Cold and grey

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Cold and grey, day

Not got much to say..

Yet,

Grey as it can get?

You bet.

Till tonight’s sunset?

Maybe

We will see

Unless the sun does shine

Fine.

Then happiness will be mine.

So clouds roll away please,

Give us warmth and ease

Some pleasure we can seize

Till we can visit seas

And oceans.

Give us notions

Of calm and peace

Please.

 

After Hokusai’s Great Wave

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my attempt at the great wave after Hokusai.

I’m writing an assignment about the artist Hokusai and his ink and wood block print, The Great wave, or The Great Wave off Kanagawa produced around 1830. He had previously painted two other great waves in 1803 and 1805. There is a collection of 36 views of Mount Fuji by him.

I found out that he had been influenced by an artist called Shiba Kokan, who in turn had been influenced by Western Art. The Portuguese first started trading with the Japanese as early as 1543 and later the Dutch came along and started to trade with them in 1609.

Hokusai’s first waves were not as stylised as the Great Wave, but over the intervening 30 years he honed his style. His wave painting has a low horizon which gives it a more western and also menacing feel. The wave towers over three fishing boats, threatening to swamp them, Fingers of water claw the air in a very fractal pattern, and a tiny Mount Fuji sits in the background, apparently encircled by a threatening sea and lowering clouds.

Did you know the wave emoji is based on Hokusai’s work, and this in turn is linked to the waving hand emoji. There is a site called emojipedia that gives lots of interesting facts about emoji icons.

I wont go into great detail about the assignment, but I had to link in semiotics and other ways of critically appraising art works. I was up till 4am trying to pull it all together!

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Rainbow

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When there is heavy rain overhead but a low sun I know there will be a rainbow somewhere. I looked out of the front door and saw this. I got a bit damp and had to change the exposure to get a halfway decent photo. But it came out OK. We also had a few rumbles of thunder, but it’s not been that bad… Last week the rain was far heavier. Tomorrow might be worse.

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My own flowers

Last year, painting of morning glory flowers and some poppies. I haven’t grown much from seeds this year. We do have some lettuce plants, but they have probably been drowned by the amount of torrential rain we’ve been having over the past few days. Some places have had a months rain in a day! That compared with six weeks of sunshine in April and May. As usual our weather is topsy-turvy. Basically because of where the United Kingdom is positioned. We get weather from every direction, the Atlantic, the Arctic, Siberia, even dust dragged up from the Sahara. We are a weather magnet!

I want to go and get some seeds and see if I can grow some nasturtiums for late summer bedding, and the butterfly caterpillars love them. They are a nice, spicy, bitter and peppery orange flavour when added to salads and cold soups.

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Washing machine working again

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So after I rang the electrical goods shop about the washing machine, they said the thunderstorms we are having must have blown one of the two pcb boards that control it…

I asked to have them replaced, but that would take two weeks to order them in and the cost would be £60 for one and £80 for the other, then £50 for Labour, plus Vat.

The decision is do that or buy another one. So I decided to go for a new one as I don’t know if I would have problems again with this machine.

So as I say, I rang to order a new machine this morning. Then for some reason I switched the washing machine on again, just to see if the thing would do anything (it had beeped before but the screen you press to choose spin speeds, and the start button had stayed black). I switched it on. Loud beep, I turned the dial to a random wash, I still had things inside from a few days ago… Beep, I saw the panel light up! I pressed start, it worked! Rang the shop back and cancelled the order!

My hubby reckons that the electricity from the lightening had disrupted the pcb panels, but by leaving it a couple of days it had allowed any power to dissipated and the circuit boards settled down. I’m holding my breath! I will unplug it every time its not in use.

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Thunder and lightening.

 

Having a massive thunderstorm. The rain was drumming on the kitchen roof and my hubby went outside to turn off the electric power outside.

The storm blew over about ten minutes ago but now it sounds like it’s coming back. You can work out the distance it is away from you by watching when the flash happens and then counting the seconds until the thunder rolls again. Every second is half a mile. So if you see the flash and count six seconds. Then the    storm is three miles away. Anyway its come back again. About two miles away. The rain gives life I suppose, but everything is very wet now! The thunder I rattling the windows.. I was nodding off but the noise woke me up!

Thunder and lightening

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This was the cloud

that rattled the windows,

drowned out birdsong

made my hubby swear in surprise.

 

This is the cloud

I tried to film

Flashes and rumbles

Forked lightening

Heavy rain it brings.

 

This was the cloud

That the blackbird sang to,

dueting the flashes

overwhelmed by thunder

liquid notes flying up to heaven,

rain falling in response.

 

 

Clouds

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If you are bored, look up. You may be surprised at what you see. Clouds can be unicorns or dragons, fish or faces.

When I was young I would lie on my back and look up at the sky. Watching the clouds rush with rapidity or drift with stately slowness. Like the galleons I drew in my school exercise books. Then it was pirates racing to catch treasure ships.

Thunder clouds were mountains, or giant anvils, sometimes clouds looked like waves on the sea, or hills and beaches.

I gradually learnt a few of the names of clouds, cirrus, cumulo nimbus, stratus.  Each had a wonderful ring to them. Magical beauty flying high over head.

Later I learned a bit about chaos theory, and fractals. How if you magnify a bit of a cloud, the close up looks like the larger image. I heard songs like Cloudbusting by Kate Bush, and about clouds being seeded to make rain fall.

You see they are interesting creatures, even if they are not mythical beasts.

So, if you are interested, look up the cloud appreciation society. They have a page on Facebook. Their founder set up a group which people can join. They have a cloud of the month, and sometimes send out a newsletter.

With climate change, and the increase in severity of the weather, its interesting to find out how water vapour can be so beautiful and yet so wild.

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The cold is seeping in….

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This is the first day of spring, but it feels like mid winter. Our house isn’t that well insulated and if it gets cold it stays cold, high ceilings means that the heat rises and warms the upper part of the room before it gets to us down here on the floor. The wind is gusting from the north and whistling through the gap round the seal in the front window and kitchen. We had new windows put in, but I guess they were cheap, all we could afford. The front door slams when you go through it because they measured it wrongly, so the top sticks out more than the bottom, giving it a very strange cant.

The North Wind cools the house, rubs the heat away as it pushes past the walls. Out kitchen bathroom extention only has thin walls. It really needs an insulating layer outside, but instead ivy is taking over and a wisteria has been planted at the end. Plants don’t keep us warm, but the blackbirds like to nest in it.

Now I’m cooking our evening meal, the heat from the oven adds a little to the warmth. I could microwave the food, but the gas cooker gives a bit of extra heat.

One day it will be warm outside, the leaves will grow, and we shall have spring and summer. X

Short walk along the canal and Westport lake.

Long title…

We went for a walk along the Trent and Mersey canal, from the road up to Trubshaw Cross at Longport, Stoke-on-Trent, along the towpath, to the lakes at Westport. I was not at my best so we only walked round the small lake, then back along to our starting point.

The day was blustery, but I could feel some warmth from the sun. The old bottle oven round the back of Price and Kensington (facade allowed to crumble so much the council had to demolish part of it). It was sad to see all the rubbish and wood stacked up on the yard waiting to be burnt. The owners regularly light fires, not small ones, and cause a nuisance with smoke. I worry that the buildings may be irreversibly damaged by this behaviour. As you walk along the canal towpath the image improves, although there are places that are derelict and that made me wonder what would happen if the facade of a building were to fall into the canal.

We found the entry to Westport lake easily enough. We popped into the cafe to get some duck food, than a nice stroll round the lake. Stopping to chat with a photographer who had a really long lens to take pictures of the birds on the lake.

I need more exercise and this helped!