Sunday, 31 August 2014

It ain't that kind: two years on

A brief progress report: as regular readers will be aware, two years ago I was diagnosed with metastatic cancer of unknown primary (CUP), which is generally bad news. However, due to a good response to palliative treatment and, it seems, a fairly unaggressive flavour of CUP, things have so far gone far better than we dared hope for.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Weston House: a ruined Devon villa

Yesterday I took a closer look at the remains of Weston House, which is a few minutes' walk from the Donkey Sanctuary at Weston, near Sidmouth, East Devon. Given general trends either to demolish or to renovate derelict buildings, it's unusual to see the extant remains of a house ruined in a fire nearly two centuries ago.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

St Margaret's Church: 3D

Following the experiments in 3D photos in woodland vistas - see Undercliff - there and back again: 3D - I took a few stereopairs in St Margaret's Church, Topsham.

Monday, 25 August 2014

The Cricklewood Greats

This is a repost: but this evening BBC4 just repeated its wonderful spoof documentary The Cricklewood Greats ...
Peter Capaldi embarks upon a personal journey to discover the shocking history of the stars of north London's famous film studios. Including clips from rarely seen films and interviews with Marcia Warren and Terry Gilliam.
... a graphically and textually brilliant pastiche, written by Peter Capaldi and Tony Roche, telling the century-long history of a small London studio.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

The Freemasons' Hall, Brent Lodge, Topsham

For me, the highlight of the current Town Fayre Week was today's open day - the first, as far as I know - of Topsham's Freemasons' Hall, home of Brent Lodge No.1284. As I'd never seen inside a Masonic Hall, and my knowledge of freemasonry came largely from popular stereotype and Kipling's The Man Who Would Be King - it was an altogether interesting experience.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Topsham along the river Exe: UAV movie

Neil Ewins just sent me a link to his stunning UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) movie, Topsham along the river Exe: a flypast of Topsham's river frontage from the Quay upriver to the Sailing Club and back, taking in what must be a unique overhead view of the hulks on the opposite bank.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Lyme antiquariana

I forgot to mention in the Chimney Rock post that I was almost at the location, Ware Cliff at the western end of Lyme Regis, of the 1685 landing for the Duke of Monmouth's failed attempt to become King of England. A quick search for sources converged on a 19th century Lyme antiquary, George Roberts - I should have looked out for him at Lyme Regis Museum (of which more later in the article).

Monday, 11 August 2014

Chimney Rock

In highly unstable landslip terrains, you nevertheless find the occasional long-standing feature. Chimney Rock, just to the west of Lyme Regis, is an example: one that has been in the guidebooks for nearly two centuries.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Undercliff - there and back again: 3D

I mentioned before that the landscape of the Lyme Regis Undercliff is surprisingly difficult to photograph; images don't convey the depth of the wooded vistas of what I've seen described as the nearest thing England has to a jungle. However, a while back I came round to the view that 3D is an effective medium for handling this, and I took a set of stereopairs during a return visit yesterday.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Mapping Topsham

Topsham Museum has made a major departure from the worthy-but-dull with Mapping Topsham, its current exhibition of creative and beautiful artworks interpreting the theme of Topsham maps, from the conventional to the highly stylised.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Tree of Life

A belated post (I wanted to confirm permission to blog about a non-public location): after my last chemotherapy at the end of June, I got feverish and needed a precautionary couple of days in hospital on antibiotics. But on the plus side, I wouldn't otherwise have seen Tree of Life, a beautiful mosaic mural in the courtyard garden off the Yeo oncology ward at Exeter's RD&E hospital.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Legend Land: another Barham

I just ran into a couple of pleasant books: the two-volume Legend Land ("Being a collection of some of the Old Tales told in those Western Parts of Britain served by The Great Western Railway"). They're compilations of GWR pamphlets, The Lines to Legend Land series - in which the pseudonymous "Lyonesse" retells folklore of Wales and the Westcountry.

Friday, 1 August 2014

The Journal of a Disappointed Man

Backdated at random: The Journal of a Disappointed Man. This is the pseudonymous diary of Bruce Frederick Cummings (7 September 1889 – 22 October 1919), who wrote as W. N. P. Barbellion an account of his life and decline due to multiple sclerosis. There are more than a few things I didn't realise about the account: particularly that MS was diagnosable in the early 1900s without the scan you'd expect nowadays. Also the standard story of who knew / didn't know about the diagnosis is increasingly under revision.