Today I went for a trip to Cirencester (pronounced Sirensester..why ever? when Gloucester is pronounced Gloster not Glosester!). It was an old Roman town, once the centre of England and equal in size to London! It also has an old Roman amphitheatre..more of that later. Well, I just stopped in the centre of town near an old brewery that has been converted into an art and craft centre, with the craftsmen and women working on site. Anyway, they had an exhibition of the craziest sculptures called automata by someone called Robert Race, an old man who has travelled the world looking at traditional working toys. he uses reused and recycled materials, as they have a story that they carry (eg driftwood could have come from miles away and carried many marine plants and animals along the way.
this exhibition was made with and by old people, bringing back a little of their past. As you enter, there is a sign saying that adults must be accompanied by a child. This is a simple figure on a piece of wire that flips and dangles when you move it.
If you sit on this beach chair and pull a handle, the umbrella swirls around.
This sculpture is full of moving figures.
Then I went in search of the Roman amphitheatre, which I imagined would stick up above everthing (THINKING colusseum). Well I went past twice. I dont think it has been excavated, and is really more like mounds of grass. I have attached a drawing of what it should look like and what it does look like. Britons do not seem to value their Roman origins as much as their British ones. In Rome this would have been a crime. Another odd place is Minchinhampton common. (Britain is so ancient that there was no such thing as town planning. This is what makes it an interesting place. )It is just on the top of the hill above where I live. (Equivalent to just outside Bishopscourt). It is open grassland of about 600 acres separated from the other towns by a cattle grid on all sides. The village is in the middle, (so is my house )and the cows, of which there are about 600, owned by various locals run free except for ear tags to identify their owners. There are no fences and it is a meeting of 6 roads that go different directions. The weirdest part is that it is also a huge free golf course as well. Used also by the mink and manure for horse riding. The cows herd down to respective farms at certain times of the year..ie when it becomes cold and they live in their respective barns until summer. The common is constantly manured and kept in trim by the cows.!