The South Downs is a one hundred mile long ridge of chalk laid down in the cretaceous period. Chalk is the remains of single celled creatures that drifted through the oceans around 140 to 66 million years ago. It makes up most of south east England and is a relatively young rock, but travel north and west and the geology of the UK gets much older. The science of geology deals with these huge time spans by creating aeons, eras, periods and epochs. But geology is not static. Change is everywhere. The world is not made up of things, only processes.
Tag Archives: England
This is the ‘Happy Valley’ of Sgt Catherine Cawood, and the home of the Cragg Valley Coiners. Ted Hughes, Poet Laureate was born here, his wife, Sylvia Plath, is buried here. We stayed in a converted piggery on a hilltop, where jackdaws tapped at the window and the fog sealed us off from the world outside.
East Anglia and the Fens
A trip to East Anglia, to the Fens and to Norfolk in search of finger in the ear folk singers, Brexit country and a vision of the future when the floods come and the UK becomes a minor archipelago, its lowlands lost and forgotten under the North Sea.
William Hershel, professional musician, amateur astronomer, discoverer of Uranus, built a telescope in Slough so huge it remained the biggest in the world for fifty years.
Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein in Bath. Jane Austen was there only a few years before. Maybe the two crossed paths.
The Cornish pastiche: Tintagel, a castle on a rocky outcrop, is this Camelot? No, it’s not.
The Warminster Triangle
Reg Presley, suddenly rich from the proceeds of a hit song, devotes his money and time to uncovering the secrets of the Warminster Triangle: UFOs, crop circles and the changing shape of planet Earth. Reg is voiced by Long John Silver.
Silbury Hill – the largest man made mound in Europe – a solemn dome, a green whale, an alien submarine. Is it the Great Goddess? A watchtower? A swollen node on a ley line? No, it’s a big cake.
A cuttlefish squirts sepia ink and creates a pseudomorph of itself to divert predators. With a little more know-how it could manufacture 3d sepia images of Weston’s Grand Pier, its Big Wheel or Helicopter Museum.
In Cambridge, looking for the Wittgenstein Archive, we find a brick wall, a skip and a white slip-on shoe.