Living In The Sticks
Some people live downtown, others live on the fringe and a lot of people hang out in between. Those who live outside of these locations, IN THE STICKS, may be chastised for lack of refinement but folks who draw rural breath, smile a wry, knowing smile quietly to themselves.
Living in the sticks does have its benefits but not necessarily the romantic notions that outsiders naively extract – blissful spring sunsets, summer wildflower bouquets, woodsy fall walks, gently falling winter snow. It’s the stuff that affects day-to-day living that has country dwellers smiling. Practical stuff such as: elbow room from the neighbours but close enough to hear the chickens coo and converse as they free range over the boundary; the opportunity to try experimental hobbies without “over the fence” criticism, spoken or not. Maybe, working on your inner farmer, becoming conversant with companion gardening without observational commentary; plants, like humans, get lonely too. If you are the type that doesn’t like to stick things in your ear on a dog walk or you are more apt to turn the dial counter clockwise to reduce the din, then more quietude may be what your country life craves.
Even these joys of living in the sticks can be in a state of flux between seasons. When unwelcome pestilence or unexpected frost snatches those last pea pods, crumples the marigolds, and forces prize sunflowers to cower one final time before falling in defeat, the time has come to seek rural entertainment. Cruising the back roads looking for photographic subjects may suit your artistic fancy, long smothered in the potato patch over the harvest season. Working the scene with a long exposure while the elements play with your patience and digit tips, crafting an otherworld scene out of a scenario passed by a million times. The essence of living in the sticks captured once again.
People of southern India, Kerala Backwaters
Plod through the shallow waters of the Venice of India on a kettuvallum (Kerala houseboat- former grain barge) and you will see daily life from a water perspective.
Long before roads, these canals were the transport of choice for locals and still are today for many; why go overland with the Backwaters 900km network of interconnected canals, rivers, lakes and inlets on your front step? Watch the palm fringed waterways with rice paddy backdrop where coir, jute and rice filled boats compete for space on the waterway. Everyday folks zigzag water traffic from houseboats and local industry just trying to get their daily shopping done.
See you on the waters.
For more on house-boating the Venice of India, Kerala Backwaters: http://heathersimondsphotography.com/2013/05/26/take-to-the-waters-alappuzha-kerala-india/
Hong Kong Kids
Parks disquieted, swings standing limp, sandboxes devoid of cheer, pools left reflecting. It is the first week of September and northern hemisphere children head back to school.
Gone are the blithe days of summer when mindless games were played at the park, making new friends, evading parents. With endless summer drawing nigh, disinclined children, and a few excited ones, face the studious educative cycle sprinkled with intermittent play.
Around the world children and water magnetize, and in Hong Kong, the familiar combination can be found at Kowloon Park, central Tsim Sha Shui, whether or not school is in. Although the park boasts a swimming pool it is the undisturbed pools that beg interruption, where children make up their own games releasing the naivety and wonder that make adults jealous.
For more on Hong Kong hangouts see: