Friday, 8 May 2009

Spring Geometries

In northern latitudes, the return of the sunlight in spring is always cause for celebration. Unless, of course, your vacuum cleaner has been sealed behind a cupboard door for four months by a pile of dusty books... I noted with amusement the National Geographic News headline last week: "Dust Older Than The Sun Found In Earth's Atmosphere". We're saying nothing. Dust can be very pretty, though: I can sit all morning and watch the cosmic journeying of motes and specks through sunbeams. Who needs Hubble? (Hey, isn't that a kid's book about dust?)

Much as I love to see its return, though, I am inevitably reminded that pretty much everything I dislike is intimately associated with summer sun, whether it be sunbathing, beach holidays, cold food, bothersome flies, or simply being too hot and/or too humid; I will also really miss wearing my favourite coat. But, don't mind me, I expect you can't wait to tear off your shirt to display your ripped abs on the beach...

If you're a photographer, there's a window of opportunity of about eight weeks when virtually every day brings a new and interesting combination of sun, cloud, mist, angle of light, and all the colours seem freshly minted. But then come the summer months of blank overhead sunshine and harsh shadows when -- bizarrely -- everyone else is blowing off the dust from the camera that they put away in September; just when I'm thinking, "Is there really any point lugging this thing into work today?"

N.B. In this last image, do you see the tiny reflected residential house crushed in the space beneath the gleaming university juggernaut? I suspect that expresses pretty well how the neighbours of the campus feel about the university.


Mauro Thon Giudici said...

you definitely need to spend the summer in the Alps :-)

Mike C. said...

Oh, yes please!

Any suggestions for (a) secluded self-catering accommodation for two adults and two teenage children and (b) a medically-approved means of sedating one of the latter who refuses to board an aeroplane?

Until (b) is solved we're restricted to driving distance which might just include the Alps if (a) were compelling enough!

Mauro Thon Giudici said...

I have a small cabin (baita) in the Alps,
1350 msl. No electricity. Fridge. Water (hot too).

The absence of power means no games, tv,no lights in the evening except for candles or battery operated lights, going to sleep early and some nice things for the adults as once used.

Be aware it is very challenging for the nervous system. My two teenagers do not last more than 6/7 days and are used to it (in the first day all the batteries will go off, a cell phone could last some more days if used only for emergencies). For matures unless operated as said it could be dangerous too.

Let me know in mail for the private arrangements. Oh btw I do not intend to rent it so in the case it would be for free. All the heat comes from the fire. You will have to provide for the wood (it is there in abundance :-).

oh. I forgot, time for the right excuse, even for yourself, for a solar battery recharger, dedicated to the camera.

Mauro Thon Giudici said...

Sorry I forgot some details of public interest.

The best thing is to get there by a car ad drive the less you can in Italian roads (I find it is very annoying).

So if you plan a trip along Swiss you will find plenty of nice and inexpensive places where to stop. You get in Basel and get out at Saint Moritz via the Bernina pass. Do not miss the Segantini's house there. The location of the final destination is on my blog.

After you can get back via the Stelvio pass and the nice Engadina natural reserve.

Mike C. said...

No electricity?? My kids would hate it, but it does sound great -- could be tempting in a few years time!

Maybe one of the other readers of this blog (there are some, honestly) might be interested?

Thanks for the kind offer,


Mauro Thon Giudici said...

It was not meant as universal.