More nautically themed stuff ( it wouldn’t be ‘Ebb Then Flood’ without a little watery imagery! )
This time it’s a plethora of ropes aboard the replica ‘Endeavour’, which also features in the previous post, Totally Rigged.
“Give ’em enough rope, and they will hang themselves“(and variants thereof) is a cheerless saying dating back to the seventeenth century, but one that is curiously attractive because it is undoubtedly true in real life.
You don’t have to do any dirty work on a person who will see to their own demise given the opportunity.
I take no great joy in watching someone tie themselves in knots, but hanged if I am gonna do it for them..
Masts, yard arms, crow’s nests and rigging – the paraphernalia of the ancient mariner displayed against the sky.
Looking like nothing so much as a giant spider’s web!
(A shot of a replica of Captain James Cook’s ship ‘Endeavour’ docked at Auckland last weekend)
A statue of Mary appears to float within an arch on a church wall in Barcelona.
There is of course a small ledge on which the icon sits,but it is a neat trick of religion to create images and symbols to inspire, and to aspire to.
Apart from the prayerful pose and purity of her robes,the Madonna levitates above the ground, but is well below heaven.
Someone to look up to, or just another struggling seeker?
” Quoth the raven -“Nevermore”.”
Edgar Allan Poe, ‘The Raven’
One of the famous ravens at the Tower Of London – darkly majestic avians that rule the roost and would seem to know all the secrets of the place, secrets that, erm, might otherwise be nevermore…
The crossed keys on this weather vane say it all really….
lf bulls can fly…
Well, they are bigger than pigs – “and pigs can fly” as the saying goes – and that is not a likelihood either.
But myths (and mythical creatures) do not need likelihood, let alone certainty, to hold sway or have power.
For mythology is magic, and magic transcends reality.
So, if bulls can fly, clouds are pierced by horns and hooves will trample stars.
And mankind will continue to be shat upon massively from great heights…
One wild drinking fountain in Barcelona beckons, when time comes to slake your thirst.
Three human faces, appearing as if in a masquerade, frame the fountain’s taps .
Above them a supine lion crouches beneath an armoured crest -paws, claws and all.
The whole shebang elevates a utilitarian water dispensary into an artful world.
Sustenance for the imagination as well as the body.
And that lion sure looks like he could do with a drink…
Crowds throng La Rambla on an autumn afternoon.
Barcelona’s iconic street, and the district named for it, teems with locals enjoying the sunshine.
So, when in this part of Barcelona one does as the locals do in this place: Lick a gelato(check!); chomp on tapas (check!); buy a football scarf to wear (check!); slurp a beer(nah,don’t drink!) and sit on a bench and people watch (check! check! check! – and in my case take photos like these).
Just very cool!
Back home from my travels to the UK and Spain,and back to the estuary in Auckland, the Tamaki, that provides much tidal inspiration to me.
As I have never lived more than a few minutes from it, to sit by the river the day after my return,with its sunstruck sheen, is to know that I am home.
And, if it lacks the renown or glamour of some of the places I saw in Europe, home is always shiny special.
Old Barcelona building shrouded by leaves in the afternoon light.
Loved my time in the grand city, but it was time to leave…
A tile mosaic in Barcelona’s Rambla precinct shows the famous gypsy dancer Carmen in full flight. The operatic story by Bizet is brought to mind immediately.
Great street art is everywhere in Barcelona!
So too,unfortunately ,is graffiti such as the yellow tagging that besmirches the mosaic.
Demonstrating that not all forms of self- expression are equal…
Fifteen candles on a candelabra in the sacristy of Barcelona’s iconic Sagrada Familia, which I was fortunate to visit yesterday.
Very elegant in a gothic sort of way.
Sort of complicated too, for an article whose sole purpose is to shed a little light on things.
But that is religion in a nutshell I guess…
I have posted elsewhere on this blog on my attraction to curving, non-linear forms.
They are truly like life,which as we all can attest, does not run in straight lines.
Antoni Gaudi’s architecture in Barcelona has taken that principle to extremes.
Observing that straight lines are only rarely found in nature, and from his belief that true art must stem from nature, he created many stunning and idiosyncratic designs in this town.
Pictured is the facade of the famous Casa Batllo in the central city.
The appeal to me,and the hordes of visitors to Gaudi’s creations, is that of nature’s truth.
What at first appears as fantasist madness is actually something that speaks to us deeply.
As an aside, Barcelona, apart from the old Rambla area in the centre has a grid street network and I have managed to lose direction several times in its maze of straight line roads!
Freedom and love – no one can argue with those sentiments.After all, they are what we all desire, right?
I have also heard it said that those two things have been used to justify virtually every abomination of mankind, including war.
The banners adorning this building in Barcelona are in fact part of a political protest movement for an independent Catalunya.
During the week there have been angry protests and civil insurrection here. Shouting, chanting, rubbish bins burnt and the police on high alert.
If only life was as straightforward as a banner slogan!
It is said that eyes are windows to the soul.
These Barcelona windows at night are like a pair of eyes.
Showing an inner light and gazing on the passers-by and the goings on.
They will have seen it all and will know the true soul of this place.
Me, I am just a stranger here, with eyes of wonder in this spectacular city…
Through a gate in a walled enclave of academia (Christ’s College, Cambridge, two days ago). Across a courtyard ,followed the winding path around the corner to another courtyard.Then came across this hidden wonder…
Monochrome rendition of an ancient painted wood panel seen this week at York Minster,York.
Powerful symbols – darkness and light; a star inside a sun within another sun, all blazing radial motion…
” The destiny of every human being is decided by what goes on inside his skull when confronted by what goes on outside his skull.”
– Eric Berne
Still on my travels in Britain.
Yesterday, on a whim ,we took a detour on the way south to the city of Lincoln.
The town is dominated by its breathtaking, ancient cathedral.
This picture of the roof highlights the structural spine of the building.
To me it appears somewhat like the skeleton of a fish.
Regardless of religious persuasion ( if any ), we all need a spiritual backbone – something that holds it all together for us on our meandering life journeys.
A spine, a touchstone, an anchor.
Something firm and certain,no matter the detours we take!
Fishing boat docked in a Fife harbour.
It caught my eye because I’m a Leo, not a pirate – I would be pretty inept at that.
The naming of ships and boat is fascinating and very personal and I learned a bit about it when visiting a fishing museum in Anstruther a few days ago.
As for the flag , it reeks of maverick. I can see Captain Jack Sparrow at the helm, assuming of course that he had gone straight and taken up an honest life,lobster fishing …