Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Another classic Belgrade shop display...

...this time just randomly on the street - I like the tradition of random street display cabinets - there's some good bridal ones, but this is my favourite from my recent trip!

Also to prove my point that all caravans eventually end up floating on the river in Belgrade - here is one seemingly on dry ground, but look! - there are tin barrels waiting to send it on its not quite a house or a boat random drifting way...

1900s Tbilisi

Saturday, 25 April 2009

White Jazz

Oh it's all so very arch and English I know, but I just remembered how much I used to love this band...

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Istanbul huzun poem for Belgrade...

You cradled me through this city.
Held my hand so
lifted gently above sodden streets
rain smashed through the soles of my shoes.
I did not notice that they had been full of holes for you.
Gradually wearing through from days held
Streets wrapped warm shivers from the trail of your hands
Too large for mine, they had enclosed me.
But I was okay.
You stood tall,
Shaded me from darkness
The drips of light that fell from your smeared hair bruised the side of my face.
I smiled then.

That night the city curved around me.
Too small
to be held properly
You encased me in your body.

There was a tower that saw everything.
Noticed us crawling streets that wound up to it
Like reversed rivers
It was a little confusing where they were going.
But they all led to the same place -
You and me and this city entwined in damp stone and old water.
We would be held here in flashes of light
An imagination snagged in electoral flags,
Scattered like village fete bunting.

The house with the face stared at me when you spoke
Laughed in ribbons of crumpled wood
Cried private history
It understood.

This city floated around us -
Too far to touch I had to see it in snapshot splutters
Minarets and blocks of flats the ground was trying to steal back
Crumble in so it could feed off their stories.
It held their secrets safe - people could walk the streets and not be weighed down by them.
I whispered mine out on the wind
Stroked your hair as you lay in my lap and hoped you’d get lost in an incantation.
I needed to lose you somehow and it was hard with you so close.
You would not let me go

Like the weather balloon broken from its tether
We drifted away.

Thought if I did so fast enough it would take with it these ideas of us that were
too strong now.
You were too strong for me.
As you smiled I felt the soft ropes that bound me to you tighten - mark my skin so
I was
Stained in pin-prick blushes.

Too much silence
(in miniature)
Made the small birds louder than cars.

The empty bus stops flickered
Strained to illuminate this place too caught up in darkness, falling
It fluttered
Caught the water breeze
Made new

Echoes spread themselves across the stone
Matted rain so these last dregs had to struggle more
To be heard
The light was heard more than seen here
Reflected like dropped stones and
Your silent whispers
I had misunderstood.

I touched your hand as you failed to move away.

Istanbul is a melancholic longing, he’d said.
Held in my eyes,
You sprinkled through the cracks that fell across buildings.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Memories of a city... pt 2

Michael took much better photos than me...

It's funny when you visit a new city - it's the initial atmosphere that hits you that always fascinates me. Istanbul wasn't what I expected - too functional in some way - but rather than dismissing my preconceptions, I felt like they were true, but hiding... There is a whole different city lurking on the same land somehow. Like it is waiting for you to understand and then it will reveal itself... One day I will go back and find it, but for now Michael's photos do quite a good job at catching the hints that flew past us on the wind...

Sunday, 5 April 2009

I <3 oversized cats...

A good topic for a hungover Sunday morning and a not reluctant, as I'm too pleased (they are so good), acceptance that Simon was right and not making fun of how gullible I am. Ligers exist! Immense excitement...

I have always been a fan of fat animals - my pet rats remained enormous even after a strict fruit and veg diet (though they did use their exercise wheel as a hammock...) - and capybara will always rule the fens in my heart... But anyway - what I actually want as a pet right now is a Maine Coon cat - you have to see photos of them with random strangers I don't know to truly appreciate their scale... And they have tufty ears like lynxes!

Friday, 3 April 2009

Memories of a city...

Orhan Pamuk was right about Istanbul - the melancholic longing of huzun somehow is the key to this city...