A picture and a thousand words.

Friday, April 9th, 2004

I’ve decided that what this blog needs is more pictures. Well, okay, what this blog really needs is to be updated more than once a month. But nonetheless, I think pictures would add even more interest to what I’m sure is already a scintillating Web experience for visitors to my site.

For a while I was having technical problems posting pictures here, but the problems have been cleared up now, so I went back and posted a little picture of Paris that I wanted to put up a few weeks ago. It’s a snapshot of the remains of breakfast at L’Ecritoire, with an empty butter wrapper (which was licked clean by yours truly - okay, not really, but if I hadn’t been in a public place, I probably would have licked the wrapper clean). It’s nothing spectacular, but there’s something about the picture that I really like - something about the sunshine and the orange juice and the little L’Ecritoire cup. It just sums up morning-time in Paris for me, so I thought I’d share it with you.

I also wanted to share the picture that you can see below. You might recognize that as part of the London Eye ("It’s him! The eye!"… Why, yes, I have been reading The Lord of the Rings, why do you ask…?). The picture was taken just about a week after we got back from Paris. Our friend Diarmaid from Dublin (whose infectious grin can be seen over a pint of Guinness in this picture) was visiting for a few days, and we all headed up to London together for a bit of sightseeing.

Despite vowing never to set foot in the place again after our first visit, Jeremy and found ourselves back in the Tate Modern that day - and we actually enjoyed it. The absolutely stunning Weather Project in the turbine hall was worth the trip to London, but even the rest of the museum seemed to have a much higher proportion of art and lower proportion of dreck than the first time around; I think they must have hidden all the video installations and Tracy Emin stuff.

After a pleasant and educational stroll around the museum, we went outside to discover that spring had arrived in Britain. It was a beautiful day, with a fresh breeze and a bright blue sky, so we sauntered along the Thames, past the Royal Festival Hall (where Jeremy and I will be going next month to hear the Lord of the Rings symphony - woo hoo!) and past the Hungerford Bridge (which is quite attractive in a spiky, spoke-y sort of way) to the London Eye, which was making its slooooow revolutions in the sunny afternoon.

We didn’t wind up going up the Eye, which is just as well, since the thought kind of scared me (I’m not too fond of heights). But there was something about all the white spokes of the Hungerford Bridge and the London Eye that caught my fancy, and I wound up taking quite a few pictures with my little digital camera, trying to capture the crispness and clarity of the day. There really is a different quality of light in this country, at least around these parts. It’s a hard light that picks out the sharp edges of buildings and bridges and ferris wheels, and it makes the sky look as cold and clear as a marble. There’s something brittle about the sunlight here, even in the summer, but I quite like it. Everything feels clean and bright in that light, like it’s been etched into glass.

Anyway, that’s enough pseudo-artsy-pretentiousness for me for today. And I promise that not every picture I post here will be accompanied by long-winded explanations of how the picture makes me feel and what I was trying to "say" with my camera. Sometimes a picture is just a picture…

The London Eye

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