061130.Bath, The Brass Ring of December

November 30, 2006 at 6:43 PM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Christmas, Columns, doorways, Ionic Order, Overcast, people, somerset | 1 Comment

Today’s family friendly post: MERRY-GO-ROUND IN TOWN!
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I noticed this being assembled on the busiest street (intersection of Bath Street and Stall Street) in town while on my way back from measuring doorcases last night. I came back this morning to sign up for the public library in town and search for any structural timber repair books, since everything in our pathetic campus library has been checked out until January. At a pound and a half, I didn’t ride it since I figure night time might be a little more fun. The Christmas Market has also opened up. Stalls surround the abbey south side (Kingston Sq…former Cloisters), East end, the Guildhall’s south end, and fill several side streets and the Abbey Green (another square south of the abbey). Apparently, it’s one of the biggest Christmas markets in the OK, but it hardly compares to a NYC neighborhood Sunday fleamarket. I’ll keep that to myself so as not to hurt their feelings. There is, however, a lot of good music and good food. I’ll be returning at some point soon. The local Bob Dylan and Lenny Kravitz impersonators have been replaced by rather decent musicians from St. Petersburg, etc.

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061129.Claverton Down, Campus Weather Conditions

November 29, 2006 at 8:49 PM | Posted in Actors in Period Costumes, Architecture, Bath, Claverton Down, Overcast, people, somerset, University of Bath | 8 Comments

Keepin’ it daily, so far.

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You see, it rains a bit around here. I don’t bother posting much about the university because it looks terrible but in fact, the entire campus core is designed with cantilevers to protect students from the weather on “Level 2” (our base floor…there’s a road with traffic, which is on Level 1). This is in front of the library, which as you can see is not only cantilevered on Level 2, but also Level 3 continues the public footpath access but is totally encased for really terrible windy weather.

There’s a pretty good architecture and civil engineering department at this Uni and a lot of these artsy/technical people come up with great ideas on improving British impermeability standards. I saw an interesting improved raincoat student project that simplified the poncho concept and protected pretty much the full person. I can’t say it was too stylish, and the lack of maneuverability for one’s feet could affect the wearer’s mobility but I post whatever I happened to see in a day, a today’s full day of lectures made this it.

061128.Bath, My Night in Paradise

November 28, 2006 at 11:46 PM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Columns, Corinthian Order, Flowers, New York, people, Poughkeepsie, River Avon, somerset | 9 Comments

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I was invited to the Pump Room this evening and had my photo taken with the Right Worshipful the Mayor of Bath, Mrs. Carol Paradise (pictured, above left). That necklace is only worn by the Mayors of Bath, and is “priceless,” or otherwise estimated at well over 400,000 pounds.

I was there to talk to the Mayor of Bath and Mr. Torahata, C.E.O of Happy Enterprises, about setting up a billion-dollar tourist attraction near the Abbey and Roman Baths based around a recently discovered egg. It was really a spectacular find…looked almost prehistoric. It washed up on the Cornish coast a few years ago during one of the rare hurricanes that hits that area.

But after hearing expert prehistoric egg tourist-oriented programming delegations from Poland and the Czech Republic, the third speaker was interrupted by two girls from “Infant Island,” who wished to be known as the Shojobin (pictured, above right). These girls warned us that if the egg wasn’t swiftly returned to Infant Island, the larvae (their term, not mine) would hatch and destroy this World Heritage city! Enraged, Mr. Torahata chased the Shojobin off the stage, but alas!, we should have listened!

The international delegations were getting nervous and began demanding the egg be returned to this legendary “Infant Island,” but Mr. Torahata and Mayor Paradise refused to give it up, and we all know “…public opinion is powerless against the law.”

Failing to convince the Right Worshipful the Mayor of Bath and the City Councilors, we were all packing up when Godzilla suddenly appeared leaving a trail of destruction from Widcombe through the South Parade to the Abbey Yard, itself!

There was pandemonium everywhere when the Shojobin tried to calm the atomic beast through song. The singing failed miserably but attracted the egg’s mother, Mothra, who was shortly convinced by the Shojobin to save Bath by defeating Godzilla.

With a screech, Mothra defended her egg against Godzilla. For a while Mothra, who resembled – well – a moth, was on top of things but then Godzilla fired his atomic ray at Mothra’s face, felling her instantly. Woe to Mothra! This appeared to appease Godzilla, who headed off toward Royal Victoria Park and Oddown, but the Shojobin got the idea to hatch the egg with their song.

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(Pictured above, the Shojobin attempt the birthing song while a member of the town council informs Madame Mayor on the fate of Walcot, a northern section of Bath.)

Crack! And it was done, with not one but two Mothra larvae that followed Godzilla to Walcot, spraying him with an encasing cocoon substance, which tripped him into the cold River Avon. The Mothra larvae joined us at the remains of the Thomas Baldwin and John Palmer’s Pump Room (1791-1795) to celebrate before they returned to Infant Island in the middle of the Hudson, Dutchess County, New York, to live with their older Poughkeepsie urban planner cousin (pcitured below in November 2005). Just another ordinary day in Bath.

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Gozilla vs. Mothra, 1964 All this excitement caused a classmate to faint. (No photos of that, though…or the giant atomic moths and monsters for that matter.)

061127.Bath, Flowers Removed from Parade Gardens

November 27, 2006 at 5:33 PM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Cathedrals and churches, cumulus clouds, Light and Shadow, people, River Avon, Sculpture, somerset, Towers | 7 Comments

This garden used to be overflowing with flowers but they began to wilt and die and have been removed in preparation for the winter. The bowl feels like it’s posing a philosophical question.

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To my loyal readers, you are all correct. I should have stated that this shot is slightly dated…taken a few weeks ago. I normally don’t do that for Bath shots but I had meant to show the pot with flowers and then without, but missed both occasions. The main difference is a few more yellow and orange trees. I will try and be more date-sensitive in the future…but I had so many good flower shots that are outdated now….

061126.Westonbirt, Back to the Colours…

November 26, 2006 at 10:26 PM | Posted in Flowers, Gardens & Parks, Gloucestershire, Overcast, Westonbirt | 2 Comments

The Yellow Post:

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You can tell it rained a bit.

Figured out what was wrong with my browser, have corrected it and will correct past posts in a bit, as well.

061125.Bath, Hot Bath Squares

November 25, 2006 at 11:01 PM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, doorways, Light and Shadow, somerset, towns, Tuscan Order | 3 Comments

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Have been measuring the front portico of John Wood the Younger’s Hot Bath (1776-1778) all day today. Turns out the height from the top of the pediment down is equal to the total length of the pediment, with the columns standing at 2/3 this length. I picked public buildings because in case I have to recheck something during crunch time, at least my two doorcases, etc. are well lit. The entrance is now a blank door, since the structure is part of Grimshaw and Partners’ New Royal Bath complex (hence the glass door with condensation). More on these exciting measurement discoveries in a bit.

Photo appears to be distorted here.

061124.Wells, ‘Black Friday’ in the Dark

November 24, 2006 at 11:38 PM | Posted in Architecture, Cathedrals and churches, Chisel Marks, Conservation, Preservation, somerset, Towers, Vaults, Wells | 2 Comments

The day after Thanksgiving is referred to as “Black Friday” because everyone in the country has the day off and goes out to start the Holiday season shopping spree, and shops that had been in debt before (“in the red”) are restored to being debt-free, in the black, or something. I celebrated the day atop Wells Cathedral in the “forest.” Here are shots from the interior of the roof gallery as it is above the “quire,” exterior, and the ceiling of the “quire.”

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I got to walk accross all sorts of vaults and it was inredible for me. I’ve always wanted to be allowed into Cathedral roof spaces but given that my excitement manifested itself in taking a few too many photos while the cathedral engineer was giving the tour, I might not be allowed back into another one. (I imagine access cathedral roof access is controlled by an elite cathedral-ruling clique composed of structural engineers, bishops, deans, supposedly dead dictators, a few Bond villains, etc. who put out a secret list of people to exclude.) In terms of the photos, I used very little flash (only on three photos or so) and typically took them after others had taken the same shot…but I might have been the most ‘visible.’ Hmmm.

Sorry posts have been a bit scattered. I’ve been very busy recently and will probably be busy again soon.

(Can anyone else see the format has gone crazy…or can anyone see the pictures?)

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