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Monday, 23 October 2017

Comparing Canyons: Vikos Gorge, Grand Canyon

From Vikos Gorge... Grand Canyon

Which is deeper, the Grand Canyon or the Vikos Gorge?

My daughter will report back!

Purse Caundle, Dorset; Song of The Blackmore Vale; Local History; Bishop's Caundle

Bishop's Caundle, William Barnes

"In Caundle, vor a day at leäst,
You woudden vind a scowlèn feäce
Or dumpy heart in all the pleäce"

When Dorset Went to Waterloo, Dorset Life, June 2015, by David Callaghan

A fascinating history of Purse Caundle, Dorset, by Ronald D. Knight, from May, 2010:


Whatever your views on fox-hunting, this song is a valuable document of local history, quoted by Ronald. D. Knight

December, 1930

"Sometime around this period the following hunting song was written by a John Budden, with music by Ashworth Hope, published by Leonard, Gould and Bottler, 47 Poland Street, London W.1. It was dedicated to Lieut-Col. F. J. B. Wingfield Digby D.S.O., M.F.H., Master of the Blackmore Vale Hunt".



There be doughty men in Dorset,

There be boys of bone and brawn,

Who work and smile and sing all day

In the land where they were born.

CHORUS: 'Tis the old, old song of the Huntsman's horn,

As away down the vale they run;

There's a splash and a thud, and a roll in the mud,

And fine old Dorset fun,

Then there comes a crash! of the old Blackthorn,

The rend of the rasping rail,

Oh! the sound of the hound and the huntsman's horn,

The Song of the Blackmore Vale.


When a man goes out from Dorset,

Out to the far, far west,

He longs for his lanes and pasture land,

And the songs that he loves the best.

There's the song of the kine in the cow-yard,

And the song of the nightingale,

But the song that dwells with a Dorset lad,

Be the Song of the Blackmore Vale.

CHORUS: 'Tis the old, old song of the Huntsman's horn, etc:


A man comes back to Dorset,

Back from the lands afar.

No need to yearn for the old milk churn

And the song of the swingle bar

Now shall he bide in Dorset,

Or once again set sail?

When there comes the sound of the huntsman's horn

Away in the Blackmore Vale

CHORUS: 'Tis the old, old song of the Huntsman's horn, etc:

Sweden: Equal Rights for Women - Rallies

From Euronews - Rallies calling for equal rights for women take place across Sweden

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Concert at St. Peter's Church, West Knighton, Dorset; Wind Serenade; Artsreach, Principal Winds Quintet, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Thomas Hardy would have enjoyed the concert at St. Peter's Church, West Knighton, a church (a Grade I Listed Building) which was configured and restored under his personal architectural supervision. His brother, Henry, did much of the work.

It was a wild, windy and rainy evening, but the small church was packed; much of the music had a festive character, played by an ensemble of  five of the principal wind-players (and horn) of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. It proved to be an inspiring venue, not least for the stunning Norman arch which held my gaze as much as the roof beams, whilst listening to the music.

I particularly enjoyed Ferenc Farkas's Early Hungarian Dances, and Claude Debussy's Syrinx.

Flavours of Hungary and Ancient Greece in a Dorset village!

Artsreach, the BSO and the local organisers, are to be congratulated on bringing such small-scale concerts to the villages and rural communities of Dorset.

Most of all, thanks to Anna Pyne, Edward Kay, Kevin Banks, Tammy Thorn and Edward Lockwood, the five outstanding musicians.

"Debussy’s Syrinx for solo flute was composed as incidental music for the final act of Gabriel Mourey’s dramatic poem Psyché and will be performed by BSO Principal Flute, Anna Pyne. This beautiful and intricate melody was written as the last music the mythical Pan played before his death and despite being the briefest of pieces, it has become an iconic work in the solo flute repertoire. It is also notable for being the first solo piece composed for the modern flute, using the Böhm system of keys and construction" - BSO Press Release.

"In 1893 the Church again underwent a restoration, this time under the direction of Thomas Hardy, who was working simultaneously as an architect and novelist. Hardy approached the work with great care and he was responsible for replacing the gallery at the west end of the nave, new tracery in two windows in the north wall of the nave and a completely new window in the tower. Whilst engaged in this work, he was also writing his last published novel, ‘Jude the Obscure’, whose hero is a stonemason" - Dorset OPC.

More information, about recent restoration work.

The Young Glass-Stainer

"These Gothic windows, how they wear me out
    With cusp and foil, and nothing straight or square,
    Crude colours, leaden borders roundabout,
    And fitting in Peter here, and Matthew there!

    "What a vocation! Here do I draw now
    The abnormal, loving the Hellenic norm;
    Martha I paint, and dream of Hera's brow,
    Mary, and think of Aphrodite's form."

    Nov. 1893. Thomas Hardy

Quoted by Furse Swann in the leaflet
Thomas Hardy and West Knighton Church

Friday, 20 October 2017

Theresa May and Greek expats in the UK

Theresa May calls on Greek expats to stay in the UK - In an interview with Greek daily Ta Nea published on Friday, the British premier thanked the 70,000 Greeks who have moved to the UK, saying “we appreciate their significant contribution in our culture and society, in our universities and economy.”