I just received a demand in the post from what looks like a reputable stock image company who shall (for the moment) remain nameless for payment for my use of this image on this blog.
Extract from my reply:
“I recently received a letter to my home address re an image used on my personal blog. The image is from my own collection, was taken in Paris in 2007 and uploaded to Flickr. The same image of the Eiffel Tower from below must appear in literally millions of other people’s photos!
You can see my original image here https://flic.kr/p/9Nrih4
As you can see it was taken in April 2007
Like all my images it carries a Creative Commons license.
I trust the matter is now settled.”
A quick image search reveals many similar photos. It’s an iconic landmark after all. Millions must have stood where I did and taken this exact shot. I wonder if they will pursue them all?
As it happens my photo has a Creative Commons license so anyone can use it on their website, and I hope lots of people will! Still I wonder how many will be approached and cough up the £350 to “amicably settle the matter” and never realise?
Places that were lost can come back to us these days thanks to the internet in general and Google Streetview in particular.
This was my grandparent’s house. My mother’s mother and father lived here with my widowed auntie and my unmarried uncle. This was the hub of a huge extended family of aunties, uncles and cousins. My grandparents had a lot of children, my Mum was the next to youngest, so I have 31 full cousins! At home I might have been an only child but for most of my summers I was just one of the gang. Well, not quite, I was the tag-along, the in-betweenie, a bit younger than the rest, a bit older than the 2nd cousins, but still one amongst many. In the summer holidays we’d all be there.
My best (summer) friend lived next door in the police houses. We’d play for hours in those gardens but we knew better than to stray into the big vegetable garden or we’d be for it. Now there’s just grass where once there was row upon row of vegetables and soft fruit.
In the evenings I’d read. I’d find a quiet corner of the big living room and lose myself in a book. I had a summer library card and I read some great novels borrowed from the rather majestic library. My favourites were historical and usually heart-breakingly sad! Hilda Lewis’ The Gentle Falcon, Deirdre of the Sorrows (click through & listen to it being read!), and a rather wonderful children’s book about the Underground Railway and the slave trade whose name escapes me. I’d get the same three books out at the start of the holidays every year, devour them quickly then move on to whatever else took my fancy.
Back to the house then with one final memory. Walking down the road with my Nana and seeing my Dad raise his camera. “You dare, Tommy! Just you dare!” and he did. I’m on the end, that’s one of my 2nd cousins in the middle. I miss the hedges. It looks so bare now.And the point of all of this? Just a reflection that nothing is really lost if it’s still in my memory, even if I need a jog from a photo to bring it back into focus.
‘Liminal’ is a word that’s been copping up a lot recently in various conversations and I started to wonder if I really knew what it means. I’d vaguely thought it was related to ‘subliminal’, maybe a psychological term, that was being borrowed to use to describe physical spaces.
The spatial dimension of liminality can include specific places, larger zones or areas, or entire countries and larger regions. Liminal places can range from borders and frontiers to no man’s lands and disputed territories, to crossroads to perhaps airports or hotels, which people pass through but do not live in: arguably indeed all ‘romantic travel enacts the three stages that characterize liminality: separation, marginalization, and reaggregation’
So my ‘old friend’ (‘old’ as in I’ve known her a long time!) Maggie has a newish venture. She set up a Facebook page for it Tanglewool Designs (actually called the rather wonderful Tanglewool Garbutt!) and I was looking through the hats. I happened to ‘like’ one of the photos and before I knew it Maggie was offering to knit me one for Christmas.
Lucky me. It arrived in double quick time and it is lovely. Beautifully knitted, the classic Fair Isle pattern produces a cosy double fabric. Maggie’s tension as a knitter is second to none and of course it is properly knitted in with none of those amateur loops that give Fair Isle a bad name. It feels great and my ears are suitably warm!