Like many folk, at the end of the year I like to tidy up a bit, my house, my wardrobe, my computer, my life in general, get rid of the deadwood, so it doesn’t weigh me down for the shiny new year.
Doing this last year I came across some intended posts which had never seen the light of day, and did a synopsis of the places/people/events by way of finishing up the material which was hanging around. Sure, I have half-written posts which are awaiting confirmation of facts, pictures, more information, or just inspiration; one is almost two years old and still hasn’t made it, but here are this year’s stragglers.
Ansel Adams Exhibition
I usually do manage a few words about photography exhibitions I go to Robert Capa, Steve McCurry, Don McCullin, Frans Lanting, and the Ansel Adams expo at Greenwich’s Maritime Museum was totally up there on a par with those. Coming back from the UK I was trying to catch up and full of a cold, and now realize my omission in not recording my impressions, and the precise adjectives and descriptions are lost, because I made no notes.
Of course it was amazing. You have to grasp for words when you describe something which has been written about endlessly for many years. I suspected I might be disappointed. I thought black and white landscapes might be dull after the zillions of color ones I’ve seen this year, but they were fascinating, utterly gorgeous and imparted not just beauty but a sense of history, and the earth’s power too. The exhibition continues to March, and I am very much hoping to get back to see it again. To crown a wonderful afternoon, where, honestly I felt as if I’d been the west coast of the US, we emerged from the museum to this sunset, which seemed perfectly in keeping with the impressions whirling round my head. Here’s an Adams quote to give you an idea:
“A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.”
London Docklands Museum
There, actually, will be a post about this, perhaps after I’ve been again. I wanted to see the museum because I was interested in the connection between Canary Wharf and the Canary Islands. The museum answered my query on that point by email, thus: “Canary Wharf was developed in the 1930’s as a wharf for ‘Fruitlines’ who imported goods from the Canary Islands and Mediterranean.” So that was me kind of disappointed because I’d already dug that up, but I’d hoped it dated back to Shakespeare’s time and wine imports. However, the museum was absorbing. Like any good museum it was far too much to take it all in in one visit, so we confined ourselves to one area, and I found things I hadn’t expected, like a powerful documentation of the slave trade……horrific to think that London was involved, but of course it was. I can only be proud, as an English woman, that we saw the light before many other countries did and abolished slavery.
The museum includes a short “walk” through a reconstruction of the murky streets where press gangs roamed in search of unlucky victims to augment crews, and you can even smell the surroundings! Below is a picture of my son, Guy and Katrina from TourAbsurd sitting in a “pub” of the day.
Camden Market, London
I spent two, marvelous afternoons munching and wandering around Camden Market, but ended up writing nothing. Perhaps because the second visit, when I actually took more photos, was kind of personal…some quality time with both my sons together, something which doesn’t happen all that often, and perhaps because the days were overcast and chill, and the photos subsequently not that colorful. They certainly didn’t match the colorful atmosphere, the dizzying choice of yumminess from the food stalls or the glow of the mulled wine :=) Though the memories are sharp!
Icod de los Vinos, Tenerife
In July I went to take a look at the famous flowering of the Dragon Tree of Icod de los Vinos, but now it isn’t the iconic tree which lingers in my memory about the day but the scent. As Pilar & I walked down towards the church to get the classic view of the tree, I suddenly seemed to be floating back in time to my childhood. It took seconds to realize why these images in my head were being unlocked – the flower beds outside the church were filled with roses in full bloom, not only roses, but roses with perfume, which reminded me of my grandad’s overgrown little patches of garden, which, for all their neglect yielded wonderful aromas every summer. These flower beds could have been anywhere in England. Of course the climate in Icod is that bit cooler than the south, where I found it impossible to grow roses which flowered prettily back when I had a garden.
A whole lot other not-writing went on in 2012 too, some memorable meals, London’s Chinatown, discovering bubble tea, many strolls with Trixy (after the theft of my Blackberry I stopped doing the #walkingwithTrixy thing on Twitter & Facebook) watching sunrises and sunsets I know I’m privileged to have seen, a brief visit to York in Autumn, the fact that I started running (but I’m addressing that elsewhere) ,musings on motherhood, expat-ness, travel, friendships. An incredible amount of stuff un-marked for one reason or another, far too many to begin to address now.
Perhaps, as my school report invariably said, “I could do better if I tried”………do I feel a New Year resolution coming on perchance?
December 23, 2012 at 6:37 pm
If you make it to the Ansel Adams exhibition a second time, let me know; I’ll see you there!
December 25, 2012 at 11:54 am
That would make it even more special! His son is giving a talk in March, and that was what I was hoping to aim for. Money is tight right now, but perhaps after xmas it will improve! I’ll be sure to let you know!!!
December 29, 2012 at 7:50 pm
I love Ansel Adams’ work! Maybe I’ll join you in March too 🙂
December 30, 2012 at 10:02 am
That would be so cool. A party in London! Now wondering how realistic it is to hope I can go!