Saturday 18 December 2010

Snowy again

DSCN1571-snowy-table-marcham Cold again refers. Warning: photo blog. No interesting content.

Yes, it is snowing. In England that is big news. The last couple of times this winter it has been Elsewhere, this time it is With Us so I care a bit more. We tried to drive into Oxford this morning only for my brother to phone and say that he'd turned round from Cotswolds, and two skids later, the second of which being rather long and looking for several looong seconds as though it was going to end in a parked car, we turned round too. Fortunately we have a plentiful supply of coffee, a warm house and (here) a TV to entertain the infants.

On a token climatological note, I think it has got snowier the past 3-4 winters. We had a long patch - maybe a decade, maybe two - when (or so my fragile memory asserts) any snow at all was notable. Now we've had several winters in a row with enough snow to build an igloo, if only briefly. And now we've had enough snow that my children are bored of it (update: I may have lied about that. Daniel says the former snow was boring, because it was wrong. This however is Good Snow).
DSCN1550-paul-the-viking DSCN1566-iron-chicken-cold Incidentally, best wishes to Mr Paul Holland and Miss Sarah Coates who are probably Man and Wife by now - the Stag Row refers. And it only seems fair to honour the event by including this photo of Paul. Paul is the one on the right; to the left is the Iron Chicken feeling a touch parky, on saturday, the day before the Great Snow when it was merely cold.
And now a pic that I like from Saturday: Coton sign in the last of the light. Coton doesn't really have a heart, since it is a sort of stringy Y-shape, but if it did have a heart it would probably be the little green by the church (near where the shop used to be :-() where the village sign is.


DSCN1560-from-wstones-window And lastly... I wonder if you appreciate the view shown right. Quite possibly you don't. I admit that as a photo it doesn't work as well as seeing it. It is the view from Waterstones cafe on Saturday morning where I was reading Surface detail. But the context of the photo is from Descartes:

Thus it is observable that the buildings which a single architect has planned and executed, are generally more elegant and commodious than those which several have attempted to improve, by making old walls serve for purposes for which they were not originally built. Thus also, those ancient cities which, from being at first only villages, have become, in course of time, large towns, are usually but ill laid out compared with the regularity constructed towns which a professional architect has freely planned on an open plain; so that although the several buildings of the former may often equal or surpass in beauty those of the latter, yet when one observes their indiscriminate juxtaposition, there a large one and here a small, and the consequent crookedness and irregularity of the streets, one is disposed to allege that chance rather than any human will guided by reason must have led to such an arrangement.

DSCN7448-kings That seems a rather French or perhaps Continental sentiment. Compare that lovely scene to the rather tedious uniformity of Kings College Chapel shown here.

But on re-reading Descartes perhaps he isn't saying quite what I thought. He does seem prepared to admit the greater beauty of chance-wrought building, and merely notes the greater elegance and commodiousness of planning, which is quite likely fair.

[Yes, I know the photos don't match each other or even line up terribly well on a wide monitor. Ah well]

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