Caught on the Map

By chance I came across this recent and detailed map of the River Brent on the brentcatchmentrivers website and, for the first time, felt more able to visualise the river in all its sinuous complexity.

The narrative potential is huge. Looking at the tributaries and reading their names made me determined to pack a bag with maps and camera and notebook, and get out there.

I’ve a feeling there are a load of stories to be uncovered along the backwaters of this half-hidden and oft-neglected river.

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Undersong

More about this series of posts on the River Brent, London HERE.

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“It comes to this: the use of a man, by himself and thus by others, lies in how he conceives his relation to nature, that force to which he owes his somewhat small existence. If he sprawl, he shall find little to sing but himself, and shall sing, nature has such paradoxical ways, by way of artificial forms outside himself. But if he stays inside himself, if he is contained within his nature as he is participant in the larger force, he will be able to listen, and his hearing through himself will give him secrets [that] objects share.”

From the essay Projective Verse by Charles Olson

 

The Harp is a slippery place of shifting signifiers. Not even it’s name is stable. The Kingbury, the Brent or the Welsh Harp? It attracts birders to the migrating birds, dog walkers to the open spaces and lone drifters to heaven-knows-what nirvana. It’s a green&blue pleasant land. An open space. A lighter, brighter, breathing space, an antidote to urban sprawl. Or seemingly so.

It has a darker side, and in the quieter sections, away from well-trod, dog-shitty paths, the unheimlich Harp surfaces.

A submerged underside of tension, ambiguity, even threat.

I went looking for the undersong of The Harp.

Continue reading “Undersong”

Cavalcade’s Crop of Cans

I really enjoy looking at the bits & bobs that combine to make the totality such a  rewarding and creative experience.

As anyone who’s read my Painted Ware posts will know, I have a huge admiration for anyone attempting to paint a traditional Water Can, it’s much trickier than you might think!

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Book Review: Living the Dream by Trevor Pavitt

Living The Dream Cover

Pavitt.T (2007) Living the Dream self published (?) ISBN: 978 1 84753 757 7

In the preface to my copy of Living the Dream author Trevor Pavitt writes:

To pass through a deeply wooded cutting on a May morning in England, with the sun reflecting off the mantle of trees, the slightest touch of mist still clinging to the surface of the canal and a heron in slow-motion ahead of the boat is one of life’s supreme pleasures.

The paragraph shows that Pavitt can write a well-turned phrase, and I was looking forward to reading more. I hoped the lyricism would continue, and I’d get under-the-skin of his motivation and passion. It didn’t. And after reading over 300 pages I’m not sure I know Trevor Pavitt any more clearly than before.

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Lawford’s Wharf, Camden

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Just time for a very hasty post today. I’m taking up the story of the walk we took at half term, along the Regents Canal from St. Pancras up into Camden.

In this graffiti-ed photo Claire, with kids fore and aft, is walking beneath the bridges that carry Royal College Street across the canal. Beneath the arch we’re looking out towards the relatively recent residential development on the old Lawford & Sons Wharf, Camden.

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