I'm reading 'The Time Traveler's Wife' by Audrey Niffenegger. Its not like most time travel stories, as this novel is character driven and doesn't rely on the usual science fiction angle. Its written from both the time traveler and his wife's perspective. I see its been made into a feature film and should be opening this winter, so I had to read it first. Another great little Time Traveling film, 'The Butterfly Effect', has already had a sequel made, but I've yet to see it. It also deals with the physical danger's inherent in jumping from one situation and climate to another, without clothes. Suggesting a kind of 'body carapace' is needed, as things like clothes just don't transmit. This is where my image comes into play. Ive made many versions, and frankly, even I was beginning to run out of time... I chose an ancient linear sundial rather than a clock face, the flocking autumnal birds support seasonal change and the telegraph poles to show kind of low tech communication.. I'd like to think that Hitchcock would approve!
This weekend I finally cracked, and have thrown in the towel with French TV. It was talking to Jill that did it, she's in New Zealand but seems to get everything that I was missing about England whilst living here in the south of France. I've been without the Sky box for several months, as I left the dish etc. at the old pile. We both love those foodie programs, those garden to kitchen bacchanalian visual feasts, Jamie Oliver pottering. O_O Not him, the Garden! Its stupid, but its those little things I miss, especially now that I no longer have the back yard..
So, getting on with the subject, I was on my roof, erecting the satellite dish, trying to get it high enough above the crumbling chimney to pick up the astra satellite signal from above the surrounding roof skyline. I had it up, loose, way above my head and was maneuvering it around, when horror of horrors, the whole thing shot down the metal pole, guillotine like, hitting me squarely on the brow and upper nose. Chop! Boy, did I see stars!
Visions of Rod Hull came to mind, the following night I even dreamed of him plummeting to the ground, wrestling with Emu, twisting, trying to land on the Emu's padded part, but Emu finally getting the last laugh! When I heard about the original accident, several years ago, I was doing faux finishing in a US lawyers apartment, next door to the British Museum in London's Bloomsbury. He saw the daytime news and said; "There's no fool like an old fool". I was freaked at the time because he was always a big treat to watch, attacking celebs, from way back and here I am several years on, doing the same, Yikes!
I guess 'Doing a Rod Hull' will unfortunately become quite popular over the coming winter. I've already heard that somebody I know has lost a million US dollars in investments. Thank goodness I laughed when they suggested putting your money in property wasn't 'an investment', its a typical stock market conceit to look down on all other forms of investment.
Now, when I walk the dog, I see people looking at my cut and bruised brow and nose, edging slightly away, and see them thinking; 'He's one of those bad boys, drinking and fighting on Saturday night and rolling in the Beziers gutters'. I've attained a kind of grudging respect with the local petty drug dealing youths, 'Yeah, one of da 'beauf'!
Thankfully, I lived to tell the tale, unlike poor Rod Hull who died on impact.
Oh, and yes, I now have all the UK channels I could ever wish to see.
When I start out with one of these animal's images I took a few months back from this provincial French museum, I think; "How can I help bring this poor stuffed antique creature back to life"? Most of them are well over 100 years old and looking quite sad and moth eaten. Some are so old that the original taxidermists had no real idea of how they looked in life. Those are around 200 years old, probably Napoleonic. The lions have the wrong shaped eyes, their stance and aspect are all wrong. Still, I'd rather have these antique figures as wrong as they are than a new kid on the block, that would be all wrong too, both morally and aesthetically. This little guy was with the Monkeys, I don't have a name but he is a mammal and not a rat, as I've affectionately called him. Martine called him simply; 'mon pauvre petit ' - 'Poor little thing'.
The story doesn't end, because just this morning, on flickr, in the pictures thread, I had this message from a fellow flickrite, Ian;
"Ah -it's an aye-aye. I think. Those fingers- they are really creepy. Wonderful and misunderstood nocturnal primates from Madagascar: "The Aye-aye is often viewed as a harbinger of evil and killed on sight. Others believe that should one point its long middle finger at you, you were condemned to death. Some say the appearance of an Aye-aye in a village predicts the death of a villager, and the only way to prevent this is to kill the Aye-aye. The Sakalava people go so far as to claim Aye-ayes sneak into houses through the thatched roofs and murder the sleeping occupants by using their middle finger to puncture the victim's aorta."
It's said, there are only five degrees of separation between everybody on the planet. Well, my humble connection with Darwin is quite straightforward. I once spent a couple of weeks in southern Italy at a friends house party with his great great grand daughter. She's a tall, slim amazon of a lady and handsome to boot! (I know that's an unfortunate choice of words) I vaguely knew her as a fellow artist through friends in North London. I have a strange picture of the party, all sitting gannet like, on the black volcanic rocks, below the villa, Miss Darwin at the top and the rest, ranged in their various social positions below her, all facing the same way, reading... Naturally I didn't even make the base of the rock, but was happy to record the moment from a lesser mound, across the way.. O happy days!
Strangely, in those days, Darwinism was never contradicted. Just as nobody would contradict his great great grand daughter. Everybody just accepted the fact that man came about through natural selection, survival of the fittest and all that..
Then we heard, just yesterday, on Sky News that natural selection had stopped, man is now to stand still or even, horror of horrors, go backwards.. Really, quite stupid. Didn't we hear a similar thing a few years back saying history had also stopped? (The following 9/11 outrage put the lid well and truly on that theory) If history had stopped, the banking system wouldn't now be in free fall. Iceland would still be a cool place to invest in and sea levels would be stable..
Which brings us back to Darwin and his beloved Galapagos islands, which are also under threat from mass tourism, as everybody wants to visit and 'crap' on the little volcanic rock landmass. If only everybody followed the backpackers maxim... "Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time". Darwin would be a very happy, great great grandfather!
Sometimes glass reflections are enough. I do get a bit peeved when people assume that everything one shoots is somehow a 'Photoshop creation'. Of late I've had several pictures up on flickr which were totally camera sourced. Not that I mind anything photoshoped. The 'Racing Dogs' magazine cover was shot whilst still at art College, Over twenty years ago! - Long before Computers had any real processing power.
This is just something I noticed today whilst passing a 'sort of' friends cafe; 'La Part des Anges', I say 'sort of' because he threatened to stab me once, just in jest, with a fork, when he ran the popular nearby restaurant, "Le petit Montmartre" I'd asked for a vegetarian Salad, " La Chevre Chaud" Which means; 'Hot goats cheese salad'. Naturally Chef's don't much like Vegetarians, we're nothing but trouble for them. He's a real Basil Faulty type and likes to surround himself with glamorous Parisian opera singers and famous actors who frequently perform within the red and gold rococo interior. But that's another story.. Well worth visiting!
This image is a straight photograph of the new tea rooms outdoor seating, as reflected in a derelict building's window opposite. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon, when normally these outdoor chairs would be full, but today with the cold winds of economic change 'a blowing' Beziers city center seemed almost deserted.