Friday, 1 August 2008


We spent a lot of time this week talking about Alexander Pope, who made a most intriguing sounding garden in Twickenham from about 172o onwards. It was a sort of tiny miniature landscape garden. It's long gone now, replaced by a pub (with wifi access, though). 

There exist plans and descriptions of the garden but as far as actual images go I think we just have this one scribble. Luckily the scribble is by William Kent, who designed bits of Stowe and Chiswick as well as the scheme at Rousham, easily contender for Best Garden Ever. 

Garden historians have had big rows about this picture. Mostly because some clever dicks reckon that a structure this apparently shaky, constructed entirely of shells,was probably a figment of William Kent's imagination. I think they might be citing as proof the not-real cloud of angels descending on the left, too. 

Well I don't care. I believe in the shell temple. Just cos it was rubbish doesn't mean it never existed. And I'd happily have a shaky shell temple for the four months it stayed up. 

In the meantime, over on Zoe's blog there's a quick and timely Alexander Pope-themed reminder (for those of us who have just spent a week in the groves of pseudo-academe) that a little learning is a dangerous thing. Yep, but then so is a really really long poem that might make people go to sleep. 


Zoë said...

I did warn people first and say 'if' you want to read it!

I will not be held culpable for you snoring whilst reading my blog!


emmat said...

Oh! I didn't mean that you posting it was boring! Oh dear. I meant, Alexander Pope! I thought it was funny that this poem, which says a little learning is bad, spends soooo long going on about how not to be like that, that it might send readers to a little snoooooze. No, I was fascinated that you posted it!

Zoë said...

I didnt think you were having a go Emma, I am really sorry if you thought that, its merely my warped sense of humour, if you had seen the expression that went with the comment, you'd have laughed with me too.

Sometimes this medium is fraught with hazards and misunderstandings.

I got the irony in your comment about the poem, and laughed, hence my tongue in cheek remark in reply.

Thanks for the thoughts on the D70, that's what I was playing with. I bought it for Tom( my 20 year old son) when he was 16, he had dropped out of school at 14 and I home taught him through his GCSEs. We had a star chart thing going where points equalled credits towards a camera if he studied and revised as I timetabled. Little sod did so well it cost me £1500 on a the 'latest model' D70 and a couple of decent lenses, he also got 11 good grade GCSE's! (he's a statemented dyslexic). He is after a D300 at the mo which he will pay for, and I had been contemplating a D40, but he is trying to sell me the D70 I bought him (bloody cheek, but he will go far lol). I had a look at a Nikkor Macro lens for it, but the price was terrifying. Could always stick with my little P1 for macro, and buy the D70 for the rest. Its hard to know what to do.

emmat said...

the two people in the camera shop I was talking to the other day (they work there) both said they would buy the D70 again, rather than a newer Nikon.

This is partly because it's the last one to let you change lenses - the newer ones only let you change with other Nikon digital cameras, I believe. So I have bought a really nice old wide angle lens for my D70 that originally mounted onto a film camera; but I wouldn't be able to do that with a more modern model. (So essentially you can't use second hand lenses, costing you ££££.)