Letouttoplay

Life, photos but not the universe

Westward

Wiltshire is a stunningly beautiful county isn’t it?  Marvelous rolling hills topped with neat little loaf-like copses

and liberally splattered with white chalk horses.  I think I passed four the other week.

There’s one just beyond the people on the right – you can see the horses from the road, miles away, but not often from a convenient parking place and hardly at all if you go right up close to them.

So I was just wondering (since the majority consensus is that most probably they weren’t made by aliens in space ships or visitors from the future) how they made those horses long long ago.  Nowadays, you could make a good stab at it by having one person down in the valley a mile away with a mobile phone, saying “left a bit, down a bit, just make the left hock a bit bigger – no no – at the back – more pointy – take half a dozens steps left and  dig there – ” etc.  Well perhaps they did it with a kind of semaphore?  Or whistles?  Or maybe they made a template (like an embroidery pattern) and scaled it up with a digger for each square.  After all they did lots of  weaving?  Ah!  Perhaps they made a little horse and then just added to it all the way round till it became a big one.  With occasional trips to the bottom of the hill to see if it was going alright.

Last night I had a very pleasant session of unwise self-indulgence.  It all started with Barney coming back from a stamp fair and us playing with his iphone.  He practised using his new apple ID and we worked out how to use whatsapp and then disovered the met office app and played with that for a bit.  Then he went to bed and I got quite involved – I downloaded soundhound, sky view (amazing), light meter (possibly useful), wild forager (well you never know, I might need to eat out one day), pocket wine (and then I had a couple of drinks because it seemed appropriate), kitchen calculator (disappointing – it doesn’t convert from ounces to ml), and Jamie Oliver’s 20 minute meals.*

Then I wandered around metering light and looking at what ought to be in the sky – Sky view is brilliant.  If you point the iphone in any direction, it shows you what ought to be up there, or down there if it’s on the other side of the world.  Then I read two or three recipes and got the munchies (as you do after two glasses of midnight wine) and ate several slices of bread and taramasalata and finished off a jar of marinated herrings.  Then I looked up herring marinating recipes (I’ve never forgotten eating Dutch Maatjies –  Oh Oops no, I mean Maatjesharing in a square in Amsterdam years and years ago).

This morning I overslept.

And now, I think I’m going to go and buy a monitor.  The bright blue square in the centre of the screen, suggesting that I press ‘menu’ to exit, is lying.  No exit.  And the blue doesn’t go with anything.  Also, of course, it means  I can’t see whatever is behind it which is not good if what I’m looking at fits just in the screen – nowhere to scroll.

Oh.  I started writing this post, oh, a good couple of weeks ago.  The monitor story got a bit out of sync.  Never mind, if you’re interested, here is the missing bit.  and if you’re not, well I don’t blame you!

*I thought these would be useful to have on the boat.  I have a reliable recipe for rice but you need exactly 8 ounces of rice to 16 ml of stock and there are no scales on the boat.  And twenty minute recipes – that sounds useful?

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September 1, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

9 Comments »

  1. I love your posts for many reasons, Mig, not the least being that at their best they read like a William Burroughs cut-up novel, where time and space shift around like dancing butterflies.
    And it’s good that there are no scales on the boat, it obviously gets its bottom regularly scraped.

    Comment by Tim | September 1, 2012 | Reply

  2. It’s ages since I’ve been to Wiltshire. So much England, so little time.

    I particularly like the photo of the tunnel formed by the trees.

    Comment by Liz | September 1, 2012 | Reply

  3. hahaha! As soon as I’ve taken this week’s load of garden trash to the tip I shall be messing about with ink and lino and, hopefully, coming up with White Horses.I went here for help http://wiltshirewhitehorses.org.uk/uffington.html

    Comment by dinahmow | September 1, 2012 | Reply

  4. Once a year at Christmas Tim. And thank you – dancing butterflies, I like that.

    I agree Liz, such a small country on the map but crammed with places one would like to see again – or at all. Bit like a green Tardis.

    Hi Dinahmow. That’s a very helpful website . I used the map to find them all on google maps which is quite fascinating. One day I’m going to go and visit all nine of them.

    Comment by Mig | September 2, 2012 | Reply

  5. LOLOL I can see ’em doing it nowadays with their cellphones…..shouting ‘can you hear me now–go LEFT….LEFT!!’. Ohmygosh…..how precious was that bit–and how true!

    Oh, but what a lovely opportunity to just get to see them, upclose and personal or far away. Saw one while I was trekking around–and now where I saw it, escapes me. Perhaps I need an iPhone and an application for retaining information. PRETTY sure there’s one of those out there.

    I like my dumbphone, frankly.
    And I laugh at he-who-has-the-smart-phone. Ya know–the fella who can’t be bothered to go 30 feet to the study to look something up…..cuz he can do that on his phone dontchaknow. *LAUGHING* Small wonder he’s getting a bit pudgy!

    <– definitely likes the dumphone!! LOLOL

    Comment by Mel | September 2, 2012 | Reply

  6. Nice tree tunnel.

    Comment by Rog | September 2, 2012 | Reply

  7. The Devizes white horse was made for the millennium celebrations, but I don’t know how either! I know it was drawn first then the turf lifted to reveal the chalk. Very disappointingly the Westbury horse was concreted over as no-one could be arsed to keep maintaining it. I’ve always thought those little copses on the hilltops were giant caterpillars 🙂

    Comment by Linda | September 2, 2012 | Reply

  8. Volume? One cup of rice to two of stock? You could, at home, measure the rice into a jug and then the stock to check it’s correct. Though hang on, don’t you mean 16 fluid ounces? 16 ml is hardly anything.

    Comment by Z | September 2, 2012 | Reply

  9. There are some ‘foreign’ white horses listed here Mel. One is in Mexico and one in Virginia. If the one you saw isn’t either of those and you can remember where it was, they’d like to know : ) I have an application for retaining information but it’s not working very well these days – I blame lack of coffee.

    Thank you Rog.

    That’s awful Linda! The Westbury one was the first one I ever saw. In fact I had a picnic on it!

    Oh goodness Z of course it’s fluid ounces. (Um – just testing?) I’ve tried measuring the rice into a jug. It should work as long as the rice is very neatly packed as the amounts are quite critical.

    Comment by Mig | September 2, 2012 | Reply


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