Friday, April 30, 2010

Stealing a thing of beauty

Just have to share this - and I hope the author doesn't mind.

Mark Vernon on Carpe Diem
‘Carpe diem’ means, of course, ‘Seize the day’, and comes from an ode by Horace. Though a friend of mine, who happens to be a former secretary of The Horatian Society, and speaks Latin as you and I do English, tells me that it can be translated in a more interesting way.

It could equally well be phrased ‘Harvest the day’. And I like that. It’s a little less aggressive and opportunistic. After all, it is often said that you reap what you sow, and so harvesting the day suggests that you have quite a lot of responsibility for what the day offers you. In his own translation, my friend goes a step further and writes ‘Gather in today’ – which picks up the other sentiment from the ode, namely that we might live this day as if it were our last. Today is the day when we can enjoy life, for yesterday is gone, and tomorrow never comes.

That said, it’s remarkable how difficult it is to do so. So much in our lives would have us recall what has happened, or hope for what might happen. There’s the nostalgia tendency, the pressure to reflect on school days, or when the kids were young, or when we were young. ‘The best days of our lives’ are said to be behind us. And then there’s the pressure to look after tomorrow. We take out mortgages and devote our working lives to paying off the debt, hoping that the house will be ours. Or we pay into pension plans and life insurance. That’s all good. But put together, nostalgia and concern for the future do have the effect of distancing us from today. 

In his poem, Days, Philip Larkin asked after what days might be for. He replied that days are where we live, for ‘Where can we live but days?’ Seize, harvest and gather in today.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A day in the life of girls in the 'hood

What's Bob up to today?

Boring - seen that before.

Wait - what's that?

Something's happening?

Eloise is the one with white on her breast.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sculpture at Docklands

Mini urban forest - one feels quite sad for the trees.

And the much-photographed high life.

Yoghurt is delish

Thick and rather sour, which might have something to so with the fact I forgot to put it in the fridge!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I've just bought this!

It's a tile.

Rob Ryan is a papercutter and screenprinter who creates the most ingenious, intricate paper art - and other things, as you can see.  I first discovered his work on Spitalfields Life, a most amazing blog about life and times in Spitalfields.

Christening the yaoutiere

Months ago I ordered a Tefal yaoutiere - yoghurt maker.  It didn't work and, being the procrastinator that I am,  it took me ages to have a replacement sent.  Well - here we go - the first batch of yoghurt has been set to brew.

You can see my spatial abilities are lacking - couldn't evenly divvy out a litre of milk among eight gorgeous little french yoghurt jars.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Glorious glow

Confusion reigns in the plant world - new blossoms when energy should be diverted to preparing for winter; roses glowing; apples which fruited and ripened weeks early.  How amazing.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


LP Hartley's aphorism "the past is a foreign country".

Baxter Health Care

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Nature had a little, beautiful, mishap the other day.  Apple blossoms burst forth.