Sigur Ros

Shaldon Zoo

A birthday trip treat to little Shaldon Zoo this afternoon.

We’re seeing: Golden-Headed Lion Tamarins; Yellow-Breasted Capuchins; Common Squirrel Monkeys; White Faced Saki Monkeys; Red Ruffed Lemurs; Gentle Lemurs; Red Bellied Lemurs.

Did we know that long nosed Potoroos existed? No. Swinhoes Striped Squirrels? No. Blue Throated Conures? No.

I’ve decided to identify all the animals you see on the vid. They need to be known. They need to be remembered. They need to be honoured.

Before they all disappear out of existence.

Vid & Words: Ian Nisbet

Walking to Wistmans Wood

We are walking towards Wistmans Wood this Saturday afternoon.

Towards Wistmans Wood 2

It’s that little dark green patch directly ahead, under the horizon.

We’re stumbling our way into the “most haunted place on Dartmoor”, plonking down on a flat slab of rock to eat our bacon sandwiches, – and are promptly descended upon, and being bitten by, hundreds of midges.

Gotta get out – quick!

Find another big slab of rock outside the reach of those blood-thirsty midges

Haze above Wistmans Wood

Finishing off lunch (rather than be lunch) without them bitey bleeders.

We’re returning back into the woods to try our luck again.

And now Haze is drawing

Haze in Wistmans Wood

This tree, a quick sketch (the midges still biting)

Wistmans Sketch 1 edit

Haze wants to include this:

“A little memoir of my favourite wood…On entering it’s puzzlepathway of stones upholstered in a soaking soft covering of moss and lichens, this tiny ancient wood, sprouting ferns, with a canopy of new summer leaves ..still whispers strange tales of those Whisht hounds..of Faerie Folk, Elves and Spriggans!”

And I’ve made this little vid (it’s got a soldier beetle, midges, Haze leaving a blessing)

I didn’t pick up much of the elemental ‘spirit of place’  – it felt more like somewhere to walk your dog, while chattering about Star Trek.

Too many of us people infiltrating, and contaminated, the ‘sacred grove’ with our human noise.

Legend has it that Wistmans Woods is haunted by ‘diabolical Whist Hounds’

Well, here the Hounds were.

Wolfwomen 2

Being distinctly diabolical. This woman (Dutch) can hardly hold on to her 3 ‘wolf-hounds’

If they’d tugged her off that leash – they’d have been off

Chasing after, and killing, sheep, terrorizing cows.

(Did I say ‘Diabolical’? I meant, ‘Ridiculous’!)

My advice to anyone wanting to visit Wistmans Wood?

Don’t go when any of us humans are around! With our dogs.

Douse yourself in citronella. Munch garlic. Be midge repellent!

Icelandic Faeries

We were listening on the ipad to a Radio 4 Extra programme about Icelandic faeries. How musically do Icelanders speak English! And they sound positively sing-songy when talking about their ‘Spesshal’ faerie friends.

So I’ve created a mash-up: mixed Icelandic voices inside some of Hazels faerie folk and plunged them earthwards into Sigur Ros’s plangent groundswell of sweet melancholy.

Vid: Ian Nisbet, Faerie Illustrations: Hazel Brown, Music: Sigur Ros

Agaetis Byrjun

Listening to Agaetis Byrjun …. beautiful (Hazel)

Title track . . “With everything we have for the day . . . we sit down excited . . “

I played it on repeat for about 3 days once! . . . (Ian)

….. All morning…. Jonsi..  has been helping me with large this abstract…. (Hazel)

“With everything i have for the day . . . I sit down excited” . . .

….. And create a big beautiful masterpiece! . . . Make that paint sing! . . (Ian)

The Undine and The Girl

I don’t know what to call this vid (yet) Probably words like ‘yearning’ and ‘longing’ and ‘suffering’ and ‘sorrow’ would fit in somewhere. And the Undine could be another kind of water-being and may mysteriously one day tell us its name.

And the Undine is an ‘It’ for now. I see a Her and Hazel sees a Him.

The girl has to swim away. The Undine needs to swim towards. The Undine wants to claw and to clutch and to hold and to have. The Undine wants to claim the girl so as to bring her home.

But the girl doesn’t want to return home.

They are in this synchronous swum-hung state with one another. Symbiotically together, but tantalisingly apart.

Who has the power here? Which one is ascendant? Which one is helpless?

The girl seems oblivious of the Undine’s suffering.

This ‘vision’ (and Hazels picture) were all inspired by the music you hear in the vid – Sigur Ros’s Saeglopur. Watching and listening to the vid might conjure up all sorts of aches of agonies.

(Video: Ian Nisbet Drawings: Hazel Brown)

Staralfur (Staring Elf)

Ian: ……shhhhh…….. an elf is staring at you……..

………………………………….. from behind…… the sofa…………………….”

Hazel: …..I was just this minute listening to it !!!……wonderful….the very first sounds…music ..that links me completely with my visions of …’Faerie’……thank you so much…..and those miniscule ….mini …sounds right at the end….perfect !”

I’m sending Hazel the lyrics

Blue night over the sky
Blue night over me
Disappearing out the window
With my hands
Hidden under my cheeks
I think about my day
Today and yesterday
I put on my blue pajamas
Go straight to bed
I caress the soft covers
Close my eyes
I hide my head under the sheets
A little elf stares at me
Turns me in, but doesn’t stir
From his place – himself
A staring elf
I open my eyes
The crusts come off
I stretch myself and check (If I haven’t)
Once again and everything is okay
Still there is something missing
Like all the walls
(A little elf stares at me)
(Turns me in)
From his place – himself
I am…

Hazel: …….was it you who sent the elf?………..

Ian: ……I did…..he’s a very cuddly elf….. he’ll make you cups of tea if you ask him nicely…..

……a very obliging little chap….