"Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?" - John Keats "Ode to Autumn"
I like to have at least one long walk every week of the year. Very often, the days I walk are determined by our weather forecasters. With camera in hand, I prefer my images to be nicely embellished by sunshine. Not for me the washed out greyness created by heavy skies when the yellow orb is in hiding. I like the landscape to burst forth with colour - "alive alive o!" as sweet Molly Malone once sang.
Plenty of sunshine was promised when I set off yesterday morning.
"Where we going this time?" groaned Clint as I lifted his tailgate.
"To Alfreton and beyond!" I announced in my best Buzz Lightyear voice.
It was bright in Sheffield but by the time we got to
Phoenix Alfreton a milky greyness had settled over the day. At least it wasn't raining.
At the war memorial in the old marketplace, the remembrance day service was just finishing. A lone piper could be heard as if from the fields of Ypres or Passchendaele. I was wishing I had reached Alfreton ten minutes earlier so that I could have also stood in silence to remember the glorious dead. Young men fighting wars that were not of their own making.
I set off into the murk, my footsteps describing a large circle that took me precisely two hours to complete. By the end of it, the mistiness had turned into the thinnest rain you can imagine. It lightly sprayed my leonine locks and dampened the A4 map of the area I had printed off earlier.
Near Ufton Fields Farm, I heard the grinding unlovely sound of mechanical hedge trimming. Perhaps a more appropriate sound for the eleventh of the eleventh - jarring and unsweetened like war itself.
Back at Clint's parking space on Rowland Street, Alfreton, he said, "Are we going home now?"
"Not yet," I replied for there were three or four random Geograph squares I planned to tick off.
Crich Lane Farm
Driving through the winding lanes of The Amber Valley we went under the overhanging branches of mighty beech trees clothed in their russet autumn coats but the murkiness persisted. It was frustrating because I knew that if it had been a sunny afternoon, the autumn scenery would have been simply glorious.
Instead, it was a grey and mournful day. A day for remembering my Uncle Jack who was killed before I could meet him and all the other Uncle Jacks whose lives were so cruelly cut short.
A Photographic Tale of Two Thursdays
Above, entering Shirland yesterday with Clint parked up ahead.
Clint is a show off. Doesn't fold his mirrors in.ReplyDelete
If you've got it, flaunt it!Delete
Round here that means a busted wing mirror for sure!Delete
The murkiness still has a magic of its own.ReplyDelete
It's main asset is in making sunny days seem better.Delete
It's good that you remember the fallen heroes YP. We will remember them.ReplyDelete
It is strange that the people who make wars never fight in them. Take Tony Blair and George W Bush for example.Delete
Well, sometimes you just have to make do with what you've got, right? Looks like you managed a good walk anyway, despite the precipitation. (It's been soggy as heck down here too.)ReplyDelete
You seem to cope with murkiness pretty well Steve but of course, unlike me, you are a member of the Royal Photographic Society.Delete
That last photo is spectacular. I'm trying to walk in spite of our dreary and rainy weather. This has been one of the worst falls that I remember. Usually there are a few nice days.ReplyDelete
I only posted the last picture to contrast with the murky ones Margaret.Delete
Well, YP, its good to show the scenery under a different sky, and you are into the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. I see you even managed to capture a lone cow - or was it a bull - on your travels. The sky in your last photo looks far more threatening than the murk.ReplyDelete
That was a cow Carol. I think she was smoking a cigarette as you can see smoke coming out of her mouth.Delete
As you know, I am not averse to misty or foggy weather; quite the contrary, it has a mysterious atmosphere that you never get in bright sunshine. And it fits autumn so well, I think.ReplyDelete
Alfreton is where my other sister-in-law lives with her family. We drove through and visited her in 2019.
Alfreton is a funny little town with its coal mining history. There's a big "Tesco" store which has of course sucked a lot of cash from independent businesses. It's not the most scenic place is it?Delete
I really dislike the way the hedges look after the mechanical cutters have got at them.ReplyDelete
I am with you on that Briony. In the past, cutting those hedges would have kept a few farmhands busy for a week as they sawed and cut - leaving a much neater finish.Delete
That cow in the first photo was trying to tell you it was going to rain. We figure our rain percentages by how many in a herd are lying down.ReplyDelete
You have no idea how susceptible I am to ear worms. Thanks to you, I now have Glen Campbell singing in my head. In fact, you're to blame for my latest post!
Guilty! I am guilty your honour! Be merciful!Delete
After your hideously compelling post on Boris Bludger and his gang of Westminster spivs, this was a welcome return to dear old places.ReplyDelete
I like the sound of *a funny little town with its coal mining history*.
It looks like the place where the late great Barry Hines would set a novel.
There is a man who does YouTube video tours under the rubric Let's Walk, and I can imagine him filming in Alfreton, a place-name that has lodged in my head for years.
Did you ever hear from the fellow who told you not to take a photo of his house?
No. I did not hear from him as, very sensibly, I did not put my address in the letter. Regarding Alfreton, I seem to recall that D.H. Lawrence referred to it in his early fiction. By the way, I met Barry Hines once and had a long conversation with him. As a practice nurse, my wife also met him several times in her professional capacity.Delete
You were fortunate to have met Barry Hines, a man who never played society's game, who never sought honours, literary or civic.Delete
*Kestrel for a Knave* is among the 10 best English novels since 1945, and Ken Loach's *Kes* among the 10 best English films.
Your wife must have met Barry in hospital, he was unwell for some time.
Get his novel *The Gamekeeper* (1975) if you have never read it.
D.H. Lawrence has been on my mind of late, and for a strange reason.
I read a troubling little book on Artificial Intelligence, interviews with philosopher Miguel Benasayag, *The Tyranny of Algorithms* (Europa 2021).
According to what I am reading online, A.I. will be here in 10 years, and will be everywhere in 40 years.
Many scientists fear the consequences even as A.I. will be solving many of our problems.
Humanoid robots will have superior consciousness and will dominate us.
My thought is that Lawrence's theory of sexuality and 'the blood' could emerge as a bulwark against the danger of humans bonding with A.I. rather as people have now bonded with their devices.
Lawrence, for all his faults, would be contemptuous about investing too much faith in the machine. He thought we should all keep pigs !
As for a work of art such as a symphony or great novel, it could only come from a fallible creature with reason, emotion and genitals.
Or so Lawrence would have maintained to his dying breath.
Lawrence's ideas about 'the blood' usually dismissed by the intelligentsia may come into its own even as A.I. takes over the world.
Shirley met him when he was still at home and beginning to suffer. He would come to her former GP surgery. He was a humble, quietly spoken man but as a lad he played football for England schoolboys. Years ago I read every book he ever wrote - including "The Gamekeeper". Interesting reflections on DHL - thanks for sharing.Delete
Blue skies are always lovely but misty skies are beautiful too.ReplyDelete
They may be beautiful but much harder to photograph effectively.Delete
I think that your first and last photos use the murk and the gray as excellent dramatic notes. Seriously.ReplyDelete