Friday, October 21, 2011

how the poor become poorer ... by shopping in oxfam

some of this week's BTs

Walking from the bus stop to the work place on a moonlit night, seen across the dark open space of a newly demolished factory, silhouetted against the brightly lit laundry in acre lane, the elegant black form of a sure-footed young fox trotting sixty yards along the narrow top of a six foot wall.

Later, in the brilliant cloudless mid-morning, in the High Weald, whilst loading the truck on a steep ramp besides a small cheese factory, i lift my head at the sound of horseshoes in the lane, and see two white ponies trotting up the gentle slope towards Stonegate village, silhouetted against the cold blue sky with two stout ladies bouncing in the saddles.

Back in the city, seen from the top deck of the homeward bus, quite unusually, a pair of falcons, unfamiliar to me with short wings and deep chests and dark tails, clearly side-lit in the late afternoon sunlight whilst circling on a thermal for a long time, high, but not too high, above a supermarket near the crossroads at Clapham Junction, where, by an improbable coincidence, there stands a famous Victorian pub named The Falcon.

one bt, although sometimes there isn't time to grab the camera ...

Last saturday, after sitting in an empty carriage for twenty minutes whilst my train was held at brockenhurst station, i went to the door just in time to see a huge steam locomotive drawing a long train of ancient carriages stained with years of use and filled with happy day trippers heading for corfe castle ... but there wasn't time to grab the camera

Six hours later, as i walked back from the hospice at christchurch to the station, i heard the same train thundering under the bridge, but just too far away for me to run with my camera ... so all i saw was the cloud of smoke, and all i smelled was soot and sulphur.

An hour and a half afterwards, as my train slid quietly through the darkness towards london, i caught a faint whiff of that sulphur and soot again, ... and a minute later we were gradually overtaking the dimly lit steam excursion carriages, so slowly that i could see the fabrics on the seats, the crisp linen tablecloths, the glinting brass table lamps ... and then the open plan carriages where old fashioned families sprawled amongst shopping bags, cast off coats, huddles of children ... and all so gradually that there was time for them to wave at me and for me to wave back.

Monday, October 3, 2011

roelandt savery's dancing dodos

i don't really know if they danced but i like to think they'd have enlivened the grounds of many of our stately homes had mankind not been so unkind

here's an excellent history of the subject

beware, slimmers ! ... this is an hornazo

baked by santi, the village baker of lagartera in toledo province ... a great man, and a self taught architect, too

eaten, ( probably mostly ), during this past weekend by my cruel friend linda, who must only have photographed it just to make me nostalgic ( i am not jealous, i am not salivating, do you hear me, linda ? )

if i remember rightly, it is a gigantic compartmentalized pasty containing localized fillings of mutton, of chorizo, and a boiled egg

Saturday, October 1, 2011

the colour purple ... delightful classical scholarship via metafilter

just click on this link for a short essay on antique perceptions by the late william harris

he seems to have been a delightfully free thinker ... and doodler

in the past i've struggled and failed to paint with purple

here's an image borrowed from some clever young americans who don't have that problem