Documenting the seasons of coastal Dorset. I'm a complete amateur so don't trust I'm always right. If ever you see I'm wrong - whether with identifications or in anything else - do say!

Thursday, 16 March 2017

LIFE ON A BORROWED CAMERA

Isle of Portland (Dorset) disappearing into mist.
Not that people with perfect vision will be seeing much these days.
A few moments earlier, this was a moderately open view. A few moments later and everything was hidden behind a fast veiling, white curtain.
The default weather here is currently 'mist'. This somewhat reflects my own state of joyfulness - which could be more nearly described as - 'fog'. It will be another two weeks before my camera is returned from the menders; and just when I was thinking after the demise and replacement of my laptop, the demise and not-replacement of my music speaker, the smashing of my mobile phone (I tripped over a low concrete barrier) - there's nothing else to break . . . my glasses frame has suddenly and unaccountably bent and an arm is falling off so it's not just that the world is out of focus when looked at through a broken lens - I'm walking around with crossed eyes, constantly angling my head up and down and sideways to see if there's any way I can make things look better.

On the up-side . .  I've borrowed a camera.
On the down-side . . . although pictures taken with it may theoretically be in focus I have no idea whether they are or are not. (Broken glasses!)

I hope by now, you are completely overcome with sympathy, fighting back tears and playing violins.

Large expanse of reeds beyond brambles.
Friends don't necessarily help. "I know!" said one. "Come with me for a walk. That'll cheer you up!" After quite a long trek across the grey wastes of an abandoned Park-and-Ride, and after falling up a muddy, brambly bank because everything was so wet, we could see acres of brown reeds sticking up through invisible water-logged ground. I could tart up this picture. I've tried. So I know. With a bit of adjustment I can make it brighter and clearer. But to blog it like that would be to lie. What lay before us was a landscape of stripy murkiness. Which, I hope, is how you see it here.

Fortunately, I was not invited to put on waders to see if we could get through, nor given an axe and a canoe. Instead, my guide diverted us between clumps and bumps of tough grass, along muddy paths and deep puddles so I could experience the pleasure of cold brown water flowing happily into my only presentable pair of shoes.

But even in the murk of a warm, dull spring, there are moments of hope . . . 

Cordyline on balcony of block of flats.
Last week I reviewed a book on how to cheer an urban landscape with flowers. . . and brightened the post with an illustration from it of a balcony crammed with plants. I was in Southampton yesterday and as I climbed despondently up the hill from the station into town (wondering how much joy I could summon up from admiring concrete blocks of flats built to resemble ocean liners) I glanced up (never forget to glance up) and saw this. One Cordyline on one balcony. Is this a cheerful reminder that not everything is as bleak as it seems? Or does it emphasise that apart from itself everything is, indeed, bleak?
I've not yet decided.

(I hope you're enjoying this post!)
Here's a bit of light:

Plant growing on the windscreen of a car.

Earlier this week, I was going from house to house, posting leaflets through letter boxes suggesting - that plans to close the children's ward and neo-natal unit at our local hospital are not a good idea (that's not the light) when I came across this car. In some ways it could be a sad car. But it wasn't. It wasn't muddy (unlike my shoes) and the paintwork was shiny (unlike my shoes) and growing in the slot where the wipers swish - there was this plant. The photo isn't in focus . .  grey day, broken glasses, unfamiliar camera . . . but it brought - I wish I could say 'leap of joy' into a bleak and un-imaginative heart  (more violins please) . . . but it inspired a little spark of 'oh, look at this!'-ness A man emerged from the house opposite. After all, I was cavorting in his neighbour's drive, taking photographs of his neighbour's car etc. etc. But I couldn't summon enough enthusiasm to call him over to see . . just nodded, put my camera away and went to push the next leaflet through the nest annoying draft-excluding bristles in the letterbox of the next door along. But a bit of my brain (the tiny part spared from moaning about broken glasses) has, since then, been going around almost on its own - singing a little song.

16 comments:

karen gimson said...

Made my heart sing too. Is it a teasel by any chance? Do hope you get your glasses fixed/ your camera back etc. Do wish I could write as beautifully as you. You always make me think/laugh/ cry.... Love from Karen xxx

Marie Smith said...

Love your writing style! Funny and poignant all at the same time.

I hope glasses and camera are back soon. I too would be lost without either.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hello Karen and Marie. Thank you for the complements! So kind - and very much appreciated.

Is it a teasel? Hadn't thought of that . . but it may well be . . . there are lots round here. In their first year they grow large and flat but in an odd place like this it would be likely to grow stunted . . there are certainly prickles on the spines of the leaves. I wonder if I'll be brave enough to go back in a couple of weeks to see . . . the house is the very last in a cul-de-sac so I wouldn't have any reason 'just to be passing'. Perhaps I will need to look for another cause which needs people to deliver leaflets for in order to explain my presence!

Coastal Ripples said...

Thank you for popping by my blog. It's good to find another nature lover living in a part of the world I love. B x

Pat Tillett said...

I knew that you take great photos, what I didn't know is that you wrote so well. Great post!
focus schmocus anyway...

Andy P said...

It looks like a teasel. I can't see enough prickles on the back of the leaf to be sure but they do self seed everywhere. In my garden I deliberately planted 3, I now dig up hundreds of plants that size each year from all over the garden. If there is bare soil, there'll be a teasel soon :)

Hollis said...

Great photographs as always, Lucy, even without glasses. I enjoy your compositions/arrangements and these are no exception. Plant on car, amazing. And I have been playing my violin, has it helped? Well, actually fiddle music and from thousands of miles away, but maybe ... :-)
best, Hollis

Brian Skeys said...

You are not having much luck with your technology Lucy. A good opportunistic photo of the teasel growing in the car.

Jo said...

How lovely to look up and see the cordyline cheering up the blocks of concrete, I'd definitely take that as a positive. Whilst dog walking yesterday, I came across a cordyline which had been uprooted and left to rot on a grass verge, it looked such a healthy plant too, someone clearing out or an act of vandalism? I don't know. Hope you get the glasses mended soon.

liz said...

Lucy, despite your broken glasses and muddy shoes, you take wonderful photos and write so well. You added joy to my day, so I hope I can send some back to you across the miles. Liz

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hello Coastal Ripples. I think it was the first time I'd come across your blog. Glad to meet you!

Hello Pat. The focus may be schmocus for a while still - I might even have to run a competition for 'who kind find a crisp image?'.

Hello Andy P. I find young goldfinches especially like teasel seeds.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hello Brian. I wonder how long the teasel will hang in there. If it manages to grow tall it will look delightfully odd.

Hi, Jo. Cordyline on verge? Sounds a bit vandalistic - as if someone will be missing their plant.

Alistair said...

Lucy, if I could write like you, I would get started on a book. Loved your post, even your misfortune made me smile, now that is not very nice!

Down by the sea said...

You really are due some good fortune, so sorry to hear about your glasses. We seem to be getting so many grey days at the moment, that nothing looks very appealing. I share your concerns of the current proposals for NHS plans in the area. It will be a big change if you move North but I'm sure you will discover some beautiful places around Halifax too. Sarah x

Toffeeapple said...

I am so sorry to hear of all your problems and hope that everything is back to normal very soon. Stay smiley!

Caroline Gill said...

Thank you, Lucy, for your comment on my blog. Sorry to hear that you have had so many frustrations all at once. After a dull start to the day, the sun has come out here in Suffolk - and I saw another bumble this morning on the flowering currant. Just going to look it up...