steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Of Mortars and Moomins

Just back from a couple of days with the children in London, where amongst other things we saw Stomp, a high-tempo tribute to the British worker's powers of procrastination. These people will muck around with anything rather than get on with sweeping the floor. (Seriously, it was very good.)

We were staying next door to the British Museum, so naturally popped in. Of course, every visit brings to light some new wonder, and this time the prize went to this sixteenth-century mortar. I didn't know they even had such things then, but here it is, a throw-back to the days when grenade-launchers were also works of art:

grenade launcher

On the way home, talking of Moominland, we all wished that we could somehow combine the romance(s) of Sweden and Finland, and have the result be within easy reach of Bristol. Right on cue, the train drew in to a certain station...


And why not? In recent years, Swindon ("the poor man's Slough") has been a greater source of literary inspiration even than Chippenham or Didcot, emerging as the archetypal dump of choice for writers from Jasper Fforde to Mark Haddon to, er, Jasper Fforde again, all of whom have set acclaimed works there. Did you know that Fforde has even documented the town's Seven Wonders? My favourite is the lighthouse - which I choose to think of as a tribute to Moominpappa at Sea.
Tags: real life
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