Sunday, July 25th, 2010 17:03
kittiwake: (local)
I've just added my sightings to the Big Butterfly Count.

I did a count in my sister's back garden when I went round to feed her cat, and saw at least 7. It's quite a small garden and the butterflies were coming and going between her garden, the next door gardens and the allotments behind the houses, so there could well have been more than 7 butterflies, but I was trying not to double-count them.

My mother did a count in her back garden yesterday, and saw 3, so I added hers too as she is a bit of an Internet-pbobe.
kittiwake: (history)
A Guide to British Buildings

I received this book for Christmas about ten years ago, after really enjoying the television series it was based on. This is the book of a very interesting television series about British architecture, which had the premise that the historical buildings we almost see as part of the landscape, were as shocking in their day as architectural innovations are nowadays. And some of them were a lot more colourful, as the fashion for painting half-timbered houses black and white came in in the 17th to 18th century; before then they might have been the silvery colour of weathered oak with ochre yellow, or red and white. Although this book is illustrated, I did use Google a lot while I was reading it, to find pictures of some of the other buildings mentioned, such as Rufford Old Hall in Lancashire, of which it said "In some places there is so much oak that the expression half-timbered becomes a nonsense.".

Since I started reading it, I have been paying much more attention to the construction of the buildings I pass. I knew that Saint Mary's church round the corner from where I live (not mentioned in the book) was mediaeval and in the gothic style, but I hadn't known that the rectangular shapes and large windows with thin tracery meant that is is an example of perpendicular gothic, the latest style of gothic.

I also think that frequent trips to Wollaton Park as a child to play on the adventure playground, visit the natural history and industrial museums, go sledging in winter, walk round the lake, feed the ducks and look at the deer, probably made me rather blase about the delights of Elizabethan houses. The book calls Wollaton Hall an Elizabethan prodigy house, and particularly mentions its recently restored prospect room. Its proximity to Nottingham caused the owners to move out and let it to tenants as the city crept nearer in the late 19th century, and nowadays the house and park are surrounded by suburbia and owned by the city council.
kittiwake: (local)
How did I not know that Light Night was happening? Apparently there was one last year too. I think I had better start watching the local news occasionally instead of checking the headlines on teletext.

On Friday I was walking up from Broad Marsh to Weekday Cross on my way home from work, when I noticed that there was a big screen in the window of the still under construction arts centre (the one with the lace-patterned wall panels for those of you who came on the Nottingham Bookcrossing walk), but I didn't stop to watch the display as my attention was caught by something going on further down High Pavement. The front steps of the Galleries of Justice had been turned into a theatre, and there were people on stilts (kind of spring-loaded stilts that made them about ten feet tall, rather than the really tall stilts) and lots of teenagers and younger children in costume. There were a couple of people dressed up as hanged men (with a rope round their necks and about a metre of rope standing up above their heads, and a tall white ghost lurking by the church gates. The churchyard and trees were all lit up too. I asked one of the marshalls what was happening and they said there would be a play at about 7 o'clock, so I carried on home, had tea and came out again at about 6:50. The play was a series of non-too serious scenes about murderers, resurrection men and transportation to Australia - which was relevant to the setting, since the narrator was standing on the site of the gallows where people used to be hanged in the days when there were still public hangings.

If I had known that Light Night involved the whole of central Nottingham, I would have gone for a wander after the play, but as it was I went home and watched TV.


kittiwake: (Default)

June 2012

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