I was foolish enough to offer to do a main lesson with class 9 at Alexandra’s school in Devon, as she was a bit overloaded with work and this is another story. This meant, however, that I was lucky as she offered to let me camp in her home for two whole weeks in Totnes. I took this opportunity to not only experience a British Waldorf school, but to explore further South. So, since I had time on my hands, as I only taught 2 hours a day, I went exploring South Devon and Cornwall. Well I didn’t expect to have a brief encounter with Cape Town while I was there.
I had heard of the Eden project, first when I did a main lesson on platonic solids and discovered these geodesic domes, commonly called bucky balls, ( which is a truncated icosahedron discovered initially by Archimedes, now used in the making of soccer balls) was also used to make these huge buildings to house a biome of plants from different areas of the world. A geodesic dome makes a stable closed “sphere” that is structurally quite stable, and was popularised by Buckminster Fuller, a wacky architect. This shape of alternating hexagons and pentagons, is also used to describe the structure of Carbon 60, as it strangely forms balls that have 60 molecules stuck together.
And yes, they are HUGE. I went simply to experience the scale of it. It is expensive to get in, and since I only arrived at 4pm, I felt I couldn’t justify R500 to get in. Yes, you can come in for free for a year after that, but it was unlikely that I would be back within a year. (Privately I think they do this to make you feel better about parting with your money. ) However, they let me in without paying, as I was late and I was amazed at the scale of it…no words can describe.
These HUGE biomes are kept at the atmospheric conditions of each area, and I went to the tropical zone, which was hot and humid to the point at which it is uncomfortable. Another biome was hot and dry, and this was the Mediterranean region and tucked way at the same conditions was South Africa. Well it was a hodge podge of south Africa, mainly focused on fynbos, but I caught a welcome glimpse of pelargoniums and proteas.
The Eden project is quite wonderfully unique in that it was developed out of a derelict clay quarry not so long ago (in plant terms). There is still much that is still newly planted. But it is an astounding project run on charity money. (That still did not encourage me to pay, as I am a charity case myself, especially at the current exchange rate, although, just so that you think I am snoep, I would have if I had a whole day to explore). There are also many eating places selling eco-friendly food. The eco-focused shop was huge with very interesting gifts.
There are also interesting sculptures scattered here and there like this around the grape vines of a bacchanalia in action. This made of old motor parts and this ENORMOUS bee.
Unfortunately I had to race back, as it was my last night with Alexandria and her wonderful family and she was cooking an amazing spring lamb dinner. Here is Alexandra and Alastair, cooking up a storm while bopping to the radio. Thanks, friend.