Saturday, 28 February 2009

Up the road, afternoon

In her ninety-fifth spring, eyes smeared with cataracts, Anne Pincemin leans back in her deckchair by the woodpile and turns her face upwards to the goodness of the February sun.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Up the road, afternoon.

Victor and his son have been splitting and stacking logs. His cockerel, red, green and gold and strutting, climbs to the summit of the pile and crows his heart out.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Quessoy arboretum, afternoon.

An elderly couple sit affectionately close together on a bench. They look neither happy nor unhappy, and yet I imagine they have the look of people who have come through.

Up the road, afternoon ( Tuesday )

Marie's clan are clearing out her house for rental. There is an air of relief in their actions. We conclude that wear-and-tear of use is preferable to wear-and-tear of disuse.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Up the road, afternoon

The black cat watching us from the field has eyes exactly the colour of the grass. It looks like a sheet metal cutout, with holes punched out revealing the world behind.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Quessoy arboretum, lunchtime.

Broken spirals of thrush-hammered snailshells lie among the woodchip mulch.

Scaley green rhododendron buds fatten up through winter, waiting still.

Bunches of dead leaves hang on twigs over the river.

The old railtrack, Gare de Moncontour, afternoon (Saturday)

Last year's frayed and rotted leaves, iodine and chocolate brown, form a glazed mosaic in the watery ditches; stone pennywort, ferns and mosses art nouveau curlicues over the wetted rocks.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Water mill, Guettes-es-Lievres, lunchtime, Friday.

A celandine to which a bee comes; a brimstone butterfly; fox pawprints in the silt of the receded river; tree roots washed clean.

Am I allowed a sigh of relief?

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Trédaniel plan d'eau, morning.

The surface is partly still, reflecting smoothly trees, grass, buildings, and partly broken by the breeze into corruscating shards which make no sense, and yet this roughness balances the other.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Down the road, late afternoon.

A single gull wheels, drops, glides, colourless as the sky. On one side there is the wavering thread of a robin's song, further off on the other a jay's cackle.

Water mill, Guettes-es-Lievres, lunchtime, Saturday.

It is worth making the detour here just to see the river shining through the trees as the road winds downward, and to stand, empty-headed, within the noise of the water.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Road- and riverside, Plouguenast.

From a cage outside a house, a foreign bird squawks. I recognise the logs from the felled beech stacked nearby. In flooded ground by the river, a few submerged daffodils.

Water mill, Guettes-es-Lievres, lunchtime, Thursday.

The river is brimming and running fast with rain and meltwater, with patches of bubbles. The weirs are roaring like tiny Niagaras, things seem ready to break up, wash away.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Plouguenast, children's playgound.

Slush and grit, a mossy path, a striped fish and motorbike on springs, a green plastic slide, all streaked with algae and scattered with leaf litter. A vivid vermillion dogwood.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Water mill, Guettes-es-Lievres, lunchtime.

The snow is just beginning; in the looking-glass river world, where the trees hang downwards, the flakes rise slowly toward the surface, meshing hypnotically with those falling in this world.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Woods above Moncontour, afternoon, walking with E. and Moos.

The peacock who lives in the house where the path starts gives us a full rattling display, or rather it's for his peahen, who is more concerned with the dogs.