Saturday, 19 May 2012

Happy birthday to me!

Yesterday was my birthday, hooray, so moths have had to take a back seat. From the early hours, Penny conducted me through a series of excitements to mark the day. So the trap has remained unplugged and silent; and anyway, for the last two nights, it has rained.

Butterflies have had a good role in the happy proceedings; both Penny and Granny Dilys chose them for my presents' wrapping paper; see above and below. Assorted other parts of the jollifications have been butterfly or moth-related too, including a lovely pin-badge from one of my nieces in Scotland. An entire blog could be written on the role of butterflies in human imagery right back to the ancient Greeks' use of the word psyche to mean both 'butterfly' and 'the soul'.

On that score, you might be interested in the example currently at Newcastle's Laing art gallery and described here in the Guardian Northerner by Alan Sykes: Thomas Gainsborough's painting of his daughters in which their older sister Mary who died young is represented by a butterfly. Here it is.

Back on earth, we had a lovely birthday walk from Beningborough to Newton-on-Ouse and back, up the riverbank (famed sanctuary of the Tansy beetle) and back through the National Trust park. Here are some of the seas of bluebells we wandered past en route.


Friend of HK said...

Happy Birthday!

MartinWainwright said...

Thank you! I had a lovely time. Hope you do too, when yours comes round all warm wishes, M

petoskystone said...

Happy birthday! Glad that it was such an enjoyable one. The painting is quite touching..such sadness in one gesture.

MartinWainwright said...

Thanks very much!

Yes, isn't it poignant. It sounds like a really excellent exhibition. I've seen butterflies on gravestones in their 'spirit' or 'soul' role. Curious that they've given their Greek name to pyschologists, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts et al

all warm wishes