Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Haven't Felt This Way Since "Funky Town"! (X)

I first heard Tim Buckley's Happy/Sad album over ten years ago in England, on a winter's night not unlike this one. While I dislike the second side intensely, the first side, featuring 'Strange Feeling', 'Buzzin' Fly' and the following song, captivated me immediately, and a decade later, still do. For me, the following song is the purest, most haunting, musical poetry, and I don't feel like saying anything else about it. Enjoy...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Wexford Sights (VI): Hoarfrost

As the roads around my house were too dangerous to drive on this morning, I was unable to go to work and was thus at something of a loss. As I stood outside the door of our shed, watching the sun rise on this, the shortest day of the year (and from tomorrow on it's acceptable to say that there's a grand stretch in the evening!), I noticed that the top of the old wooden fence that separates our house from the field behind us was covered in a fine topping of hoarfrost that glittered in the early morning light. Not wishing to waste an opportunity, I ran indoors and grabbed the camera. What fascinated me was the way that the lines of frost followed the grain and irregularities in the wood, creating an eye out of knotted whorl and a delicate coconut bonbon out of an exposed nail-head. Underneath is the nail-head in the third photo above, after the frost had melted in the weak light of the sun, and hoarfrost in the undergrowth behind our house.

And while we're at it, seeing as we're looking at photos of ice (and as an icy fog is descending on Wexford even as I type this), here's a rather challenging piece of piano music by an underrated Russian composer:

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Wexford Sights (V): Sunsets in December

It may be bitterly cold here in County Wexford (by local standards, of course; when it drops to below +5C here in Ireland, we complain furiously about the chill in a temperature that probably would barely register with the average Scandanavian) but the sunsets recently have been breathtakingly beautiful. Of course, it's so difficult to capture a sunset in a photograph, but here are my attempts (taken on Tinaberna and Ballinesker strands). Such glory (the sunsets, not the photographs) is a welcome distraction from the sickening story from Listowel that has dominated headlines here in Ireland (see here and here for more details). And finally, here's a picture of our faithful hound being his usual demented self!
And here's a piece of music I quite like: