A dull day in every sense. The glorious sunshine that we experienced on Saturday has been replaced by grey mist and drizzle. This explains a lot about the British psyche. Don’t get used to it being nice, because within a couple of days it’ll all turn to crud again.
Property is on the mind at the moment. It’s nice to have an excuse to pull out the collection of deeds to the house; when we moved in here 21 years ago we inherited this huge envelope full of documents, the oldest of which (the one at the bottom of this shot) dates back 210 years, to 1812 — although our house was built around 1890, the plot of land on which it stands was first enclosed and sold in that year. Anyway, I love these deeds, their copperplate handwriting and archaic terminology (‘messuages’, ‘indenture’). Should we ever sell this place I’m going to pretend these don’t exist, and keep them.
Briars Pavilion — the first home of St Helena’s most famous resident, Napoleon Bonaparte. When he arrived here in 1815 post-Waterloo, he lived here for the first couple of months while his more permanent home (Longwood House) was being prepared.
The Heart-Shaped Waterfall — well that is its official name, and you have to say that it is appropriate. But it seems they only turn it on during the winter months (May – September).
I reckon there are five or six decent shots available that between them will encompass the view from my place of quarantine. This is the left-hand-most of them all, if you see what I mean. We are here looking west; while not very apparent on this shot, on the top of the hill is an old fort, dating from the 18th century. To the right (north), a spectacular view over Jamestown to the ocean, but you can see that another day.
While I do resent having to spend time in quarantine, particularly as I was tested not only before I flew, but at the airport, and came up (inevitably) negative both times — I accept there are worse places to do time.
Not much to do other than look at plants again, and to save having a second ‘autumn colours in the mist’ shot in a row (though the woods looked good once more), let me instead document the reason why one of our gutters was overflowing onto the front step below. A garden cane with a fork taped to the end provided a solution. I bet you’re excited now… There went weekend no. 1 of House Arrest 2.0.
Here is a house occupied by someone with several problems. I’ve been passing it for a couple of years without it changing much, and there is evidence to suggest it’s been developing like this for 23 years. Thing is, it has, as a result, become a tourist attraction, and this probably just adds to the occupant’s paranoia. I will forego identifying its location, although it’s not round where I live.
And you thought all bees lived in hives, correct? Well, apparently not. Some bees are solitary and if one wants to be nice to them, building a little place like this in the secluded corner of a garden is one way to do it; they like nesting in the tubes. None seem to be at home today in this one that my in-laws have set up, however.
A train strike kept me at home so horizons were limited today, even though it was another fairly mild and pleasant one and it would have been nice to be up a mountain somewhere. Still at work though, for another few days before Easter. This is just a local scene then; I like the arrangement of things. A more placid view of this spot than on 9th July 2012, anyway.
I said yesterday that Champaign-Urbana was not much to write home about, but the ‘Historic District’ of Urbana (in the US, this means anywhere with buildings over about a century old) is an exception. The housing in those few square blocks is amazing. When I was here a dozen years ago I did get the chance to go in one of these, and they are just as impressive inside as out, even if they do have cellars that one imagines could be used for the final scenes of The Silence of the Lambs.