Monday, 29 December 2008

Up the road, afternoon

To stay out or return for tea? There is warmth in the sun, the landscape recedes inland in exquisite blue washes. It seems a shame to leave it out here...

Up the road, afternoon (Sunday).

The clods of the ploughed field are like concrete underfoot, and the frost still etches the shapes of bramble leaves in the hedges, and gnaws quietly at chin and nose.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Quessoy arboretum, late afternoon.

Deep winter light through lopped oaks' script, the river winding full between its sallow-sprung banks, peace and plenitude.

Why then, the mind's reaching out always for what will hurt it?

Up the road, morning, Boxing Day.

A salutory long walk, out to the coypu ponds, over the bent maize stalks, where the slim silvery beeches twist elegantly among the crustier oaks, the air cold and bright.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Down the road, afternoon.

Beyond the fog is a beautiful blue and gold sunny day. Its colours diffuse around us, but try as it might, it cannot pierce the chilly veil which masks it.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Down the road, late afternoon (Monday).

After the growing pressure of heat, aromas of baking, and crowding of surfaces in the kitchen, coming into the fresh open air is like taking the lid off a saucepan.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Up the road, early evening, winter solstice.

Unexpectedly, the rosy sky yields a long, low sunset from the brow of the hill, illuminating our faces theatrically; the cotoneaster glows redder red, the grey factory wall warm lilac.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Down the road, late afternoon.

Along the road, which is invisible in a fold in the land, a livestock lorry is travelling. Red and white, it is rectilinear, graphic, contrasting with the curving green fields.

Friday, 19 December 2008

St Brieuc, streets.

Moll is bunched up with uncertainty, a 'snow' machine billows out disturbing froth, but the smells are many and interesting, and she acquires a unfortunate taste for spat-out chewing gum.

Up the road, afternoon ( Thursday )

Marie is visiting her empty house. She congratulates us on good health, has forgotten everything I've told her, her children are all coming for Christmas, she calls us 'mes enfants'.

Trédaniel plan d'eau, late afternoon (Wednesday)

The water is so still, the pool is like a mirrored bowl, the trees, slopes buildings, slightly elongated, it seems, stand out more fine and clear in reflection than reality.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Up the road, afternoon

The camera was a mistake, I don't want to talk to the world that way. I need to walk into the low bright midwinter sun, turn the mind's eye inward.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Down the road, afternoon.

A blue fleece jacket and a fuzzy light brown scarf.

A colourless day and a chill north wind, which yet brings a curious olfactory illusion of orange peel and currants.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Up the road, afternoon.

I drag Tom out for his constitution's sake. He lacks much patience with Mol's sniffing preoccupations, but enjoys the cloud shapes, which, he says, really contain no ultramarine at all...

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Down the road, late afternoon.

Next door's shabby red garage doors, the yellowing rendered wall and the momentarily blue sky beyond are raggedly reflected in the long roadside puddle into a muted tricoleur of primaries.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Up the road, late afternoon

The three large conifers next door are deep copper purple in the dusk. 2000, Jean planted them, when the pine blew down, and we spent New Year chopping it up.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Down the road, early evening.

From the hilltop the sun catches the chimneys, the topmost branches, floods blood-rose the overarching, overawing aeriel perspective of flaring cirrhus, jet-trails of angels.

We walk in shadow now.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Down the road, afternoon.

I went hunting lapwings with the camera, but they always whirl up and away before I can get close, which at least shows their black and white against the nutbrown fields.

Up the road, morning (Saturday)

A bright day, and the flocks of wintering larks forget themselves; individuals break away and climb high above the fields in broken circles, singing in staccato bursts, defying the season.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Trédaniel plan d'eau, late afternoon

Almost all my footwear is muddy, and I am lackadaisical about cleaning it. The paths here are all awash, and I add my smarter black boots to the muddied collection.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Woods behind Arondel, walking Moos with Mol, morning.

Among brown leaf mould, open golden palms of sycamore leaves. Low sun haloes roofs, trees, dogs. The world is beautiful and full of pain. I hate how trite that sounds.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Water mill, Guettes-es-Lievres, late afternoon.

Smoke from a fire higher up settles over the river, veils the surfaces with haze.

In the dusk a kingfisher on a branch, starts out over the water, insect blue.