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Thursday, 18 August 2016

"The Wave" at Lincoln Castle

Taking advantage of the sunshine, B and I went to Lincoln for the day to see "The Wave".

"The Wave" is a work of  art to commemorate the Great War. A ceramic poppy was made for each death in the British Armed Forces during the Great War and it was installed at the Tower of London.. When the work was dismantled, parts of the work were installed at various locations, including Lincoln Castle.

Lincoln Castle was a Norman motte & bailey castle. I think it was built on the site of the Roman fort. It's grounds also contain the County Court, still in use, and the prison, now used for admin offices, a cafe, the shop and a public display of one of four original copies of the Magna Carta still in existence.






County Court building

Victorian prison

A new lift to enable greater access to a section of the walls.

Lincoln Cathedral from the castle walls.

We also visited the Cathedral, credited as being one of Europe's best. As  well as admiring the internals, the stained glass, the medieval burials, the vaulted ceilings, the stone carvings and so on, we were in search of the Lincoln Imp. Here he is, although this is not my photograph but one I pinched from Google Images. Why an imp? I don't know but I think most medieval cathedrals have such carvings.


Most cathedrals are undergoing restoration work. Modern stone masons have continued this art.


Monday, 15 August 2016

"Versailles"

 We loved this series, recently shown on BBC television. It is a French/Canadian/British production and, I suspect, it is aimed at the international market as most of the actors are British. The external locations were filmed at various chateaux in France. The background plot is the decision by Louis XIV to build the palace at Versailles and to relocate his Court from Paris to the new palace as a means to exercise some control over the French noble families and to organise and centralise the state control and operations.

The series is very sumptuous in the production company's choice of locations and costumes. The drama is part historical truth, part fiction. The same goes for the characters, some are historical, such as the king, his wife, his mistresses and his brother but some characters are fictional and are included for dramatic purposes.

Louis XIV, Le Roi Soleil, played by George Blagden

His brother Philippe, played by Alex Vlahos

(l to r) The Queen Marie-Therese(Elisa Lasowski), the King and the two principle mistresses Mme Montespan (Anna Brewster) and Henriette (played by Noémie Schmidt)

The baddies, both fictional, played by Pip Torrens and Anatole Taubman



Alex Vlahos and George Blagden in mufti


Sunday, 14 August 2016

Cheeky Squirrel


Photographed early this morning in our back garden, the squirrel that eats the bird food. We had to admire the cheek of the animal, really made us laugh.

Monday, 8 August 2016

"Jason Bourne"


A trip to Cityscreen in York for B and me, to see the new "Jason Bourne" film.

Not got much to say about the film, more of the same, It's about ten years later and Bourne is pursued around the world by CIA assassins. Lots of car crashes, shootings, fisticuffs, nice locations, all thoroughly enjoyable. The director, Paul Greengrass, keeps the action count high and really keeps the film and the story moving along at a good pace.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Three films

I am continuing my quest to see the major nominations from the 2016 Oscars, that is Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Foreign Language Film. I say the major nominations because these are the categories that best reflect my interests in film.

In the last two weeks I have seen three more.

 "The Big Short". An interesting film, rather technical so a little difficult to follow, I think this is the most disappointing of the nominations I have seen so far.



In contrast, "Trumbo" is one of the best I have watched. Dalton Trumbo was one of the screenwriters who refused to testify before the House Unamerican Activities Committee and subsequently blacklisted by Hollywood. He continued to work under a number of pseudonyms and his screenplays won two Oscars ("Roman Holiday" and "The Brave One"). Also he wrote "Spartacus" for Kirk Douglas. A very uplifting, feel good film.

Yesterday I watched "Son of Saul", the winner of the Best Foreign Language Oscar.  Wow, what a film. Briefly, in World War II, the main character Saul is a Hungarian Jew, a slave labourer in one of the Nazi death camps. He finds his son amongst the victims and wants to give him a proper religious burial. This is harrowing stuff, I am finding it difficult to write about it. Great performances, great sets and photography giving a very good feeling of place and time. Definitely not a film for the faint hearted, you have to want to see it, but you will be rewarded with a stunning vision.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Fort Paull Artillery

Some of my photos from my recent visit.

A 3.7 inch QF AA gun

12 pound naval gun



View along the terreplein towards the AA gun

A second 3.7 inch AA gun, with mannequins.


I think this is a 64 pound RML gun, as used in the original armaments.


64 pdr, seen from below



Another view of the second AA gun


Inside one of the buildings was this picture

This installation would have been great to see, unfortunately removed prior to WW1

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Mont - Dauphin




Looking at Facebook today I saw these two photos taken from the wall of the Vauban fortress of Mont - Dauphin, located in the Alpes Maritimes near the French / Italian border. They were posted on the Fortiff Séré page with the words "Mieux que la plage, la fortif." (Better than the beach, fortification".) I could not agree more. It makes me want to go, immediately.


A photo of the fortress from Google Images.