Sunday, June 25, 2006

Pitt Rivers Museum

Ever since my time at Oxford, I've loved the Pitt Rivers museum. It's an anthropological museum which strongly resembles an attic. It's at the back of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. There's an unassuming (on the scale of the museum of natural history, anyway) door at the back of the main hall. Once through this, you find yourself in a large dimly lit room filled to bursting with large glass cases. There's only just enough room between the cases to fit one person. There are large exhibits (dugout canoes etc.) suspended above the cases. Items are classified under eccentric headings. There's a case full of fire-making implements, another filled with guns. There's even a case displaying what humans do to their enemies' heads. The whole place has the atmosphere of a huge Victorian attic. It's just wonderful. The museum is having an extension built at the moment which will more than double it's capacity. I just hope it manages to retain it's present atmosphere where every corner turned (and there are so many corners) reveals more treasures and unexpected discoveries.

Learning Sketchup

I've created my first sketchup drawing! My first attempt at designing a new mezzanine floor for our front bedroom. The bedroom has a fifteen foot ceiling, so it's begging to have something in that space. I reckon I can fit a platform big enough for a double bed in there. Sketchup has allowed my to prove that. Next, I'll think about tackling a narrowboat design. I've already produced two 2D plans of our proposed narrowboat in OpenOffice Draw. There are still some issues in my design : the fore deck and well deck are about four feet too short. Seating in the saloon is taking up an inordinate amount of space. I think moving to sketchup may be the answer. The problem is that having once gone 3D there may be no way to produce a 2D plan. I'd also like to transfer data from one application to the other. Oh well, only more experimentation will show what can be done.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


I'm reading a book called Recursion at the moment and I thought I would post something about it, but I found the Hasselhoffian Recursion instead. Aaaargh!

Show and Tell

S had show and tell at school yesterday. We couldn't find her baby book, so we sent her in with this. It's a panel about 3 feet by 4 feet, made for queen Victoria's diamond jubilee. The queen'd head is about four inches high. Made of three pieces of thin printed cotton stitched together. It's amazing that it has survived so long. We found it in a cupboard when we bought the chapel. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Medieval Jousting

Wow! We saw a roadside avertisement near home and went to the Medieval Jousting Fayre put on by the Devils Horsemen at Wychwood stud. We were treated to a spectacular display of stunt riding and chivalry. Gerard Naprous and his team put on a great show. We cheered all the knights except for the villainous black knight (Gerard), whom we boo-ed and hissed. At the end he was, of course, vanquished and met an end fitting to his villainy.

In addition we saw some of the Gerard's huge collection of coaches and were able to look around the stables and see all their horses. There were activites like a climbing wall, archery demonstrations and a chance to ride in a period coach.

I had not realised the Devil's Horsemen were based so near to our home. I've even seen them filling their lorry up at a local filling station, complete with trailer carrying western stagecoach.