7 may 2008

In the crumbly silt undercliff at Lulworth Cove, just to the north of the caff and the well-spoken artist painting Flecker poems on pebbles in script too small for me to read, there's a sizable colony of Osmia rufa, the red mason bee. They seem to be doing more-or-less fine, although some of them are landing randomly and casting about for their holes and not finding them and going away again. Maybe this is a defence mechanism against the attentions of a rather standard-looking dipteran fly (but oh, how sinister its body language). Among them, there's another mason or miner bee I can't identify (answers welcome) - larger, slimmer and dark blue-black, less cuddly and more on the ball. A torpedo among teddy bears.

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21 may 2008

among the nightingales

Listen to this.
Some things never change. Back in the day, you'd go out into the fields at dusk with your saz, and with a volume of Hafiz tucked in your back pocket, to fool around with some venerable dastgah while the bulbuls spoke from the bushes.
So now it's the Heathrow corridor and the hum of the A2, but the meaning's the same. And if you ever catch up with me in my other life, the one where I'm a pastry sous-chef in an Omayyad palace of 11th century Al-Andalus taking night courses in astronomy at the University of Cordoba, well:  this is the sort of stuff I'll have on my ipod.

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24 may 2008

Newsstand heads-up: if you subscribe to the internet, this week it comes with a brand new issue of Peter Parasol stapled onto the front. Pictures, poems and recipes from the kitchen of Miz Miranda Gaw. Mmm.

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27 may 2008

A landmark photograph in the history of photography, in the history of space exploration, in the history of technology and probably lots of other things. The Phoenix Mars lander shot by the HiRise Mars orbiter. A speeding bullet photographed by a speeding bullet. On a planetary scale.

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I learned to drive so that I could read Los Angeles in the original.

- Reyner Banham