Lifted By Colour


This morning we were in the grip of storm Georgina. This prompted the Muse of my youth, believing that “if we are having to put up with it, we might as well get something out of it”, to take a trip to the coast. I chose Highcliffe as the venue.

It was all right for Jackie, who could take refuge in the car after a brief foray along the clifftop. I, however, had the task of battling down the steep wooden steps to the shoreline in order to capture some images of the sea. Whilst the driving rain lashed my dripping face and the spray lathered my attire, the 60 m.p.h. winds played me like a marionette. I feared for my camera lens which I frequently dabbed with a sodden handkerchief. I couldn’t really see what I was doing, but fortunately the camera had better vision.

Gulls on shingle

Even the gulls took refuge on the shingle.

Wave after wave of cream-layered golden syrup swirled around the shore, crashing on the steadfast rocks.

Just two intrepid walkers, one with dogs, also ventured down below, where the flagpole bent like a bow.

Warnings of Unstable Cliff etc

As if the gale were not enough, there were plenty of other phenomena to be warned against.

It wasn’t until I had fought my way back up to the car park, that the sun made a brief attempt to put in an appearance.

I have learned that Paul Auster’s works are examples of Absurdist fiction, which essentially focusses on protagonists’ vain attempts to find any purpose in life through a series of meaningless actions.’Ghosts’, being the second novella of this author’s New York Trilogy, would certainly seem a case in point. I finished reading this today. Set as a detective story it pretty much follows the same course as ‘City of Glass’. Who is watching whom?, we wonder. Do we actually care? There didn’t seem much point in this repeat performance. Maybe that was the point. Meaningless it is.

Each character bears the name of a single colour, but it is the colour applied to Tom Burns’s illustrations for the Folio Society edition that lift the story, and perhaps this otherwise virtually monochrome post.

Following gyozo and won ton starters for our dinner this evening, we enjoyed Jackie’s really excellent egg fried rice served with pork ribs in barbecue sauce. She drank Hoegaarden and I finished the shiraz.

60 responses to “Lifted By Colour”

  1. There are aspects of life that are so completely absurd that I can no longer bear to hear about them – I imagine writing about it might be a quick route to insanity……. I still enjoy the illustrations though ๐Ÿ™‚ You get full points for insanity in tackling the wind, the steps both down and, I imagine, up and all the other associated perils…… I’d be sitting in the car with Jackie ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. What you do for your art, Derrick! ๐Ÿ™‚ But thank you for sharing those glorious photos.
    “Cream-layered golden syrup”–the sea does look like a dessert in the photo with the walker with the dog. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Always a treat reading the descriptions that come with the photos!You are an amazing wordsmith! The weather is nippy here and we might be in for some snow! Take care, my friend!

  4. I must say you are intrepid. I hope you have a good slicker for this kind of weather. That picture of the gulls on the shingle has such beautiful subtle colors–the yellow line in the foam, the rosy shingle, and the lovely mossy green up past the sand. It’s a very nice photo.

  5. You must have a mighty weather-sealed camera. One of my earliest consumer ‘point and shoot’ cameras gave up its ghost in a somewhat similar skirmish with the elements, although the warrior who took it to the battlefield was a rogue nephew of mine. I retain its shell still.

    You have got a connoisseur of a pilot-cum-chef in Jackie. It’s a magical combination, for a pilot must be fired up with lightening reflexes while a chef needs to be blessed with tons of patience and meticulous appliance.

  6. Love your philosophy, but it’s best to avoid being by the ocean when the winds are zipping at 60 m.p.h. Glad you made it back without harm to body or camera. Those illustrations are fantastic. I’ve never read Paul Auster’s fiction, only a memoir, which was very good. I’m not sure what I think about the concept of absurdist fiction.

  7. What a coincidence, I did pork spare ribs in my sticky sauce but with my sweet & sour sauce & rice ,neither the War Office, or I, are fond of BBQ sauce, then again we haven’t had the pleasure of the Culinary Queens

  8. Your certainly have an adventurous spirit Derrick, plus a keen photographer, but having said that, it is occasions like this that you get the chance to capture images that otherwise would be missed.

  9. I took my camera out in the rain the other day too, but the light was terrible. Even the red berries appeared gray. Your shots were far better. Love the illustrations, too.

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