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Saturday, 20 August 2005
In which I see pointy things


Le 3 juillet 2005 à 18:00, j’ai vu des choses pointues dans le ciel parisien pelucheux.

Le 10 Août, Parisist a regardé la même scène et a vu le vide.  Mais où étaient les touristes?

Posted by bigblue on 20/08/2005 at 12:16 AM
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Thursday, 18 August 2005

Elsecar Chimney

This is the large chimney at the Elsecar Heritage Centre in South Yorkshire, at the end of the day when the parking lot is empty.  The building in front of the chimney houses a series of craft workshops and displays but access is from the other side.

This evening, just before the rain came down, comme vache qui pisse, I went for another jog at Conkers with Martin and Anja. It was my second time and was noticably easier. It seems we went faster and farther.

Posted by bigblue on 18/08/2005 at 10:51 PM
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Fragile Roof


The sign on the wall below this roof reads: fragile roof keep off.

What interested me was the Yorkshire sandstone wall, with its typical irregular weathering and the blackened stone indicating the extent of historical pollution.  I assume the blackening is from coal fires in the ironworks, which is opposite this building.

Posted by bigblue on 18/08/2005 at 12:19 AM
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Tuesday, 16 August 2005
Ironworks Entrance


This is the old ironworks at the Elsecar Heritage Centre in Barnsley.  According to the nearby notice, it was

built by William and Henry Dawes in the early 1860’s.  Used as a store since the Second World War, the southern end became ruinous and was demolished.

However another plaque indicates that the old ironworks actually opened in 1795, supplied nails and plates to the local collieries, and then closed in about 1848. There is nothing else to reconcile the apparent contradiction in information.

This really needs to be added to my file containing things that people are blind to or which they chose to ignore.  If there is a weak point about the centre it is the rather bitsy and apparently contradictory notices scattered sparsly around the place.

This evening I went jogging at Conkers with Martin and Anja, and then had supper with them at their house, the main component of which was a delicious home-made leek, pea and lettuce soup.

Posted by bigblue on 16/08/2005 at 10:56 PM
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Monday, 15 August 2005


This statue can be found at the Elsecar Heritage Centre near Barnsley, South Yorkshire.  I spent yesterday afternoon at the antique fair at the centre.

Elsecar was a coal-mining village until the 1980’s and boasts a (restored) steam railway line, with a station at the Heritage Centre.  According to the Working Woodlands Trust, the car part of the village name derives from the Scandinavian word carr, meaning a marshy, wooded land. This gives an indication of the age and origins of the settlement there.

Posted by bigblue on 15/08/2005 at 11:19 PM
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Friday, 12 August 2005
le théâtre de rue

le théâtre de rue

Strictly speaking this was not street theatre, outside the Centre Pompidou in Paris, but some kind of similar spectacle.  The performer in the photo (with black hat) put on a short show involving jokes, mime, as well as good-natured teasing of the audience and passing pedestrians. He managed to persuade two young boys from the audience (one of whom is pictured above) to join in his act.  Their contribution consisted of being placed in a very cardboard box (which looked far to small to hold them both) which was then sealed with packing tape. The performer then stuck a number of wooden stakes through the box at various angles. To the audience’s great relief no harm was done to the boys and they were later released. Before dispersing the audience donates generously to the performer.

Edit: Oops! I wrote this last Friday but forgot to activate the post. (15/08/2005)

Posted by bigblue on 12/08/2005 at 07:39 PM
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Thursday, 11 August 2005


This is a photograph I took in Paris recently.  I am not sure what this man was trying to say to the women but they were trying their hardest to ignore him.

The sign at the window reads:

Des pickpockets sont susceptibles d’agir dans cette boutique. S’il vous plaît, soyez vigilant! Fermez votre sac et rangez soigneusement votre portfeuille et votre téléphone portable.

Personal bag thieves operate in this area, please keep a close eye on your personal belongings at all times.

Something is lost there, in translation.

I also feel that there’s an interesting juxtaposition of two swear words in the photo, one English and one French.

Posted by bigblue on 11/08/2005 at 10:33 PM
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Wednesday, 10 August 2005


I recently watched the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie. I was reluctant, as I found the first one tedious, but it was the only option for bluemeanie and I at the time.  I only slept for 20 minutes during this movie (so it was less boring that the last one).  I woke up confused because when I fell asleep the movie was taking place in England but when I woke up it seemed to be somewhere in the United States. Anyway it was with interest that I read this post about the oompa-loompanproletariat.

Bluemeanie reminded me that I used to work at a chocolate factory. Oh no I didn’t! I replied. But she stumped me with: Yes, you did: you made chocolate frogs..  The strange things children think up, eh?  I promise that I never worked at a chocolate factory, and if I did, it was full of happy singing employees

Getting back to the film: Willy Wonka fired all his expensive and untrustworthy employees, and replaced them with outsourced labour who worked for almost nothing. In a way Roald Dahl, who wrote this story in the 1960’s, was a man ahead of his time.  Well maybe not, as he was writing at the beginning of the current period of globalisation.

Posted by bigblue on 10/08/2005 at 10:58 PM
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