^=)
I've been having a lovely weekend. Very lovely.

Slip into sunshine... )
songofcopper: (Purrodigy)
You can't really call it an English Summer if you haven't been to an agricultural show! ;-)

Yesterday it was the North Devon Show and I was treated to a fine day out there by the lovely David. ^_^  When we went last year, it was raining, but this time it was a blazing hot day.  I even managed to get sunburnt (oops.  More suncream required...).  D. didn't get burnt at all, and he's at least as fair as I am - sometimes the weather gods pick and choose their victims, I guess! >.<

Lots of pictures etc. under the cut - some of them will be easier to see if you 'click to enlarge'. ^_^

MANY PICTURES AND MUCH CUTENESS! ;-) )
songofcopper: (Purrodigy)
You can't really call it an English Summer if you haven't been to an agricultural show! ;-)

Yesterday it was the North Devon Show and I was treated to a fine day out there by the lovely David. ^_^  When we went last year, it was raining, but this time it was a blazing hot day.  I even managed to get sunburnt (oops.  More suncream required...).  D. didn't get burnt at all, and he's at least as fair as I am - sometimes the weather gods pick and choose their victims, I guess! >.<

Lots of pictures etc. under the cut - some of them will be easier to see if you 'click to enlarge'. ^_^

MANY PICTURES AND MUCH CUTENESS! ;-) )

Fal-la-la!

Monday, 18 July 2011 16:16
songofcopper: (skogkatts!)
And now... holiday photo-dump time! >.<

Here is a little travelogue of our trip to Falmouth.  It's PHOTO-HEAVY but light on loquacity, so hopefully an easy read! ;-P


 
On the Sea Shore... )

Fal-la-la!

Monday, 18 July 2011 16:16
songofcopper: (skogkatts!)
And now... holiday photo-dump time! >.<

Here is a little travelogue of our trip to Falmouth.  It's PHOTO-HEAVY but light on loquacity, so hopefully an easy read! ;-P


 
On the Sea Shore... )
songofcopper: (CAKEZ!!!)
First, a Happy New Year to all of you. ^_^

And Now... a round-up of all my Christmas doings, comings and goings. :-D

I think this is going to be photo-heavy. :-)
 
Oh, the weather outside is frightful... )
songofcopper: (Miaow! =^.^=)
Yesterday I went for a walk through a semi-freddo world poised between Autumn and Winter.  I walked my favourite way, out from where the houses are tightly clustered around the village green, before they peter out in four directions, as if pulled on by the four winds.  The houses huddle together, setting out their sturdy resistance against the human urge to explore.  Four walls hold great power: "Stay here, within!" they whisper.  "Stay warm, stay safe!"  But the door!  The door has power, too.  "Come outside!" it implores.
 
Come through the door... )
songofcopper: (Miaow! =^.^=)
Yesterday I went for a walk through a semi-freddo world poised between Autumn and Winter.  I walked my favourite way, out from where the houses are tightly clustered around the village green, before they peter out in four directions, as if pulled on by the four winds.  The houses huddle together, setting out their sturdy resistance against the human urge to explore.  Four walls hold great power: "Stay here, within!" they whisper.  "Stay warm, stay safe!"  But the door!  The door has power, too.  "Come outside!" it implores.
 
Come through the door... )

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This journal is not a private diary, it is more like an occasional, imaginary column. Therefore, much of it is on public display. However, if you want to read my occasional attempts at creative writing, my Caution Elf tells me I should only show that stuff to my friends. You know what to do. :-)

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