Saturday, 31 December 2011

Oh! I didn’t expect that!

This is one of my favourite responses to the world I pass through.  Much used by many purveyors of advertising, done well it can provoke a huge range of reactions and often-times includes the production of happy endorphins!

This first photograph took only a few short steps out of the back door to achieve the enigmatic ‘You what!’ moment.  Apparently a box-load of rubber gloves had been lurking in our neighbour’s shed and she decided one morning to wash them.  Obviously the next step was to hang them up to dry.  Very practical, but a very strange sight....

The next photo is part of a series that I used in a blog post last year, but it is such a remarkable piece of craftsmanship and warm sense of humour that I have to use another from the set.  Kaffe Fassett’s murals for the Highland Stoneware company utilised broken shards from some of their very popular designs.  The sheep design just visible adorns a well-loved vase of mine as well as this rock in the bay at Lochinver.

Some sights are utterly normal to those for whom they are a part of their daily life.  For the rope-makers in Reykjavik this bobbin delivering stock for the creation of fishing nets and tough mooring ropes are part of the daily routine.  For those of us whose grandmothers used smaller bobbins, it is an insight into a world we normally take so much for granted. It also raises questions about the work done behind the scenes, in a way that many other pieces of equipment would be hard-pressed to achieve.

In another way the daily routine for some can challenge our understanding again in ways that we find hard to anticipate until we experience them.  In this case the endorphins are less good as the realisation is of poverty and confusion.  This building, with its jaunty overtones with the girl walking towards the door, is one of several such properties in Belem in Brazil, on the Amazon delta.  Several similar buildings have been renovated, but many are still suffering from the load of vegetation growing out of them.  Old Portuguese colonial buildings, there has been little money or care spent on them and the sense in the town of extreme differences of income and prosperity is hard not to see and be affected by.

On a brighter note, last summer we were approached by this wasp as we were out walking (well, leaning on a fence while out walking).  As a child I had been brought up to be phobic of wasps and it is only as an adult that I have managed to learn to remain calm, so it is always a slightly nervous moment when one actually flies right towards me.  This one was on its own mission, as most of them in fact are, and the fence we were leaning against was absolutely in perfect condition for harvesting, presumably for household nest repairs.  As a new ‘tree’ object all that was needed was a check-up on location and I was then ignored totally, even while taking the photographs.

It would be so good to think that 2012 could turn out to be unexpectedly decent and constructive.  Wishing you a very Happy New Year.

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