Sunday 21 January 2018

Paterson (and cold)

Sometime ago I listened to a Radio 4 drama about William Carlos Williams called Paterson. William Carlos Williams was a family doctor and then a pediatrician who worked, eventually as head of pediatrics, in a hospital in New Jersey. The city of Paterson was, and perhaps still is, a troubled place, not too far from his family home. I seem to recall that Williams carried out charitable medical works there, I might be wrong about that. WCW was also a poet, and he wrote amongst other pieces, an epic poem called Paterson. The work was much criticised but gave birth, or was at least an inspiration, to the beat poets like Ginsberg.

Jim Jarmusch made a film a couple of years ago called Paterson. The film, which I discovered last week, and watched, is about a bus driver (played by Adam Driver) called Paterson who writes a bit of poetry and lives in Paterson. Paterson (the fictional poet and bus driver) is inspired by other writers but particularly (perhaps) by William Carlos Williams. In the film the poems are read in a flat, dead-pan style as they are being written (which significantly detracts from their brilliance I think). The poems are those of Ron Padgett, who was never as far as I know a bus driver, but was one of the beat poets, and his work is well worth investigating. In the film Paterson keeps bumping in to other poets and tragically (spoiler alert) (oh, perhaps I won't say...). Whilst Paterson is plain and ordinary, apart from being a brilliant poet, his lover is zany and eccentric. I so enjoy this sort of thing, it being circular and quiet, and wonderfully compelling. I will wait a while and watch it again.

Some years ago a friend of mine said he didn't watch film anymore because it was all too much, too much going on, too loud, just over-powering. At the time I didn't agree with him, but now I find so much of film and these box sets just far too much. Most of the time the plot is just stupid (actually I don't mind if it is meant to be out and out fantasy or science fiction) but this "realistic" fiction is just the worst - do these people think we are that stupid? Even the BBC stuff (actually especially the BBC stuff) is the worst. So Paterson is just up my street, quietly reeling you in to a real/fantasy, extra-ordinary, day-to-day life.

On another tack, and being a lover of the genre of the western since I was a child (and they were often all that was on the TV it seems in my memory) Jim Jarmusch made close to my favourite - Dead Man. 

Still barking on about poetry, I have been much enjoying Norman MacCaig's work of late. If you're a birder check out "Ringed Plover by a water's edge" - the sort of stuff I use in my work, but also hugely enjoy.

The garden is suddenly full of Goldfinches in this cold snap, seven; rarely have we had that many except as a family party, it might even be close to the record, I will have to check my stats. One is ringed, I will have to try and read it.

A highlight this week was to learn that the Ichneumonidae - wasps, parasitic ones - that I sent off to the expert at the Natural History Museum, having laboured at their ID and failed, have been identified. These were all of the nocturnal, testaceous ones that frequently turn up in my moth trap. They tend to parasitise moths. They are the devil to identify. I had laboured and surrendered. At least one of these, if not all three, are new to the county (I might have just got pipped at the post, but as I didn't ID them myself I'm not so bothered). Many thanks to GB for identifying them.

Ophion parvulus

Now for some wintry stuff photographed around here the last few days:

Saturday 20 January 2018

Long time, no post

Busy time New Year, especially this time as it was someone's important birthday.

Skaill Beach

This was just down the beach.

In the next few days there were a few good birds including a Green-winged Teal and Iceland Gull.

Tame and smart Herring Gull at Stromness

I had a few visits to Stromness to try and see the Kingfisher there, unsuccessfully. Other bits and pieces but no Kingfisher. 

Buzzard P hanging around this month.

Dead Mute chick, cuse unknown

 The Shunan

 Loch of Harray, Howaback

Loch of Bosquoy

 Sleepy hound.

I cannot understand why someone would do this, sharpen the plough? Practice straight lines?

Winter Moth, first insect ID of the year.

Glaucous at the PDC - shopping expedition.