This morning I walked the dogs over a rather frosty Arrenden open space. It looked stunning in the sunshine. But what really took my eye was the frost on the fallen leaves. I snapped the above picture. I happen to think it is one of the best I've taken. I showed my wife the picture and she was rather underwhelmed. She much preferred the pictures below, far more standard shots of the fields and trees.
It got me to thinking about the subject of beauty. Have you ever had the experience of telling friends that you think someone is stunningly attractive only to see a universal look of disbelief. When I was at school, a couple of times I was ridiculed for saying I rather liked someone, only for my friends to be very dismissive. What was interesting is that I've realised they were not telling the truth, but were scared of being honest. I recall one incident where a friend started a new relationship ( we were all about 18). One of my friends commented that the new girlfriend was 'a bit of a battleship' and that our friend could "do better for himself". I was quite shocked because I thought that the girl in question was very attractive, albiet in a rather unconventional way. I pulled up my friend for his comments and said "How do you think he'd feel if he heard that?". As this turned out to be a very long term relationship for my friend. The guy who made the comment later quietly asked me to never mention his comments, when it became clear they would be a long term item. I asked him whether he'd changed his opinion or whether he just didn't want to look like a knobhead. His response somewhat surprised me. "Well as I got to know her, I still think she's ugly but she's really sexy".
It is interesting how some of us let good looking people take liberties but if they find someone unattractive, they won't give them the time of day, unless they are rich and powerful. At the weekend, I was discussing (The artist formerly known as) Prince Andrew with the family, as we sat having Sunday lunch. I'd forgotten, but about 15 years ago, we were at The Cobden Club, formerly in Notting Hill. The ex-HRH happened to be at a private function downstairs. A couple of our group were outside having an Oily when His Royal Highness (or whatever you are meant to call him) departed. To say he didn't cover himself in glory with his behaviour is an understatement and alcohol may or may not have played some part in that. I took the view that it didn't matter who he was, it was disgraceful and I've never liked him since. A couple of people in our group had snuck off and managed to gatecrash the private party. They were somewhat starstruck by the errant Prince and were thrilled to have met him, even though he'd been less than pleasant. It is strange how for some of us wealth and power can warp their perception of beauty.Princess of Tonga in 1989. I've been accused of being anti Royal on occasion, but she was what a Princess should be, as far as I'm concerned. She got down and boogied and thanked us for a great night at the end of the show. She was a lovely lady and told us we must one day visit Tonga, telling us it was a beautiful island. The dreadful events of the last two days, with a volcano and a tsunami made me think of the Princess and say a quiet prayer that she's OK.
I do hope that Tonga recovers it's beauty and that the Islanders are not too badly hit and do not suffer too much hardship.