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England

Thursday, 11 May 2017
Teesdale

This is a video by Damon Peacock on the Teasdale section of the London-Edinburgh-London cycle route. It describes quite nicely some of the stretch between Thirsk and Brampton that I did a couple of weeks ago.

Posted by bigblue on 11/05/2017 at 12:24 PM
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Sunday, 30 April 2017
Wildlife Conservation Area

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I stopped here earlier at Girlington Bank, Ovington, Richmond (South of Barnard Castle) for a bio-break, and was struck by this “wild” section next to the rape seed fields, which is signposted:

NOTICE
Wildlife conservation area
Do not enter

Unfortunately the second sign just below this one was bleached free of all words (I assume it would have provided more details about what is trying to be achieved here). The yellow crop is of course the oil seed rape, which does not have a great environmental record and comprises something like 11% of all crops grown in this country. Now I don’t know whether to congratulate the farmer for this measily conservation effort next to vast swathes of an environmentally unfriendly crop, or to congratulate them for mitigating or offsetting their environmental damage somewhat.

Posted by bigblue on 30/04/2017 at 08:16 PM
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Friday, 31 March 2017
St George’s Church in Bloomsbury

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St George’s Church in Bloomsbury earlier this evening.

Posted by bigblue on 31/03/2017 at 09:39 PM
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Sunday, 26 March 2017
Free Riding

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Seen in Reigate last weekend. Mum and Dad were having a gentle argument just prior to this about who was going to ride their own bike, and who was going to drag junior along. Dad won.

Posted by bigblue on 26/03/2017 at 09:00 PM
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Saturday, 18 February 2017
Croix de fer

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Following the n+1 rule (see rule 12) I’m in the market for a new bicycle.

This afternoon I took this bicycle for a trial ride. I did some smooth tar and some bumpy bits but it was under 20 km in total and had no climbs. It’s not the exact model of the CdF that I am looking for, but the one I have my eye on will only be available for a test ride in a week or two. The bike is heavy (it is made of steel) but the rolling resistance on the (relatively) fat tyres was good. I would have liked to try some hills though! I’m quite happy with my current (carbon) “main” bicycle, but I am looking for something I can comfortably do 300 km per day on, over multiple days.

Posted by bigblue on 18/02/2017 at 08:05 PM
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Sunday, 12 February 2017
The North Downs

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A lovely wintery afternoon for a walk up Reigate and Colley Hill, and there were lots of families out enjoying the fresh air.

Posted by bigblue on 12/02/2017 at 05:33 PM
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Sunday, 05 February 2017
Magdalena Abakanowicz

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Magdalena Abakanowicz (born June 20, 1930, in Falenty, Poland) is a Polish sculptor and fiber artist. She is notable for her use of textiles as a sculptural medium. She was a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań, Poland from 1965 to 1990 and a visiting professor at University of California, Los Angeles in 1984. Abakanowicz currently lives and works in Warsaw.

This photograph is from the Tate Britain, who write that:

Magdalena Abakanowicz began sewing three-dimensional objects with sacking, stockings, rags and rope in the 1970s.

These cocoon-like objects reflect Abakanowicz’s interest in biological systems, organic matter and regeneration, topics she discussed with scientists in her native Poland. In response to a commission to represent Poland at the Venice Biennale in 1979, she made hundreds of soft sculptures of varying shapes and sizes, ‘rounded like bellies, or elongated like mummies,’ as she described them. Abakanowicz collected old mattresses, clothing and sacks to create this ‘invented anatomy’ of forms and installed eight hundred in Venice under the title Embryology.

Made at a time of political tension between the Soviet Union and Poland, Abakanowicz has said the work ‘could be understood as a cry from behind the Iron Curtain’. She had come to prominence in the 1960s with a series of large woven sculptures called Abakans. At the time, the Polish state would not allow her to buy or rent a studio, so she made them on a loom in a friend’s basement, using sisal from discarded ropes. Without a large space in which to work she would often see her pieces in their entirety for the first time only when they were installed in exhibitions.

Posted by bigblue on 05/02/2017 at 05:43 PM
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Saturday, 04 February 2017
St Paul’s from Tate Modern

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London looking so fine today, and hardly a breath of wind.

Posted by bigblue on 04/02/2017 at 05:29 PM
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