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Things Done, Seen, and Visited

Yesterday, I steamcleaned ALL the mould, removed what seemed like a very large number of arachnids, and repainted the downstairs loo!  It may be a small triumph, but I think it still counts as one.
And then today I went to Buckland Abbey with my mother, who fancied a trip out.  We found a Tudor board game, which we did not know the rules of, so we invented some rules and played a game.  I won, or possibly she did, depending on whose invented rules you choose to go with.

Buckland Abbey have a new Rembrandt of which they are terribly proud.  Well, not a new one.  A newly-authenticated one.    There was a special Rembrandt room where you could see The Selfportrait, and a bunch of reproductions of other self-portraits.  I concluded that Rembrandt very much liked to portray himself peering suspiciously at the casual viewer, as if he had been interrupted by a Person from Porlock.

 I've been in the Great Hall at Buckland Abbey before, but it had never struck me before just how many disturbing carvings there are in there.  All around the walls, distressed-looking people are holding the top of the panelling up, and in one corner, is this gentleman who appears to have been abruptly transformed into a wooden chest, and is not at all happy about it.  

Here is a nice calming garden fountain to make up for the worrying notion of a room full of people trapped as carvings ever since the Tudor period:

I saw a ghost on Friday.  Or, in today's terms; I saw a combination of light and dark shadows and shapes that came together to look at first like a small child in a yellow t-shirt, causing me to wonder why such a small child would be unsupervised on a main road running through a quarry.  As I walked closer, it looked more and more like a small boy with a dirty face, wearing an old-fashioned shirt stained with yellow dust, a cap and short trousers, and he turned and looked at me.  Then I glanced away for some reason, and I couldn't see him again after that.
But there are no ghosts now, so it was my eyes doing odd things again.



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
11th Aug, 2014 02:24 (UTC)
Arachnid deportation! I tip my hat to you.

That chest reminds me of almost the only Doctor Who episode I've ever seen. I don't remember much about it, only that someone ended up as a talking piece of tile. It worried me.

I suppose that ghost could have been your brain wanting to see patterns . . .
13th Aug, 2014 10:08 (UTC)
It reminded me of that episode too!

I understand that it's a fairly well-known phenomenon that people tend to identify often-unintentional faces in any random pattern, but to my mind that makes them all the more interesting: my mind has clearly fleshed out a lot of detail from a random pattern of shadows - why did my mind choose that particular face, those clothes?
14th Aug, 2014 14:22 (UTC)
Good question. Something like this happens to me all the time on buses. I see the back of a person's head and instantly provide them with a face, often without even realizing I'm doing it. It can be a bit of a shock when they turn round and I see their real one.
(Deleted comment)
13th Aug, 2014 10:09 (UTC)
At first glance, it seemed just what you expect of a largish Tudor room : chequered floor, decorative ceiling etc. It was only on closer examination that I noticed all the tortured-looking people! Not sure I would care to spend much time in there on my own.
11th Aug, 2014 09:40 (UTC)
I'm convinced it was a ghost! You should use the experience in a story. I can just imagine Esca seeing a ghost child.

I went to an entire exhibition of Rembrandt self portraits once. There were about 60 of them, painted throughout his life. He did do a lot of peering, but he could take his own likeness and, in different portraits, make it handsome, noble, virile, confident, foolish, senile, old and wise... (Fortunately, the very last one was old and wise rather than senile).
13th Aug, 2014 10:20 (UTC)
An idea to add to the stew of ideas bubbling away...

We have words to describe things that might once be called ghosts, but I am not sure that pareidolia is actually that much more helpful as a concept than 'ghost' : why choose that face, why those clothes, what about the implications of those presumably unconscious choices for the person who sees them and the story they build for themselves around it?

It gave me a jump, whatever!
12th Aug, 2014 01:06 (UTC)
Sounded like a great day out. Been there once.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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