I have often wondered why I am so mesmerised by fire. As a young boy I would stare into my grandmother’s fireplace, watching the flames dance with each other. The older I got the more I realised that fire is an innate part of the human psyche. So much so that I am beginning to think there is something genetic to our fascination with the beauty of fire. There has certainly been enough time for a ‘fire fascination’ to have entered our genetic make-up. If epigenetics can have an effect generation to generation, then obviously 100,000 years of fire, or however long humans have commanded it is certainly enough time for it to become a part of us psychologically.
Or maybe I just wanted to write that because I’ve been messing around with HDR shots of a fireplace with my camera!
This past couple of months has seen some considerable effort put into a project at work. 14-15 hour days, forgetting to eat, amongst other negative psychological effects. If one good existential thing has come out of all the extra effort, is a reminder that hard work brings a ‘swing’ effect that allows you to appreciate the positives that much more. In my case, it is the ability to drive for 30 minutes in any direction and be presented with mountains, evergreen plantations, deciduous forests, wetland nature preserves, secluded bays, long sandy beaches, medieval castles and hilltop towers.
The other day, I took a walk up at Ballaugh Curraghs. Believe it or not there are Wild WALLABIES. Yes, wild wallabies in a wetland forest! I didn’t get any photos of those, but it still gave me a ‘recharge’. Sometimes the sun is in the right place in the sky, the trees are at the right angle, and the temperature is perfect for how you are feeling. That was this day.
I don’t know why duck eggs aren’t more popular… They’re almost always bigger, have a firmer white, and a deeper more flavoursome, nourishing yolk with heaps of omega 3 fatty acids… There’s nothing like fresh scrambled eggs eaten straight from the pan, especially when they’re duck eggs.
Fuck the hen industrial complex.
The feature image was produced with:
- 3 large duck eggs
- 50-100 ml of full fat milk (for the consistency… In all honesty I just poured some in and don’t know the measurements 🙂 )
- As much butter as you want!
- Dash of ground black pepper
- Dash of ground Maldon salt (Or another non-treated natural salt brand)
- A wooden spoon
- A non stick milk pan
I’m not going to tell you how to scramble eggs, you already know how!
Figs, semi-melted mature cheddar, and caraway seeds
No reason, I just wanted to test out the new camera (Canon 700d) and tripod. I was pissing about with exposure, aperture and shutter speed, slightly under exposed this one if I remember correctly. The image is pretty heavily post processed too.
A sign of good food is the finished plate. In this case, home made guacamole and doritos! If I’m honest the doritos are superfluous, I often eat guacamole all by itself!
I’m exploring through an epic realm of enclosed red sunlight, in vast underground Egyptian chambers. I arrive in the first chamber, and there is a small 3 metre pryamid with a giant eye carved deep into it’s surface, weird unidentifiable vines with large white flowers, turned pink by the red sunlight creep up the walls of the chamber, anchoring themselves to cracks in the runework. Grasses and wildflowers grow out of the stone floor. As I walk to the pyramid I notice that in the distance there is a corridor to another cavern. I amble toward it, obligingly it opens up into a second, larger, duskier chamber with green laser light shining in all directions, again there is a mini pyramid in the centre of this chamber, again with an eye carved meticulously into the middle. Just as I enter the larger second chamber, I am somehow transported to a hillside, now somewhere out in the open. A single dark black tree looms, silhouetted in the red sunset. The dream ends.
I am floating in glassy dark cool water that stretches into darkness, in what seems like a giant cavern. The only light here emanates from a giant towering winged beast of pure white energy a thousand metres wide and two thousand tall. It gently rises and falls in tandem with it’s own breath. Gentle warm wind blows, with wisps of smoke that smell of burning frankincense, and steam whipping outwards in large slow vortexes and curls, as it exhales.
There is diffuse light and scattered crepuscular rays splayed out in random directions, illuminating fissures in the cavernous rocks, light turning to shadow with angular precision. The beast stares at me and I stare at the beast. It has no face, just a general form with wings. I regard it with awe, and it senses me with curiosity. Acid rain falls all around me and causes great gouts of steam to billow and hiss from the hovering creature.
What is this effigy, and why am I here with it? I fell through the soil to this place one night, its coolness turning to warmth as I slipped further and further into the bowels of the planet. I cannot get out. I seem to be trapped here with it yet I do not panic, I simply feel calm, there is no malice here.
The rain whips and crackles against the double glazing as the new wood-stove sends waves of heat into my soul, rejuvenating me from within. I listen to atmospheric music and imagine giant swells of dark Atlantic winter waves boiling and howling with storm energy. Somewhere out there in the obsidian vastness, thousands of sea creatures are living and dying, out of sight. Sometimes your imagination is your best friend on cold nights like these, when you remember yourself as a child, scared of monsters and seeking solace from maternal family members.
The cool trickles of water you hear on your walking travels.
In spring they indicate a freshness of life.
In the summer they are a psychological respite from the heat of late afternoon sun.
In autumn they just seem miserable.
As for winter, cold water touched by ice a embodies purity and stillness.
As it is autumn, there is a dampness around after a late evening downpour that is only intensified by the sound of water trickling off every surface. It inspires nothing more than a need to get home, warm and dry. If I were more adventurous today I would probably blend some fresh raspberries with some elderflower cordial, maybe warming it in the microwave into some kind of fresh fruit tea, but yet again apathy gets the better of me and I accept the ubiquitous yet intensely refreshing sensation of fresh tap water. Sometimes, even with the best intentions, you just can’t be bothered doing a bloody thing.