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sally_maria: Daniel Jackson looking sideways (Default)
wrong but wromantic

May 2017

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sally_maria: books top and bottom, with text "I do not understand the concept of too many books." (Books - Too many?)
I've been reading a marvellous history book, "Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts" by Christopher de Hamel.

The author takes us on a tour of the libraries of the world to visit 12 of the most famous, beautiful and interesting medieval manuscripts. He describes the history, previous owners and adventures of the various volumes but also provides verbal descriptions as well as plenty of pictures, talking about the things that you can see only by looking at the original. He's obviously an expert, with a genuine love for his work that comes over - an enjoyable person to spend time with. It's a hefty volume, but I highly recommend it.

One thing I had no idea of was the connection with 1970s aftershave adverts - if you're as old as me, you'll probably remember this Old Spice ad. :-)



I knew the music was Carmina Burana, but I had no idea it was based on an early 13th century manuscript of the same name - a large collection of songs in Latin and German, that inspired Carl Orff, the composer of the music I knew... Unlike most of the manuscripts, which were copies of existing texts, this was almost certainly the original compilation of the songs, recorded from ones sung across southern Europe for over a century.
sally_maria: (Hornblower - Even Chance)
Final day of the meme.

And this is the bay at Broad Haven in Pembrokeshire - the day of Storm Doris. We didn't get any rain, but the wind was blowing hard all day - the tide never really went out.

Bay with sea coming in, Broad Haven Pembrokeshire
sally_maria: (Bill - happy)
Icon culture is one of the things that I miss about the old days on LJ. Someone commented how few Bill icons they'd seen, and while I'm very much an amateur, I thought I could at least add to the possible stock.

All of these are free to take, share or edit if you want them, credit would be nice, but I'm not going to get upset if you don't.



And a couple of Baby Groots, because, why not?

sally_maria: Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway logo (GWSR)
Station pines - well, apparently it's national train day, you weren't going to escape from them completely. :-)

The original GWR used to plant these trees to mark their railway stations. You can still see them in some places on the main line, and certainly at every station on the GWSR, including where Bishops Cleeve station used to be.

Pine trees in the rain
sally_maria: Pre-serum Steve Rogers (Steve Rogers - Before)
A flowering tree that hangs over the pavement from one of the gardens between home and town. I don't know what it is but I think it's pretty. :-) There's another lilac coloured one a bit further down the road.


A purple blossom in a tree
sally_maria: Blair Sandburg - Caption Taking Life One Coffee at a Time (Coffee)
A pheasant visiting our back garden a couple of years ago - I think the new houses being built disturbed some of their usual haunts.


sally_maria: (Christmas)
Day 3 of the nature and photography challenge meme - do post your own pictures of nature for seven consecutive days, if you feel like it.

A complete contrast with yesterday - we haven't had a lot of snow since we moved out here, but this was the view from the bus into work one winter morning.

A view across a field to the hills beyond, with a slight layer of snow.
sally_maria: (Life's Name)
Daisies. :-) They may technically be weeds but they always bring back childhood memories of summer days.

A clump of daisies
sally_maria: (Henry)
Some friends over on FB are doing a photography meme that involves posting a picture of nature every day for 7 days. As we now have photo hosting I thought I'd try and do it here as well.



A welsh robin, on the hillside behind St David's Cathedral.
sally_maria: (Here and There)
Last weekend it was time for the Tolkien Society AGM again, and this year we were visiting Warwick. It's actually not that far from here - less than an hour away, but therefore I'd never actually visited the town, only the castle, and that longer ago than I care to think about.

It's actually a very interesting town, with quite a few historic buildings and museums, and I wouldn't mind going back again to see more of them.

First of all, I was trying to meet up with [personal profile] wellinghall, [personal profile] adaeze and Little Star at lunchtime on Friday, at the Thomas Oken's house tea rooms. It was well worth a visit, if only for the unexpected member of our party...

Warwick 2017
click through for the rest of my photos.

Other highlights of the weekend included )
sally_maria: (Dreamsheep Electricsheep)
I know one of the problems with Dreamwidth is it never became as active with communities, as people moved away to Tumblr and Facebook.

I do have some favourites here though, and as new people are moving in *waves* I hoped linking to them might be useful.

For people who like photos of the natural world [community profile] common_nature - I'm really enjoying reading back through the already posted entries.

[community profile] myrtillenne makes some very pretty layouts, that are very different from most of the official ones.

For fanfic readers, there's

[community profile] fancake for themed recs

and [community profile] gensplosion for recommending gen fics.

Do you have any communities you visit that you'd like to recommend?

GIP

Apr. 9th, 2017 10:54 am
sally_maria: I have a terrrible sleeping disorder, reading (Books - Sleeping Disorder)
Haven't done one of those for a while, but it's still so very true. :-)

Icon from this post by [personal profile] sallymn
sally_maria: (Oldest Hills)
One day I will write DW entries regularly and without lots of second-guessing myself, but obviously not yet...

In the meantime, a few weeks ago I was invited by long-standing friends to crash their family visit to Pembrokeshire, where their parents have retired to. I took a long and beautiful train ride out to Haverfordwest, and met up with them to do the last few miles to Broad Haven, on the coast.

The weather wasn't particularly wonderful, but in between card games I spent a lot of time admiring the view from their lounge window.

Pembrokeshire 2017

(Click through for more pictures)

One day we did go to St Davids, famous as the smallest city in the UK - far smaller than Winchcombe - but it has a cathedral, and that's more important than size.

St Davids

(Click through for more pictures)

I was very grateful for the invitation - a lovely chance to get away and catch up, and visit a lovely part of the world I hadn't seen for 20 years or so.
sally_maria: (Watchful Dragon)
When looking for potential nominations for the Tolkien Society Awards, I came across this piece of artwork.

Luthien and Huan by Elena Kukanova



Her DeviantArt account has lots of wonderful Silmarillion related pictures, well worth a look.

Also two articles with personal takes:

Tolkien and Combat Stress: Writing as a Release
by the Angry Staff Officer

Tolkien and the Gift of Mortality by Anna Mathie
sally_maria: (Moria)
As I'd put this together for somewhere else, I thought I might as well share it here. If you have any links to add to it, I'd love to know about them.

To start with, a 2 hour authorised documentary that was originally released on VHS, but I haven't seen it on sale on DVD at all.

Michael D. C. Drout on How to Read Tolkien

How THE HOBBIT Came to Milwaukee: Dr. John D. Rateliff speaking at Marquette University

Tolkien and Doctor Who by Joel Cornah
is one of quite a few interesting talks on the Tolkien Society YouTube Channel.

And there's also the Mythgard institute - which has talks on a number of Tolkien related subjects.


Oxford University has a number of talks as well.

A conference for the 60th anniversary of Return of the King in 2005 Tolkien's Legacy
Patrick Curry
Dimitra Fimi
Andy Orchard

Middle Earth and Tolkien's Digital Afterlives | Stuart Lee

And various podcasts
sally_maria: (Henry bookworm)
I've always been an avid reader, but I must admit that the internet has definitely cut into my book reading time - both fanfic and blog posts/articles. I collect links to all sorts of things, and catch up when I have time. So I was wondering what you do with things you read online.

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 6


How do you keep links for later reading

View Answers

I bookmark them in my browser
2 (33.3%)

I keep the tab open until I've read it
4 (66.7%)

I use an offline reading app like Pocket
1 (16.7%)

I use online bookmarks like Pinboard
1 (16.7%)

I don't, I always read them at the time
0 (0.0%)

Some other way I'll talk about in comments
2 (33.3%)

Obligatory silly ticky box :-)
1 (16.7%)

sally_maria: (Hello Sally)
In hopes it'll take me less time before I post next time.

I haven't read a lot of Yuletide stories yet this year, but I just loved this one.

The Spirit of St Mary Mead by lost_spook
St Mary Mead has had an unusual guardian down through all these centuries
.

Miss Marple never changes.



Dinosaurs as a Cultural Phenomenon
from American Scientist

My brother's the continuing dinosaur fan in our family, but there is certainly something fascinating about them.


And
On Progress and Historical Change

Is progress inevitable? Is it natural? Is it fragile? Is it possible? Is it a problematic concept in the first place?


"Progress" from a historian's perspective - I found this interesting, thought-provoking and satisfying. I'm sure there are things to disagree with, but it made a lot of sense to me.
sally_maria: (Hammond)
I keep meaning to post about my small adventures at work, but in the meantime have a poem I first came across last year, and think is rather wonderful.


ATLAS

There is a kind of love called maintenance,
Which stores the WD40 and knows when to use it;

Which checks the insurance, and doesn’t forget
The milkman; which remembers to plant bulbs;

Which answers letters; which knows the way
The money goes, which deals with dentists

And Road Fund Tax and meeting trains,
And postcards to the lonely; which upholds

The permanently rickety elaborate
Structures of living; which is Atlas.

And maintenance is the sensible side of love,
Which knows what time and weather are doing
To my brickwork; insulates my faulty wiring;
Laughs at my dryrotten jokes; remembers
My need for gloss and grouting; which keeps
My suspect edifice upright in the air,
As Atlas did the sky.

by U.A. Fanthorpe

Oxonmoot

Sep. 12th, 2016 04:45 pm
sally_maria: (TS Sleep)
Oxonmoot is the Tolkien Society's annual social/academic event, held in Oxford in September for over 40 years. (This was my 19th, but I know there are those on my flist who've been going rather longer.)

It's been a highlight of my year almost from the beginning - a chance to spend the weekend with friends, to learn, to relax and to stay up far too late and try unusual alcohol. :-)

Danish Ent Beer, Finnish Cloudberry Liqueur and Pudding Vodkas )

There were many interesting papers given on a wide range of Tolkien-related topics, and I didn't manage to get to anything like all of them.

These were some of my favourites )

What made this year even better than usual, though, was a special performance of Leaf by Niggle, by Richard Medrington and the Puppet State Theatre Company, just for us. The work involved in getting the dining hall set up as a theatre space (and taking it down afterwards) was considerable, but it was so worth it. It was a lovely, moving, and thought-provoking version, one actor, some family heirlooms and Tolkien's text presented almost complete. Another speaker, Joel Cornah, had talked earlier in the day about the importance of getting the "voice" right in any Tolkien adaptation, and this very much did.

If you get the chance to see it (and at the moment it seems to be touring mostly in Scotland), I'd say you really should - it's just wonderful, both as an adaptation and a piece of theatre.
sally_maria: (Not Amused)
I've had the week off this week, and decided it was time to get round to taking Dad to see the Docklands Light Railway, something he has talked about, but never got round to doing. (Well, not since about 1997, anyway.;-D)

As that seemed a bit of shallow thing to hang a day trip on, I went looking for things to see and found the Museum of London Docklands, in one of the old warehouses still standing near Canary Wharf.

ETA: Should have fixed the photos now.

Cut for photos and rambling )
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