Sunday, October 04, 2015

'Opposable Thumbs'

I resisted for a long time before I got a smartphone. I knew as soon as I did I would become its slave. Sadly I was right.

It seemed quite apt that on my way to photograph this sculpture that I was nearly run down by a driver yakking on his
phone and as I was looking for a suitable location that my other half was checking out Facebook on hers. After all the still, warm autumn air, the dappled light through the trees and the sweet smell of moss and pine needles don't go 'ping' when they share themselves.

That little screen of joy nestled in my pocket waiting for me to salivate when the little bell rings. If TV is the opiate for the masses then this is the full on mainline, jacked-up smack.

It's a relief when I leave it behind or when the battery is nearly flat and I have to put it into another room to charge.

And yet I wouldn't be with out it now. I look forward to the time when I can enjoy a live event by watching it on the little screen as I record it instead of just looking straight at it with my eyes. Seems the thing to do these days.

Anyway enough of all that, let's cut to the important...

What is stuff and why is some of it funny? These are the kind of things that would keep me awake if I wasn't already asleep.

How does one reinvent oneself when the question presupposes that you already have been invented and if so you have a patent registered in patent handbook and therefore *know what you are*?

I go bird-watching quite often, though really it is better described as nature sitting, listening and looking. It's not always birds but they are fascinating, colourful and charming. Remember brown is a colour too.

On the way back from an hour of that I drove to the supermarket to buy a packet of ham, past a pub and onwards. When reading I often transpose letters or syllables and turn a sentence into thingsome unintentionally amusing and tit-ter to myself. You may have just done that yourself reading that last one. But why involuntary comedy remixes? Is it just me?

There was a sign outside that pub and it said "Biker Pitstop". Okay fair enough, bikers like a refreshing pint of ale or two and are generally rotund enough to remain beneath the alcohol-driving-limit. But beneath the "Biker Pitstop" line were the words "Thirst Toilet."

What's that all about then? Is this particular pub a bit of a dive and this is a bit of honest PR "sorry it smells like a toilet but we've got some nice beers" or was it a slightly obtuse review on Tripadvisor? Perhaps if you are really strapped for pennies they don't mind if you drink straight from the loo itself? I'm struggling to think of alternative versions of this phrase with letters or syllables transposed that makes more sense than what I read in my mind's eye. I'm itching to go back and have a look at the sign and confirm what is written on it and if I read it correctly also find out what a thirst toilet actually is. It might sound grim but come on, I know you want to know too.

I suppose the longer more descriptive version of toilet would involve some inclusion of what it is a receptacle for. In the same vein as 'bread bin' or 'jam jar' I supposed you'd have 'wee toilet' and 'poo loo'. We all know what they're for so I suppose it is only polite to shorten them to toilet or loo. So 'Thirst Toilet' could well be a place to dispose of your thirst? Yes, that must be it, it being a pub is not quite enough.

It's got to be a bit like twitter, the modern way to describe something on social media: hashtag #overlydescriptiveadjectives.

The Red Lion Public #ThirstToilet

After I drove past the pub #thirsttoilet (see, it's catching on already), as I said (you were listening weren't you) I went to buy a packet of ham #packetofham #formysandwiches from the supermarket #placethatsellspacketsofham.

I parked in my usual spot in my usual way i.e. a bit wonky and on my way to the shop the car I strode past was a called a Citreon Cactus? It's a wonder I sleep at night.

It's a rare day where I live when you can make a sculpture like this and take a photograph of it. When it is still enough to make the world stop. The whole process tunes you in to the environment and the elements so you can feel a little bit more deeply what is really going on.

I pinned the top of this creation to a beech leaf with a thorn on the end of a very thin branch, the weight of it pulled the spindly twig downwards so it hung vertically ready for me to take its photo.

Had I been doing anything else I would have said that there was no breeze at all and that it was perfectly still and yet subtle eddies came and went as it gently bobbed the sculpture and twisted it in the warm air.

It was so very slight but in order to take a sharp image of this picture I needed it to stay still just for a few seconds as the sunlight pierced through it's rear.

I needed all these things to come together: soft autumn sunshine, very little wind, but still with those elements at play

I had to wait and wait. But that gave me the opportunity to stop my mind and see. To be afforded a glimpse into how it was at that very moment. All the world in a tiny breeze that tilted the sculpture to and fro.

That's all there is and all there needs to be.

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