Monday, 27 March 2017

Fairy-tales and Cathedrals

 We were sitting inside Barcelona's insanely beautiful Basilica of the Sagrada Familia. They’ve been building Gaudi’s cathedral for over 100 years, and it's nearly finished. (A tip: queues for tickets can be long- so if you’re planning a visit, best book ahead online in the UK.) Approaching from the outside on foot, one’s first natural reaction is… wow. It’s big, it’s high, and it’s covered in ornamentation. The roof resembles a series of stalagmites, or the conning towers of sunken ships, colonised by sea-creatures. There are so many curves, so many sloping surfaces. It looks alive.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Nature- Nice or Nasty? (Or... HR Giger vs. Antonin Gaudi- the Ultimate Smackdown)

Ridley Scott’s next ‘Alien’ film (Alien Covenant: Prometheus 2) is soon going to be hitting the big screen. Hopefully it’ll be better than ‘Prometheus’, whose many plot holes left us wondering whether the Alien had secretly been laying waste to Ridley’s intrepid little group of scriptwriters. The next instalment apparently features more explorers arriving on a deserted planet, who discover a crashed spaceship, some eggs and then… well, you can guess a lot of the rest. It’s probably best not watched on a full stomach.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

I must go down to the sea today...

Around the world, wherever the climate is generally warm enough to allow for some sunbathing most of the year, massive boats like this can be found in yachting marinas. Have you ever wondered what it must cost the owner, to keep a boat like this?

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Guildford Cathedral

Nostalgia's a wonderful thing. The past becomes rosier, the Summers were always warmer and the Mars Bars bigger. But there must be such a thing as reverse-nostalgia too, when the past becomes infinitely darker. Neuralgia? Will that do? So let's get down to it.

Guildford Cathedral is facing a financial crisis. They can't find the several millions of pounds needed to fund essential repairs for some badly-built asbestos-concrete-widgits in the roof. Now, I'm sure that for some people, this is a bad thing. Perhaps they've spent many years looking after a place that's become their spiritual home, that has hosted hundreds of civic events for the great and the good and the worthy. However, there's one slight problem hindering anyone trying to save Guildford Cathedral- it's a truly horrible building. Mindbogglingly awful, in fact.