Saturday, 30 October 2010

Go, Litel booke.

Amongst the many wonderful places linked to from the trees around Nunhead is Geoffrey Chaucer’s own blog.

Amazingly, it’s now been rendered physical. Turned into a book (Geoffrey Chaucer Hath A Blog: Medieval Studies and New Media).

So I had to buy it.

Certes yt is somethynge of a Curate’s egge. Ich kan followen the speche of the aucteurs – but yt is peraventur not alweys sich good mattere.

The extracts from the original blog are – mostly – very funny. But the book has been published under the ‘New Middle Ages’ imprint- which defines itself as ‘ a series dedicated to the pluridisciplinary (sic) studies of medieval cultures, with particular emphasis on recuperating women’s history and on feminist and gender analyses. This peer-reviewed series includes both scholarly monographs and essay collections’.

Clearly this book falls into the second category. And the problem it has is that some of the essays and other ancillary pieces just aren’t that good. Old medieval jokes I heard told once. A discussion whether medievalists are more humorous than other academics. And one or two of the better pieces could do with more careful editing.  Despite its subtitle there is also little reflection on the impact of new media on medieval studies, over and above simple notions of efficacy and instrumentality.

And yet I can’t do anything but recommend it. Because the Blog extracts are beguiling, and for the better of the more academic essays. For Chaucer’s ‘appeal’ against Gower (‘… hereof Ich appeale thee John Gower thou art a wanker’). And also for John Gower’s witty introductory poem (‘Why Ye Sholde Nat Rede this Booke’).

So on balance I have to say: go and read it.  Soon.

Friday, 29 October 2010

A Final Kew

A final few photographs from Kew.
Chillies in the Waterlily House:
Magnolia tree:
And some more from within the Princess of Wales Conservatory...
 And, finally, an English country garden.  Apparently.

So now, finally, we know

In the latest of the Sarah Jane Adventures (the two-parter called 'The Death of the Doctor', written by Russell T. Davies and as might be expected exhibiting all of his considerable strengths, and weaknesses), Clyde, crawling through a ventilation shaft - of course - asks the Doctor how many times he can regenerate.
The Doctor answers, "507".
So now we know.
(Except he says it flippantly and you don't know if he's being serious or not... )

Thursday, 28 October 2010

More Kew

This brings together more of Kew, both inside and out.
Evolution House:
Pink Corkscrew:
The Temperate House:
In the Palm House:
The Waterlily House - tiny but packed: