Colourful language.

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To me, the purest purpose of an expletive is to convey that a feeling is so strong that it cannot be expressed in our normal words (whether this is an accurate assertion is a different argument).

Tonight, Baby W was complaining about something, possibly that she was too warm, so I took her out of her sleeping bag. As I hastily undid the shoulder snaps, I felt myself tugging a hair at the back of her head. I braced myself as, for a brief, silent moment, she absorbed what had just happened. Then she let loose a heartrending cry that expended all the air in her lungs and kept on going, soundlessly. She loaded up on air again for a forceful scream, followed by lots of swearing.

I’m pretty sure that babies swear.

I heard it when G was tiny, and I’m hearing it again with W. Normal crying is mostly vowels. Sometimes she says the classic “waaaah” when she’s pretty upset. But when she really gets mad, like she did tonight, she breaks out some more consonants, mostly “m,” “n” and “g,” and utters strings of miserable syllables. It tells a story of shock, misery, anger and betrayal, and it goes on for a while. Betrayal being a relatively new thing to her, she feels it keenly.


It snowed again!

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F always likes to be up to date with the weather forecast. I don’t know why. I hardly ever look at it; it seems to me that the actual deviation of the weather from “cloudy and cool with a chance of showers” is rarely bigger than the error bars on the forecast for any time more than 12 hours into the future.  By the time you get that close, you may as well just look out the window.

Last night I happened to glance at the forecast, which F had left up in a Firefox tab. It said that it should be snowing. “Supposedly, it’s snowing right now, according to the forecast,” I remarked to him, possibly a little bit mockingly. But I was unsure enough to go look out the window.

I was so excited about it snowing (again!) that I had to do something with it. I grabbed my tripod, my camera, the newly-refound IR remote, and G’s new flashlight, and went outside to capture the magic. I started by trying some light-writing.

Of course, with a long exposure like this, you cannot actually tell that it was snowing, so that dampens the magic a little. Also F thought that I’d written the word “snow” with the computer. On top of some sort of Hallowe’en-themed photo.

The above was something like my fourth attempt. I was getting the hang of hiding the flashlight between letters, although you can see by the blue glowing snow that I pointed it downward some of the time.

My second attempt looked like this:

This one has a livelier energy, it seems to me. As though I had just barely been able to keep that exuberant flashlight under control, or as though I’d had too much coffee. I gave myself 25 seconds to write and then didn’t need it all, so I hung around for a while at the end, as you can see. I’m not sure why I don’t seem to have a head. I don’t remember waving my head around a lot.

Once I figured I’d written “snow” satisfactorily, I took some photos of things covered in snow.

Here’s a solar flare. Or an explosion. Or actually, a tree covered in snow, lit by an orange streetlamp.

What I believe is a crabapple tree, complete with shrivelled crabapples. This was a 5s exposure and it came out much brighter than the scene was, but I really like the colours.

This morning, G woke up to a winter wonderland. She threw snow and made good use of the remains of last week’s snowman, and I got to make my camera go “ca-chik-ca-chik-ca-chik,” usually just before or after G did something I wanted to take a picture of her doing.

Next week it’s supposed to warm up a bit, but right now it’s -8C outside.

It’s still summertime

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That hot spell we had this summer has faded well into the past (not unlike my last blog post), and now we’re into September, with the leaves on the horse-chestnut trees rusting and withering (I remember when they used to sign off with a brilliant rastafarian display, but now they all have some sort of blight) and the sunlight getting paler and slantier. Kids will be back at school next week. I think I can stop waiting for summer to resume.

G hasn’t had time to construct weird hangups about seasons and weather and the passage of time. The fact that it’s cooler out doesn’t seem to fill her with a sense of foreboding, nor even to stop her from wanting to go into the wading pool at the park.

Even if I am on the verge of hibernation, I recognize a usable patch of sunlight when I see one. The other day I drew the line at filling her little pool, but we set up finger paints outside instead. Just two colours this time; no real need for more, since she squidges her hands around in all available pots until they converge to a uniform, sickly colour.

I got a bucket of water ready for her to rinse the goop off her hands before going inside.

I guess she would have preferred the pool.

At least this pool is one she can empty by herself.