Walking and Talking

To-day I was walking on the narrow light green strip marked South Downs. Wonderful!

On Stane Street crossing the South Downs going south.

Stane Street, sometimes called Stone Street (Stane is simply an old spelling of “stone” which was commonly used to differentiate paved Roman roads from muddy native trackways), is the modern name given to an important Roman road in England that linked London to the Roman town of Noviomagus Reginorum or Regnentium renamed Chichester by the conquering Saxons.

Detail of knapped flint and Flemish Bond brick work in Chichester.

There has been much walking and talking these past couple of days which has been both inspiring and instructive. For example my appreciation of brick walls and their construction has expanded well past anything I’d have imagined possible. Walls were walls, bricks were bricks now I see the art, the creative use of materials involved in the building of structures. Barns, walls, churches and dwellings are a sight to behold in this area of England. And now appreciated bricks all the more for knowing what I’m looking at….

Steve MacLean, Canada’s chief astronaut, who defended Icefields by Thomas Wharton on Canada Reads last week said something rather interesting about perception. What you see is (very often) a function of what you know.

Listen to Steve MacLean talking about Thomas Wharton’s Icefields and Tom talking about what glaciers taught him about time and change.

Here we are again back on the subject of time and knowing.

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2 thoughts on “Walking and Talking”

  1. Bricks are amazing things. Our home was built in 1889 and after we bought it and started renovating, we removed a small bit of the wall so that we could have a bathroom off of our bedroom and we almost needed a canon to get through it! When it was time to cart the bricks off to the dump, an excited elderly man asked if he could have the bricks rather than us throwing them away. We said sure and he told us that the bricks from that time period were so good and made by hand in the area that people are re-using them in constructing their homes, etc…Pretty cool…also fun we found postcard in the wall that predated the house by twenty years. Someone had sent it to Hamburg to tell them about their new life there. Time and knowing and connecting to both.

  2. Yes, we see what we look for.
    Years ago my partner and I were refurbing a house and needed to select bricks. I knew choice was to be made he had assumed bricks were bricks. He remarked at the time that he had lerned ‘to code for bricks’. As an engineer living with a musicologist we have often see the gap between our world views. And it’s wonderfull because at those times our visions expand.

    Thanks for the reminder.

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