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Tony Grist

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Flamsteed House [Dec. 4th, 2016|11:06 am]
Tony Grist

Flamsteed House, built in 1675 on the orders of Charles II for the John Flamsteed, the Astronomer Royal, from designs by Christopher Wren (probably with the assistance of Robert Hooke). Wren later recalled- in a letter to a client- that "We built indeed an Observatory at Greenwich....It was for the Observator's habitation and a little for Pompe."
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View From Greenwich Royal Observatory [Dec. 3rd, 2016|05:17 pm]
Tony Grist

Inigo Jones's Queen's House, flanked by the buildings of The Royal Maritime Museum, with Wren's Royal Naval Hospital behind and Canary Wharf in the distance.
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Who Knows? [Dec. 2nd, 2016|11:45 am]
Tony Grist
I can't say I studied form for the Richmond Park by-election but then I didn't think I needed to. Zac Goldsmith- popular figure (though less so after running a racist campaign for Mayor of London), campaigning as an independent on the third runway at Heathrow (which is a big local issue)- was clearly a shoo-in. He was such a shoo-in that the Tories and the Greens decided not to stand against him. And he lost. He lost to the Lib Dem and lost big.

They're saying it's all about Brexit. And maybe it is, but who knows? Who knows anything any more?
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More Stuff To Do With Ponies [Dec. 1st, 2016|11:51 am]
Tony Grist
Now that there are horses in the fields you have to watch where you step.

The horse's owner installed a new hose for filling the water butts. The new hose has frozen.

If you're breaking up ice in a circular tub you don't want to smash it into lots of little bits. The best method is to make a hole in the centre then lever out the rest in large sections.  I've taken to wearing leather gardening gloves to do this job. Between sessions they live on top of a radiator.
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Bang, Bang, Bang [Nov. 30th, 2016|10:10 am]
Tony Grist
The ice was thicker this morning. Bang, bang, bang with the axe.

No, I explain to Ailz, it's not dangerous. I'm not chopping with the axe. I'm not going to take my leg off. I'm pounding downwards, using the axe as a bodger, smacking the ice with the side of the axe head...
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The Best Sort Of Winter Weather [Nov. 29th, 2016|11:31 am]
Tony Grist
Frost on the ground. Clear skies. Sunshine.

I went out this morning to find the horses gathered round the water butts they drink from. The butts were sealed with ice. Not thick ice but too thick for them to break.  I fetched an axe. One of the butts was empty so I switched on the tap to the hose that feeds them- only nothing came through because the hose had split.
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Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them [Nov. 28th, 2016|04:28 pm]
Tony Grist
1. A superhero movie, well sort of- only the main super-hero is a shy, David-Attenborough type who slouches.

2. Best lines (quoted from memory)

Newt: People like you.

Jacob: I'm sure they like you too.

Newt: No, most of them find me annoying.

3. The digital recreation of New York in the 1920s is rather moving. The past has gone irretrievably. Well, maybe not irretrievably anymore.

4. Ailz and I were mavelling at the number of special effects companies who are credited. We lost count at five....

5. My favourite sequence; the one inside Newt's suitcase- where all the different habitats are magically joined together- and the thunderbird (if that's what it is) descends from a night sky into a sun drenched Arizona desert.  I suspect this is what the inner planes are like- at least the lower ones.

6. So where to next? We're not in school any longer; we can travel anywhere we choose...
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A New Excuse [Nov. 27th, 2016|12:59 pm]
Tony Grist
I had that dream again. It was our final rehearsal and I was waiting in the wings to go on stage. The play was either Hamlet- in which case I was playing Claudius- or Macbeth- in which case I had the lead. And I didn't know my part. It occured to me that if it was anything but Shakespeare I could adlib. Then I had a brainwave. I went up to the director and told him straight that I was suffering from dementia and could no longer be expected to learn lines.
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Frightening [Nov. 26th, 2016|12:25 pm]
Tony Grist
I'm so tired of being told these are frightening times.

I lived through the Cold War. Now those were frightening times.

Or not.

Every generation thinks it lives in frightening times. What that means is it doesn't feel entirely in control.

What's the worst that can happen? We all die. Well that's going to happen no matter what. Get used to it.

Don't let the media scare you.  Remember they make their money by creeping up behind your chair and going, "Boo!"

There's more to life than politics.

Come off that news site.  Take a walk. Annoy the cat. Have a nice cup of tea.
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Ray Chance [Nov. 26th, 2016|11:34 am]
Tony Grist
A DJ called Ray Chance got himself into my dreams. He came complete with a jingle that went "Ray Chance in the afternoon". He was a cheesy, Tony Blackburn era DJ.

"Ever hear of a DJ called Ray Chance?" I asked Ailz on waking.

"Yes," she said. "Didn't he have a show on Radio 2?"

Actually, no, he didn't. In fact he never existed. I Googled him.

There is, however, a street magician in Toronto of that name. Had to be someone using it. It's just too good a light entertainment name to go begging.
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