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It's a fine line between living for the moment and being a sociopath.

Patricia B McConnell: For The Love Of A Dog.

Pema Chodron: The Places That Scare You

Daniel Wallace: Mr Sebastian & the Negro Magician

All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. --Pablo Neruda

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Welcome to our painting

Still no home internet access. Sporadic updates r us.

I can't remember if I mentioned -- and I'm too lazy to go back over the last couple of posts -- that we live about two bad golf shots from the Thames river. It meanders through Oxfordshire and passes right by Shiplake. The old ox path along the river still exists as a preserved walking path, and we're told that, had we a mind to, we could walk the river-side all the way from Oxford to London.

Not game enough for that distance just yet, we explored just a couple miles of the Thames Path over the weekend. It passes right in front of our doorstep, in one of the few short stretches where it deviates from the river-side.

Setting out, I was ready for it to be pretty. The whole area around our village is picturesque. What I wasn't expecting was for it to be a freaking painting.

Here's a typical scene from our stroll:

Oh, but the pastoral idyll with bovine accents is such a tired theme. Perhaps you'd like a view of the river, instead. With swans. And sweeping farmland as background.

Alternatively, would Sir care for rowing boats with a side of passing swan and historic dwelling?

Or, possibly, one of our new feathered neighbours saluting us in accordance with what we are assured is local custom.

Or maybe just a simple picture of a My Secret Garden brand path along the river bank and through the forest.

There is, of course, the picturesque local lock, way-making for canal boats floating down the gentle Thames waters. Local trivia: The immediate presence of water, boats and locks notwithstanding, the derivation of the name "Shiplake" has absolutely zilch to do with either ships or lakes.

And even our local lock-keeper, Jeff, who's picturesque in his own right. Especially down the pub on Friday evenings.

I think I'll buy the canvas depicting the river stretching out before us, little children swimming naked in the summer sun as swans feed, head-down, in the shallows.

In the meantime, we commissioned this portrait, in front of the Shiplake Lock in action, accompanied by one of the better-behaved locals. Note the Wellies-shod wench.

PS: Did I mention we have a garden? Turns out things grow kinda good in the countries what have lots of rain.


Comments on "Welcome to our painting"


Blogger The Skiver said ... (11:00 PM) : 

The beauty of this is that you are taking so much pleasure in things that us locals take for granted. Thank you for reminding us of the good stuff that is around us.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:13 AM) : 

Dude - I know you love diff types of photog, but really enjoyed these.


Blogger Suz said ... (5:04 AM) : 

Where's Miss Marple?

Read "Notes from a Small Island" by Bill Bryson for a guide to the locals. My father fits the description of people driving in the first three pages.

Thank God you don't like beer! I couldn't bear to insult you by not drinking something you made.

Glad you survived the flood.



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