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I almost fell into this mine today as I went blundering past it on a little-used path, so I thought I would resurrect my Random Mine of the Day.


This is a particularly mysterious Random Mine, because I can't find it in the Cornwall and Scilly Historic Environment Record.
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Not at Tanagra

As I am coming home from the morning walk, next-door-but-one's collie cross is sitting at the top of their steps. He rolls a tennis ball down the steps towards me and the lurchers, and then crouches and peers hopefully at us over the step.

Next-door-but-one's dog :
Greetings! I present to you one of my most treasured possessions. Shall we be friends?


The ball rolls past us and away down the hill.


Weasel Hair Brushes
Wolf hair brushes do not exist. The legend comes from an unthinking translation of the real name: "langhao", which calls a wild weasel from Siberia. Its tail hair are yellow, terse and sharp but never very long so there are no large brushes in this material, and they don't keep large amounts of ink. Anyway that's the best tool for awkward beginners in calligraphy and there is nothing better for traditional drawaing and painting


Da lang tou : Important and rare pure langhao brush (weasel have rather short hair and make it impossible to ask for bigger than this). Handle of bamboo and horn, in a box, made in Anhui

If I had a spare 145 Euros, I would already have ordered one.  An important brush in a box, made in Anhui.  It sounds like a Le Guin artefact.

LANGHAO! Come, oh wild weasel from Siberia, with your sharp and terse tail hair!

Fishbourne Roman Palace

Clearly the original residents did not call it that.   I'm guessing it doesn't have a documented original name, or at least I can't find one from hasty rummaging.

If you think it has a Latin name that I've missed, what's it called?   If you think it doesn't have a (known) Latin name, what might be a good name for someone in 197AD to use for it?

(The word Fishbourne sounds and looks Saxon. So It Will Not Do. It is Just Wrong. I know that Chichester is the rather magnificent Noviomagus Regnensium, but I need a separate name for the Palace.)

The quarry is singing!

I walked up through the quarry on the hill this morning.  I like to go that way on Sundays, as it's quiet then with no Monster Trucks moving and no huge bangs.  The huge bangs do shake the whole hillside when they happen, including our house, but I imagine they must be much scarier up close, with the warning sirens wailing.

It was a wild windy morning, the bare trees on the hill all bending with a tremendous rushing sound in the wind coming over from Dartmoor.  The road runs below the hilltop, so it is sheltered, but the trees up on the top were roaring.

I went up on the road that runs through the quarry, and could hear a strange distant music.  The whole place was shut up, with nobody about at all. Eventually I realised that the music must be the wind blowing through the metal steps and rails and bars that are arranged around the vast funnels and tubes and pipes that the quarry uses to process its sands and gravels.

The sound was like something between tubular bells, distant church bells on a windy day, and someone blowing a tune on a series of partially-filled bottles.  It was surprisingly beautiful.

I've heard mines singing before, when the wind races across the top of a chimney on a hillside, it can have a sort of deep voice.  But never a whole organs-worth of accidental instruments all singing together. 

Carving idea

I was thinking how to design the little Isle of Lewis chessman -style Aragorn I plan to make for lindahoyland, and trying to decide which wood to use (apple?  holly?  cherry?  Maybe even hazel or ash. Or green oak? Although oak is awful hard on the hands when carved seasoned, it should be much easier if carved green and allowed to dry.  And Aragorn seems quite an oak sort of person.).

Anyway, I was turning wood over in my head, and it occurred to me that I should also carve a set of Eregion carvings, in, OF COURSE holly!  I could do a Celebrimbor, a Narvi, a Durin III, a Galadriel and a Celeborn (maybe not Celeborn.  I just can't really like Celeborn, for some reason).   Can't think of any other named characters in Eregion.  Maybe just some generic Gwaith-i-Mírdain, if I don't run out of steam. 

Morning river-walk

Just past full tide when I walked the dogs this morning. The river was covered in mist-ghosts, all slowly processing downstream and out to sea as the sun came up behind the Devon hills.  I should probably have taken the good camera, but then the dogs would have got bored while I fiddled with it. So here are phonesnaps.
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Miniature stories

Pp posted some more of his miniatures, but as he's mostly concerned with showing off his painting, he didn't use the ones I liked best when I was playing with them.
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Strange plantings

Outside a staff cottage on an oh-so-tasteful National Trust estate.

Dog insurance for Rosie Roo

I took Rosie to the vet for practice-visiting, and while I was there, I weighed her.  I was delighted to see she's now 20.5kg.  But she is insured (with John Lewis) as a 'medium' dog and they define 'medium' as under 20kg.   So I thought I'd better let them know she's put on a little.

I was somewhat staggered to discover that a gain of measly .5 of a kilo means that her monthly insurance, already an eye-watering £34 a month, would shoot up to £59 a month!   The person I spoke to discouraged me from doing this, rightly assuming that I would definitely switch insurers next year.   She assured me that they would not quibble if she was injured and proved to be 0.5kg over the limit.  I hope she's right!   The Roo has no pre-existing conditions, so I think I shall have to shop around a little next year, assuming that she doesn't come down with anything in the interim. 


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February 2016



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