Wednesday, 25 November 2015

And did those feet?


The normally highly political bit of news program on R4's lunchtime slot, yesterday ran quite a long live bit from Glastonbury discussing whether or not King Arthur was buried there since when it used to be called Avalon.

I thought that everyone knew that this story was made up by 13th century monks in order to attract tourists, but it seems that Reuters forgot to tell the BBC. It's not as if they are short of news right now.

I always get a thrill whenever I stand in the same spot as some bygone celebrity - a bit like putting your hands in the imprints outside the Chinese Theatre in L.A. (Is that what it is called? Is that where they are?).

Every time I take the train to London, I find myself imagining all the celebs and royalty which the very same rails which are taking my weight (not much, but every little adds up) have taken their weight too in the past. Well, I'm going to have to start all over again, because they have just replaced all the rails between Bath and Paddington in preparation for electrification.

When I was paid a great lump of cash by Gary Lineker, I brought out some of the £20 notes in the pub, and a keen football supporter asked to handle them. At first, I was a bit worried he would not give them back, but he assured me he only wanted to touch them.

Right up until our own beloved Queen, the poor and ignorant believed that the royal touch would cure all manner of disease, and one day a year was set aside for the monarch to pass amongst them to give them a fumble. Elizabeth (2nd) has always worn gloves in public - even at State banquets.

I once shook Prince Charles's hand, and I wondered if he wondered what I had been doing with it a few hours before the meeting, in the same way I wondered what he had been doing with his. Best not to think about it if you have to meet a lot of people.

I used to make and handle a lot of cast objects, and what struck me very profoundly was the simple fact that every single cast object has - at some time - been in direct or indirect contact with the original object - like Napoleon's death-mask, for instance.

Now 3D laser printing has arrived, and faithful copies of famous items can actually be sent down a phone line. Has the magic been taken out, put in, or just updated?

14 comments:

  1. Once I was in such awe of history. I walked the road from Concord to Lexington and imagined minute men popping off redcoats.I looked at everything, read about everything. I'm pretty up on most history. But, there is nothing like the past growing older and older, plus a couple of granddaughters totally nonplussed by magnificant facts, like "this is the burr oak signal tree that marked the portage between the Cuyahoga and Tuscarawas Rivers!" The magic is replaced a computer screen and a keyboard. We old farts will continue to enjoy the outdoors, the fresh air, the magnificent buildings, the books (my god, will the books be lost, too!)...
    It's a nice day--no more brooding.

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    1. That was a nice comment too, Joanne - thanks.

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  2. Graumans Chinese Theatre LA......the magic is just re-shaping itself...I'm visiting Bath next weekend.....whose famous steps will I be walking in?

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    1. Mine for a start. Look me up and I will give you a tour.

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  3. Interesting post Tom and one to think about. I shall view journeys in a slightly different light in the future.

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    1. There aren't many new roads, are there Weave?

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  4. It's nice to hear that you can feel those feels too, having grown up there. I just about burst my fufu valve every day for the month we were in the UK. I felt like he whole of history was opening out before me every minute. SO exciting.

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    1. Next time you come to Bath, get in touch and I will help you burst your fufu valve for you, Mrs C. Many hands make light work.

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    2. So kind!!! I have my beady eye on the Bath Comedy Festival, actually. So be careful what you wish for... ;-)

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  5. When the process of being able to take 3D pictures of peoples heads, and transform them into bronze, was first invented, I imagined that every household would have mantelpieces littered with bronze portraits of Mum, Dad, and whole family. This doesn't seemed to have happened. There's work for sculptors yet; thank goodness.

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    1. It's still - thankfully - an expensive process. Computer-made sculpture produces - thankfully - lifeless sculpture as well as it being expensive.

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  6. Very kind of you Tom but I will be with a friend who knows nothing of this blog and that's how I intend to keep it.

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    1. Very wise. I hate the idea of meeting any of you in the flesh too. If we run into each other, just give me a wink and stick with Jane Austen... yawn...

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  7. Jane Austen be buggered.....eating drinking laughing and shopping on the agenda...

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