Monday, 30 April 2012

Studland. Old Harry Rocks

Here barren, there patches of vedure and the thin smoke threading its way from a cluster of trees, denotes where the village hamlet lay embosomed from the storms of the south west gales, close at the foot and under the shelter of lofty chalk range which abuts abruptly on the sea, and before which stands a high, de-tached pyramidical rock, rising out of the waters like a sheeted spectre, and known to mariners under the suspicious name of Old Harry.

(A coasting scrap. James Silvester)

Beneath Ballard, on the shore, is the Old Harry rocks. A lofty pillar-like rock, separated by a narrow channel from the mainland. Here it was, as the legend is told, that a ship foundered, bearing a complete peal of bells for Poole church, owing to the sailors having jested profanely at their sacred cargo. On stormy nights the bells are supposed to ring a warning to all approaching this dangerous spot.

(Swanage, Isle of Purbeck. Edited by John Braye 1891)

Friday, 27 April 2012

Rutland Water

The church of St Mathews now stands isolated in Normanton park to the west of the site of the hall, and is a small modern structure in the style of the classic renaissance. The mediaeval church which was described in 1579 as being in a very ruinous condition was pulled down by Sir Gilbert Heathcote, 3rd baronet, in 1764 and replaced by a plain building consisting of a chancel about 13 feet square and an aisleless nave 32 feet by 18 feet 6 inches. The style of which is said to have been ' Italian of the most unpretending character'.

(A history of the county of Rutland: Volume 2. William Page 1935)

That landscape painter who does not make his skies a very material part of his composition, neglects to avail himself of one of his greatest aids.

(John Constable)

Friday, 20 April 2012

Foxton Locks

I have to close my eyes, cross the iron footbridge to the tow-path, take the barge through the short black tunnel and there I stand in Eden again.

(Horde Canonicae V- Vespers W H Auden)

The waterways are charged with magic, but nothing about them is more magical than the difference made by the few feet of water which separates the boat from the land. Those few feet instantly set the boatman in a world of his own , and his vision of the outer world through which he glides, becomes magically calmer and clearer. Again, this may sound whimsical and improbable: the degree to which it is true can be confirmed by experience.

(Know your waterways Robert Aickman)

Monday, 16 April 2012


Spring won't let me stay in this house any longer! I must get out and breathe the air deeply again.

(Gustav Mahler)

It was one of those march days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: When it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.

(Charles Dickens)

Thursday, 5 April 2012


The very act of drawing an object, however badly, swiftly takes the drawer from a wooly sense of what the object looks like to a precise awareness of its component parts and particularities.

(Alain de Botton)

It is often said that Leonardo drew so well because he knew about things; it is truer to say that he knew about things because he drew so well.

(Kenneth Clark)