Apparently today is World Oceans Day, in honour of which, I have spent a stupidly long time researching things online. I started with the innocent question “How far am I from the sea?” and then fell down the rabbit hole of “What’s the centre of England?”
The answer to the latter question is by no means clear cut: according to the Wikipedia page on centre points of the UK, depending on the calculation method used, and on how much of Great Britain or the UK is included, you can even find a centre that is in the middle of Morecombe Bay. That would be a centroid point, the calculation of which is described by Rob Andrews from the Ordnance Survey in a BBC article as: “If you imagine cutting out the whole of the UK with a giant pair of scissors and balancing it on a church spire, it’s the balancing point.”
Continue reading “(not very) centred”
Years ago, if you wanted a copy of the words of a song, if you were lucky you might find them included on the album cover. If not, you could listen to the song over and over again until you managed to write them all down.
In the first case, back in the days before photocopiers became common, unless you actually owned the album yourself, you still had to copy the words out by hand.
Continue reading “like a circle in a spiral”
I seldom write about things in the news, but seeing that the Severn Bridge tolls are to cease tomorrow, it seems a good opportunity to get out a whole collection of photographs I’ve taken of the River over the last few years.
I used to travel back and forth between London and South Wales fairly regularly by road and was very familiar with the queues at the toll booths on the old bridge. Then there was a period when I travelled from Bristol airport late at night and, again, I’d have gone over the old bridge.
Continue reading “taking its toll”
This weekend sees the last full moon of the year and, once more, the papers are full of articles about supermoons.
I was wondering why no-one ever bothered about such things when I was a child, and then I happened upon this page on the time and date website, which says the term wasn’t coined until 1979, when astronomer Richard Nolle first used it.
Continue reading “what’s in a name?”
Wondering what to write to accompany yet another photograph of flowers, I searched through the blog for the word “rose”. The search also picked up words where “rose” is a substring – rosemary, primrose, arose and prose.
By chance, then, I came upon a post from 2012 called poetry, prose and politics, which contains the quotation from Mario Cuomo, former governor of the state of New York:
you campaign in poetry but you govern in prose.
Continue reading “getting down to work”
In the Chinese calendar, the year of the rooster starts today, 28th January 2017, so it seems a good reason to have some cockerels, roosters and chickens on the blog this weekend.
The photo at the top was taken at the Bristol Balloon Festival some ten years ago. I feel it’s a bit cartoonish to go with this poetry vignette of dawn breaking in the Spanish pueblo where I used to live, but I don’t seem to have many photos on file that are right for the topic.
Continue reading “home to roost”
I’ve been thinking about the presidential inauguration and wondering if I might be able to work a neat pun into this post. Something based on the prefix in being combined with the root augur – that the inaugural can’t augur well.
But that seems a little contrived, so let’s move swiftly on and talk about poetry.
The last two inauguration ceremonies – and, frankly, the only two I’ve really paid much attention to, presumably because of the live reporting via the internet – have both included poets reading their work; but it turns out poems have featured in only five presidential inaugurations.
Continue reading “auguries”