Sculpture Saturday: Mons, Belgium

Just behind the Town Hall in Mons, lies the Jardin du Mayeur (the Mayor’s Garden) a little haven of tree-lined peace right in the heart of the city. It was designed between 1930 and 1936 and was once a private garden but is now a park accessible to all.

Apart from the design and the century-old trees including copper beeches, lime trees, paulownia, horse-chestnut trees and other attractive plants, it contains Gober’s sculpture called The Ropieur (1937). The “Ropieur” (cheeky Mons street urchin) represents a child who splashes the water of its fountain on the passers-by, symbolising the rebellious attitude of the town’s children.

The Ropieur, Mons

Also in the garden is also a bust of Marcel Gillis, singer, poet and painter and the town’s favourite son. The sculpture is by Raoul Godfroid (1896-1977), also Belgium.

Marcel Gillis, Poet & Painter, Mons

The sculpture features a triangular rock with the bust of Gillis attached to the front. Under-neath the bust and etched on the rock is the name of the artist, his dates of birth and death, and his surname, etched to match his signature.

Spring just around the corner

Hush, hush, whisper who dare, plants are a-budding and spring’s in the air.

Sorry about that paraphrasing but with everything springing into life in my garden today I couldn’t resist it.

I think these may have been out for a couple of days but the weather has been so inclement that I just couldn’t face it, but today I went to check what was happening to the last rose to keep flowering (and to take a picture of it). I found it had been blown away by the strong winds. Branches of my camellias had broken off, but there are great signs of spring with daffodil bulbs, snowdrops, crocuses, Daphne and Camellias all showing signs of bursting forth any minute now.

I can forget Covid19, just for a little while.

Challenge your Camera # Churches

Linked to Dr. B at Challenge your Camera here

The Victorian Christchurch, Sandown, Isle of Wight, UK (consecrated 1847)

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 132: Stripes and Plaids

Linked to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge here

My stripes seem to be ‘lines’ and I can’t find any plaids, but here we go.

Stripes on what is regarded as the busiest crossing in the world, Tokyo.
Stripey effect of the Prayer Poles, Kyoto, Japan
Lines going every whichway in Tokyo
Lines delineating the tiles on the roof of St. Matthias Church, Budapest

A Poem for Today

I’m sure my literary friends will enjoy this poem which has just been sent to me.

 I won’t arise and go now, and go to Innisfree
> I’ll sanitise the doorknob and make a cup of tea.
> I won’t go down to the sea again, I won’t go out at all,
> I’ll wander lonely as a cloud from the kitchen to the hall.
> There’s a green-eyed yellow monster to the north of Kathmandu
> But I shan’t be seeing him just yet and nor, I think will you.
> While the dawn comes up like thunder on the road to Mandalay
> I’ll make my bit of supper and eat it off a tray.
> I shall not speed my bonnie boat across the sea to Skye
> Or take the rolling English road from Birmingham to Rye.
> About the woodland, just right now, I am not free to go
> To see the Keep Out posters or the cherry hung with snow
> And no, I won’t be travelling much, within the realms of gold.
> Or get me to Milford Haven. All that’s been put on hold.
> Give me your hands, I shan’t request, albeit we are friends
> Nor come within a mile of you, until this shit show ends.

Lens-Artist Challenge: Emotion

Linked to Lens-Artists Photo Challenge here

This is the first time I’ve ventured to try the challenge on this site and I hope my photo entries manage to illustrate emotions. First up is exhileration:


When I saw this young girl rush into the sea it took me back decades to those heady days when a day at the seaside was such a joy, when the feel of the sand underneath my feet, the sea about to lap my toes and Mum and Dad safely watching me was all I needed for happiness.

In contrast is the following which I call Despair. I don’t know how else to describe it. We gave her the cakes we’d just bought and some money but left with that guilt we all carry when we see such sights on our streets. I took the photograph to remind me when I got home that life has little meaning for some people.


Next up comes Stoicism. This was a group of blind musicians in Cambodia who sat and sang on a corner every day. We didn’t know if they were being exploited by the two young men who seemed in charge, these things are difficult to ascertain in most countries but less so in a place like Cambodia. I hope they were looked after – their music was really good.

Stoicism – Bling musicians in Cambodia

Let’s finish on something more positive, Pride. Pride in a profession. This is Stefano Conia, one of 134 Luthiers in Cremona, Italy. Cremona is the place for violin-making and Stefano is descended from a family of violin-makers: he and his father run the business from a workshop which I was privileged to visit a couple of years ago. Every stage of the instrument making is under his control, often from the procuring of the wood by going to the forest himself to get it. In this day of mass-produced violins from China, Cremona is facing competition but it will be hard to surpass the perfection of a hand-made violin from the likes of Stefano Cornia.