“I’m going to make everything around me beautiful - that will be my life.” — Elsie de Wolfe

Saturday, 29 October 2011

The View from My Window . . .

These trees are my everyday view, my faithful companions. I look up from my computer and they are there, constant and beautiful.

I watch their procession through the year, the spring growth, the summer finery and the jewel fire of autumn. I observe their bare bones stark against the sky, punctuating winter with their presence.

They have taught me to see the wind as it plays in their leaves and makes them shimmer. When it blows harder, I watch as they dance.

I am mesmerised as moment by moment the light changes. Illuminating them first in dawns pale pink aura, contouring those big old limbs with light. And then as the sun tumbles down the sky it sets right behind them, setting them on fire. They are magnificent, back lit and shimmering with gold.

Then as darkness falls, I see them silhouetted. Intricately etched onto the fading tie dye sky.

This is my view from my window. My landscape, my world. . .

"Dripping honey and sunshine, the silver birch stands.
Shivering drops of amber tremble around the white etched trunk.
I overflow with gladness for the beauty of autumn and all its multi hued splendour.
For outside my window the world is simply awash with colour,
a pallete of jewels glowing in the soft yellow light. "
Daily I observe the Jackdaws socialising in 'their' big old tree. Chattering and alerting each other to food thrown for them. Wheeling and cartwheeling as they arrive home each evening to roost.

"The jackdaws are socialising in the big old tree, preening and chattering,
wiping their sturdy beaks on the knotted branches.
A sudden noise and they take to the air.
Black brushstrokes daubed across a steely grey sky. "

Please forgive my blurred jackdaw pictures, I was using my zoom through my dirty windows. :-)

Thought of the week
"I expect nothing. I fear nothing. I am free." - Nikos Kazantzakis

I am linking this post to week 59 of I Saw Sunday

Images and words - Susannah Bec

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Waiting for the Magic to Start. . .

"What we remember from childhood we remember forever
- permanent ghosts,
stamped, inked, imprinted, eternally seen." - Cynthia Ozick

We went into Banbury for our shopping mid week, and soon discovered that the annual Michealmas funfair had set up right in the very centre of the town.

And even though it was a dull grey day and threatening rain, we decided to take a walk around. With camera in hand, we explored the fairground filled roads and market place that are usually home to buses, taxis and shoppers.

It seemed so strange to see the funfair like that. . . It was lifeless, dormant, waiting with baited breath for the lights, music and movement, that later that evening would give it life.

Soon the people would be thronging to this temporary and heady taste of enchantment that swoops in once a year, to briefly transform the town for three days.

It bought back such memories . . .

You see, when I was growing up I longed for colour, sparkles and magic. . .

Some of that desire was satisfied by losing myself in books, with tales of The Magic Faraway Tree and adventures in the ever changing worlds that appeared in the clouds at the top of the branches. Many hours were spent curled up on my bed lost in these enchanted lands.

So you can imagine my delight when the travelling funfair chose the large playing field right in front of my home to set up for its annual two week visit!

From my vantage point on my bedroom window sill, I could see the lorries and brightly coloured fairground equipment arrive and quickly begin transforming the empty patch of grass into a colourful kaleidoscope of lights, colour, music and smells.

Laying in bed at night, I could smell the diesel engines and the fried onions. I could hear the sirens as the rides slowed down to let off the hoards of screaming girls.

And all of this was accompanied by the sounds of the latest pop records played loud, and the flashing lights that I could see shining through my closed curtains. - Lighting up my safe little bedroom with all the excitement that I craved.

I felt as though I had pulled this bright, edgy, impermanent world into my experience.

And I loved every moment it was there!
As I became a teenager and I was able to freely wander through this sparkly, noise filled mirage that appeared annually yards from my window, it lost none of its magic.

It was there that I saw a girl not much older than me. She was sitting in the glorious pink candy floss booth. It was edged with pretty coloured twinkling lights, and she was serenely twirling a stick on which she quickly built a cloud of pink candyfloss.

I can remember being seized with longing. I wanted to be that girl. To live amongst the sparkle and noise and every two weeks to pack up my things and to travel to the next stopping place and do it all again. . .

So, this week. . .
I was reminded of the young girl I once was, and of her craving for colour, magic and adventure.

Thought of the week
"You do not know the weight of this self you are carrying until you put it down." - Zen

I am linking this post to week 58 of I Saw Sunday

Images and words - Susannah Bec

Saturday, 15 October 2011

The Art of Tripping Over Beauty

"October walked into my room unnoticed, and it is only now weeks later, that I see her sitting quietly in the corner wearing her faded green dress. The copper lights are already beginning to shine in her hair and I felt the subtle chill in the breeze as she opened her mouth and called out my name."

I have long been a believer that beauty and art is everywhere if only you get used to looking for it. I have trained myself that well that I can't go anywhere without tripping over it! I see art in the most unlikely of places, and I must admit it slows my journeys down as I stop in the middle of the street to ooh and aah over something. Nature always does it to me and colours have been known to literally take my breath away, there's always something interesting to see. :-)

Here are a random selection of photos and words from my world this week. . .

I leave water out for our resident hedgehog though Sammy can't resist a drink.

"The constant trees beyond my window,
stately stood against the sky.
Clouds adorned with whirling jackdaws.
How I wish that I could fly."

"All it takes is a tiny shift in awareness and you will see it,
opened up there before you.
The world is awash with beauty."

Pruning. . .

I have been cutting out dead wood,
pulling out all that is dry and rotten.

Some pieces crumble in my hand,
some need a sharp blade, to cut
through wiry sinews.

I am letting in air and light,
penetrating the dark centre.

Branches, weaved and twisted.
They've been cocooned that long
they have forgotten how to breathe.

My fingers are creating space,
leaving only what is good wood.

Hands cut and scraped,
I step back and observe
the transformation.

A deep breath.
My work is done.

See - art everywhere!

I hope your week has been a happy one! :-)

Thought of the week
"You can tell more about a person by what he says about others
than you can by what others say about him." - Leo Aikman

I am linking this post to week 57 of I Saw Sunday

Images and words - Susannah Bec

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Morris Dancers and Narrowboats - Banbury Canal Day 2011

"Poetry is everywhere; it just needs editing." - James Tate

Last Sunday afternoon Joe and I drove into Banbury for their annual Canal Day festival. Each year they have a theme and this year it was 'A Right Royal Occasion'. Celebrating the very best of Red, White and Blue.

It is a huge event that is regularly attended by at least 10,000 people, with narrowboats and people coming from miles around. This years glorious sunshine was perfect for the celebrations.

So without further ado, please join me for a stroll through this years Banbury Canal Day.

There were people everywhere, and music playing. . .

This lady was spinning, seemingly oblivious to the crowds. . .

These gents deep in discussion about their steam engines. . .

Ladies selling tradionally painted bargeware.

This owl seemed totally unphased by it all. . .

Down by the mill arts centre the rhythmic banging of a drum drew my attention,
and I went over to see what everyone was watching.

It was Morris Dancers - these are not the tradional dancers I am used to seeing. Apparently this is a Borders Morris team and this one was called Plum Jerkum and they hailed from Warwick.

With the insistant drum beat and their whoops and hollers, I was totally hooked!

Border Morris is known for its mixed teams, blacked up faces and if you notice all the women have one black leg and one coloured leg. They danced around their hats placed on the floor.

I really liked it and to tell the truth I quite fancy doing it myself! I asked Joe
if he would join me, if I took it up - but he was having none of it! :-)

When they weren't dancing they were playing the music for the rest of the team.

They also used the traditional sticks. . .

The sound of that drum was really primal.

There were loads of other Morris teams waiting for their turn to dance. . .

After all the excitement - I thought this boat had an appropriate name. . .

and the Tai Chi demonstration was a perfect foil for the hustle and bustle elsewhere.

There was also a very colourful French Market with delicious smelling food. . .

Plus lots of other things on offer. . .

I could have shown loads more photo's, but I would have been here all day!
I hope you enjoyed my little tour, it was good to have you along.
Now does anyone fancy joining me in Morris dancing? ;-)

I hope that your week has been a good one.

Thought of the week
"The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life,
the clearer we should see through it. " - Jean Paul Sartre

I am linking this post to week 56 of I Saw Sunday

Images and words - Susannah Bec


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