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Wednesday, 18 July 2018

LUT Guy Arab

Walking back home from the Post Office, I had to go up the hill towards the parish church. Parked up outside the church was this lovely bus on wedding duties. It is a Guy Arab V, new in 1964, and operated by Lancashire United Transport (LUT). Now preserved at a transport museum, it has the occasional run-out. I did not have my camera with me so these two photos are from t'internet.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Oscar Wilde, Barry Lyndon and Nude Cyclists

Of late, the weather in the UK has been very warm and sunny. I have taken to retreating indoors for lunch and early afternoon. I went to the Cityscreen cinema for two consecutive days.


This is very good film about the final years of Oscar Wilde, after he left prison. He was in dire financial circumstances, living in hotels in France. The film was written, directed and starred Rupert Everett, his masterpiece, a real tour de force. I loved the film, great acting, magnificent mise en scene, but very sad.

Oscar Wilde is buried in Pere Lachaise cemetery, we visited the grave in 2014.


Back at the cinema for an afternoon showing of "Barry Lyndon", part of a season of the films of Stanley Kubrick. This was the first time I had seen it on a big screen and it was marvellous.

Nude cyclists.

Those readers of a delicate disposition should stop reading now.

On Saturday evening, when we left the cinema we found there was a demonstration taking place. Around 80 cyclists were on the "Annual Naked Bike Ride", they were protesting to raise awareness of the "Vulnerability of Humans on the Roads". There were bikes and riders of all shapes and sizes.

Best of all, they were met with lots of laughter and giggles and general good humour. Even the police officers thought it was funny.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Jurassic York

A couple of days ago, we drove into York to visit CityScreen cinema. Walking from the car park to the town centre, we passed the Yorkshire Museum when we met these two escapees.

The Museum's current main attraction is "Yorkshire's Jurassic World"and the two escapees were out to scare up some more visitors. I'm sure it was just coincidence that many UK cinemas are showing the new Jurassic World film.

This was the film B wanted to see and as I enjoyed the previous Jurassic Park films, I went along as well.

"Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom" is the fifth outing of the prehistoric creatures and, again, the dinosaurs, the island and the other CGI images are terrific. As usual, the main protagonists have to escape from the island and not be devoured by a dinosaur. Nothing complicated, nothing deep, but good fun and good entertainment.

Trying not to be eaten - Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard (and a n other)

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

U3A York Silent Film Group "Napoleon"

Yesterday - what a day. Around a dozen of us gathered in York to watch Abel Gance's silent film of "Napoleon"

In the mid-twenties, Abel Gance filmed part one (of a proposed six part) biography of Napoleon Bonaparte. He spent several years in writing and filming and it was released in 1927. Part one is around six hours long and only covers Napoleon's schooldays in Brienne, the Revolution, his marriage to Josephine and Napoleon's campaign in Italy, up to 1797. Gance had spent approximately 70% of the budget and so did not proceed with parts two to six. We watched the British Film Institutes's restored version on four DVDs which has an excellent orchestral score by Carl Davis and Beethoven.

We started at 09:30 and finished at 16:40, with around 60 minutes for breaks and lunch. I think we were all captivated by this visually stunning film.

Albert Dieudonné as Napoleon

Three camera/screen shot of Napoleon on left looking over the camp of the Army of Italy

Oops - wrong Napoleon

Abel Gance had a role as Saint-Just

Dieudonné on set

Camera team keeping up with the cavalry

Monday, 28 May 2018

Visit to Conisbrough Castle

Yesterday we had a day trip to Conisbrough Castle, a small castle in South Yorkshire.

The Normans built a castle here to control the River Don and its crossings

Originally a motte and bailey castle, it was rebuilt in stone during 1180 - 90

The defences included a barbican

It was a poor site choice with a lot of subsidence

A collapsed wall on the outer ring

This shape of donjon is unique in England with six large buttresses. It is 28 metres (92 feet) high, 19metres in diameter.

Curtain wall. Henry VIII's surveyors noted a lot of disrepair in the 1530's.

The location of the Great Hall.

Up the modern steps to the donjon's main entrance.

Restored medieval fireplace.

Steps between floors

Built-in basin

From the top, a view of the inner bailey

Looking west over the town

Looking north

Stone detail in the family's private chapel

A walk around the outside

The castle was in such poor condition, it was not subject to further slighting by Parliamentary forces in the ECW

The renovations of the 1980's and 90's were very well done

The local Medieval Society was holding an event below the castle.

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Middle East Buildings

Recently I posted a photo of a ruin I had bought on EBay.

It is listed in the Magister Militum catalogue as an Indian/Arabic Partly Ruined Wall. I have finished painting it - it now looks like this

I have tried to give it a little grandeur with the painted arches and pillars and a more sandy colour for the brick infilled arches. All then finished with a few coats of Citadel Agrax wash.

Onto the next building, another EBay purchase, a house with a courtyard.

This promises to be interesting. It is a little too pristine for my tastes so I will do a little work on the outside then try to make the courtyard more domestic.