I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Four holiday snaps

Despite the pic posted in June (taken covertly at an outdoor dinner in France) I rarely smile at cameras. My smiles come out as smirks and simpers which, I insist, "aren't me". This is untrue. What I mean (secretly) is I don't look imposing enough. Instead I scowl which makes me childish and petulant.

The photo now heading my blog was taken by my brother, Sir Hugh, as I sat on the Bowder Stone a boulder the size of  two-storey house adjacent to Buttermere in the Lake District. Detached from the human subject I find the photo sweetly composed. It has also profited from judicious cropping.

I'm pleased with the result. An "honest" portrait, I tell myself, given the well-defined turkey wattles, the leathery cheeks, the way the glasses partially obscure the eyes, and the slight sacklessness of my open mouth. The shirt - an old favourite - helps.  Not pretty, not over-dignified but in no way a cliché. A man with a history slightly more interesting than the one I have actually endured.

Two days ago Sir Hugh took the pair of us on a Lake District tour that sought to avoid tourist parts. Above are three places we saw.

(Top pic) Once, when I was much younger, I jumped naked from this bridge, a drop of about fifteen feet into the mercifully deep river below.

 (Middle pic) The misty skyline here is that of the Sellafield spent nuclear fuel plant on the Lake District coast.

(Lower pic)
Dead centre in this interaction of contours is Great Gable. A mountain.


  1. You look as though you are on the point of saying something, which is appropriate for a photo heading a blog. What words should be introduced into an imaginary balloon leading to the "the slight sacklessnes of your open mouth?" I wouldn't dare...But I like to think that it would be something like Alan Bennett's observation: "If I am doing nothing, I like to be doing nothing to some purpose. That is what leisure means."

  2. You were singing, obviously. That's a deep bass note coming from your throat and floating off into the hills.

  3. Joe: I was probably bossing Sir Hugh about regarding the taking of the photograph. Thank goodness he ignored me; I am truly impressed by the way he composed this pic.

    Natalie: Would that it were true. Here's a sonnet which mourns yet another of the changes wrought by adolescence - you need only read the final couplet.

    Sonnet – Wednesday night practice

    The darkened nave entailed a womb of light
    Gilding our boyish group. Standing, we sang
    The Nunc Dimittis, Angels ever bright,
    Stainer – all proof our aims were Anglican.

    The words were null, my job to recreate
    The notes with an unthinking treble voice.
    I soared the heights towards the perfect state
    Where notes become a licence to rejoice.

    Fatigued by descants, holding volume low,
    I left betimes starved like a refugee,
    Ate Marmite toast then turned my face from woe
    Dispensing with the evening’s ecstasy.

    Oh wasteful child who lost that gift along the way
    And deeded me this false reed in decay.

  4. Sad but lovely sonnet. Your pre-teen voice must have been truly memorable.

    Rhyming 'sang' and 'Anglican': I like it!