Monday, March 23, 2015

The Results are Generally Positive

This entry is dedicated to my friend Lisa Chapman, who has pleasantly "encouraged" me (and ultimately bribed me) to write something new. It's been a while. Thanks Lisa!

One of the prime delights of a warm Spring day is a sit in the garden.

You know how it is: a new season, fresh air, sunshine, birdsong, and the chance to think problems through without the four walls peering over your shoulder.

All things are possible.

And so it is today.

In fact, I'm mulling over a very interesting problem right now, tho somewhat sleepily.

I'm in a recliner under the big oak tree in the back garden, enjoying the scent of blossom in the shade of noon. My eyes are closed; this helps my concentration*. Tiny motes of warm sunlight dance lazily behind my eyelids as the tree moves in the light breeze.

[ * Allegedly. It certainly helps me focus when trying to nap. ]

I sigh and embrace the moment as my mind turns the problem over...

A light tickle on my knee results in a gentle twitch from me as my ancestral memory-of-a-tail flicks a fly away. A second tickle and a stifled giggle a few moments later raises my head from the recliner as my eyes open.

My first glance takes in blonde hair, a bright dress, and a big smile.

Hey Abbey, I say, as my own smile trots into view. It's okay, I wasn't asleep.

Oh, I know, says my neighbour easily, stooping for a moment to admire the snowdrop and crocuses around the tree. I'm sorry to disturb you, tho; I could see you were thinking. This sounds like teasing, but I know she's not joking. I idly wonder what colour my aura was a moment ago?

Oh, to see ourselves as others see us, I sigh. She beams at this misquote of Burns. I move my shoulders to wake the muscles up and then meet her eye. What's up?

I was hoping I might ask a favour, she says. I nod and make an affirmative noise. Would you mind picking us up from town later? She clasps her hands together in an endearing fashion. Around four o'clock, please?

I frown; this might be a problem. But I juggle a handful of tasks and priorities in my head, and the results are generally positive.

Not a problem, I say, I have one big task to do this afternoon, but I'll be done in plenty of time. 

The problem is hanging over me, but I'm pretty sure I can sort it.

You’re sure? she asks, running her hands through her hair lightly. My mind hiccups, but I recover magnificently.

Yes, it's to do with the car, but the lads will be helping me. She nods, juggling her own thoughts; Hoth and Sollust are very competent young engineers, but she knows the boy badgers are easily distracted. It'll be fine, I reassure her. Anyway, who's "us"?

Oh, Dantoo and I, she replies, glancing back at the house. I've promised her a look at some lovely old folklore books in the University library.

Folklore? I'm intrigued. But before I can ask, Dantoo comes out of the open back door. The young girl badger strolls up from the house, carefully carrying a glass of what looks like lemon fizz. This takes a while; her black-and-white legs are only little. She presents me with the drink with a smile and raises an eyebrow.

Thanks, I say, sipping. It's sharp and cold, perfect for the day. Mmmm, that's perfect. She nods happily, and turns to tug at the hem of Abbey's print dress. As my neighbour looks down, Dantoo points at her wristwatch, a chunky thing in pastel plastic. A tilt of her head indicates the question.

Abbey nods. Yes, Indigo will pick us up at four from the library. Do you know where your brothers are?

Dantoo indicates with a looping wave towards the house and a wild flourish that the duo are doing something indeterminate but worrying in the front garden.

Abbey and the youngster step closer. I receive a peck on the cheek from the pair of them, and they head off. I'll send the boys your way, calls Abbey over her shoulder. Have fun!

A moment later I'm left with my own thoughts in the garden.

I take another sip of the drink; it really is perfect. And then, settling into the recliner again, I turn my mind back to the problem.

But instead of closing my eyes, this time I stare up into the high branches of the oak and regard the problem directly.

I have no idea how Hoth and Sollust managed to get my car up in this tree, but I hope they have a plan to retrieve it that involves neither a saw nor explosives.

I sigh.

Yes, all things are possible.


This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2009-2015

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Just About Covering It

I've been away for a while.

And now I'm back. Here's some Autumn photos.

I think that about covers it?

It's hard not to like this time of year. *sighs dreamily* I think this is an oak?

My folks' driveway. High-pressure water cannon required. Thankfully, they'll do it as soon as they know I posted this name-and-shame photo.

Under the canopy, the change is not complete. Kinda metamorphic, I guess?

You know, I think they squeezed several crops in this year. This must be the stubble from crop number three?

Yep. Autumn, Love these colours under a blue sky.

I've tried to take this picture several times over the past year. Finally, it's about right.

I know, I know...

You may remember a similar shot to this on my 2014 calendar? It's one of my favourites. Well, this is the same place, different season, still moody.

My first ever "sunshine" shot. Which sounds dodgier than I intended.

I saw the turning trees yesterday, but couldn't stop. They were under the "golden hour" sunshine, and alive with colour. Today? Not so much. There's a lesson in there somewhere.

The Bedfordshire hills. Very pretty today, tho dozing happily. 

The road outside my house. Cool, huh?


This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2009-2014

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Resisting My Photographic Advances

One of the many delights of working at an animal sanctuary is the diversity of creatures to be found there.

First, and closest to my heart, the dogs. This is Ozzie, a beagle cross who won the hearts of the locals when I took him offsite to meet them yesterday.

And then there's the cats, a shifty-looking bunch if ever I saw one. I'm really not sure about this lad, who seems to be giving me a very long, calculated consideration. He may be about to order a Hit on me.

This is the alpha male goat, an elusive individual who tried his best to resist my photographic advances. I leapt out from behind a tree, banging a tin can to get his attention on this one.

Of course, once I told him I could do moody black-and-white, he was all smiles. I think he's channelling Christopher Walkern at this point.

These ladies had an off-putting habit on shuffling forward on their knees as they nibbled the grass. It was odd to see. Perhaps I should have videoed it?

These two donkeys seemed to be whispering a lot. I'm not sure if they were coaching each other for the shot, or asking if I'd gone yet. Either way, they ate a lot of grass.

The mice in the small animals enclosure were tricky. They've taken to hiding inside painted ping-pong balls. I mean seriously, would you have known? Isn't nature wonderful?!

A final shot as I headed home; as the sun descends, feral cows emerge from their moorland burrows and survey their domain. Probably.


This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2009-2014

Sunday, August 10, 2014

No Idiots Were Harmed

Right, Sunday again, and not a word written. Which is okay, as I'm working full time during the week and doing volunteer work at a dog shelter at the weekends.

Still, it bothers me. Best do something about it.

While you're waiting, here's some pictures from this week.

As is often the case when I stop suddenly on a country lane because I see something cool, this dead tree almost caused me to join it. *

Yes, a bale of straw. But lines, colours, skies. Were there a few red poppies, we'd really have something going on here.

Same field. Unremarkable in itself, but the colours have really come along as it's ripened up over the past couple of weeks. I look forward to eating these as Shredded Wheat in a few weeks.

Honestly, I just like the roof tiles. It's very "rural English".

Big skies are the only real subject matter here, and there's nothing remotely humorous to say about it. I'm almost tempted to delete it. Bah.

Too good to ignore, tho I was trespassing. In a car. And almost in a ditch.

I photographed this tree a couple of years ago, and it's always a beauty. I think this is just outside Trinity College. As ever, sunshine makes the shot.

Um... I forget which college this courtyard belongs to. They still hang you if you walk on the grass in Cambridge. But pretty spiffy tho, right?

My favourite church clock, at Great Saint Mary's, Cambridge. I sense that they may have replaced the hands, faceplate and mechanism several times since 1679, but everything else is original.

The gatehouse at King's College, Cambridge. I know some of the details about its design and construction, but honestly they're rather dull. It was such a lovely day, and the skies were cooperating. That is all.

Driving home, I felt sure I was driving into a tornado, as it looked ready to touch down. *

But to finish, I wanted to introduce you to a very special lad called Rufus. He's the only dog I've ever met with highlights. I'm hoping he'll be adopted by loving folk this week, which is all any of us deserves.

* No idiots were harmed during the creation of this blog entry.


This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2009-2014

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Bless Those Boffins In Cambridge

I miss my afternoon naps.

Work is the curse of the thinking classes, as you know, and now that I'm gainfully employed again, I'm not getting enough snoozes in. This is, as the boffins in Cambridge would say, a Fact. 

Right now, it's Saturday morning, and I'm putting together this blog entry so that I can schedule it to post automatically on Sunday afternoon. 

And what will I be doing on Sunday afternoon after a big dinner?

I think you know.  

I was just on my way home from work when I spotted this bizarre cloud formation. It almost looks like a tube? I didn't see anything in the news about being invaded by aliens. But if we were, they'd probably arrive like this.

And facing the other way, oddly fluffy clouds. No processing here, they really did look this smudged. Some days, you just get lucky. I think that was what the guy in the car behind was trying to tell me, anyway.

I thought this view of Cambridge merely looked interesting, but a friend (hey Dazza!) later commented that it looked like a train: wheels, smoke stack, driver's van. Can you see it? So much for Art.

Close to the office, I stood in the middle of a field at lunchtime to take this. Nobody was at all surprised.

In Woburn, on the way home from seeing Jaco Roth (my smarter, slimmer brother), the deer were sweeping majestically across the plain. Yes, just like they do in Torquay. I lost count of the points on this lad's antlers, but I'm sure a hunter could tell me at a glance.

And when they weren't sweeping, they were nibbling....

... sometimes they nibbled in black and white, too.

It really must be a wonderful view from the local Tudor houses. Tho requiring a lot of clearing up before daring to mow the lawn.

This lad saw me off the premises. In fact, I thought he was going to ask for a lift, he got so close. I took it as a good signal to leave, all the same. 

And I will now too.


This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2009-2014