2nd June 2003

water tanks, Manhattan
granaries, Dogon country, Mali


4th June 2003

subway map of the month

A sad map this month, of a closing railway. The driverless underground postal railway which has carried mail under London since 1927 has closed, thanks probably to e-mail. For its operators, it was the best train set (six and a half miles long) a boy ever had. Its history here.


9th June 2003

peu de dīnerblog

'You have a digital camera. Every item in your home is now endlessly and immediately reproduceable. Stop. Put the camera down. Stand - away - from - the  - camera.'

The night before last: cod in tahini sauce, almond rice and chickpea salad.

Last night: grilled halloumi and borlotti couscous salad.


10th June 2003

Livingstone: "The London Times comes three weeks late, and what's more the bearers have always done the bluidy crossword."


11th June 2003

roots roots roots

There's been a bit of a Green Man meme going round, which made me think of wodwoses. Like the Green Man, they're common in English (British?) churches, especially in East Anglia (or was that just where I grew up?) usually around the font as in the picture above, from Orford church in Suffolk. Always holding the club too, in a manner reminiscent of Greek satyrs with their fertile phalluses. You'll probably know them from the Ted Hughes poem.


12th June 2003

verde verde te quiero verde

Dr Perry writes:

What's this about a recent resurgence of The Green Man?

My teacher of the 70's, (Reshad Field) likened The Green Man to Kidhr the Sufi's hidden (or green) guide. Once, returning to Vancouver from California, I chanced upon The Green Man in a service station washroom.

I just googled this:

From "The Sufi Basis of The Taming of The Shrew"*

"In Syria, where the cult originated, Kidhr is equated with St. George (who is the patron saint of England). According to Idries Shah, The Order of The Garter in England (whose patron saint is St. George) derived from the Sufi Khidr Order. Sufis have sometimes rendered Shakespeare in perfectly correct and acceptable Persian as Sheikh-Peer, "The Ancient Sage." William Shakespeare, and Miguel Cervantes, both of whom Bacon utilized as his masks, are recorded as dying on the birthday of St. George. In the Anatomy of Melancholy, when referring to "that omniscious, only wise fraternity of the Rosie Cross" Bacon names their head as "Elias Artifex, their Theophrastian master" and then describes him as "the renewer of all arts and sciences, reformer of the world, and now living." Since, the Great Instauration, (the renewal of all arts and sciences), was Bacon's work, the implication is that Bacon himself was head of the Rosicrucian Fraternity, and that Bacon was Elias who was Kidhr, The Green One, the supernatural figure who is the hidden guide, and patron of the Sufi Orders."

-- Paul

* The problem with reading this kind of stuff on the web is that you don't know anything about who wrote it, and it may be the most pseudo-scholarly balderdash. In fact where there's an agenda to the writing (in this case the Bacon/Shakespeare thing - more than that actually, it's Francis Bacon Keeper of World Wisdom And All Else is Chaff), you can't believe all that you read in the papers.

Although now I come to think of it, Caliban makes a pretty good Wodwose.


16th June 2003

BLOOM: (Excitedly) Ninety-nine! Ninety-nine today!
(A hokey-pokey man hands Bloom a cone of cream, with a chocolate confection inserted into its cool orifice. A flock of newsboys darts by.)
THE NEWSBOYS: Extra, extra! Poldy only needs one more to score his century! Penny a lick, yer honour!
(General sensation. Women faint, clergymen peer confusedly through cracklensed lorgnettes, thickgrained workmen dribble forgotten porter down their shirtfronts, Richard Ellman, Anthony Burgess and Jorn Barger pull up in an ironshod brougham and a shower of sparks to present signed affidavits to the populace proving that this is indeed the case. Their carriage narrowly misses the rumbling hulk of the blogosphere.)
THE BLOGOSPHERE: meme meep! meme meep!
BLOOM: (dances with thunderous heelclacks, to the tune of 'My Way') But I can't wait! Let's do the show right here!
(He hops around on one leg, frantically pulling on a pair of ladies drawers, spilling from his pockets pursecoins, gewgaws, particoloured fliers and pills for the medicament of horses. Virginia Woolf watches from the crowd, a glossblack crow's feather in her chapeau bobbing in annoyance.)
THE FEATHER: Tuftytuftytufty thwip!
VIRGINIA WOOLF: Oi! Ikey Mikey! Give it a rest! Wot about them gardeners, a clean sweep if I ever saw one, great brooms and great writin', O jays!
(She beats Bloom about the head with a crepitant gasmantle. He subsides into the gutter.)
BLOOM: (defiant) You just wait till next year!


17th June 2003

the marriage of flesh and air

Thursday 24th July 1873
This morning Uncle Will, Dora and I drove to Seaton with Polly and the dog cart. It was a lovely morning. At Seaton while Dolly was sitting on the beach I had a bathe. A boy brought me to the machine door two towels as I thought, but when I came out of the water and began to use them I found that one of the rags he had given me was a pair of very short red and white striped drawers to cover my nakedness. Unaccustomed to such things and customs, I had in my ignorance bathed naked and set at nought the conventionalities of the place and scandalized the beach. However some little boys who were looking on at the rude naked man appeared to be much interested in the spectacle, and the young ladies who were strolling nearby seemed to have no objection.

Friday 12th June 1874
Bathing yesterday and today. Yesterday the sea was very calm, but the wind has changed to the East and this morning a rough and troublesome [sea] came tumbling into the bay and plunging in foam upon the shore. The bay was full of white horses. At Shanklin one has to adopt the detestable custom of bathing in drawers. If ladies don't like to see men naked why don't they keep away from the sight? Today I had a pair of drawers given me which I could not keep on. The rough waves stripped them off and tore them down round my ancles. While thus fettered I was seized and flung down by a heavy sea which retreating suddenly left me lying naked on the sharp shingle from which I rose streaming with blood. After this I took the wretched and dangerous rag off and of course there were some ladies looking on as I came up out of the water.

- Francis Kilvert


21st June 2003

Harry Potter Day, chez bhikku


23rd June 2003


William Nicholson, X Xylographer I'm currently reading Wood Engraving and the Woodcut in Britain, 1890-1990 - or at least looking at the pictures.

Monica Poole, Flint & Fossil Forms, 1962.

Clifford Webb, Chesterholme, 1943.

Gertrude Hermes, Jonah in the Whale, 1933.


24th June 2003

box brownie

Being a rather lazy person, I've wondered for ages how to put up a gallery or fotolog with the minimum of effort. Then I came across this page, which reveals a Movable Type method, and a splendid piece of altruism it is too. Of course, the crunch quote is:  "set up your templates for your photolog. Ooops, it just got harder", because of course you can spend infinite amounts of time tweaking (or breaking things completely as I did - by the time I'm 50 I may have learnt to back things up, although this seems unlikely).
   Having looked around at other photoblogs, I swore that I wouldn't post pictures of vegetation or rusty artefacts, the staples of the amateur photographer. But here I am, doing it straight out of the box. Darn.
   Anyway, you can see the thing here.


27th June 2003

road rage

Oed. As I drew near the triple-branching roads,
A herald met me and a man who sat
In a car drawn by colts - as in thy tale -
The man in front and the old man himself
Threatened to thrust me rudely from the path,
Then jostled by the charioteer in wrath
I struck him, and the old man, seeing this,
Watched till I passed and from his car brought down
Full on my head the double-pointed goad.
Yet was I quits with him and more; one stroke
Of my good staff sufficed to fling him clean
Out of the chariot seat and laid him prone.
And so I slew them every one.

from Sophocles, Oedipus Rex


30th June 2003


Eric Gill, Nude 1937

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