scribbles tagged ‘Bristol’

guerrila artist banksy

Monday, March 19th, 2007 | tags: , , , ,  |

The graffiti in Bristol provided a pleasant surprize, especially this humerous piece by Banksy.  I am completely soppy  about Banksy’s work.

guerrila artist banksy
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south coast teas

Saturday, March 17th, 2007 | tags: , , ,  |

 All examples here use a teabag in a mug with hotwater poured onto the bag.   The first photograph is in the kithcen of  a Portsmouth home.   Using a pint of semi-skimmed milk from Asda and a mug featuring St Georges cross in front of a glass electric kettle.

 This is on a beach in Cornwall near Cawsand.   3 mugs of tea and two mugs of chocolate for the short people.   An  inovative  water-boiling-on-the-beach contraption helped ensure the water was the right temperature for tea brewing.   Once the tea had brewed sausage sandwiches were made then we finished off with another cup of tea.   The perfect way to start and wrap-up a hike to the beach.

 This is from home in Bristol.   It’s the pre-breakfast table at 7am,   my first, second and third  cuppa of the day normally come from this productive little pot.   That is cup number 2 and I’m about to refill the pot with fresh tea for the biddies as they start to wake up and potter about.

south coast teas
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Bristol blues

Sunday, November 26th, 2006 | tags: ,  |

 

The city that I grew-up in is famous for many things including its blue glass and Harveys, a company that bottles and distributes high quality sherry,  the first ever cream sherry,  they supply the Queen’s household.  My first ever glass of alcohol was at midnight on new years eve when my parents gave me a glass of Harveys Bristol Cream.  

Harveys Bristol Cream has invoked warm homely occassions ever since then.

Bristol blues
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unfinished read #1

Saturday, September 16th, 2006 | tags: , , ,  |

A poetry book, like a dictionary, is a book I never finish reading.   Unlike dictionaries I will voraciously read all the words in a poetry book  cover-to-cover upon first discovering them.   Obviously this is after having removed my stickly little digits from the tea mug.    Both are reference books,   pulled from the shelf again and again.  

The dictionary gets pulled when I’m unsure of a word’s meaning,   range of meanings,   origins,   relationship to other words.    Assured of  discovery, my question promptly answered.  Inevitably a rewarding experience,   how can anyone fail to fall in love with dictionaries?   I’m very loyal to my one paper dictionary, it cannot be replaced.    The  Collin’s Concise (1983) was  a present from an elder brother.   When I look at its faded binding  I see my 21 year old brother standing  at the top of Park Street outside Georges with a white plastic bag in his hand held out towards me saying

you’re leaving home?   You’ll need your own dictionary“.  

A very different experience from pulling one of the several poetry books from the shelf, floor, table, chair, cooker, mantle, washing-machine.    The favoured  books are scattered around the Wendy House where they afford the opportunity of unpremeditated rediscovery in a moment of undirected reading.   Picking up a book,   flicking through the pages to a title that catches some thought  and reading that poem.     One book purchased in a tizzy in 1989 insists on falling open to specific pages,   poems I found powerful in the early 1990s.  I have to fight against its insistence on taking me to specific emotional places.  

Poetry book use  is  not all so sporadic.  There are specific places I’ll go  when I’m happy,   because I’m sad,   or I want to find the words that describe what it is that I’m feeling because I just don’t know.   They are often there,   wrapped in the ambiguities and soothing rythms, but one can never be sure of Dictionary-like success.  

With that thought I’ll return to the vacuuming

unfinished read #1
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Leyland Olympian

Thursday, July 6th, 2006 | tags: , , ,  |

I saw a Leyland doubledecker  bus in Seattle.  Whooopie!!!

Instant over-excitement.  

I shouldn’t read the branding on bus-grills while driving.   It’s one of my naughty habits.   I think it was a Leyland “Olympian“.   An Olympian bus with views of the Olympic mountains imported from Britain built by the British National motor  industry with engineering specialism from Bristol.  

I’m getting all soppy again.     Time for more Tea.

Leyland Olympian
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when you pull down your trousers it sends me in fits*

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006 | tags: , ,  |

this post title is a classic chorus lyric line from the song “Bryan Rix” by a cheerful yet sadly obscure British indie band from my home City of Bristol – “The Brilliant Corners“.   Wikipedia explains that Brian Rix was an actor comedian who specialised in farce.   On film

Rix was regularly seen on screen without his trousers on

Occasionally I have needed to laugh when seeing someone with their trousers down…

* Spaz.

when you pull down your trousers it sends me in fits*
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defensive-aggressive passes

Saturday, March 25th, 2006 | tags: ,  |

This design webpage cites several examples of how  right handedness influences real world  design.  Of spiral staircases it says:

Visit any church or castle in Europe next time you are there and you will probably find a spiral staircase or two. Most of them spiral anti-clockwise as they go down (and thus clockwise as they go up). Apparently this was to favor defensive sword use should the building be overrun at any time. If you are up the spiral staircase and are right-handed and facing down the stairs you will have the central axis of the stairs on your left and you will be able to swing your sword at your foe coming up the stairs. He on the other hand will have the central axis on his right and so it will be directly in the way of his sword swings. There is enough contemporaneous information to back up which hand swordsmen used to use in those days…”

London Monument Spiral staircase

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘John Cabot’ sailed to America from Bristol in 1496.   Apparently he is widely accredited as being the first European to discover North America  since the Vikings.    In Bristol there is a  tower dedicated to him.   This web-page describes the tower  with quirkily expressed appreciation of the spiral staircase  direction.  

Several castles specifically had  clockwise down  spiral staircases  with left-handed swordsmen to protect them.   why is this good?   Left handed swordsmen normally fight right handed swordsman but the converse is not so, consequently left handed swordsmen are more well practiced in fighting a right-hander than righthanders are in fighting a left-hander. Left handers are often more effective in some ‘sports’ such as ‘fencing’.

Why do castle  staircases predominantly spiral one direction based on handedness while  driving-sides vary?   The shifting use of the right hand from wielding a weapon against a potential adversary to using a whip on pairs of horses pulling a heavy load appears to have played a significant role.   This webpage describes the evolution of different driving sides.   It cites  American and French ‘teamsters’ for initiating a shift from  road users  predominantly passing  with their left  hands on the nearside followed by  the Napoleonic empire  pushing the  new standard throughout Europe  and the British for doing their “best to stave off global homogenisation“.   This excerpt describes the beginning of the shift:

In the past, almost everybody travelled on the left side of the road because that was the most sensible option for feudal, violent societies. Since most people are right-handed, swordsmen preferred to keep to the left in order to have their right arm nearer to an opponent and their scabbard further from him. Moreover, it reduced the chance of the scabbard (worn on the left) hitting other people.

Furthermore, a right-handed person finds it easier to mount a horse from the left side of the horse, and it would be very difficult to do otherwise if wearing a sword (which would be worn on the left). It is safer to mount and dismount towards the side of the road, rather than in the middle of traffic, so if one mounts on the left, then the horse should be ridden on the left side of the road.

In the late 1700s, however, teamsters in France and the United States began hauling farm products in big wagons pulled by several pairs of horses. These wagons had no driver’s seat; instead the driver sat on the left rear horse, so he could keep his right arm free to lash the team. Since he was sitting on the left, he naturally wanted everybody to pass on the left so he could look down and make sure he kept clear of the oncoming wagon’s wheels. Therefore he kept to the right side of the road…     …An official keep-right rule was introduced in Paris in 1794, more or less parallel to Denmark, where driving on the right had been made compulsory in 1793

Wendy left-handed-inconsistent-potentially-dangerous-passer

defensive-aggressive passes
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Gigantic Disco Ball

Friday, March 25th, 2005 | tags: ,  |

UK Vacation 9

This ball is near the Waterfront in Bristol. The steps coming out of it suggest the scale. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to stand underneath it and take a picture of the distorted view within one panel including passers-by.

:: DISCO ::

 

Gigantic Disco Ball
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13th Century Corporate Chapel

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005 | tags: , ,  |

UK Vacation 3

This “Lord Mayor’s chapel” was originally built to service a hospital in the 13th century.   It was bought by the City of Bristol and is the only chapel owned by a “city” (corporation).   Rather than owned,  for example, by a religious order or private family.

It clearly demonstrates the close relationship between local city administration and religion in Britain.   Whether this close relationship is a good thing is open to debate.   Id be curious about people’s opinions.

When I looked around the church I found the mix of old and new artefacts intriguing.   Illustrated by the desk and computer photographed below.

The Flags look like they may show ‘coat of arms’ representing ‘sponsorship’ of this Church.    The bristol city coat of arms, is one possibility.   Other possibilities include families that have significant relationships with this church,   for example the Dragoo family,   professional Guilds, or oganisations (e.g. Universities).    I wish I’d asked about them while I was there…

13th Century Corporate Chapel
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