Saturday, November 15, 2014

2014 Holiday in England (3)

In the middle of our first week in England, we went to Maidstone, where I always love the river Medway.

Archbishop's Palace, Maidstone

River Medway

We visited two famous seaside towns. First Dover, where we arrived too late to go inside the castle, so we just took photos from the outside and then walked on the beach and saw the White Cliffs.

Dover Castle

Dover beach, with view of the White Cliffs

Dunkirk Memorial

The next day we visited Brighton, where we walked along the beach, visited Brighton Pier, with its amusement arcade, and saw lots of seagulls.

Brighton Pier

Brighton Wheel

Brighton Pier

Sunday, November 9, 2014

2014 Holiday in England (2)

Today, Nov. 11th, the UK marks Remembrance Sunday, and some of the main ceremonies are taking place at a place I visited just over a month ago, an art installation and memorial at the Tower of London, called Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red. This year marks the centenary of the start of World War I, and the installation is made up of ceramic poppies, one to mark each of the UK and Commonwealth soldiers who fell during World War I, a total of 888,246. They started placing the poppies in August, and by the time we visited at the beginning of October the work was almost complete. The poppy is the traditional symbol of fallen soldiers in the UK and Commonwealth.

When we visited, there were already many visitors at the site, and I have heard that it has become even more popular and crowded since then. It was a very moving and impressive sight, with the slightly disturbing blood colour and all that this symbolizes. The poppies "pour" out of a window in the tower and "flow" around it fluidly, filling the moat. Each poppy is unique, an individual like those who died, but they share a general shape and colour, and together they become a powerful image. Knowing that each poppy represents one human life lost in this war somehow makes the immense loss of life very tangible.

There have been ceremonies held every day at sunset, where the names of the fallen have been read out. We were not there to attend such a ceremony, but I can imagine how powerful this must be, especially for the descendants of the deceased soldiers. Hearing the names makes remembrance more personal.

The individual poppies were made available for sale, to raise money for veterans' charities, and have all sold out. After the remembrance ceremonies held this month the installation will be dismantled. I feel privileged to have witnessed this touching and powerful memorial.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

2014 Holiday in England (1)

We had a wonderful holiday in England at the end of September and beginning of October. I want to describe some of the places we visited and the things we did, not necessarily always in chronological order.

The first week was spent with Ivor's sister Heather and her husband John. We visited many places in Kent and Sussex.

One of the first days out was a country fair held at Belmont House near Faversham. The first event was ferret racing. We were allowed to hold the ferrets, and they were very wriggly and not quite as soft as cats, but still cute. They didn't seem to understand the idea of racing, and kept going back through their tubes!

Then we saw a sheep show, with various types of sheep on display, and a demonstration of sheep shearing.

There was a falconry display, but that was difficult to photograph.

Then we saw a pack of beagles, and they were very friendly with Ivor!

We looked around the grounds of Belmont House, though the house itself was not open.

It was an enjoyable day, though Ivor got stung by a wasp and a scratch from a ferret on his thumb got infected and quite swollen later! He has since recovered.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Ivor's new book!

Ivor's new book is out today.
Published by Lexington Books.
"Ivor Ludlam succeeds in unifying the Republic’s multiplicity of ideas and themes, and in taming what might otherwise appear a great tangle. Ludlam’s ingenious organizing principle is the correspondence between the dialogue’s characters and the political types Socrates describes. Treating the dialogue’s philosophical content as unfolding through its drama, this work honors Plato as a philosopher whose identity stubbornly resists submersion in that of any of the characters he limns. In the Republic, Plato is thus able to present his unique and inspiring vision of philosophy as the dialectical study of dialectic."

Roslyn Weiss, Lehigh University