Years ago, I worked for around six months in the centre of Birmingham, somewhere in the shadow of the old Nat West Tower and directly opposite the – then brand new – Copthorne Hotel.
Returning to the area a few years ago, I couldn’t find any way to reconcile my memories with the reality: – the development and construction work in the city centre has been tremendous and the landscape has changed both along the skyline and at ground level. Continue reading “they paved paradise”
Yesterday, I went to a breakfast meeting at Stoneleigh Abbey.We ate in the saloon, whose ceiling features this magnificent plaster relief depicting Hercules being welcomed by the gods after his death:I visited the Abbey a couple of years ago and went on a tour of the house; sadly, the photos I took then are currently on a computer that won’t boot, so I only have a couple of pictures I took on my phone as discreetly as possible during the meeting. Continue reading “poetry & plasterwork”
Seen through old sash windows, a crinkle of brickwork
and ripple of wrought iron remind me that glass is liquid:
cool and viscous, it creeps earthwards through the centuries.
This thought occurred to me when looking out at the buildings in the picture. Then, of course, I felt obliged to go and research whether glass really is liquid or whether that’s just an old wives’ tale. The idea is discussed at some length and technicality in this paper.
I think the conclusion is that, although glass can be considered a super-cooled liquid, the variations in thickness of old glass are nothing to do with the pull of gravity. Still, I was trying to write poetry not science, so I’m leaving it as it is and will blame any inaccuracy on my fallible narrator.
*oops: I really did spell it that way and publish it without checking. I’ll blame the fallible writer for that; and the fact that it’d be distorsión in Spanish.