This weekend, I made the mistake of taking a break from the computer (give or take the odd hour) and now find myself so far behind with correspondence and blogs that I am hoping to catch up by this weekend so apologies for not visiting you for a while. I shall be around your respective blogs tomorrow at the latest, as ever thanks for your patience and understanding and now onto today’s post…
When I was younger the sight of a wall full of books without covers was galling to say the very least, all those possible adventures and no idea what they were, apart from the titles and a cursory flick through which usually confused me more. One good thing was not being able to judge the book by its missing cover but still it would have been nice to have a happy medium of knowing what the book I was purchasing would be about, the fiction books always proved a lot more subtle of title than their non fiction counterparts.
Yet there is something more mystical about having to take the time to actually explore prospective purchases, weighing them up and finding some eccentric titles such as How to Look at Old Buildings, that just demand to be picked up and leafed through. These days I don’t get annoyed by the sight of naked books any more but see it as a chance to take a punt on an unknown author and hopefully find some hidden gems. Continue reading “Book Strip”
The picture is not relevant to the post (unless you wish to find an obscure reason) but does act as a distraction for I wish to get thinking of something else and a picture of that would have an effect on your imagining process. Not a lot of effort is required as I have already done the hard work for you on that score but it is a Sunday and you should be resting anyway.
Those of you with active imaginations will already have at least one world somewhere inside your head that you are or plan to write about For some of you, you have the blank starting canvas ready to imprinted with and cluttered up with many exciting and unique things.
I would like to suggest to you a door, it leads nowhere at the moment, the purpose of it is irrelevant and you can choose where it goes later, it is the door itself that is going to be the actual focus.
At first glance it’s a solid-looking regular door sized door, it has the weighty look of stubborn resistance. It is made out of dark wood, with a varnished finish and has a liberal sprinkling of cobwebs as well as a bounteous supply of dust. Most likely this entrance (or exit) has not been used for innumerable years and gives off the impression that it will most likely squeak like a cliché when opened.
On closer inspection, after wiping away a few layers of dust, there is revealed a metal shape, similar to a severely angled fleur-de-lys. There is a lattice effect scored into the symbol which is raised almost imperceptibly from the door’s surface. It gives off the impression that it was beaten into the very fabric of the wood.Continue reading “Doorning Thoughts…”
Pottering through any book shop and looking at the bestseller lists, it’s not uncommon to see new book covers aping previous popular books, for example all the ‘erotica books are done in the style of Fifty Shades these days. The same thing happened with the Da Vinci Code as well as others I would have noticed had I bothered to look at best sellers. I do recall Salmon Fishing in the Yemen spawning a few as well.
It is thanks to the wonderful Private Eye magazine and in particular the infrequent Bookalikes column that has encouraged me to bring this travesty of lazy publishers to your attention. All it takes is the effort to employ some artists, recognise that people don’t want another clone of books they have already read and some original works…it’s not difficult to reinvigorate the poor selection of bestsellers out there. Continue reading “Deja-View”
There is nothing sadder than the sight of happiness gone wrong…but by now I’m sure you know that I enjoy my melancholy haunts.
I think I have perhaps found the ultimate playground for such thoughts.
Since gliding through these featured photos which I came across at flavorwire.com I have become slightly obsessed with dilapidated and abandoned theme parks.
When the silence falls how mournful and piteous these crumbling places must seem. Naturally I would love to walk the once thronged avenues of these ghostly, skeletal structure infested waste grounds and take in the feelings of memories shared and gone, discarded like the remains of a hot dog before the next ride.
Reading books set in amusement parks at night are always ominous but there is always that feeling of excitement, of life merely put on hold until the morning. That feeling of the echoing laughter that fades will be renewed in the morning. This seems more….terminal. Continue reading “Fun Faired Badly”
However badly it manages internal scandals and tries to justify the extremely ridiculous nature of its management structure (and don’t get me started on the quality of some of its programmes), one thing the latterly beleaguered BBC gets right is its History programmes and accompanying books.
As usual with a BBC publication, the lavish use of photographs and small but not to small font gives you the feeling that you are holding a book containing a lot of substance, something you can read right through or dip into, but always something worth keeping and going back too.
Intrepid explorer Dan has travelled the world looking at buildings which have either changed the world or have the capacity to keep us ‘astonished delighted and impressed’ and the selection he as come up with are very varied and always engaging.
Some buildings are naturally familiar the world over, the structures of Pompeii, the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut and such like, and allow even the most disinterested person a way to engage in the book, if not in the actual reading but in the many photographs.
Others edifices (edifi?) range from the obscure to the fascinating, such as the Sedlec Ossuary which is home to the bones of over 40,000 people, some of which some have been artistically arranged into chandeliers and other such adornments. Type that into your favourite search engine and see how delightfully macabre yet visually arresting the place is. But that would be me digressing again.
With a book like this, it enables you to put a new perspective on the form of buildings, something you don’t see in the steel and glass structures of today’s ‘best’ designers. A celebration of everything from the noble igloo right through to the majesty of Catherine Palace in St Petersburg.Continue reading “Dan Cruickshank’s Adventures in Architecture”