It’s been a great week and, weather-wise it’s been outstanding. It’s been warm bordering on “hot” for much of the week with (mainly) clear skies and a light breeze. From the Guardian on Thursday:
Heatwave alert as temperatures soar to high of the year in England and Wales
Thursday was, as the Guardian suggested, scorching – temperatures in the 80s (high 20s Celsius) with a bucket-load of humidity. The perfect conditions, in other words, for some whopping great thunderstorms which duly arrived about 3.00 in the morning on Friday. Great sparks of lightening and lashings and lashings of rain and the same again in the early hours of Saturday morning. A vigorous yet cleansing downpour which has left things very pleasantly “fresh”.
I have to confess I did not get out of bed to take photographs of the lightning, but some folks did. This is from a collection on the BBC site:
and the Guardian had another collection.
I had a good bike ride in the scorching heat of Thursday afternoon – a good little outing and you’ll be pleased to hear that I was able to maintain my position towards the top of the leader board in le Tour.
Then, on Thursday evening, Ms Playchute and I enjoyed another one of my marvellous bargain date nights and had dinner and an evening at the theatre at up to 50% off! We went to see the NT Live stream of Skylight with Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan.
We’ve been to a few of the live streams over the past few months and they’ve all been great to outstanding so far. As I’ve written before, the experience is very like attending the theatre in person but with much better seats and viewing angles throughout the play.
The play was terrific and the acting outstanding. From the NT Live web site:
On a bitterly cold London evening, schoolteacher Kyra Hollis (Carey Mulligan) receives an unexpected visit from her former lover, Tom Sergeant (Bill Nighy), a successful and charismatic restaurateur whose wife has recently died. As the evening progresses, the two attempt to rekindle their once passionate relationship only to find themselves locked in a dangerous battle of opposing ideologies and mutual desires.
It was powerful yet there was also much humour particularly with references to his successful and lavish life style and her depressing conditions in a run-down one room council flat with no heating.
We really enjoyed it and, it’s coming to a cinema near you – there will be an international streaming on 23 October.
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Beautifully acted by Bill Nighy, Carey Mulligan and Matthew Beard
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Bill Nighy at full belt on stage is astonishing, unbalancing, unforgettable
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A terrific performance – powerful and funny.
Befouled Weakly News
The other “big” news, I suppose is that the house is now on the market – you can view the details yourself and make a bid before it’s too late!
I have to say, neither Pen nor I are overly delighted with the brochure and online details the estate agent put together. The photos there don’t do it justice and we are having the photographer come back tomorrow to take some more. Those of you who know the house will realise that there’s no photo of the entrance hall, none of our bedroom and we had to ask them to include the one of the grape arbour.
We also spent Thursday morning in town sorting out the errors and omissions in the first draft of the particulars for the house. I’m not sure I quite understand how this all works? We give the estate agent all the details. We give the guy doing the energy efficiency assessment the same details. We complete questionnaires and then we still need to go in to town to give them all the same details a fourth time so that they can correct their mistakes. Simple stuff, really: oil fired central heating instead of gas, productive grape vine instead of ornamental, open fire place instead of wood-burning stove, mis-spelling of Annexe as Annex (i.e., to take over a country) throughout the floor plans, (that might be an appropriate spelling in the States but this is England!) etc., etc. And, for the privilege of correcting their errors we pay them a sum of money roughly equivalent to the gross domestic product of a small developing country.
Still, we are bracing ourselves for the expected arrival of the hordes of prospective buyers who will be beating a path up our driveway in the next few days clutching and waving large wads of currency begging to be allowed to purchase Penelope’s Playchute Palace.
Finally, Dad sent these photos of “The 20 Most Beautiful Stairs in the World” the other day. Some of these are just stunning. For some reason, though, there are only 18! Wonder which two are missing?
Staircase at Lello Bookshop Portugal – This interesting grand staircase in Lello Bookshop in Portugal stands ominous and heavy. The steps are like two channels pouring and swirling to a single point. The side view gives you a closer idea of the immense curves and giddy sinking feeling to each step.
Stairs to the sea, Spain – This beautiful staircase is located on the island Gastelugache in Spain. This tiny island in the Bay of Biscay belongs to the municipality of Bermeo in the Basque Country. Staircase leads to the hermitage, which was built in the 10th century. Total staircase has 237 steps. It is best to visit these places in the fall or spring to enjoy the peace and beauty of the environment. In summer there is usually crowds.
Mountain in Belgium Buren Buren Mountain – not a real mountain, and the name of the stairs. It consists of 374 steps and is located in Liege. The staircase was built in 1881 to allow the soldiers to go down into the city center to the hill while avoiding dangerous ways. Stairs aristocrat named for the 15th century Vincent de Buren, who defended the city of Liege attack Duke of Burgundy. Almost ruined citadel near Mount Buren was formerly a stronghold to protect the city. When you climb to the top, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of the city and the river Maas.
Haiku Stairs in Hawaii – Haiku Stairs, also known as the stairway to heaven, is a steep hiking trail on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. The trail starts as a wooden staircase leading to the cliff on the south side of the Valley of Haiku. The staircase was installed in 1942 to stretch the cable from one side to the other rocks. This was necessary in order to provide a continuous link to the naval station at an altitude of about 850 meters. In 2003, the staircase was restored at a cost of 875,000 dollars in the city. But due and outstanding issues of land use, the city and county of Honolulu, said that currently there is no plan to open the stairs for public use.
Bridge over Traversinertobel – Bridge Traversinertobel staircase through one of the slopes of the Via Mala, is the latest structure of this type developed by engineer Dzhyurgom Konzettom and his partner Rolf Bahofnerom. They solved the problem of connecting two different heights of the gorge, creating a ladder. Staircase replaces a rope bridge for travelers, which was destroyed by a landslide. New pedestrian bridge covers a distance of 56 meters in height with a vertical drop of 22 meters between the two slopes.
Chand Baori Well, India – Chand Baori structure located in a village near Jaipur Abaneri, India. The well was built in the year 800, his narrow 3500 steps in 13 floors extend to 30 meters underground. Rajasthan is extremely arid, because Shand Baori structure was designed to save as much water. At the bottom of the well remains in the air 6.5 degrees cooler than at the surface. This place was used as a resting place of local residents during heatwaves.
Universe Cascade Scotland – Cascade universe located on the hillside along the gardens of Dumfries in Scotland and consists of a series of steep steps. Large sites with viewing benches were installed on each flight. You can simply enjoy the beauty of nature, or relax while lifting. Staircase begins at the pond and leads to a beautiful pavilion upstairs. Although private gardens, they open to the public once a year.
Stairs Santorini in Greece – in 1715 island residents have built steep stairs on the steep hillside, so they could get from the sea to the summit and back. To help carry cargo and passengers from ships to the city, used donkeys. In 1930, the stairs were improved, and involved more donkeys. Finally, in 1979, was installed ropeway to automate the process – but the most interesting trip – still walk on a donkey. Zigzag stairs from the sea to the city paved with stone, and because of the many convolutions of the distance from one end to the other is 1300 meters. In total there are 657 10-cm steps and climb provides a very good workout on a sunny day. Santorini has a special place among the sights of Greece.
Stairs Awaji in Japan – Awaji Yumebutai (Ladder of Dreams) is a complex of buildings and other structures located on the island of Awaji in Japan. One set is 100-Awaji tier garden, consisting of 100 beds and stairs. The complex was built as a memorial to the Great Hanshin Earthquake (1995). Construction was carried out on the side of the mountain, which was half demolished in the early 90s. Its stones were used during the construction of artificial islands in the Bay of Osaka.
Tiger Turtle Stairs Germany – This sculpture is 21 meters tall and was named Tiger Turtle, it is located on a hillside in Duisburg, Germany. Steps meander along the frame of steel in a spiral manner, culminating in a dead loop. Visitors can climb the ladder in Duisburg, but not in the center of the loop that allows you to go full circle.
Potemkin Stairs in Odessa – Potemkin Stairs – a giant stairway in Odessa, Ukraine. Ladder consider formal entrance into the city from the sea, it is the most famous symbol of Odessa. It was originally known as the ladder Richelieu. The top step is 12.5 meters wide, and the lowest – 21.7 meters. Ladder height – 27 meters and the length – 142 meters, but because of different widths above and below creates the illusion of greater length.
Steel Sculpture Art Germany – is a wonderful peace of art designed by Olafur Eliasson. This beautiful merging of art and architecture is a 9 meter-high walk-double spiral of steel in the entrance of the KPMG ( a global accounting firm ) office building in Munich, Germany. The stair is called Umschreibung (Rewriting), and was completed in 2004.
Miraculous Staircase of USA – This is the miraculous staircase of Saint Joseph at Loretto Chapel in Santa FÃ©, New Mexico. U.S.A., which, after 134 years since it was built in 1878, still confounds architects, engineers, and master craftsmen in the physics of its construction and remains inexplicable in view of its baffling design considerations. The unusual helix shaped spiral staircase has two complete 360Â° turns, stands 20 feet high up to the choir loft and has no newel (center pole) to support it as most circular stairways have. Its entire weight rests solely on its base and against the choir loft – a mystery that defies all laws of gravity, it should have crashed to the floor the moment anyone stepped on it, and yet it is still in use daily for over a hundred years. The risers of the 33 steps are all of the same height. Made of an apparently extinct wood species, it was constructed with only square wooden pegs without glue or nails. At the time it was built, the stairway had no banisters. These were added 10 years later in 1888 by Phillip A. Hesch at the Sisters’ request.
Moses Bridge Netherlands – In the early 17th century Fort de Ruver was surrounded by a moat and was originally built without a bridge. But during a recent restoration program has necessitated the construction of the bridge. Out of respect to the original fort insular status Dutch company RO AD Architecten built ladder bridge Moses. Get the original “sunken” bridge literally merges with the water line. As a result, almost invisible bridge partially submerged pedestrian moat. Originally protective zone was flooded with water deep enough to impede the enemy advance, was still shallow enough to prevent effective use of boats.
Spiral Staircase China – Stairs height 91.5 meters installed along the mountainside in Tyayhan Linchzhou, China. It offers the thrill of climbing without any danger. Hike up the stairs does not require additional training and equipment. Here you will feel the full force of the wind, the birds will fly past, and steps will creak. It’s much more interesting than the rise in the elevator. However, due to issues of safety and health, you must agree to a number of conditions. Climbers must be under 60 years of age and must complete a form confirming that they have no problems with the heart or lungs.
Stairs in Austria Schlossberg – Graz main attraction – Schlossberg (Clock Tower). It stands proudly and is visible from all points in the city. Tourists and locals climb to the top to enjoy the incredible views of Graz and the surrounding area. Stairs Schlossberg is located at the far end Shlossbergplatts. An impressive staircase carved into the rock and leads to the top of the hill to the clock tower. 260 steps of stairs is not very difficult to climb, but anyone can use a lift.
The 16th Avenue Steps, San Francisco – At the corner of Moraga Street and 16th Avenue, in the Golden Gate Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, is the base of the most beautiful staircase in the entire city. A brightly-tiled panel caps the front of each of the staircaseâ€™s 163 steps, and as the stairs stretch up the hill toward 15th Avenue, the individual panels blend together to form a single massive mosaic. Stunning in its entirety, yet intricate and detailed enough to offer bountiful rewards when viewed up close, the 16th Avenue steps are a treasure shared by the people living in the Sunset District.
Steps in Canyon – This famous staircase in the Canyon is located near the waterfall Pailon del Diablo in Ecuador. Pailon del Diablo – quite a large waterfall in the distance just 30 minutes from the city of Banos in Ecuador. This is one of the most popular attractions in the area. Visiting Ecuador, certainly conquer this unique descent
Love to you all,