Beijing, 16 May 2013
My wife and I are in the US at the moment for our son’s graduation. We were down in Philadelphia over the weekend, together with our daughter, proudly present at the Great Moment.
My wife and I had visited Philadelphia some 30 years ago, together with my mother-in-law, on our before-the-marriage honeymoon (I have referred to this in an earlier post). But we didn’t remember much, so we decided to go and visit the old part of town again.
It was all very pretty and peaceful; the streets in the old part of Philadelphia are really very pleasant to stroll along. As we walked, we came across some white roses planted along the pavement, separating it from a parking lot. These were not the sculpted creations one finds in carefully tended gardens but were more the blowsy type found on wild bushes.
And they smelled heavenly!
A little later, when we arrived at the visitors’ centre, we stumbled into a magnificent trellis of white wisteria.
I decided there and then to spend the rest of our visit to the US photographing all the white flowers we would come across, first in Philadelphia and then in New York where we would be staying a few extra days with our daughter. Here is the album of what we found:
White rhododendron in the courtyard of the museum at the University of Pennsylvania
A white-flowered tree along a street in Philadelphia
Another white-flowered tree on the lower east side of New York
Some laggard narcissi on the upper east side
A smorgasbord of white in Central Park, starting with white tulips
then white pansies
then three flowers whose names I don’t know
a white chestnut at the exit of the park
white irises around a statue of the Virgin Mary on the corner of a church not too far from the park.
white daisies of some sort on the High Line (the last time we were here was the dead season)
and finally white dieffenbachia, seen just before catching the shuttle to Newark airport
graduation caps in air: http://www.plantijn.be/images/plantijn2/container1103/images/iStock_000004407014.jpg
other pictures: mine
I like writing, but I’ve spent most of my life writing about things that don’t particularly interest me. Finally, as I neared the age of 60, I decided to change that. I wanted to write about things that interested me.
What really interests me is beauty. So I’ve focused this blog on beautiful things. I could be writing about a formally beautiful object in a museum. But it could also be something sitting quietly on a shelf. Or it could be just a fleeting view that's caught my eye, or a momentary splash of colour-on-colour at the turn of the road. Or it could be a piece of music I've just heard. Or a piece of poetry. Or food. And I’m sure I’ve missed things.
But I’ll also write about interesting things that I hear or read about. Isn't there a beauty about things pleasing to the mind?
I started just writing, but my wife quickly persuaded me to include photos. I tried it and I liked it. So my posts are now a mix of words and pictures, most of which I find on the internet.
What else about me?
When I first started this blog, my wife and I lived in Beijing where I was head of the regional office of the UN Agency I worked for. So at the beginning I wrote a lot about things Chinese. Then we moved to Bangkok, where again I headed up my Agency's regional office. So for a period I wrote about Thailand and South-East Asia more generally. But we had lived in Austria for many years before moving to China, and anyway we both come from Europe my wife is Italian while I'm half English, half French - so I often write about things European. Now I'm retired and we've moved back to Europe, so I suppose I will be writing a lot more about the Old Continent, interspersed with posts we have gone to visit.
What else? We have two grown children, who had already left the nest when we moved to China, but they still figure from time to time in my posts. I’ll let my readers figure out more about me from reading what I've written.
As these readers will discover, I really like trees. So I chose a tree - an apple tree, painted by the Austrian painter Gustav Klimt - as my gravatar. And I chose Abellio as my name because he is the Celtic God of the apple tree.
I hope you enjoy my posts.
http://ipaintingsforsale.com/UploadPic/Gustav Klimt/big/Apple Tree I.jpg
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