21 May 2009

Tulip Time

Tulip Time in the Kitchen Garden

Tulips Drama

20 May 2009

En Tournage

Last evening was a gala occasion.

Off we went, braving wind and rain, to a showing of
Colette's wonderful story, "Chéri".

For years every word that Colette wrote seemed to rattle round gently in my head.
The landscape of Burgundy was so beautiful in one Summer I spent there that,
years later, I brought my husband to tour the rolling hills, woods and vineyards
of a place where time had, seemingly, stood still.

"Chéri" is set in more austere surroundings.
The claustrophobic houses of the demi-monde, the lonely Atlantic coast...

The story of an aged lady falling in love with a young man who refuses to grow up is one that Irish audiences may or may not recognise. It is so very, very French.
Surprisingly, although almost everybody in the film spoke in English, with American accents, it was a convincing portrayal of French life as lived by the idle rich before the First World War. Also, the witticisms of the original text made the audience (of probably no more than a dozen) laugh.

Lovers of the colours used in Impressionist painting are in for a treat.

This film got only two stars from a critic in one of our Dublin newspapers.
He should think again...

19 May 2009

Freedom to Roam

My thoughts have taken to wandering.

The rain started up again, but a sense of achievement, caused by getting a packet of radish seeds sown this morning, has lingered.

A debate about the new policies in relation to the National Trust and photography will be thrashed on on ShortSights tomorrow. In the meantime, I've taken yet another look at what is so delightfully called "the mainland" by West Brits.

Cross-cultural humour is always interesting and I was amused when, faced with a blanket ban on hunting in Britain, many enthusiasts took to holidaying in Ireland. I don't find the hunt particularly appealing myself and living in suburbia means that I a forever safe from the horn at morn and the baying of the hounds at 'eve. The Royal Meath Hunt used thunder past our garden when I was a child and the horsemen and women used wave to me and make quite a show. I was impressed. Red jackets in pre-analine days were a treat indeed and the frantic sound of the horn thrilled my heart.

The fact is, I did not know for some years what the hunt was and, when told, found the idea strange... and a bit sad. Readings of "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" somehow helped fit the activity into a cultural and historical setting, but did not inspire me to join in. Jean Renoir's hatred of the the hunt in "La Règle du Jeu", where animals cower in terror at the sound of gunshot seems closer to my understanding of blood sports.

While rummaging to try to understand the inner workings of the National Trust in Britain today, I came across a more serious understanding of what it stands for than just blocking amateur photographers from sharing images of its properties on the Internet.

It seems to be an institution sailing throught stormy seas...

18 May 2009

Monday Morning, Back on Form

Monday Morning, Back on Form

Granny J said...

When I was in high school, I refused to learn typing (a mistake), shorthand or any of those low-level office skills. In college, I avoided education, social work and nursing. Wound up as a journalist, which worked out quite well, even tho in the early days, a business lunch required hat, gloves and girdle, not to mention nylons. My daughter thought that typing was cool, so she did a course on tape & is now a whiz. Whenever the IT biz slows down, she fudges her background and quickly finds secretarial work.

DaviMack said...

Public discourse may not have any knowledge of gender: that's part of the beauty of the internet, and part of the sad loss of the new video technologies, bringing it all back....

5/16/2009 10:04 PM
Blogger Tales from the Birch Wood. said...

I can type like a frenzy, thanks to the fact that all the teachers in the country went on strike for several weeks in the late 1960's and I spent the time practising.

I know what you mean about the secretarial syndrome, however.
Fearful that I would end my days being dictated to, I made sure to get onto a literature and language degree course.

The irony that it took decades to bring the dreams of the Sufragettes into the real world is probably best expressed by G.K. Chesterton...
"Ten thousand women marched through the streets of London saying 'we will not be dictated to,' and then went off to become stenographers."

As for the new video technologies, I doubt that you spend hours, Davimack, preparing for online video-conferencing. Happily, most people seem to still think I'm some sort of ageless old retainer of indeterminate gender, given the fact that this is what a gardener is supposed to be.

Of course anyone who reads my blog knows better...

Thank you both for such insightful comments...

I finally got to finish my comment on the previous post today.
Half asleep due to the howling wind and rain yesterday,
we spent a lazy day researching 50mm lenses on the net
and just keeping warm.

Then I started to think (again) how technologies have changes
our lives forever.

Having mastered every trick from playing with rgb levels
to telling the difference between a .wav and an mp3 file,
I drew the line at linking up to a camera on the computer.

Why I refuse to move with the times is not just due to age.
The idea of having a camera stuck in one's life daily is nothing new.
I'm used to security cameras everywhere I go in public places.
Somehow the idea of inviting the public sphere into my personal private
life has never been appealing.

Also, all this interaction with machines is time consuming.
On Friday night we were invited to a wonderful concert by
The Attrampe Quartet. The young musicians have come to the end of
their four years of playing together, and the long concert of music by
Barriere, Beethoven and Schubert was a sort of swan song, as well
as a moment of looking to the future.
As we settled into the pews in Calery Church, way up on top of the Wicklow
Hills, I felt real.

Technology was suddenly back in its place...