Sunday, February 18, 2018

draining board


It's not that we spend all our time in the kitchen, but it often manages to have the most magical lighting effects,  I'm not sure how a geranium in the window box comes to be silhouetted in precisely this way, on a thin green cutting surface, but it was very striking.

Friday, February 16, 2018

tulip effects


No, no filters.  I'm entirely sure that if I were to try and recreate this, I'd come up with something different.  Some expiring tulips silhouetted against a lamp in our kitchen: the photo creates something that I never consciously saw - that is, the macro focusing on the camera has given this both detail and blurry surround that would never normally be available to the human eye.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

in which LucyFur takes exception to a man next door with a leaf blower.


LucyFur does not like men.  In particular, she dislikes men in uniforms, or wielding leaf blowers.  This latter objection may - and quite justifiably - be on environmental grounds (for leaf blowers are shockingly bad polluters).  So that lump under the bedspread that covers the shabby sofa in my study?  Yes, that's unmistakably a lump of disgruntled tabby.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

tangerine peel


Really, some student - I'm assuming it was a student - shouldn't have left this tangerine peel on a windowsill of the stairs in Taper Hall.  On the other hand, it looked remarkably pretty in the late afternoon sun.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

an interpretive enigma


I confess - I don't know how to read this.  I saw the guy - looking uncomfortable - on my way to work this morning, at the same time that I was listening to an NPR piece about homelessness in LA.  It's not that I think he's technically or necessarily homeless, but at the same time the precarity of those who have to cope on slender means with the rapacity of the Los Angeles housing market, or who may not be here with legal documentation, is everywhere.  But what I hadn't seen when I took the picture - in haste; stopped at traffic lights - was the advertisement board.  It's an anti-abortion ad, exhorting one to "believe in miracles;" telling one that there's a heartbeat at 18 days (oh, come on - a foetal heartbeat can first be detected around 6 weeks - that's 42 days - at the earliest).  But given how long I spend in classes assuming that text in images can, or should be read, as a commentary on the rest of the image - what do I do with this?  And what do I do with the fact that there's nothing deliberate about the juxtaposition of text and man?  And that rather than some kind of happy accident, what I'm left with is some kind of interpretive enigma?

Monday, February 12, 2018

annual beauty


Here's the amazing annual spectacle of the Asian Pear in full bloom outside our bedroom window.  Who knows whether any of this blossom will remain on the tree in the morning - this evening saw that most improbable and rare of Los Angeles phenomena: rain.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

a very fine cat plate


My mother's colleagues gave her this plate some twenty three or so years ago, when she retired from the work that she did for the Oxford Delegacy of Local Examinations, one of the examining boards that organized O [later GCSE] and A levels in what now seems to me, from afar, to be a strangely unregulated and uneven system.  She headed up - from an academic, rather than an administrative - point of view - English A levels for maybe 14 or 15 years, with a combination of critical fierceness and much humanity.  I'm not sure that she was wild about it when she was given it (did people think her a crazy cat lady?  was it somehow too kitsch or cutesy to be Good Taste?) but over the years I think she's mellowed to it.  I, at any rate, have loved it since I first set eyes on it, thereby probably fulfilling her fears that I (and Alice) really are crazy cat ladies ...