Archive for February, 2015


Carved Head, Almescliffe Crag

February 28, 2015

Carved Head, Almescliffe Crag


Hyderow Jenny: the Chalybeate Spring at Tunbridge Wells is flowing again…

February 21, 2015

I picked this book up in a second-hand bookshop yesterday. Finding it and beginning to write of the image on its cover has evolved (as of the last twenty minutes) into one of those coincidences…

Image (76)

In the process of composing a post about this rock formation on Rusthall Common, Tunbridge Wells (still to come), I’ve just discovered that within the last twenty four hours it has been confirmed that the waters of the chalybeate spring, around which the spa town grew, are flowing steadily again, after the spring mysteriously dried up in May last year for the first time in over 400 years (news here). I posted about the drying-up of the spring here.

with a grit as hard as the trent of the thimes but a
touch as saft as the dee in flooing and never a Hyderow Jenny the
like of her lightness at look and you leap, rheadoromanscing long
evmans invairn, about little Anny Roners and all the Lavinias of
ester yours and pleding for them to herself in the periglus glatsch
hangs over her trickle bed, it’s a piz of fortune if it never falls from
the stuffel, and, when that mallaura’s over till next time and all the
prim rossies are out dressparading and the tubas tout tout for the
glowru of their god, making every Dinny dingle after her down
the Dargul dale

James Joyce, Finnegans Wake, page 327.

That the personification of the River Liffey (the river of life) and all rivers in Finnegans Wake is Anna Livia Plurabelle, the spouse of Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker, is apposite considering that Mrs Humphreys, the occupant of a cottage adjacent to the spring, is said to have become the first ‘dipper’, inaugurating a long tradition whereby the women dispensing the water were appointed by the Lord of the Manor of Rusthall (see here).  In this respect she is, like Anna Livia (ALP) ‘spawife to laird of Manna’ (FW 242.25-26). Indeed, the name ‘Rusthall’ is derived from the Old English for a well with red-coloured waters, suggesting the spring was known of long before its ‘discovery’ in 1606. Ominously, in 2008 the title of Lord of the Manor, the common land and the chalybeate spring at The Pantiles was bought by TargetFollow, a property development company based in Norwich (see here). Were the Naiads offended?

Nature’s simplest atom and mother of all matter, hydrogen feeds the stars as well as interlaces the molecules of their biological descendants – to whom it ultimately whispers the secrets of quantum reality.

Evelina Domnitch, Dmitry Gelfand, ‘Hydrogeny’ (2010), from here.


‘A pox upon the pious’: Abiezer Coppe and a healthy aversion to martyrdom

February 15, 2015

I’m delighted to see someone has finally uploaded this song about the seventeenth-century millenarian, Abiezer Coppe.

I first came across this song by Leon Rosselson on an LP, played when I spent a couple of days in Newcastle-Under-Lyme in 1984. I was put up in a small, red-brick, Victorian terraced house, the home of some members of the Careless Talk collective, who were involved in the conference I was attending. I mention the architectural detail because – aside from discussion of the Miners’ Strike and some of the legendary exploits of the Folkestone anarchists, such as opening unlicensed drinking premises after hours – there was an undercurrent of anxiety about spooky goings-on in what was hardly a Gothic mansion. Such anxiety had led to calling on the services of a psychic or magician to construct an invisible ‘temple of… something (light? power?)’ in the downstairs back parlour in front of the hearth. I envisaged it as some kind of invisible cat’s cradle of energies. This had been devised to counteract or neutralise certain manifestations which took place upstairs, the location by the hearth being regarded by the magical practitioner as the ‘seat’ of these uncanny events. From what I remember being told, such manifestations involved one or other of the housemates or visitors waking up in the middle of the night, paralysed by fear. On one of these occasions a column of light was perceived in the room, which appeared to be composed of swarming bees. On another occasion someone awoke to see the apparition of a lion’s face.

I was relieved to not be disturbed by any such phenomena that weekend.

A pox upon the pious

The 1980s marked a kind of final flowering of the ‘counterculture’ and the ‘uncontrollable’ elements of the workers’ movement, epitomised on the one hand by the squat scene and the ‘Peace Convoy’, and on the other by open insurrection in South Yorkshire and the activities of the miners’ ‘Hit Squads’. There was no shortage of pious homilies from politicians of left and right against such outbreaks of proleterian indiscipline. Now, after over thirty years of an inhuman economic discipline in which the rich have got richer and the poor poorer, Abiezer Coppe’s example has assumed a new relevance. Furthermore, Coppe’s refusal of martyrdom is a refreshing change from the piety of the self-sacrificial militant attitude which finds its justification in the kind of scriptural authority that he surely would have despised.

‘… his ghost they cannot kill, haunts the rich and righteous, drunk and dancing still.’



Video of the council smashing up homes on Thursday

February 8, 2015

Making London safe for the oligarchs and the speculators…

Fight for the Aylesbury

This is a video someone made on Thursday evening (5 February) when the police and Southwark Council came and smashed up 8 homes and welded them up to prevent the occupation spreading. You can hear loud banging and breaking of glass inside the flats that are blocked off by police. This is them smashing the toilets and sinks, and the windows, to make the homes uninhabitable. There are 15,000 people on the Southwark council housing waiting list.

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Rosehips, Embley Wood, Micheldever Forest

February 7, 2015