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Showing posts from August, 2018

The Unexpected

I like September. It's not just that it feels as though the effort of keeping summer going can be given up, almost with a sense of relief. No, it's more than that - here's a new season, fresh in its own special way. As September contains a quarter day (itself relating to the solstice) I read that it was a time when people were hired, land was exchanged and debts paid. So various things start now, like the academic year,  making it a month for new beginnings -  although it draws heavily on recent growth, sometimes hardly noticed. And then there's all the fruit, of course, only too often celebrated poetically... But much more interesting are the arrivals that startle. I mean the fungi -  extraordinary things which literally spring up overnight. Not things though - they're living plants.   No, not plants - organisms - but that doesn't sound right. As for the proper term 'fruiting body' - well, that suggests some

The Natural is Unnatural

Frank Sutcliffe photographs Whitby Fishermen It's quite a famous photograph, I gather.  But I hadn't seen it before. Perhaps you know it?  I can't show it here as it's copyright, but I'll try to describe it. So there they are, those nine sea-booted, variously-hatted traditional fishermen, naturally disposed on the quay. By which I mean, well, they're just there - as if they'd arrived a moment ago. There's a central group, close together, another smaller group to the right, two of them looking across the picture, and on the left, a chap leaning against the railing and peering over the edge.  For a backdrop there's a fishing boat, all sails set, and on the far right, a statuesque figure with a basket hoisted over his shoulder. It looks for all the world as though they'd just returned. Or, on second thoughts, perhaps they're waiting to go out? Once the question's been raised, you find yourself  looking mo