Sunday, 27 March 2011

Song Cycle for Japan

Pops and I went to St Mary's Church, Upper Street, to listen to a song cycle for Japan. The music was haunting, played on a baby grand piano with two voices - female and male. The church setting was contemplative. Outside the large clear glass windows were some huge plain trees with those balls of seeds, against a blue sky, rays of sun shone in.

The lyrics made me think about the images that stuck in my head from the news footage.
  • People running out of offices while rubble falls from skyscrapers crashing onto the pavement.
  • A white car drives along a straight road, behind it the tsunami wave crashes together from both sides of the road, large and blackened. Its haunting that they keep saying the wave is travelling at 500 miles per hour. I think about the car often, did it escape? It doesn't seem possible.
  • The wave rolls over the town's defences, overcoming walls and houses, surrounded they fold in on themselves like paper.
  • Aftermath - two buildings left standing in a town with a population of 10,000. The rest of it looks like tindersticks.
  • Ships beached in the centre of flattened towns.
  • A child with her mother and brother, searching the rubble of their former home, runs over with a photograph in a frame. The frame is broken and the glass is muddy, the mother takes the photograph out and wipes it with her hand. It shows her son and daughter with their father. A tear escapes from her eye and rolls down her cheek. Their father is a rescue worker, she explains, we haven't seen him since the wave came. We hope he is safe.
  • An old man stooped with age, aided by a walking stick, climbs off the rubble with a rescue worker.
The nuclear smoke and steam from the reactor steals the news away from the human stories as the world becomes afraid of the wider impact. I wish they would return to the human stories. There was one news item that showed a road just after the quake - ripped up, jagged - and now - already resurfaced and fixed. The one person we knew who was in Japan at the time of the quake got back sooner than expected. He was truely amazed at the way the Japanese handled it - calm, orderly despite the terrifying situation.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Road Surface

Rye Lane is being resurfaced. They've been at it for months. Today the barriers extend in both directions for a long stretch of road. The lack of surface is not preventing it's use by cyclists and pedestrians who have opened the barriers at strategic places along the missing road surface. People will find the path of least resistance.

Friday, 18 March 2011


Look at the supermoon, someone texted to me. Couldn't see it until I got off the bus at Tottenham Swan. Bails had told me it was going to be bigger than normal due to it being nearer than its been for 20 years, or something. It didn't seem nearer while I was looking at it but it was incredibly bright - shining, almost too bright to look at as it reflected the sun back at us. Trying to distinguish its surface through the naked eye. When I got home I  looked out the back but it was too far over the roofs to see. It cast a distinctive shadow over the garden, almost light.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Ceramics Class

It is the term of functionality. Don't normally care too much about function, but someone commissioned me to make a water jug. So I've made 3 of them - they are a sort of set with different arrangements of handles and using the same method of decorating. The rest of the class and department seem to be having a teapot theme - many teapots being made. Someone said pinchpot teapots and I decided in a spare moment to make one. Once I started I didn't make just one but two. Like the second one better with its pinched handle, spout and lid.

May or may not make some more.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

In London the sun is shining

Birds are nesting - collecting bits and bobs to soften the holes in the roofs nearby. Its all go again. They are back to bathing collectively in the birdbath. The black cat from across the gardens is on the neighbours shed roof watching. He likes to watch. Grass is growing. Buds are growing fat, ready to open. Daffodils waft in the wind.

In Dundee its raining and snowing. Sis and her new dog have been drenched twice. She was hoping someone else would take him out for his evening constitutional.

In Japan I can't imagine. A friend of a friend was on a business trip in Tokyo, finally made contact today - very shaken up but amazed at the way people reacted in such a calm manner. The pictures have been astounding - terrifying watching the tsumani wave rolling over the fields, tearing down buildings as if they were made of paper, rolling on and on over roads, airports, tossing cars and rubble around like so much flotsum and jetsum. Scared for the person who was driving their car along the road on the news while two sides of the wave slid over the road behind them.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Bus Journey

Behind me is a man on his way home from the office - he's reading and his breath smells stale, partially masked by coffee but not entirely.

Ahead of me a woman is having throat problems and keeps retching and burping.

Altogether it's making me feel sick.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Ceramics Class


Aim was to make a waterjug. It had to hold water, be able to be used for pouring, so not to big to be too heavy. It sort of has the puffed out chest of a pigeon or pheasant or something. One handle was never going to be enough!

Softly the sun rises and shines, takes the chill of the winter. Crocuses are out, daffodils in bud. Grass is long. Birds are preparing for chicks. Sitting outside with sunshine on the face for the first time of the year. Looking forward to the new season.

I recently bought a new frying pan but its much larger than it looked in the shop and is too big for the dishwasher and too heavy to toss a pancake with. So instead pancakes were turned rather than flipped. Sort of took the fun out of it.