Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A change of view come evening

Yesterday we noticed a cherry picker at the street light outside next door.  Assumed the bulb had gone and needed changing.  But then puzzlingly it stopped at every single street light down the road.  To be honest I didn't think about it much, the council does what the council does, seemingly for no good reason often.  But come evening, the lights go on as usual, but instead of the orange sodium glare we have white light!  The skies are very overcast at present, so until we have a clear night I won't be able to tell if these lights make it more possible to see the stars.  Fingers crossed!

The other weird thing was two nights ago I dreamed of my Mum.  I think this might be the 3rd time I've dreamed of her since she died in 2007.  I dreamed that she joined the Green Party!  For a dyed in the wool Tory it seems extremely unlikely, but maybe she's had a change of heart in the afterlife.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Wolf Hall part 1 (BBC2)

This is still available to watch until 22.05 on 20th February 2015.

I've just watched the first part of Wolf Hall again, for I think the third time!  In many ways it's true to the book, which I'm currently re-reading, but in others it wanders from the timeline.  For me the most obvious one is when Liz Cromwell dies of the sweating sickness.  In the book their daughters Ann and Grace live on for at least another two years before succumbing in 1529 to the same sickness that killed their mother (I have to say that I'm not sure the dates are correct at all - see this account, or they may have died of different complaints).  But the change from the book gives us one of the most touching scenes of Thomas Cromwell, bereft after the deaths of his wife and two young daughters across a single day and night, standing alone in a colonnade outside his home.

It seems to me that after this blow Thomas becomes much more capable of taking risks, has less care for his own safety.  An epiphany of sorts maybe. The image above shows him immediately after his great loss, looking out across the courtyard at Austin Friars into a future that is in some ways meaningless.  But he still has his master, Cardinal Wolsey to serve, and so life continues.  Though the time of quarantine is not shown in the film - and there would have been time for all to stay in the house to not spread infection.

For some reason this reminds me of the painting The Annunciation by Botticelli, which we saw when we visited Compton Verney back in 2013. There just happened to be an exhibition of Italian art on when we arrived. Two different collonades, one in damp England following a death, one in bright Italy foreshadowing a birth.

Friday, February 06, 2015

First Bumble Bee of the year!

Today has been interesting.  After my rather late bath I finally got dressed and just as was about to come downstairs I looked out of the bedroom window to the River Mersey, and saw what I think is the biggest ship I have seen from here.  Bound for Eastham, the Maracas Bay, 175 metres long!  A chemical/oil products tanker.  She was riding very high in the water, and had a tug boat at her stern.  Later to be followed by Leander, at a mere 145 metres, but similar capabilities and headed for Stanlow.  I didn't get to see Leander though, as was rushing to be ready for my Dental Hygienist appointment.

After having my teeth thoroughly cleaned and rattled in my skull I sat out in the front porch continuing my re-reading of "Wolf Hall".  A must re-read since we're enjoying the BBC2 adaptation so much.  It was surprisingly warm in the sunshine, only had a thin jacket on.  Was delighted to see my first bumble bee of the year briefly.  So briefly I couldn't tell what kind it was, but it wasn't one of those huge queens you often see in springtime.  Sort of beige-ish, and about standard medium bumble bee size.  But a promise of Spring!

Now I have freezing feet, as I sat out a bit too long and I'm wearing my posh shoes (have to look respectable when go to the dental practice) and not my sheepskin boots.  The sky is now pearly and beautiful, might grab my boots and go out to sit for a bit longer to watch the colour changes as the daytime ends.