Friday, November 14, 2003


The dogs are panting. The mowers are sounding. The cold has lifted.

because of the sudden rise in the mercury our thoughts had already turned seaward when we caught Today in Literature
On this day in 1797 William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge began a walking holiday in the Quantock Hills of Somerset, during which they would conceive "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner."
"Biographer Richard Holmes (2 Vols., 1989 Whitbread Book of the Year) says that up to the time of writing the poem, Coleridge's only experience at sea was a crossing on the Chepstow ferry, but that at some instinctive level "the image of the lonely sea-voyage runs through all Coleridge's thought," as well as much of the 'tortured Romantic' legend "

Kilve shoreline

as previously speculated, some of my ancestors well may have gazed out to sea along the Kilve shoreline before a couple of their desendants took that long sea voyage out to the colonies.

a woman, wearing a veil, on the beach with a row boat coming in on the left and a moored sailing boat in the background Point Lonsdale 1914

a woman on a balcony at the Hotel Pacific. She is looking out over Loutit bay. 1933

Images from Museum Victoria Collection - The Biggest Family Album

Comments: seaward

even seventy years later that is instantly recognisable.

If anyone is in Lorne at the right time, the historical museum is pretty fab. Many snaps of butchers lined up before their produce. Strangely for a town that was so Greek, the history is all anglo...
Posted by David at November 14, 2003 03:39 PM

and John Fowles, eat your heart out..
Posted by David at November 14, 2003 03:39 PM

I haven't been to Lorne's historical museum. Sounds good. I wonder how it compares to the splendid Cable Museum down the GO road at Apollo Bay?
Seaside museums often dish up the best eclectic mix.

I like the relection of the woman on the balcony
Posted by boynton at November 14, 2003 04:10 PM

the lorne one is smaller, more concentrated and open less often. the cable museum has a lovely chaos in the corners.

but then, lorne has always been so respectable, and apollo bay is inherently raffish. lovely word, raffish...

my favourite lorne photo from the collection is of a stagecoach wrecked in a river. its the erskine river, where the road hangs a left after the caravan park and the supermarket. there's a bridge but in 1911 it was a ford. the daily stagecoach came thundering into town and rolled in the ford, sadly killing the driver. theres no mention of the horses,
Posted by David at November 14, 2003 07:38 PM

I thought of Fowles too, David - but it was the words, not the picture "A woman, wearing a veil, on the beach." Really could've been any sort of woman - quite odd.
Posted by wen at November 14, 2003 08:20 PM

David - know the corner, must look up the photo next time I drive through Lorne on way to its raffish neighbour. .
Used to stay in a house within a stone's throw of the Cable Museum - only open Sundays and public Holidays. We were given an unsolicited guided tour by an enthusiastic volunteer which was very informative but prevented the rambling and sifting thorugh the chaos in corners at leisure.
They have a great collection of photos - which alone needed a good unfettered hour. Must go back!

wen - I was reading the descriptions and almost became distracted by them on their own terms.
You could just post a list of such captions...

Err actually now I think about it I did that once before:
Posted by boynton at November 14, 2003 10:44 PM

For all the brutalities and inequities particular to the times, one does get an inkling of a long-dead sense of time (like Joseph Banks, Stephen Maturin was always whinging about the navy's penchant for tearing past points of interest at eight knots) - and, more importantly still, a proper respect for elaborately wrought iron balconies.
Posted by Rob Schaap at November 15, 2003 03:33 PM

The British seaside always looks so tame to my eyes. None of the latent power of the sea that is so evident on the Australian coast. That photo of Klive is a case in point.
Posted by Scott Wickstein at November 15, 2003 05:03 PM

Get some Daphne DuMaurier into you, Scott. Or have a pint on Whitby pier. Or try to get the Mary Rose out of the Solent on a windy day ...
Posted by Rob Schaap at November 15, 2003 10:17 PM

Rob, you can still catch inklings here and there
(not very often in this medium) of near stillness'
Maybe a sub-8 knots movement could join forces with the 3 mph (walking/thinking) push to foster the lost art of slowness? And I once came across a link linking balconies to langour:
I must find a cast iron variety quick smart to (slowly) read some Maturin.
Posted by boynton at November 15, 2003 11:32 PM

and yeah Scott! I was thinking Cornwall too.
But then I had also been thinking that Kilve resembles some of the Bayside beaches round these here parts. Particularly round Flinders and Shoreham. Not the sand though.
(And I endorse all those bracing activities that Rob prescribes btw)
Posted by b at November 15, 2003 11:40 PM

"I must find a cast iron variety quick smart to (slowly) read some Maturin."

erm...of course, Rob, I have since been informed by an O'Brian expert that I was in fact referring to M's "Thoughts on the Prevention of the Diseases most usual among Seamen" or "Some remarks on Peruvian cirripedes" or even "A paper on boobies" etc etc... apparently.
Posted by boynton at November 18, 2003 09:02 AM

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