blue sky ahead

When I started writing this post, it was to be a compilation of random thoughts and photos from the last couple of weeks. Then I realised that actually there are a couple of ideas that can be drawn together and I can save the other ideas for another post. After all, I frequently complain that I don’t know what to write about, so it seems obtuse not to eke out some perfectly good photos and thoughts over several posts if possible.

So… “blue sky ahead”? Well, that was certainly the view when I went for a walk early on Christmas Eve.
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despite appearances to the contrary…

…the jovial chap in the photo below, who looks a bit like Santa Claus on his summer holidays, is in fact supposed to be Hércules en la nave de los argonautas – Hercules in (on?) the Argonauts’ ship.

I had forgotten that Hercules accompanied Jason and his merry men on the Argo, although I must have watched the 1963 film a score of times.
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a horse of a different colour

After I published yesterday’s post, I remembered that I do have other poems with horses in, including the very summery Before breakfast, which begins:

When the dew lies cool in the day’s eyes, beyond
the umbelliferous lace of napkin fields
morning horses toss and fret, and rooks stalk
among the stubble.

Those “morning horses” were not as quiet as the ones in the Ted Hughes poem, where the narrator “[…] climbed through woods in the hour-before-dawn dark” before coming across the horses: “Grey silent fragments/ Of a grey silent world.”
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poetry & plasterwork

Yesterday, I went to a breakfast meeting at Stoneleigh Abbey.

Stoneleigh Abbey
We ate in the saloon, whose ceiling features this magnificent plaster relief depicting Hercules being welcomed by the gods after his death:
Stoneleigh Abbey Blue Saloon
I visited the Abbey a couple of years ago and went on a tour of the house; sadly, the photos I took then are currently on a computer that won’t boot, so I only have a couple of pictures I took on my phone as discreetly as possible during the meeting.
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sunday afternoon

Looking through some old photos, I came across this:**

Tomb sculpture: Reclining lady and baby.
It seems a fairly appropriate picture to post on a Sunday afternoon, especially with some accompanying quotations. First from Susan Ertz:

Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

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