Stationary (for now!) — and serene-ISH (heavy on the ish!)…
Since we returned to Australia, purchased a house, and are knee deep in renovation dust (there’s a plan — trust me — there’s a plan), I am temporarily stationary in one town. What a change from the 2010 through early 2013 years of being on the road through multiple countries and living in several parts of France. And yes, we would both tell you in a heartbeat that we miss it ever so much. The evolving plan involves a revisit of that European lifestyle — but not quite yet.
One thing that I didn’t particularly enjoy was never having the time to adequately keep up with photo editing. So one of my tasks for now is to diligently work through my back catalogue of images, edit them, and then forward them on to my various agencies.
My sleeping hours are incredibly skewed right now, so I’m taking my inspiration today from this lovely bit of sculpture. It was actually a decorative element on the corner of a larger statue’s plinth in Dresden, Germany.
See that serene face? Note to self — soak it in, Deborah — soak it in!
A sculpture of a serene woman at one of the 4 corners of the Friedrich August I monument in the Schlossplatz in Dresden, Germany.
Natural beauty is always pleasing to the eye — whether a landscape or seascape or close-up of a flower. But there is an abundance of beauty in repeating motifs that are manufactured — hard edged items that might be overlooked on a daily basis as you move around in the world.
This won’t be the first time you’ve seen me post one of these. As I walk through any city or town that is new to me, I try to remember to look up to see the architectural details on buildings, out to see the eye-level view, and down to see the occasional surprises on the ground.
Here is a particularly nice example of a hard surface design — a manhole cover from the streets of Dresden, Germany.
Peruvian pan pipe music wafting through an open air mall in Australia or Europe? Classical music being played by soloists in the subways, tubes, and metros worldwide? Flamenco guitarists or Celtic musicians at weekend markets? Jazz musicians in New Orleans or Chicago? We’ve seen them all in various places around the globe.
But we had not expected to see former soldiers from the USSR making a living by busking — singing for donations — and selling their self-recorded music cds of Russian military and folk music. That truly was a first!
The picture below is of those singers in the huge plaza in front of the Frauenkirche Cathedral in Dresden, Germany. It was interesting and yes, I tossed a few euro into their hat since I was taking photos. But I don’t think it was a set of music I would have wanted to take home.
Former Russian Military Singers Busking in Dresden, Germany
Spruiker — a word I had never heard before I moved to Australia in the mid-1990s. And many of you may be as clueless to what that word means as I was! The Dictionary.com interpretation of spruiker says that it is indeed based on Australian slang, and the verb spruik means “archaic , slang ( Austral ) to speak in public (used esp of a showman or salesman).”
Most of us will have passed a shopping district at some point in our life and heard the annoying sound of someone with a microphone trying to talk you into coming in and checking out the sale at the store that they are standing in front of. And that’s exactly what these incongruously clad gentlemen were doing on this particular day in Dresden, Germany.
The blaring soundtrack on their portable stereo was playing a mind-boggling mix of Scottish tunes and 1950s rock-n-roll. And dressed though they might have been in Scottish kilts and hats, they were indeed German through and through.
They did accomplish one of their goals even if I never went inside the discount shoe store — they made me stop and look!
Spruikers in Scottish garb on a shopping street in Dresden, Germany.
Heads down, deep in conversation or deep in concentration, the three men walked through the historic passageway and probably never gave a thought to the juxtaposition of time periods that they represented.
This shot was taken in Dresden, Germany and it is quite likely that the two men in costume were employed by one of the historic tourist sites.