I’ve been running the site for over 300 days and I’ve lived here for twelve months but I’m leaving today for a new job. It’s exciting — my first time in Ireland. I’ll return in a few months and update this periodically so for everyone who I didn’t say goodbye to (which is more or less everyone) goodbye…
I was originally to be graduating here in the Assembly Rooms, once one of Bath’s Georgian wonders but sadly destroyed in the Second World War. The rooms were rebuilt. They appear historic, but it is not actually a historic building. It is still listed, of course, and it still contains the shell of the rooms — but it’s a complete restoration. Most students graduate during the summer here and in Bath Abbey. Now that is a place to graduate in – and I want in! So I’m happily postponing graduation and trading up into the better space.
Prominent view of Bath Abbey, the Empire Hotel, St Michael’s Without, and Pulteney Bridge
A long time ago in a land far away, when I was first learned the term rustication, my professor, already an angry and unhappy man, immediately explained to his rapt audience that every year the entire class would always confuse the word and write it as rustification. He said always — and without fail, and of course, that’s what sunk me. I still fight that f to this day.
This was of course by design since he followed with a story about his friend who teaches at Harvard. I’m sure the person is more of an acquaintance since I doubt this man has any friends but apparently the Harvard architectural professor deliberately pronounced facade to his freshman audience as fakAde, and was greatly amused that the class followed his precedent into their later years in school.
Back to the images. This facade of the Pump Room faces Stall Street. This stage was designed by Thomas Baldwin but the building was taken over in 1792 and redesigned and completed by John Palmer. This particular type of rustication present on each block is termed vermiculated, expressing the appearance of a worm-ridden block. The simple inversed-beak joints between the blocks are simply termed as chamfered. Note the Ionic order here along the famed colonnade.
The street musician in the first photo performs on Stall Street when Abbey’s cloister square is occupied by another. There is some agreed upon schedule, as each act always ends five minutes to the hour and the musicians switch spots.
“There is going to be a great flood, and all shall drown except you and yours, and the chosen animals.… I shall bring a flood that will wipe out the world. The whole thing was a bad mistake—except you, you I like.”
“Who are you?”
“I’m the creator of the universe.”
“I was just talking with the Lord and you know what? He regrets having made his children too. He says it like this: ‘I will blot them out’”
“What does that even mean?”
“It means he’ll blot them out, smush ‘em into the ground like ladybugs. He’s going to flood the place and drown everyone with his tears of rage. And guess who he picked to spearhead the operation? That’s right, me. Also, you virginal dummies will have to get married so we can re-seed the Earth. Stop waxing the rimrod and clean your togas. Get out to work.”
“From what Ham had heard about God, he was a lot like his father: tough, stubborn and prone to yell right into your face for no reason. To Ham, a flood wouldn’t have been out the question. And God would have chosen his father because his father felt just like he did: He hated his kids and was going to teach them the meaning of righteousness by killing them dead.”
“Is it right to listen to the voice in one’s nose? Maybe I am sick in the head. But if I am wrong that means the dummies are right. There is nothing left for me to do but persist.”
Ham: “You know, we could empty out the alligator cage and make some more room for people. The world could do without alligators.”
Noah: “And disobey God, you dummy? …And you try reopening that door. Do you know what a pain that would be? No thanks.”
Left: Rome’s Cloister of S. Maria della Pace, designed by Cortona, 1656-57.
There are great little moments in Bath and the area. Here, through this tunnel of foliage, lies a sunlight-lit house at the end. When you get there and gaze out where its windows overlook, you find that you’re at the base of Prior Park and can see the famous Paladian bridge there. Isn’t that amazing?
Over the hedge: 1, 2.