Two weeks I spent in North Wales at the turn of 2007/2008 led to my love for quaint British pubs. Seriously, it was there and then that I made it a habit to have a drink of local beer whenever I visited a pub in Leeds, York, Wales, or Essex. I spent over 7 weeks in Essex in 2010, working and living with a few other colleagues in the house of another colleague. On one occasion we stopped by The Plough and Sail pub in Paglesham, near Rochford. As I recall coming up to it by car, the pub stands by a sort of cul-de-sac: the cars can only drive to, and not past, the pub. On the pub’s territory were the cages with birds, and inside the pub there was this lovely display of miniature whiskey bottles.
The pub has stood on its place for some 300 years, and most of the building dates back to the times when oyster smacks were meeting at the pub, when they worked at Paglesham.
Since spring is now here, I thought I’d share this photo of sunny daisies I took in Southend-on-Sea last July. As I understand it, it should be quite warm already on the south-eastern coast of the UK, so I hope these flowers will bring even more warmth and joy to our vernal mood.
Update: the morning after I did this post Moscow was once again all covered in snow. Ironic, eh?
It isn’t often that one gets to capture Beauty in all its delicacy – and I believe this is exactly what I managed to do with the photo of this rose in Essex. What baffles me is the tenderness and sexuality that fill the image. With all the photos of flowers I’d taken previously, I’ve never achieved anything similar.
And just as I was about to publish the post, I thought I’d look up “la rose” online. I’ve found this lovely website – Vive la Rose – clicked on “bouquets”, and instantly found a wonderful ‘Antigua’ arrangement of pink roses and white orchids. I love roses, there was a time when I preferred dark coloured ones, but now I started loving bright (yellow, orange) and white coloured kinds.
And as I’m going away again for a week when I will not have access to the Internet I thought I’d leave all of you something lovely to look at…
The cinema fans will have instantly recognised a paraphrase of Woody Allen’s film, The Purple Rose of Cairo, in the post’s title. Personally, I have never seen a purple calla lily, so I had to take a photo (and I only had a phone on me, hence the picture’s grainy quality). And a few years ago I wrote a post about lilies, as immortalised by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and by Robert Mapplethorpe.
One of my earliest childhood memories is very poetic, if not cinematographic: I am walking, all excited, towards a wheat field in the Russian countryside. I was about 4 years old, or even younger. For a couple of summers we stayed at my gran’s sister’s country house (one of those famous dachas), and the field was not far from it.
So, when I drove past the wheat field in Essex with my colleagues I was determined to relive that experience. The new experience involved a pathetic jump across a rather deep, although narrow, moat, and a quick walk in the field. Seeing and touching the wheat was wonderful. All those years ago we brought back a few wheat ears; this time I only took a photo.
Just in case you’ve forgotten what I look like… here is me in one of my favourite shirts. The reason why I share this photo from my road trip is simple: someone did actually ask me this question. And before that a teenage guy asked me where I bought it. Sadly, it’s not new at all, although I look after it well, but the question from the boy took me by surprise. I mean, it’s a female blouse, after all…
It happens so that this and the next week I am spending in Essex. It is my first ever visit there, and I left somewhat unexpectedly last Saturday. I am not new to organising last minute trips, although having to leave the house at 5.20am was a bit of a novelty. I am working away, and, if anything, it is a lovely break from Mancunian sunny showers. Here, just an hour by train from London, it has so far been very dry and hot.
Speaking of sunsets, my colleagues and I go to the seaside at weekend, and I enjoy immensely some lovely views of the setting sun and the chilled seaside. When I’m back to Manchester, I will be missing these moments, as well as lovely gardens and stately homes that I regularly see on my way to and from work. What these two weeks will have meant to me, however, is it that in the next few years I will be living by the sea… or maybe ocean. As many of you will agree, this is something to aim for.