Wednesday, 9 May 2012

High Tide01:14 (2.60m)
Low Tide07:18 (0.60m)
High Tide13:29 (2.50m)
Low Tide19:47 (0.40m)
Sea temperature: 10.5
Sea conditions: Spookily calm
Weather: it had been chucking it down but stopped as I left home. 11.4
Joined by: The Poet (no Jess today)
Topics of conversation:
The Poet is not quite a daily swimmer yet and he had, we now discover, thought we were having him on about swimming every day. He came over the brow of the hill saying "Oh! So you really do swim in the rain!" Yes, we do. We discussed weather that stops us and decided it was only the rough sea, with gales and perhaps lightning that would stop us. Fortunately we've never had to put the lightning one to the test as thunder storms seldom occur first thing.
The sand spit. The spit has been steadily growing over the last few months and this morning the tide was at it's lowest as we arrived on the beach and this provided us with a dilemma - where to settle down and change. The shingle led down to a trough of about 10 inches of water, then there was a wonderful raised belt of soft sand before the calm still sea. The trough was beautifully clear until the dogs charged through it. We decided that the shingle was safest as the tide had torn in at a rate of knots yesterday and it had just turned. The dogs all waded through to the sand spit and Bosco took a stone to play with. He began his ritual of claiming it first. This involves washing it in the water and then taking it to a sandy spot and rolling all over it. Then he digs around it in a circle, without touching the stone itself. Today he was in the zone and produced his own work of art - perfect hexagrams.

W.G Sebald (1944 - 2001) - last night I saw a remarkable film by Grant Gee on The Seven Rings of Saturn by W. G. Sebald. The book itself has had a profound effect on writers and artists since it was written, as has the author, who lived in Norwich in later life and taught at the U.E.A. Gee is an interesting filmmaker, with a background in music videos and documentaries. He made a couple of seminal films with Radiohead in the 90's and in 2007 he made Joy Division which I haven't seen but it's now on my list. Patience (After Sebald) is billed as a documentary but it is more complex than that, part homage, part investigation and a platform for people whose works and lives have been changed by Sebald to give tribute. Some of those are in turn people who have impacted on my way of thinking with their own work, Marina Warner and Tacita Dean giving their usual erudite views. The interviews themselves are recorded in black and white close up and layered with footage of the walk that forms the backbone of the book as well as shots of the origal text and images from the book, found material and images from Litmap. Litmap is a project, currently in development, which plots the geographical references within literature. A sound recording of an interview with Sebald gives an insight into the way in which he uses language and how he feels about the process of writing. He always wrote in German and had a translator work closely with him for the english editions, even though he could have translated them himself. When the text itself was used in the film it was spoken by Jonathan Pryce, whose voice makes me weak at the knees and helped to suck me in to the melancholic journey the film took through the book. Of course the impact was that I got home and began turning the house upside down to find my copy so that I could read it again, with renewed intrigue and the understanding that the reason I had found it inaccessible on first reading was more to do with my own insecurities and anxieties at the time. It will also be interesting to reread it now that the humour has been exposed to me. The Poet has ordered the DVD, so we thought we should have an 'after Sebald' evening, perhaps walk the part of the journey that passes in front of their windows although, as Adam Phillips says, the idea of a pilgrimage walk is not something that sits well with Sebald. The writer Robert Macfarlane talks about making an attempt at following the route only to find himself in Lowestoft, in the sunshine, with children laughing and playing in the fountain. This didn't sit easily with the tone of The Seven Rings so he abandoned the walk.
W. G. Max Sebald

The man who introduces films at the Art Centre - I can't bear his introductions to films and this often puts me off going, especially on my own as I don't want other people's views to infiltrate my mind. Last night I went prepared with my iPod and headphones so that I didn't have to listed to him, but fortunately there is a festival on at the moment and the film had been chosen by one of the organisers, so he introduced it buy telling us how he came across it when working with a group of teenagers and then told us how long it was. Perfect, that's quite enough of an intro thanks.
The Bridge - The Pirate's Wife has all sorts of theories already, one of which is so off the wall that it almost has to be true. The actress has a scar on her lip, that she keeps touching, this apparently links her to the homeless woman in a coma. Still I suppose that's no worse than me spending half an episode thinking the murderer was August.
Legs - She's off to the States today and we wished her love and luck on this trip to visit her folks.
Grey - there was a an overall sense of grey this morning until The Pirate and I reached his house where this glorious iris shouted SPRING at us. The Pirate is off 'Oop North' later and although the whole visit is not joyful, he will be visiting the site of Hockeny's iPad landscapes - a different kind of pilgrimage, which I look forward to hearing all about.

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