Wednesday, August 01, 2007


This was dawn today in Central London. Writing of the poetry of John Ashbery, Grey Gowrie said, 'Balloons can be very beautiful, inspire longing and also make you smile.' They were and they did. 


  1. An inspired photo, Bryan. You must have an easterly wind over the city.

  2. Otherwise, air-traffic control would have seen them off with more than a flea in the ear.

    This went astray from the above.

  3. Vince, don't be fooled. I reckon this is Bryan experimenting with image manipulation. Amazing what you can do with two inverted earrings.

  4. Not at 5.52 I can't, Johntyh. And thanks, Vince, both for the praise of my photography and the information. I was sort of waiting for a 747 to pop them both. The downside of this was that the message on the side of the balloons was Happy Birthday. This sucked some of the poetry out of the occasion.

  5. Bryan, I've been drawn back to your shot of balloons at dawn, and now feel ashamed of my flippancy. It is a wonderful picture, and one that evokes in this observer an almost tangible sense of brief detachment from the mad world that stirs below. By the time the balloonists land, madness will be in full swing and detachment something for another day.

  6. Am I the only person who finds the sight of balloons in the air faintly depressing? Something tells me the answer is Yes (unless my old friend Cheever feels the same way)...

  7. So, whilst they give Bryan a sense of bouyancy, they go down like an lead dirigible with you, Nige.

    How do lighter-than-air balloons work anyway? If they're in a gravitational field, then how come they can go up, simply by virtue of being less dense than the surrounding air? Surely the force will still be downward, just less of a downward force than that on packets of air of the same volume? (I may be teasing).

  8. Once, Maybe

    After that things seemed, for a while, to get a little better.
    Maybe. But what with the parakeet always yammering, I couldn't
    practise the bassoon anyways, so what was the point? The sky
    had come out and looked nice, floating around like an old sweater.
    Buns arrived, heaps of them, but nothing you could call 'a person'.
    Nothing you could tell your endlessly ugly nephews and nieces back home on
    the farm, where things, already, were starting to worsen.
    Rain raining again. What did I say?
    Aw, shucks, let's go some place lazy, hazy and wavy, with a maitre d', a
    pagoda, and a palm tree. But not today.
    Or maybe just -- could we? -- slobber some ices, look at some pictures.
    I do so like being here with you sometimes -- only keep me away from those

    Ogden Nashbery