In my Romans Project I really enjoyed The Bbc iplayer programme Timewatch Guide Roman Britain. The programme is a compliation of bits of old history programmes, from Mortimer Wheeler and his pipe, through Marxists and Feminists to the present day. Presented by Dr Alice Roberts, it has interesting historical tidbits and also explores how the interpretation and presentation of the Romans mirrors our own politics and views. From parallels with the British and Roman Empires, through views of Boudicca, first as barbarian, then as British freedom fighter, Feminist Icon and who may not actually exist at all. Really interesting programme.
Saturday, 28 February 2015
I am just completing another Women's Travel book; Gladys Reunited by Sandi Toksvig. The book follows Sandi, the comedian and writer, as she travels America meeting up with childhood friends. Sometimes touching, sometimes dark, a great read. Sandi is funny and poignant on women's roles and life choices, sexual politics and ageing. Strongly recommended.
Sunday, 22 February 2015
This is Carlungie Earth House or Souterrain in Angus. I had a spare half hour on my way down to Dundee last week, so went to see it. Ardestie Earth House was also signposted, but I could not find it in the maze of country lanes. The earth house is a network of curved tunnels, now open to the air. The picture is an aerial view as I liked the contrast of their weird shapes with the square enclosure that surrounds it; old and modern cultures and their different designs and forms. Carlungie dates from the Roman period and an amphora and jewelled brooch were found there. It is thought that the tunnels were for storage and a round hut stood in the centre. It was a very quiet and mysterious site by an old, tumbledown farm.
Wednesday, 18 February 2015
Sunday, 15 February 2015
I sometimes worry that people think I don't like modern architecture. I do work for an organisation preserving historic buildings, which I am very passionate about. But I did spend years studying modern architecture and design too. What I don't like is bad modern architecture; bland, corporate, unsympathetic to its surroundings. I like this though, the new library building at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. I pass it on my way to the gym. At night the tower glows green like a supervillain's lair across Aberdeen. I love buildings lit up in colours, shining at night.
Tuesday, 10 February 2015
Another guest artwork. When I was young I cut out and kept the sewing patterns my Gran, Jo, used in the 60s. She was a very talented knitter and dressmaker. You might remember these Leen! There are lots of things I would love to make, although sadly the patterns are long gone. Some really great dresses here.
Sunday, 8 February 2015
I saw this interesting looking girl the other day. She demonstrates many current fashion trends, while being individual...pastel hair (so pretty), neon colours, 80s style (especially in the skinny jeans). I wouldn't personally wear this, but when you see someone looking good you do ponder it.
Thursday, 5 February 2015
January is always a good month for reading, as there is holiday, terrible weather so you don't go out and a general lack of energy.
My two annnual reading projects are the Ancient Romans and Women's Travel. Some of these books were read in the Xmas holidays so actually December/January.
my mum Leen gave me two great books for Christmas, Travels in a Strange State by Josie Dew about a woman cycling across America, and Growing Old Outrageously by Hilary Linstead and Elisabeth Davies. I enjoyed both very much, funny and inspirational.
I also read Pocket Atlas of Remote Islands (they're mostly awful) and Damascus Taste of a City (sad, considering the state of the city now, but good recipes).
Since last time I have worked through the massive 'Roman Empire' (Emperors; mostly psychotic, assassinated or both).
I really enjoy having reading projects, gets me out of ruts of unimaginative reading and you feel you are really learning things. Expanding my horizons!
Sunday, 1 February 2015
This very pleasing Victorian Scottish Baronial house is on Great Western Road in Aberdeen. I often admire it as I am stuck in traffic there, driving home. Typically Scottish features include the round tower and stepped gable, as on a Renaissance castle. Scottish Baronial is a c19th style that revived these classic architectural features.
The house used to be a hotel, but is now restored and divided into apartments.