Archive | November, 2007

Seasons in Reverse

22 Nov

It’s November and it’s meant to be the end of autumn here in the UK. Earlier this week a surprise “sort of cold” snap hit the middle of the country between Manchester and the northern Home Counties, resulting in snowfall for a large part of the country. It soon melted and was only around for a few hours, but still a strangely early arrival of snowfall in a time when any snowfall in winter is a rarity.

 But where I live that snow didn’t materialise. In fact there wasn’t a frost, but instead a slightly warmer than average November night. Tonight is another one of those slightly-warmer-than-average nights and tonight I was in for a REAL surprise. To me much more surprising than snow in November: flowers. And not just winter flowers, or early spring bloomers. Roses on two bushes on my road. In November not June. Perfect pale pink roses half uncurled like in a Disney cartoon. There were even more surprises: trees in bud, including a large Magnolia in full bud, a few had even flowered! And then there was the blossom. Not extremely impressive spells of lavish, cotton candy like eruptions of colour like recent warm springs have produced, instead a much more muted affair. But still, several trees in blossom, round about 4 months early. And that’s scary- that spring, a time of renewal and regeneration, is occuring when autumn  in meant to be in full swing – a time of regression and repose.

And the effects spread through the ecosystem. At the bus stop last weekend I was surrounded by wasps still searching for nectar in a sole  late bloomer, but with this new flowering will the few that have survived receive an unexpected reward??

Heima

11 Nov

 

Film of the year.  It’s so beautiful. Every shot so meticulously delicate, so expertly coloured…or maybe it’s just that iceland really is that magical. that raw and powerful. The volcanic beauty of the rift valleys, mountains, cliffs and landslides sits beside a glacial, crystalline beauty of the river valleys and the warmth and harmony of the Icelandic people.  The editing is brilliant, especially the beautiful fade from the bridge shot to the Von performance where the wooden slat of the bridge dissovle into the wooden panelling of the community centre interior.

 And that opening. Water rushes backwards up cliff faces, up mountain gullies, up waterfalls, along glaciers, through slushy snowmelt.  Back to the beginning. Back to the horizon.

 

The performances are as magical as the locations, ágætis byrjun, von and vaka in particular . The Djúpavík herring factory performance was hauntingly beautiful.

And the chromatic rock/stone marimba so alien, yet so effective and warmth in its sound…ahh…just wow.

 

The new double album Hvarf/Heim is brilliant too.

Why can’t all music be this special.

Oil Spill

11 Nov

5m high waves and storm force winds split a tanker in

half earlier today. Out came 1,300 tonnes of oil.

 

Pumped out of the earth…forced down a pipeline….onto a ship…..back into the sea.

 

 

Millions of years ago the death of organisms in the marshes of Crimea and the Black Sea borderlands led to the giant gas and oil fields which lie beneath and around the body of water. Today they’re returned to the sea, just sadly as pollutant capable of causing a sped up fast forward of the process of ecosystem death, as the oil sinks down to the bottom of the ocean. This isn’t the oil we’re used to, you see. It doesn’t float and form a glittering sheen. It’s unrefined fuel oil. Heavy. Damaging. Crude.