070713.Bradford, Stoneleigh Lodge

July 13, 2007 at 10:23 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bradford, Chisel Marks, Reflection, somerset, Window | 2 Comments

061021.061.Somset.Bath.LansdownRd.Stoneleigh Lodge

061021.060.Somset.Bath.LansdownRd.Stoneleigh Lodge

Lansdown Rd.
Window with septennial cusping, four-four over six-six lights? Or how would you describe this window? I have no idea. I’m sure there is a formula though.

prepared by JosyC

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070412.Bathwick, Light at the End of the Tunnel 3

April 12, 2007 at 1:04 PM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Bathwick, Bridges, Light and Shadow, Peephole Views, Reflection, River Avon, somerset | 4 Comments

“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — :
‘God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.'” (Eliot Rosewater in God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater)-Vonnegut See clip here

070226.035.Somset.Bathwick.ClevelandHus.Kennet&AvonCanal

Under Cleveland House along the Kenneth and Avon Canal

070411.Bathwick, Light at the End of the Tunnel 2

April 11, 2007 at 2:26 PM | Posted in Bath, Bathwick, Bridges, Canals, Light and Shadow, Mansion, Reflection, somerset | 5 Comments

This is the 201st post! JC’s been kind enough to post 25 of them for me while I’ve been away at various times. (And you’ll notice, she always posts at exact intervals, pretty impressive.) I should have done something big for yesterday’s post. Oh well, I’ll wait for the 238th post spectacular. 070226.034.Somset.Bathwick.ClevelandHus.Kennet&AvonCanal
Someone please explain exactly how this happens and why it is so great. Come one, any mathematicians out there, surfing the net, killing time, itching to do something completely irrelevant? You know you want to explain the properties of light refraction on nearly still water.

“So here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.”

“All time is all time. It does not change. It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations. It simply is. Take it moment by moment, and you find that we are all, as I’ve said before, bugs in amber.”-Vonnegut

This is under Cleveland House on the Kennet and Avon Canal

070409.Widcombe, Light at the End of the Tunnel 1

April 9, 2007 at 3:09 AM | Posted in Bridges, Light and Shadow, Reflection, River Avon, Widcombe | 4 Comments

061216.062.Somset.Bath.Widcombe

“Part of the Widcombe Locks of the Kennett and Avon Canal.”

I can’t tell you more than that. I think James has returned, but he hasn’t told me yet, and he has not yet posted his usual slightly-after-midnight post, so maybe he’s not. Dear readers of Bath Daily Photo, you are EXACTLY AS INFORMED as I am. Possibly moreso.
JosyC

070402.Bathwick, The Rare Perfect Day in the OK

April 2, 2007 at 2:30 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Bathwick, cumulus clouds, Light and Shadow, Overcast, Reflection, River Avon, somerset | 3 Comments

070226.030.Somset.Bathwick.ClevelandHus

A beautifully reflective window of Cleveland House (c.1800) over the Kennet and Avon Canal,
Bathwick,
Bath,
Bath and Northeast Somerset,
Somerset,
England,
the Overcast Kingdom,
Europe,
Earth,
etc.

posted but not created by JC. This is the third time I’ve tried to post this, so if you see a double- or triple-post, I’m sorry, but I’m not fixing it.

070320.Bath, Shiny Emergency

March 20, 2007 at 1:14 AM | Posted in Actors in Period Costumes, Architecture, Bath, Conservation, Crescents, Light and Shadow, Mansion, Peephole Views, people, Reflection, somerset, Supernatural | 4 Comments

Door handle of One Royal Crescent’s Drawing Room.

070308.037.Somset.Bath.RoyCrescent
exit_sign
One hundred beeswax candles lit equals the light given off by one 60-watt light bulb. Although it may be romantic to have that many candles lit

000218.70.NV.LasVegas.LiberaceMuseum

in a room, it’s expensive and dangerous as well. Before the choice of electric or gas, candles or oil lamps of any kind were expensive and thus used sparingly. However, when they were inevitably used, precautions had to be taken in the event they burned down the house. Thus lamp and candle-era door handles, knobs, etc. were shiny to reflect the light of a carried candle or a raging inferno. If you needed to get out fast, you could find the exit. These were the equivalent of red-light EXIT sign boxes you see everywhere that are positioned throughout large spaces to aid in their two and a half minute evacuation. In Micahel Forsyth’s book “Buildings of Music,” (I don’t have it in front of me so don’t quote me) he figured out that theatres in particular burned down on average ever [number under 10, I think] years.

Most aesthetics of that long gone age reflected this necessity, and as gas and electric overtook commonplace lighting, so too did non-shiny, duller, more subtle colors overtake fashion. Today, we see shiny as somewhat tacky. (Although its use in architecture has been resurrected with the starchitects’, like Gehry’s, use of the aesthetically superficial to have their building stand out on glossy magazine covers.) Who wants an old mirror frame re-gilded to its shiny former like-new self? Basically, shiny doesn’t work in terms of modern aesthetics: think Liberace.

[Above: Liberace and “the World Famous Liberace Museum” in…Las Vegas. Below: The Great Lafayette. The story is paraphrased from JK GILLON’s article.]
lafayetteimage
Now, for a second, think of a different Liberace a long time ago in a place far far away: Edinburgh, Scotland, May 1911. One of the greatest and most popular magicians of Europe was the Great Lafayette, the highest paid entertainer on the continent at that time. His shows immediately sold out everywhere he went and featured numerous illusions, large-scale stage shows, a fantastic mechanical teddy bear, midgets galore, and exotic animals too!

The magician himself was somewhat of showstopper. As a “bachelor recluse,” he lived with his cross-bred terrier named Beauty, a gift from the great Harry Houdini. Beauty was certainly loved by its owner, who had a metal statue of the dog cast for his limo hood ornament. Lafayette bought the dog a pure gold diamond-studded collar, velvet cushions, a minature porcelain bathtub that was fitted on his private railcar. This magician lived for his dog.

But then, the unthinkable happened — Beauty died (curiously enough, of apoplexy caused by overfeeding – the same thing that French chefs do to the foie gras geese and also what probably killed by gerbil)! The magician could barely go on, he had his beloved dog embalmed and buried in what became his own plot in Peirshill Cementery, on a mound near the Portobello Road entrance.

This death of a loved one came four days into his two week show at the Empire Theatre, Edinburough. That Tuesday on the 9th of May, 1911, during the second evening performance, the shiny satin-costumed Lafayette was still grieving but had continued to perform and made it through almost the entirety of the show. All that remained was the finale, called “The Lion’s Bride.”

It started off easily enough, Lafayette charmed the audience by pulling out not a hare but an entire goat from the folds of his satin pants, quickly followed by the usual flocks of birds (extracted from a still shinier sequined-handkerchief). Then Lafayette vanished, then he reappeared, then he switched identities with his assistants, you know, the usual. But the act involved a staged “exotic” “Oriental” set, complete with tapestries, cushions, tents, curtains, carpets, etc. There was a caged African lion, fire-eaters, jugglers, acrobats – basically, everyone who was anyone. The whole stage seemed full of people who had previously appeared. A scantily-clad woman entered the lion-filled cage, which was then covered (to allow the sedate lion to be poked and roar), then the covering was lifted and suddenly the magician was in the cage! Fooled you, he’s the lion’s bride.

The crowd went wild, everyone always loved that act, it was a great way to end the show. Lafayette got out and bowed but in so doing he knocked over an “exotic” lamp, which quickly set the “exotic” curtains, carpets, and cushions alight.

What did the crowd think? Oh good! There’s more. Let’s stay seated. Soon the exotic blaze engulfed the footlights and edged to the stall seating. Stage hands, assistants, orchestra members and off-stage performers suddenly broke rank and started spilling out of the woodwork, where they were hidden. As the crowd got this sneak peak and learned a few of the magician’s secrets, the fire curtain quickly fell hiding the growing inferno and the audience jumped up and fled the theatre in about two and a half minutes.

Three hours later, the fire was under control but many of the orchestra and stage-hands didn’t make it out. Neither did midget Little Joe nor 15-year-old mechanical-teddy-bear-operator Alice Dale. But where was the magician — had he vanished to safety? A few survivors claimed he had escaped but returned to save his horse. Whatever the reasons, they shortly found his charred elaborately costumed body on stage – AND THEN THEY FOUND HIM AGAIN! The second severely burned body was found in a lower basement, and this one had his diamond rings – the ones he didn’t lend out to assistants.

Later that week, his ashes were interred in the resurrected and opened casket of Beauty, in a funeral described as “one of the most extraordinary interments of modern times.” Houdini didn’t make it to the funeral but he sent flowers, a floral arrangement shaped like Beauty.

Subsequently, theatres and large arenas have to be evacuated in under two and a half minutes. Cathedral-ceiling spaces can take longer but low-ceiling spaces should be evacuated much faster.

070306.Monkton Combe, “Look Ma, No Hands!”

March 6, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Posted in Canals, countryside, Monkton Combe, people, Reflection, somerset | 6 Comments

070303.038.Somset.MonktonCombe.DundasAqueduct.basin.LookMa No Hands
Alright, as previewed in yesterday’s post, this shot series also takes place along the Dundas Aqueduct and the Dundas Wharf. The photos are in reverse order but the story on how they were taken is linear. There’s actually no story so everyone will figure it out.
I was photographing a dog sunning itself on board one of the canal boats with its tail dangling near the water when another canal boat sails past me. There was, as mentioned yesterday, no name on this black-red boat but the person driving it looked particularly stoic/annoyed (I’m not good at reading expressions). He had what the Americans call a fauxhawk, or what the Brits call “the fin,” and I think the best way to describe the expression on his face was that he looked like he had something up his…. Anyway, this guy was the only one on deck standing like Napoleon with one hand in his coat and the other somewhere else as he cruised over the aqueduct, which didn’t raise my curiosity despite the fact that this part of the canal especially requires steering.
The boat was moving slowly enough that I, and the six people I was with, got on a bridge nearby to take an “aerial shot” of the nice canal boat with its BBQ Grill figurehead, kayak lifeboat, bagged garbage, and potted Christmas Tree.
I took one of the bow and thought that would be good enough to post.
Then I thought, might as well stay another two seconds and get a shot of the bow with the kayak.
And since I had two-thirds of the boat, I thought might as well get the whole thing – and that’s when I, and the six others, found out how this boat is steered.
Can’t imagine you’d receive a driving permit with that technique.
070303.036.Somset.MonktonCombe.DundasAqueduct.basin070303.037.Somset.MonktonCombe.DundasAqueduct.basin
070303.034.Somset.MonktonCombe.DundasAqueduct.d.JohnRennie.1798-1805
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