Monday, 6 December 2021

Monday 6th December - The Last of the Crew

It's very cold this morning and this is causing me to cough like someone with a sixty-a-day habit.  I was looking for a suitable image to cheer me up...

The Last of the Crew (1883) Briton Riviere

Ah, that's a lovely image of a man and his loyal hound, protecting each other from the elements and polar bears and rabid penguins or something. Victorian art is filled with pictures of man and dog, facing the challenges of the century together, forging through to the future etc etc...

Both the explorer and his loyal fluffy dog (or 'floofer' I believe the technical term is) stand on a jut of ice, viewing the future which is glacial and harsh.  Both man and dog look down but seem braced to take on the challenge and all will be well, I'm sure. No-one needs to pay any attention to what is going on behind them.

Well, if our brave chap is 'the last of the crew', I'm not sure there is much mystery where the rest of the crew went. When I learned how to take wet collodion photography, we kept making the joke that the young chap I photographed was a doomed polar explorer and the glass plate negative was entitled 'And then they ate their dogs' because that is always the point when you know they are not coming back. We use the phrase at home to describe a short term panicked action that has long term disastrous consequences. It makes a nice change to see the dogs getting in there first, as to be honest, out of the men and the dogs, the dogs probably have a better chance. 

So our noble man and hound stand together, facing the uncertain future, and I'm sure everything will be fine.  Our faithful floofer is not at all thinking of eating his master as soon as he goes to sleep. He will remain by the side of the deliciously brave explorer and the rest of the crew, who have gone for help and have not been eaten, honest, will be back in a bit with a new ship and a big box of dog biscuits. Hurrah!

On that optimistic notes, I'll catch you tomorrow...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Many thanks for your comment. I shall post it up shortly! Kx