Feb. 11th, 2012

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Back to normality now.  Met Mr Neighbour this morning and exchanged cordial 'hello's' - so much for the early morning hoovering and French Horn practice!!

The weather is chilly and damp, and not anything like as bad the kind of meterological horror that's rampaging across much of England and... Italy!  Sometimes it's quite nice to be living on the Atlantic seaboard.  Our snowdrops and hellebores are looking quite content, thank you.

Sophie's back, after having had a new timing belt and water pump fitted.  This'll set me back a bit, but that was the beauty of getting such a bargain buy - I've had some extra money set aside which I can use to invest in her long-term future.  This is an unusual luxury which I've never experienced before.  Most of the time, I've crippled myself buying the damned thing, and then I've spent the next few years chasing my tail and playing financial catch-up, biting my nails and chewing my fingers as I angst over how much the next MOT will cost.

I don't know if I'll manage to get to Saint Andrews for the medieval weekend or not.  The cost of accomodation is off-putting, and it's the wrong time of year.  I've got two big orders for the plant catalogues which should be placed as soon as possible, and these will probably cost the same as petrol & accomodation for the weekend.  So I'm swithering still, and will probably still be swithering on Thursday.  If The Boss sends me off up Fife & Perth way to deliver inscribed slates and med pot next Friday, I might very well stay on for the event, but otherwise... We shall see!

An alternative view of Lincoln Cathedral now, courtesy of the roof walk.  It always impresses me how much effort our medieval friends put into their ecclesiastical structures: even up here, a vast distance away from the casual onlookers below, everything is beautifully crafted and ornamented.  It's a good indication that the masons were working for the benefit of God as much as for themselves - I doubt very much if they ever imagined that bands of intrepid tourists and architecture-fanatics would be traipsing around the roof-top admiring their handiwork.

This is a view of the Central Tower, as seen from the parapet roofwalk, and very imposing it is, too.  It collapsed in the late 13th century, and was rebuilt in the Gothic style:-




And these are the towers which dominate the West Front, again seen from this unusual perspective:-




Amongst all this Gothic rebuilding, some traces of Romanesque can still be identified.  Like these windows, with their rounded arches:-




The proliferation of iron cross-ties in the wall probably hints at just how much reinforcement has been required over the centuries to keep this structure safely intact for future generations.

And now, here's a close-up of the Romanesque details, and after reading Fawcett's book I should really be able to tell you more about the capitals on the nook-shafts (at least I've sussed out the nook-shafts, which are the round pillars set into angles in the masonry around openings such as doors and windows).  What I can tell you for sure is that these aren't cushions, or volutes, but the ones in between which I think may be called scalloped - in case you're wondering, a cushion has a single semi-circular face on each side of the capital,the scalloped (if it's called that) has the surface of the capital subdivided into two or more, while the volute has an extra moulding at the junction between the surfaces which is evidently inspired by the Corinthian column of the Classical Orders.

Aargh!  No wonder I can't get my head around this architecture business!!  These architectural history boffins quite literally speak a foreign language....


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