Monday, 29 February 2016

Yellow Up-Skirt Freak-Show!


I am ashamed to say that this is how I initially read Melanie's latest post title. I think I am turning into Bluebeard.

You have excelled yourselves with your titles today - normally this is John's job, but Jennifer has come up with one called 'Perverts and Thieves'. It was about a pervert and a thief, and not just made up to attract visitors like my titles are.

It is a fine day today, and I am told it will revert back to the wind and rain which has characterised the whole of this year and two months of the last, so I really ought to take the opportunity of walking through a Capability Brown landscape in search of fresh rock.

Well, Tufa can hardly be called a rock at all really - it is formed very quickly in lime-rich water, and builds up in inches per year, so I will not be doing any lasting damage by quarrying it if I do find some.

About 30 years ago, I was sawing through a huge block of the stuff, and when the two halves came apart, I discovered a little pocket of fresh, brown leaves deep in the middle. That's how new it is.

Just outside Penarth in Wales, there is a cliff-face with great bands of pink alabaster running through it. It is identical in appearance to sugar mice, both in colour and texture. I have always wanted to carve an enormous sugar mouse from it, using a length of rope for the string tail.

A few miles away on the other side of the Bristol Channel, if you clamber down an extremely precipitous slope beneath the old toll-bridge, you will find the other end of this band of alabaster which curves under the water and rises up in England. This stuff is a bright, lemon-yellow. Maybe I could make some other sort of sweet from it.

Some more miles West along the North Somerset coast, on the vast beach at Blue Anchor Bay, you will find this same band of alabaster, but here it is a striking and shiny, gun-metal type of blue-grey. Maybe I could make a toy gun out of it.

Aside from the age, there is a vast difference between Tufa and Alabaster. Tufa is formed in water, but alabaster melts in the rain. It spends millions of years sheltered by the surrounding soft rock matrix, but as soon as it drops to the beach, it begins to disappear - just like a real sugar mouse.

20 comments:

  1. Your title today reminded me of ANOTHER pervert we had at the bookstore a couple of years ago. Some guy crept up behind a woman in a skirt (she was reading the back of a book) and quietly slipped his cell phone between her knees and started snapping pictures. Two old ladies came round a corner and saw him doing it. They yelled and chased him all the way out the door, swinging their purses at his head. The police never caught that one. It was actually pretty funny.

    I'll bet you never knew a bookstore could be so exciting!

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  2. Beautiful post, like poetry in prose.

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    1. Thank you, Yael. That was a nice thing to say.

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  3. In another flight of fancy, all earth's minerals differentiate it from any other planet, and all Britain's minerals differentiate it from, say, China or Mexico. The rocks we live on.

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    1. China has everything known to Earthling Geologists - including iridescent slate. The rock we live on.

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  4. Interesting information here Tom, none of which I knew.

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    1. Well I have spent half a lifetime involved with this stuff Weave, so I ought to have learned something about it.

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  5. I thought tufa was either a cooking ingredient or a pair of strong shoes usually called tufs.

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    1. And I thought Wanking was a town in China.

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  6. Your title is much more interesting than mine. Hahaha! I had to look up what a sugar mouse is. I'd eat one.

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    1. Send me your address (no funny business, I promise) and I'll send you one.

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  7. That mouse is very ann summers

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  8. That there were leaves in the middle made me smile - thanks Tom!

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  9. Pink sugar mice are the devil's creation. I'd rather have a black licorice rat.

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    1. Me too, but they bring back memories. I wish they could bring back teeth.

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