Friday, 9 May 2014

Aspects of British Coasts: ZZZ final A-Z notes ... Art and Design, Agatha Christie, Western Isles of Scotland, Wrasse, Waves and Xfacts ...


Seashore Life and Pattern ... by Professor T A Stephenson of Zoology, at the University of Wales ... is a small book, published 1944, where this illustration appears, and where he asks ...
 
Periwinkles on Seaweed
c/o iphone


What is the relation between beauty in nature      and      beauty in art



There is a good deal of truth in the remark that ‘Science is the art of studying natural phenomena;        art is the science of giving expression to the creations of our minds’ ...






No Parking!  this was a car park before
erosion swept it into the sea at
Aldbrough, Holderness


I thought quite appropriate to the mix of A- Z challengers ... authors, artists, photographers, creative spirits ... across a very broad arena of life ... coming across these phrases gelled with me, as to who we all are ... artists and creators all ...




showing longshore wave action with
descriptive captions



Some extra Xs:

Holderness, Yorkshire has since Roman times, lost a strip of land 3.5 miles (5.6 km) wide, with as many as 29 settlements disappearing;




Effect of Longshore drift - letting sediment build
up so that in due time it forms a spit of land
Topographically, Holderness has more in common with the Netherlands than other parts of Yorkshire ... in recent years the average loss is 5.5 feet (1.7m) per year ... which is the fastest rate of coastal erosion in Europe.



Longshore drift waves in action


Many of you asked about LongShore Drift ... i.e. how the shore was lost, and how it is regained ... I hope these diagrams explain it sufficiently ....







A cave on Garbh Eilean in the Shiant Isles.
(In 1549 Monro wrote that" through the arch we used
to row or sail with our boats, for fear of horrible break
of the sea that is on the outward side of the point.")


Wikipedia’smain page today features “The Western Isles of Scotland” – talk about coincidence with my A-Z Island post - makes interesting reading, about a clergyman, Donald Monro (1526 – 1574), who wrote this, in what is known as the oldest, account of the Hebrides and the Islands of the Clyde.





Underground Caverns, my U post, I mentioned Agatha Christie’s murder mystery “The Man in the Brown Suit”, which included the concept of the cave system into the storyline.

c/o Amazon
I’ve now read the book which was published in 1924, Christie and her first husband had completed a world tour in 1922 as part of a trade mission for the forthcoming British Empire Exhibition.


The Grand Tour: Letters and Photographs from the British Empire Expedition 1922 by Agatha Christie was published on 17 Jan 2013 ...



... withThe Guardian article noting that the publisher David Brawn believes the letters will demonstrate how “her appetite for exotic plots and locations for her books began with this eye-opening trip”,

 
The library's copy
of The Man in the
Brown Suit
... with her time in South Africa “very clearly the inspiration for her book The Man in the Brown Suit” ...


Her second husband was an archaeologist, but the descriptions based on the CephalicIndex must have come from her rich knowledge of Kents Cavern, Torquay obtained while growing up nearby ...


... she puts to use the shape of her characters’  heads, as to placement at a particular scene, or not ...

Dolichocephalic  (long headed)
 
Leonardo's study of
proportions of head and eyes
Brachycephalic (wide headed)

Mesaticephalic (moderate headed) ... not used by Christie

The Cephalic Index was used to classify ancient human remains ... and was probably used in realising that Kents Cavern had been occupied by at least eight separate, discontinuous native (British) populations ...

After the mystery is solved ... the heroine cables a reply to her friend in London, on being asked the shape of her newborn’s head ....

‘Platycephalic!’     after the platypus ...     this amused me!  As Christie notes ... only a one word, economical and to the point ... all that was needed in reply to the query.



Agatha Christie surfing - c/o The Guardian

I had seen via the 2011 newspaper reports on the publication of these Grand Tour Letters and Photographs ... a photo of Agatha Christie surfing ... this she gives mention to trying the sport in her Man in the Brown Suit mystery ...


Also I could relate to the places she visited in South Africa ... sort of a busman’s dreamy holiday for me ...




The Cuckoo Wrasse

Sara asked under W for Cuckoo Wrasse ... why is it called that? ... here’s why:




Our common wild bluebell


Apparently the Cornish fishermen associated the blue markings with bluebell flowers.  In the Cornish language a bluebell is a “bleujen an gog”: literally meaning “the cuckoo flower” ...






Irish Sea


That was really the ZZZZed end of my X for extra notes on Aspects of British Coasts ... but I have one final WAVE to really round the A-Z off ... one of the participants, Susan of Sue’s Trifles (here is her Reflections Post) wrote this poem in January to the Waves of our WinterWinds:



Wave Power

Need a JCB?
Hire the Irish Sea!
Holes dug, moved earth,
Bridges shifted, banks worth
Nought.
Just a thought!



On going through my posts to find questions I need to answer .. I see I OWE MANY OF YOU COMMENTS or at least visits ... apologies ... someone didn’t give me enough time?!  Can we grow it ...?!



PS        A JCB is the generic term for a variety of earth diggers ...

Also I'm going to ruthlessly go through my Reader ... it's reached nightmare levels ... I hope I'll catch a post or two of yours on the way through ... 

Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

37 comments:

Ann Best said...

Dear Friend. When I want to "travel"...expand my mind...I visit you and ponder your posts. Just want you to know that I appreciate the time you spend sharing your knowledge with us...and your enthusiasm for the earth and the marvelous, interesting, and mysterious aspects of it, both natural and human. Have a wonderful weekend. XXX from me and Jen!!!!

Michael Di Gesu said...

HI, Hilary,

Some very cool pics and fact about Christie. LOVE her writing....

Thanks for answering the questions for fellow bloggers. It's cool that you're keeping the challenge gaining in you own unique way...

Happy weekend!

LittleCely said...

Hi Hilary! Another insightful and educational post. I love Christie and I hadn't heard of the Grand Tour, it sounds like a really interesting read.

Thank you for sharing. =)

Stephanie Faris said...

Your posts are so educational. I don't think I've ever looked at Wikipedia's main page. I didn't realize there was useful information there.

loverofwords said...

Ah, Agatha! Her mysteries are wonderfully plotted and interesting. The Hercule Poirot character was/is my favorite and the TV series was perfect--the art deco setting and the edgier Poirot with the last series. Need to see the "Last Episode."

Rob Z Tobor said...

Love that woodcut from Seashore Life and Pattern, it reminds me of the work of a couple of artists. . . you can't have too much art.

Jo said...

At first I thought you were referring to Aldeburgh in Suffolk where I spent a lot of time in my youth and where I know Snape Hall which was on the coast has either disappeared into the sea is is just about to. By this time I expect it has gone.

More interesting information. Not a fan of Agatha's I'm afraid. But her letters sound interesting.

J E Oneil said...

Wow, there are a lot of words for head shapes. I wonder why she was so interested in them.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I'm so looking forward to England. And I love Agatha Christie. What a shock when one of my sons married a girl named Agatha. She goes by Aggie, which I think is a shame.

Best to you, Hilary.

Julia Hones said...

Hilary, I like those definitions of art and science. I do believe they can feed on each other...
I read many books by Agatha Christie many years ago, when I was a naive teenager.

Empty Nest Insider said...

You always go all out for your fans! I know firsthand how you went above and beyond to answer my questions last year! Interesting facts about Agatha Christie. I love the photo of her surfing. Congrats on successfully completing another A to Z! Hope you get some much needed rest, Hilary!

Julie

Fil said...

Hi Hilary
That's a colossal rate of erosion on the Yorkshire coast - knowing those figures really puts it into perspective!

And I love knowing that Agatha Christie did a world tour - some lady!

Thank you for all the great information - I'm loving your blogs :)
Fil
Fil's Place - Old Songs and Memories

cleemckenzie said...

I loved it all today, but I really loved the image of Agatha Christie surfing. I'd never imagined her doing anything except writing gripping mysteries.

Inger said...

I am with Ann in the top comment. When I want to learn something interesting on the blogs, I turn to you. When I want to know about anything from strangely named fish to mysterious underground haunts and escalators, I read your blog. Congratulations on all the new followers that discovered you. For myself, I am so happy to have found you years ago.

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,

Your posts during the A to Z have indeed been an excellent blending. A mixture that informed in your usual comprehensive, thoughtful way.

It's also most thoughtful to share links that lead to other participants. Thank you, my kind friend.

Have a nice Sunday and carry an umbrella!

Gary

Patsy said...

I'm a big fan of Agatha Christie's books. I'd also love to visit some of her fictional island locations where, except at low tide, inhabitants are shut off from the rest of the world. Such places would be excellent writing retreats.

D.G. Hudson said...

Hercule Poirot was a fave of mine. I preferred those tales to some of Agatha's earlier work, although I loved 'Murder on the Orient Express'. And, the tv show was fantastic, the actor perfectly Poirot, IMO.

Went to read the Guardian article, and I think that will be an interesting book about an interesting woman. Who knew she surfed?

Hope your Mother's Day is a good one, Hilary!

Suze said...

“her appetite for exotic plots and locations for her books began with this eye-opening trip”

That made me feel a pang!

Hilary, what amazing posts you are able to string together.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Thank you for this postscript to a few of your A to Z posts. I'll bet you could do an entire A to Z theme on South Africa!

Paula Kaye said...

I had to go through my reader as well awhile back. I love to read blogs and interact with people. But there are just some who don't bother to respond back so I deleted all of those. It is now more manageable.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Another great post, Hilary. There's always so much to learn here. Thank you so much, dear lady.

Five and a half feet of erosion per year? Wow! That's a phenomenal rate.

Gail M Baugniet - Author said...

Love the association of the Cuckoo Wrasse with the bluebell flower. Great pictures. Thanks for sharing your knowledge of such diverse topics.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Ann – how lovely to hear from you and I know we’ve been in email touch ... I hope you had a happy weekend ..

@ Michael – Christie wrote some amazing books which I enjoyed as a ‘kid’ ... but on reading The Man in the Brown Suit ... I took on board more of her knowledge base and if I read any of the others ... my outlook would be very different.

I do mention long-shore drift, and rhynes in my next post but don’t link back .. and sealevel change .. but I like to answer queries, and I like to tidy posts up ...

@ Cely – I hadn’t realised she’d made a Grand Tour either .. but she certainly made use of her life and learning ...

@ Stephanie – thank you: Wiki’s main page often has some quite interesting articles ... I perhaps do link too many ideas together though – but still it’s enjoyable!

@ Nat – Agatha .. she was very prolific and must have lived in her own world a lot of the time ... constantly turning scenes in real life into her mystery dramas ...

I agree I loved David Suchet in the part ... I haven’t seen his last episode ... sometime no doubt. The Art Deco settings are lovely to see ...

@ Rob – so pleased you appreciated the woodcut from SeaShoreLife and Pattern .. Ihoped to post another but my m/c is playing up ... and I’ve been wanting to come over to say I loved your creations for the A-Z ... the coloured alphabetical ones ...

@ Jo – I too had to check the spelling ... and yes much of your childhood holiday area has been absorbed by the North Sea ... the Snape Maltings are still there .. the name lives on in the music and arts centre ...

Each to his own re books – thankfully ... I enjoyed her books early on – but perhaps after reading this one, I’d definitely read them in a different way ...

@ Jeanne – her father was a wealthy American, who had a desire for learning and had spent time in Switzerland ... so I guess Agatha met a lot of educated and interesting people at the family home in Torquay, where the Kents Caverns are ... where the 8 types of early man have been found, and verified ... and the Cephalix Index was an early 20thC idea ... so she would have read about it ..

@ Joylene – I wasn’t keen on Agatha either, but I had a friend called Aggie and acclimatised that way .. so I understand your feelings! Yet, I see you say you’d prefer her to be called Agatha ...

Are you coming to England ... if possible then we must meet up ... ?

@ Julia – yes, Stephenson’s quote seemed to resonate .. so I thought I’d include – glad you can see the correlation too ...

Me too – murder mysteries for a few years ... all sorts ... but I enjoyed looking at the Brown Suit saga in a different light, after the interesting snippets came to light via my posts ...

@ Julie – hope you had a lovely holiday ... and appreciate the thumbs up for answering questions. I am fascinated to see the early photos of our parents and grandparents era of the 1920s ... and their way of doing things – not so different to us in this day and age ...

@ Fil – I was surprised at the figures too – hence I thought I’d highlight the erosion levels – glad you, like me, took that perspective on board ...

I had not know about Agatha’s early life .. so finding out a little about her story line was very interesting ... especially the world tour ...

So pleased the blog interests you – many thanks ..

@ Lee – it does seem extraordinary that they were surfing in the early 1920s ... and as the book says in an emerald green bathing suit!!

Thank you .. part 2 following

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Inger – You are a star, as are many bloggers: thank you so much. I know I do mix and match don’t I ... and those escalators! I really appreciate all your visits and comments ...

@ Gary – yes, I certainly blended and matched aspects of the British shoreline ...

I should do more sharing of fellow bloggers links .. I don’t do sufficient of that ...

@ Patsy – your idea of a writing retreat, where the tide dictates whether you can escape or not .. sounds fun! Writing in a quiet space is an essential ... Agatha wrote some amazing story lines – many based on her travels ..

@ DG – David Suchet – did do the Poirot part exceedingly well .. and the sets were gorgeous. I can’t remember too many of the stories now – but I certainly read a great many of them in my earlyyears.

That’s great you had a look at the Guardian article ... and I think the book might well be an interesting read ... and exactly who knew they surfed back in the 1920s .. let alone Agatha giving it a go ..

Thanks DG – our Mother’s Day follows the Christian calendar .. so it’s the 4th Sunday in Lent ... but I’m happy to enjoy another!!!

@ Suze – that phrase from the Guardian does explain a lot doesn’t it ... we can all dream and travel now and then develop our storylines ...

Thanks re the strings ... I enjoy weaving!!

@ Karen – I could do a whole few themes on South Africa and it’s certainly something I’ve thought about ... Guatemala travel is very satisfying for now – loving your new home!

@ Paula – I like to keep in touch .. but at times (especially towards the end of the A-Z) there are rather more than I can cope with ... I got mine down .. but must revisit today!!

@ Susan – it’s always good to see you .. I know you took April off .. sometimes - - - I wish I had .. but then no I’m happy!

Isn’t the amount of erosion incredible ... doesn’t seem possible ...

@ Gail – I was very happy to put the cuckoo wrasse and its bluebell connection in ... and yes, I do do diverse – many thanks ...

Thanks so much to you all for coming over – love everyone’s comments .. cheers Hilary

Murees Dupé said...

Sorry I haven't stopped by recently. I have no excuse, but to say I am selfish. Thank you so much for all the support and kindness you always offer me.

I used to work with Holstein Friesian cows. They used to scare me because they are really huge, but beautiful animals. I am really short, so to me they looked like giants.

Viola Fury said...

I had to laugh about your comments on the Wrasse. I have caught them in the Keys in Florida and they are the most i-wrasse-ible of fish it has ever been my misfortune to deal with.

One feisty little guy, persisted in trying to bite my hand, even as I had him carefully held in my left palm, encircling his body. He kept trying to nip and threw his head back and forth, as if he had a neck, which he didn't so his efforts were pointless. This also made it difficult for me to remove the hook from him mouth, without causing any damage. Cursing, and swearing, I finally got him loose and released him with the somewhat salty farewell of "You are not a fish, you are an asshole!" Thus, the name has stuck.

The interesting thing about these fish and I've seen them in aquariums with glass between us (Praise the Lord!) is that they like to build things and then tear them down and rebuild them somewhere else. So, they tirelessly move pieces of gravel from one place to the next, then, I guess they decide they don't like the view. They then pull up stakes and move elsewhere, only to repeat the process.

I have no idea if this is something they do to relieve boredom, or if this particular fish was trying to lure in a mate, or what. But I just thought you would enjoy knowing that our Wrasses here in the States are rather ill-tempered! Mary xoxo

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Murees - if you're not feeling right for any reason - it's fine to stop and take stock .. glad you're working things through though - good luck.

Did you used to work with Holstein Friesian cows .. fascinating - they are enormous ... yes - the size of horses and cows worries me too ..

@ Mary - lovely comment with your Wrasse Fight Club! I've not been to an aquarium in years - and I think I should go to a modern one sometime soon ..

Good on ill-tempered wrasse keeping us on our toes - wherever they hang out in the Atlantic or around the world ...

Thanks both for stopping by for this post A-Z post .. cheers Hilary

Gattina said...

Growing up in the country side amongst farmers I know a bit about cows and farmer's life. A hard one !
I even tried to milk a cow and got a slap in my face with her tail. I don't like milk but apparently when it comes freshly from the cow it is very good.

Lisa said...

I am reading Agatha Christie's autobiography right now! She was such an amazing personality...Love the poem at the end of the post.

Sara said...

Well I'm late to pick up my answer, I enjoyed the reason the fish are called Cuckoo.

Of course, now I'm wondering why the wild bluebell was called the Cuckoo flower. I'm assuming it's because it looks like it's hanging upside down:~)

Cheers, Hilary!!!

Liz Blocker said...

I'm with cleemckenzie - I loved all of this, but I loved the image of Agatha Christie surfing the most!!! I also suddenly really want a glass of milk...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Gattina - that must have been fun learning about a farming life - but sorry about the cow tail episode!

I'm not keen on milk, so don't drink it but use it ..

@ Lisa - what fun - it sounds an interesting autobiographical story ... and she must be a great character. Isn't Sue's Wave poem fun .. I loved it and so was pleased she said I could put it in .. thanks ..

@ Sara - I'm way behind with blogging in general. Glad you came by to pick up about the Cuckoo fish ... and that connection - it appears the Cornish fishermen associated the blue markings with the bluebell flowers - hence its naming ... not that it is upside down!!

@ Liz - thanks so much ... I'm glad I added a bit more information at the end of the A-Z ... and Agatha surfing is quite extraordinary to think of ... all of ninety years ago ..

Cheers to everyone - thank you - Hilary

Michelle Wallace said...

"Science is the art of studying natural phenomena; art is the science of giving expression to the creations of our minds’ ... there is beauty in the way the two words/concepts are intertwined... played against each other in the definitions... really lovely!

"the places she visited in South Africa..." and now I'm wondering which places Agatha Christie visited...

I hope your Reader at "nightmare levels" doesn't give you sleepless nights. Just visit when you can. Readers will understand.

suesconsideredtrifles said...

Hi Hilary, thank you for featuring my rhyme. Revisiting your post and reading about the erosion on the east coast reminded me of a programme on Radio 3 some time back which used a version of the "Kane Cunningham" song, link - http://annemariesanderson.com/listen/
Sue

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Michelle - those sentences and phrases made me sit up and think .. so it's good to know you've appreciated them ..

I've no idea where Agatha Christie went in SA .. but I'm sure that book would tell us ...

My Reader has not reduced .. but I'm forging forward slowly .. getting the technology dealt with ... thanks for the thought anyway ...

@ Sue - glad you could comment and I was pleased and honoured you let me share your rhyme - such a good one for my Reflections post ..

I'll need to listen to the link you've given us - thanks ... cheers Hilary

Deniz Bevan said...

Wonder how I missed this post last year? I'm a sucker for all things Agatha Christie. Would love to see the new exhibit of photographs that's on... now where was it? British Library, maybe?
Waves are awe-some to watch but I don't think I'm brave enough to surf :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Deniz .. I was surprised to note you hadn't picked up the post ...

It's at the Bankside Museum - it's on til the 6th September ... near The Globe on the south bank ...

I thought I wouldn't have time to get up - but I might do another sweep into London ...

We surfed when we were kids ... it was fun .. but we're not brave enough to do it now! Glad you enjoyed the visit .. thanks for coming by - cheers Hilary