Monthly Archives: February 2018

Running ahead

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Like everyone else, I had an eye to the weather, and came home ahead of anything serious.  A few cold flurries were drawing screams of excitement from the local primary school as I passed; after several mild winters, some of these infants  have not seen snow before.

Just checking that the sea was still in place …

Cars slipped in and out of the car park alongside me:  locals consoling themselves with crepuscular rays.

The light in the sky was becoming gold, and the light on the ground was turning blue.  Time to go home.

Service

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One has to get used to the curious juxtapositions of an ancient city.  Hunting for boots yesterday, I found myself among seriously old timbers and crucks.

There was something slightly disturbing about these blind windows, long ago abandoned in the alterations and re-modellings of this and the buildings round about.  But look:  fourteenth or fifteenth century, they say, and one believes it.

The service, however, was rubbish.  I left crossly and spent the money elsewhere.  I have fuzzed out their advertising material to let the timber do the talking.

Sampling the amenities

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While attending the intensive and oscillating between anxiety and narcolepsy, I considered a few of the local amenities.  (Click a thumbnail for the gallery)

Chequered past

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Today I explored outward from Salisbury; only a mile or so, on a dulled afternoon.  Most of the houses are bog-suburb-council-house-bungalow, with a few oldies still wedged in among.

Eking out brick with flint is a real Wiltshire ploy; pity about the tactless street furniture.

The basic cottage underneath is probably old, but the excessive grooming makes it look like something from a film lot – as if it is thatched with plastic rather than reed or straw.

The church also shows a traditional mixture of materials – fairly recent by church standards, but may be sitting on older foundations.  I gave a black mark because it was locked at 2.30 pm – but maybe the local vandals are chronic.

Then this rather forbidding building.  I would be hard put to say why it would look completely alien in my own home territory – something to do with the colour of the brick, and perhaps the roof line.  Judging by the numerous revisions, this one has been around for a while.

This peach of the vernacular shows classic flint chequerwork in its lower portion; not sure if the dressed stones are very dirty chalk or, as I suspect, greensand (of sentimental memory).

How do you know you have knitted half a ball of wool when you have no accurate scales?  Like this …

 

Shopping for symbols

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I wandered into town looking for such comestibles as were necessary for dinner.  Being perverse, charity shops were my first destinations, to pick out a couple of books – standbys in this bookless house.

With even greater perversity, the Hunt for the Teapot took over the morning.  Charity shops failed me on this one.  A fearfully cute little pot I found in one place must, on closer inspection, have been given to the charity shop because, at any attempt to use it, the lid would have dropped out and showered the user with scalding tea.  The Hunt took me to supermarkets, cheap shops, ironmongers and at last an expensive cookware shop; where I found a gratifying bargain and concluded the Hunt.

The teapot, though not glamorous in any way, asserted its symbolic value as soon as I got back.  And I am already becoming intimate with the tablecloth.

Silence

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After a long and busy day, involving public transport (including taking the same bus twice), signatures, a trolley full of gubbins, sunshine (thank goodness), huge sausages for lunch, and two kind people, I have come to rest in an attic.

This is part of the route I walked this afternoon.

A river of a nondescript but pleasing kind, rather full thanks to our recent downpours:

A steepish downhill bit, feeling quite aerial above the low roadway:

And a view they don’t put on the postcards:

The experiment has begun.

A little light relief

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I went in search of light relief this morning; a middling old churchyard full of sunshine and crocuses and leucojums is no bad place to start.  (Click a thumbnail for the gallery)

The cosmic chicken (omitted)

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I rather like this as a title for a blog post (though not going to publish the post to which it belongs, and the title is not particularly funny without it).  I wish it held the seed of a poem, but that is probably wishful thinking.

The cosmic omitted chicken post itself is quite dull.  Instead I offer an image from today; the waves were best seen from indoors, while we absorbed wraps full of shredded duck (no relation).