Was taken with the mass planting of libertias under the robinias outside the Festival Hall. Libertias receive a bad press generally as the foliage tends to brown/blacken in winter time. They’re great for difficult corners on planting beds – I find anyway!

Under Hungerford Bridge, blocks of bright colour are welcome in the Scottish mists that seem to have clothed the south east – it’s May after all!  Mandela casts his eye across a wet landscape . . . .

. . . and no chance of these chairs being occupied this evening. I’m glad, as empty chairs make a good composition . . .

. . and although the weather sucks it means rather nice photographic views. Good comes from bad.

Just a fleeting visit out on the terrace of the National to enjoy the well scaled planting in the raised planters. Needs a jolly good weed though!

When I wake the rain’s falling
and I think, as always, it’s for the best.

I remember how much I love rain,
the weakest and strongest of us all;

as I listen to its yeses and no’s,
I think how many men and women

would, if they could,
against all sense and nature,

tax the rain for its privileges;

make it pay for soaking our earth
and splashing all over our leaves;
pay for muddying our grass
and amusing itself with our roots.

Let rain be taxed, they say
for riding on our rivers
and drenching our sleeves;

for loitering in our lakes
and reservoirs. Make rain pay its way.

make it pay for lying full length
in the long straight sedate green waters

of our city canals
and for working its way through processes

of dreamy complexity
until this too- long untaxed rain comes indoors,

and touches our lips,
bringing assuagement- for rain comes

to slake all our thirsts, spurting
brusque and thrilling in hot needles,

showering on to anyone naked;
or blaming our skins in the shape of scented baths.

Yes, they are many who’d like to tax the rain;
even now, they whisper, it can be done, it must be done.  Penelope Shuttle  Taxing the Rain

Le Temps retrouvé

May 10, 2012

In Aix- en -Provence, the view from the flat in Rue Mérindol, shows a sleepy quiet lost in time square.  Only at lunch time is it transformed into a bustly but organised outside eaterie. The fountain is a central feature here. The Romans developed the system of thermal waters issuing from springs into a cures and treatment centre. Fountains and water basins reflect this sense of history in a decorative form throughout the town.

In Place Albertas, an elegant tazza fountain, quite discrete . . . .

. . . and a portico that conveys grandeur and charm too.

Nearby, a more modest frame but equally gorgeous in subtlety and tone.

In Cours Mirabeau, a series of water basins cool the air in this busy thoroughfare . . . . the mossy surface adds to the effect and the sense of the ‘old’.

The street culminates with the impressive La Rotonde . . . . difficult to access as it is the centre of a large roundabout but  just opposite, is something contemporary and ‘people scale’.

And why not use a handy fountain to cool some bottles of rosé . . . .

. . .  up out of town in Célony, there’s nothing to disturb thoughts while wandering around  the old almond trees. Thoughts of taking the experiences of life and transforming them in our own way.

He could say no more because he was overcome with tears. Night had fallen. I had dropped my tools. I couldn’t have cared less about my hammer, my bolt, thirst or death. There was one star, one planet, my planet, the Earth, a little prince to be comforted. I took him in my arms and rocked him gently. I said to him: “ The flower you love is in no danger. I shall draw you a muzzle for your sheep. I shall draw you a fence to put around your flower. I will . . . ”

I did not know what to say to him. I felt very awkward. I did not know how to reach him, how to catch up with him. The land of tears is so mysterious. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry The Little Prince

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