Monday, 30 September 2013

Marc Chagall and St Donaas and St George and Zeebrugge, VC

There is a small church at Tudeley near Tonbridge in which some very striking stained glass by Marc Chagall is on view. It's fairly well known and well documented elsewhere

So it was interesting during a recent trip to the land of Chips 'n' Chocolate [Belgium] to visit St Donaas' church in Zeebrugge and see again some fairly good and recent glass, dominant in blue. (Zeebrugge, incidentally, has a population of only 6 or so; St Donaas' is a good mariners' church, complete with boat on altar).

It's not well-known, or documented elsewhere (that I can find), so I wrote to the Pastoor to enquire. He promptly replied with two pieces of illustrative information [in English]

  • A cursory description of the church and its environs, telling me "The glass panels from the church in 1965".
  • Brief details of two VCs awarded to Capt. Bamford and Sgt. Finch [R.M.], who were part of the sea battle of Zeebrugge held on 23rd April 1918 (yes, St. George's Day).
So good for Bamford and Finch, I say.

Meanwhile, I'd be pleased to learn more about the Zeebrugge glass, if anyone knows.

Out of interest, Aberystwyth has some good glass in both St Michael's:

and St Anne's, Penparcau:

Saturday, 21 September 2013


A trip to Surrey; some things came to light
  1. A classic Burton building in the High Street ...
  2. ... founded by Barbara Burton ...
  3. ... with elephants in the window, just like Aber.
  4. People "buying bricks" for the cathedral. It might have been my family, but wasn't.
  5. A beautifully carved Madonna.
  6. A metaphor for our times.
  7. A plaintive sculpture.
  8. The Jellicoe Roof Garden viewed from afar.
  9. A really very graceful cathedral.
  10. A lady.
  11. A clock.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

UPDATE - Photo-voltaic cells: free money

I wrote with conceit about a year ago about our PV cells. It is now two years since their installation and the pictures they generate begin to stabilise.

The average daily generation and usage look like this (click to enlarge)

(recall that "usage" is not a clearly defined quantity).

The best fit sine waves to generation and usage, plotted on the graphs, are (click to enlarge):

The waves are (again) reassuringly homed on the spring equinox. The average daily generation in 2011-12 was 9.8KWh, and in 2012-13 was 11.3KWh - yes, the weather really was better!

Out of interest, remember especially that June 2012 was awful, and July 2013 was pretty good - here are the pictures for those months against the best fit - no prizes for guessing which is which:

Well, the upfront money-in-pocket from the FIT is now over £5/day. What we save from using free rather than costed power, and pushing surplus into the grid, is as ever secondary and difficult to pinpoint, but is certainly another positive quantity.

We're not regretting this purchase.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Ca Plane Pour Moi: the New York Dolls' legacy

Ca Plane Pour Moi, the iconic Plastic Bertrand song. People have more chance of remembering their first hearing of this than where they were on 11/9/01, or when Kennedy was shot.

In a moment of idleness, I set about capturing a list of covers with youtube or similar links. Mercifully, early on in this pointless exercise I discovered a shrine to this immortal song. Whoever did this work has done a more than thorough job. Go see.

Do not miss:

(Apropos of Elton Mortello's version, he must have known of Jet Boy by the NYD, which I saw performed live in York in, ummm, 1974.)

My French is appalling, but I also commend David Gibb's attempted translation of the lyrics - My cat Splash indeed. An Aussie chat show has these lyrics overlaid on the PB original.

Ca plane pour moi - ganz wahr.