This week the theme for the Gallery is Black and White. With the colour of the sky here after work I probably could have just taken any old picture in colour and it would have still fitted the theme. This is a (very zoomed) view of Glasgow University, taken from Queen’s Park this evening. I like this, two significant places for me in one picture.
I had completely forgotten about the Gallery theme this week (hosted by Sticky Fingers), and took my photo when I got home then checked my blog reader and there it was. Today’s Gallery theme is Water, something which we have had rather a lot of today (I’m not entirely sure what stair rods are, but the rain was coming down in them today). I could have stayed out the back a bit longer to take a few more pictures and make them clearer, but, well, I was getting rained on.
It’s been ages since I took a picture and posted on the Gallery, hosted by Tara at Sticky Fingers. The Gallery (for the uninitiated) is a weekly photo challenge where you post up a picture related to the weekly theme. This week the theme is My Backyard. To see all the other blogs taking part this week click on the Gallery logo up above next to the picture.
Those of you who read this blog in its early days might remember photos of my beautiful garden in London. How the mighty have fallen (sigh). I am posting this today, of my bit of the back court here in Glasgow, to shame myself into doing something about it. I was heartbroken to leave the London garden, having built it up from nothing, and then when I moved here where there was just a communal back court I was really sad (despite loving the Stately Pile – I’ll be sad when we move from here too). I did at least manage to bring up my various pots with me and array them under my kitchen window, so for a while I did still have a bit of colour and some fresh herbs and bulbs and whathaveyou and I could still enjoy the garden even at a much lower level of activity. For 3 or 4 years they pretty much thrived on neglect (living in the west of Scotland the pots drying out was never an issue, so they could quite happily just get on with growing as they wished). Unfortunately the last couple of winters killed off nearly everything – all my herbs, my two oleanders (woe!) and the strawberries. For some reason the winters had absolutely no effect on the weeds, which this year have gone mad. I’m pleased that the forget-me-nots spread, but am really embarrassed that the paving slabs are so full of rotten leaves and moss that the forget-me-nots have grown there quite happily! There’s also an enormous bramble and goodness knows what else taking over as well.
Now that my OU course is nearly over and I will have my day off a week to myself, one of the things I really want to do is sort out this area. We will probably be moving somewhere bigger at some point in the relatively near future (hopefully), so this may be our last summer here. I think I’ll get hold of a bag of compost, new herb bushes and a load of cheap bedding plants and hopefully have a final summer of colour and beauty.
What with the photo-a-day Project365 I have been a bit preoccupied, and haven’t posted on the Gallery project for several weeks. For information about the Gallery, and the blog from which it emerged, click on the picture to the left. Each week Tara posts a theme, and the challenge is to come up with a picture to reflect the theme. This week the theme is rather abstract, shapes, but as soon as I saw it I knew exactly the picture I wanted to use. [I think I may have blogged this before, probably at the time, but it is such a good photo and amazing experience I make no apology for posting it again. I apologise for being a bit pseudy, but in this case I really couldn’t help it!]
I took this picture several years ago, when I still lived in London (in fact flickr tells me it was taken in August 2005, so just a month before I left to move to Scotland) and long-time readers of this blog may remember that in my final year or so in London I tried to get to do something cultural at least once a month and visit stuff that had been on my doorstep for years that I’d never got round to before. This though was just a transient piece of art, but it made a profound impression on me. It is called Dreamspace and was by the artist Maurice Agis – there is sadly a tragic end to this particular artwork, when in July 2006 it came loose from its moorings when it was being exhibited in Chester-le-Street, and 2 people were killed and 13 injured. As a result Agis was charged with involuntary manslaughter, although he was eventually found not guilty. He died in 2009.
I loved this work so much. It was a series of plastic sheets in different colours stretched into columns, and the whole thing was supported on some sort of frame. I suppose it was a bit like an arty bouncy castle, but it had an incredible atmosphere – I remember sitting on the ‘floor’ leaning against one of the columns, and feeling the ground beneath me sway if someone walked past. As I leant against the column it made me feel like I was leaning against someone and feeling them breathe, and at the same time that I was somehow tuning into the breathing of the universe. It also, despite the bright colours and the people walking round and taking pictures, really reminded me of a cathedral. I found it a very visceral, raw and calming experience, and I remember sitting there for close to an hour just soaking it all in. I didn’t want to leave. It was amazing.
If you look just to the right of the purple column in the middle of the picture, you’ll see towards the bottom a person looking up (I think they were sitting and leaning against the green column the same way I was sitting leaning against my column), which will give you a sense of the scale of it all.
I haven’t posted on the Gallery for a few weeks, but this week’s theme is Seasons so I have the perfect excuse to post some of the pictures I took in Queen’s Park the other weekend. I was going stir-crazy so we took a walk as it was a lovely day (the last one for a while, probably) and we were rewarded with some wonderful colour.
One thing we both noticed was how yellow autumn in the park is this year. It was definitely the predominant colour.
It’s also very yellow in the park in spring thanks to the carpets of daffodils everywhere. We really are so lucky living near such a great park. Every season is different. I think autumn and spring are my favourites though. Maybe somewhere else I’d favour another season, but here, well, winter is Winter with a capital Wet, and as for summer, well ….. move along, nothing to see here!
Yellow wasn’t the only colour we spotted:
My favourite picture though is that classic yellow/blue combo:
I’ve not participated in the Gallery photo meme for a few weeks (click on the logo to go to the host blog, Sticky Fingers) but thought I’d jump in this week. The theme this time is “A Smile”, inspired by the Mona Lisa Million Project.
I found this one quite difficult. I thought I’d find a picture of me looking enigmatic like the Mona Lisa, but the closest I found to ‘enigmatic’ was ‘dorky’. I also feel really self-conscious about my own smile so struggle to look natural when a camera’s pointed my way (I was terrified I’d look awful in all my wedding photos – fortunately I was so chilled and loved-up that day I forgot to be self-conscious and it showed 😀 ).
Anyway. I thought I’d go instead for something that makes me smile.
This isn’t the world’s greatest picture (it was very windy, I’m sad I didn’t get that bottom bit of ribbon in!), but it makes me smile as it reminds me of things I like. Camping (it’s the thing we put on a pole outside our tent, so we stand a chance of finding it in the dark), Greenbelt (this was taken the last time we were at the festival, in 2008), rainbows.
I’m smiling now 🙂
I’ve not taken part in the Gallery (hosted as ever by Tara at Sticky Fingers) for a few weeks, but thesis boredom and the consequent procrastination requirements means I’m in for this week 🙂 The theme this week, inspired by the blipfoto project where people post a photo a day for a year, is One Day in August, and all the photos taking part in the Gallery were taken last Sunday, 29th August.
I did think about taking a picture of my various books and piles of paper and laptop to show the hard work I was doing on my thesis (*ahem*), or of the washing drying beautifully on the line (when you live in the west of Scotland, being able to hang out the washing is a real treat due to our tendency for, well, Scottish weather!). Instead I’ve taken a bit of a boring photo, but one with a story.
You see, on Sunday we said goodbye to our telly as we lost our freecycle virginity. We hardly ever use the TV now – if there’s something we want to watch we use iPlayer (or the various alternatives for the other channels) and watch online, and in our not exactly enormous flat you can see it was taking up a fair chunk of space. I joined freecycle a while ago intending to put the TV on it, but never got round to it until this weekend. For those who don’t know, freecycle is a great service where you can give stuff you don’t want any more to someone who wants it, all for free, the aim being to increase recyling and reduce stuff going to landfill. We have a number of other things in storage which I think we could also get rid of this way, it feels so much more rewarding than just dumping things (we do still give stuff to our local charity shops, but they don’t take electrical items so dumping would be the only alternative for items like this).
I also think the photo is noteworthy for the absence of crap and detritus on the floor! I sorted out the shelves on Saturday as I am gradually bringing my thesis books and stuff back from my uni office to home as the office needs cleared by the time I submit. Up till then the floor was home for all that stuff as there wasn’t anywhere else for it. I don’t suppose the clear floor will last long, but at least there is photographic evidence that for a day at least tidiness reigned!
I’ve set this up in advance, and assuming I get the chance to log onto the interwebz while I’m away (did I mention I’m in Sweden? :D) I’ll try and add this post to the Gallery list at Sticky Fingers. If not, no harm in sharing the photos anyway 🙂
This week the theme is nature. I’ve shown lots of Scotland-related photos since starting to take part in the Gallery, so although Scotland is chock-full of fantastic nature, I thought I’d go farther afield for this week. These photos are of some of the nature in an amazing country which I visited 10 years ago, one of the most fantastic holidays ever. The place was Namibia, and here’s some of the nature:
(L: Kokerboumwood, R: Sossusvlei)
(L: Seals at Cape Cross, R: Okaukuejo waterhole, Etosha National Park)
It’s such an amazing country, what a privilege to have seen some of its amazing beauty.
For this week’s Gallery, hosted as ever by Tara at Sticky Fingers, the theme is a novel idea, the idea being to post a photo which represents a novel, tale, children’s story etc.
When we went to Greenbank Gardens on Sunday (see post from the other day), one of the things I was thinking was that, although it was quite formal in how it was laid out, it also had a slightly wild feel in parts and it wasn’t at all predictable. Which got me thinking about the classic children’s tale “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It’s been years and years and years since I’ve read that, so I don’t really remember the story or anything much about it, but I do remember imagining when I read books like that when I was a kid that the gardens were that same mix of formal and wild/overgrown. Full of unexpected beauty, like this:
For this week’s Gallery (week 19), hosted as ever by Tara at Sticky Fingers, the theme is the legendary Rolf Harris-inspired catchphrase Can you tell what it is yet? This photo isn’t actually that difficult, but I enjoyed getting close up (and actually this is a much better picture than any of my pictures from a distance). Can you tell what it is yet?
I think the most surprising thing for me with this picture is how flimsy it looks. In case you can’t tell yet, it is a block of flats in the process of demolition. A lot of Glasgow’s high rises have been demolished already (I think the aim is to get rid of the majority of them and replace them with better housing). A couple of years ago I watched Stirlingfauld Place being demolished (flickr set here), and must admit that seeing the huge blocks levelled in just a few seconds was really quite a sight. I remember at the time musing on the idea of home, and how many memories those levelled walls must hold, if only they could talk. The flats in these photos are not far from where I work (I can see them from the entrance way to my office), near to Ibrox football stadium, and rather than being filled with dynamite and then blown up in a few seconds, these are being taken down bit by bit. I suspect this is because they are so close to the M77 motorway and a railway line (not to mention a petrol station) that blowing them up probably wouldn’t be a very good idea. There were originally three blocks, one is now no more, and this picture is from the second which is about half-way taken down now. They are such big old solid looking things that it was quite a surprise to me looking at this picture how flimsy and thin the walls and floors look – it almost looks like it was made of cardboard. It’s quite sobering to think that these funny cubicles were real homes, and how despite the many social problems associated with these high rises, for many people they were a step up and represented a real community. I wonder what tales this building could tell.
I’ve added a couple of pictures below to show a wider view.