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Sunday, 06 February 2011
The back of St Catherine


This is the back of the Saint Catherine’s church in the centre of Brussels. I have previously posted a photo of the front of the church here. There is known to have been a chapel on this site in 1200, which backed onto the then city’s ramparts. Construction on this church begain in 1854.  Remnants of the city wall still remain nearby, and according to Wikipedia, because of the proximity of the foundations of St. Catherine’s church and the old city wall, the line immediately to the east of the station has the sharpest curve on the entire Brussels Metro system and is subject to a severe speed restriction.  Wikipedia being what it is has an article on the St Catherine Metro station, but not on the church.  Adjacent to the church is a reclaimed dock, which can be seen in the distant right in my photograph.  There is a short article on the church at Via Michelin which highlights that the church is built in a mixture of styles, inspired by St-Eustache in Paris.

Here’s a lovely diptych of Saint Catherine’s ChurchSaint Catherine herself was from Alexandria, Egypt, and converted to Christianity as a teenager. She is normally associated with the torture wheel that she was sentenced to death on, although legend has it that the wheel broke and she was beheaded.

Posted by bigblue on 06/02/2011 at 05:29 PM
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Saturday, 05 February 2011
Paris overground and underground


Different views of some familiar Parisian landmarks.

See also Paris overground and Paris underground.

Posted by bigblue on 05/02/2011 at 08:34 AM
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Friday, 04 February 2011
Evil Eye


The younger meanie’s birthday lunch last Sunday was at the Evil Eye Lounge in York.  They have an interesting “tube map” of their cocktails.  My companions had smoothies, and I had a glass of red wine. Yes, not very brave.  The food was good, but the service was slow.  You order at the bar and are made to feel that you are interupting the social conversations of the staff.  (Do you notice how I generalise after just one visit?)

Posted by bigblue on 04/02/2011 at 07:30 AM
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Naughty church merchandise


I spotted this saucy tree elf merchandise for sale in York Cathedral last weekend.  Could this be a dryad?

During Roman times a legionary headquarters occupied the current site of York Minster. In 627 CE the first church was built on the site, followed later by two Norman cathedrals followed and then in 1427 the present cathedral. York Minster is the largest Gothic Cathedral north of the Alps, and is the cathedral with the widest nave in England.  More information at About Britain and Wikipedia.  I wonder whether the Wiki article over-emphasises the (technical) distinctions between the English “Minster” and other churches/cathedrals with the same linguistic root in other languages/countries.

Posted by bigblue on 04/02/2011 at 07:11 AM
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Thursday, 03 February 2011
Al Wajajah


This is a photograph of a desert sunset near the Oman/Dubai border, which I took just over five years ago. I took it at the border post between the two countries, 90 minutes drive from Dubai city and 3 hours drive from Muscat, the capital of Oman. I wrote about the eventful border crossing here.

Incidentally, Happy New Year - the year of the female iron rabbit!

Posted by bigblue on 03/02/2011 at 07:51 PM
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Wednesday, 02 February 2011
Beauty of Oxted

Beauty of Oxted

I came across some beautiful photos by Adam Swaine on Flickr of the St Mary’s Oxted church windows.

A fellow Oxted resident pointed me to The Surrey Bellringers who state::

The church dates from 1086, although there is evidence that it was mentioned in the Domesday Book. The stained glass windows were cast in the William Morris factory and the Belfry sports three interesting, but undated, murals. The bells were originally cast in 1729 at the Whitechapel foundry. Major work was carried out in 1923 when a new Treble was added and the 4th and Tenor bells recast. Mears completed the work by installing new fittings, re-hanging and retuning the peal.

According to Pictures of England the windows were made to a design by the British artist and (fellow) pre-Raphaelite Burne-Jones.  In other words the stained glass windows are 19th Century.

Posted by bigblue on 02/02/2011 at 05:06 PM
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Tuesday, 01 February 2011
The Smiths Project

Sell music itunes

This is quite cool.

A fan of The Smiths, Janice Whaley, has created layered vocal arrangements of every Smiths song, she has blogged them, and she is selling her work in a 6-CD box set. Well she will be releasing them in March 2011.  Janice describes her work thus:

The music contains no instruments- everything you hear was made using only my voice and basic effects/editing techniques. I use pitch-shift to drop my voice down for bass lines, but otherwise there is no pitch correction involved. Each song contains anywhere between 30-50 layers of vocals and take as many hours to complete over several months. I worked on many songs at once as inspiration struck and time allowed.

Just in time for Spring!  As I start to arise from my morose Winter depression, I will have something to drag me back down into the depths of lonliness and despair. Beware, Janice even has a page on Facebook.

Heaven knows, I’m miserable now…

There’s a light that just went out.

Posted by bigblue on 01/02/2011 at 05:50 PM
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