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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Wandering around the Weald by bicycle!

Here is an interesting page about Wealden geology, focusing on petroleum geology and fracking, courtesy of Ian West. Thank you Ian, for explaining the geology and technicalities of fracking at Balcombe.

More information on fracking can be found in a Royal Society Document:

Shale gas extraction in the UK: a review of hydraulic fracturing”.

I have no problem with fracking as long as Regulations and Guidelines are fully and carefully observed.


Spent the last few days cycling around the hills of Hampshire. Superb weather. A Cretaceous extravaganza but it’s difficult to id flint fossils when you’re whizzing around on a bike!

Last night (12th August) was a brilliantly clear night for observing. Saw the International Space Station twice, once at 9.24pm and again at 11.01pm, on slightly different orbits. The Space station was much brighter than I expected – a constant white light, moving from west to east, faster than an aeroplane!

Also saw Perseid meteorites. Sporadic and generally emanating from the North West, the meteorites varied in intensity and trajectory.


A fistful of fossils from quarry at Osmoy-St-Valery

Assorted fossils from quarry at Osmoy-St-Valery. This interesting quarry yields many varied fossil sponges, corals ammonites, bivalves and echinoids, that indicate that the sediment is Lower Chalk.

Yesterday was the hottest day of the year, so far. Spent the day in London visiting various art galleries. We started at The Courtauld Gallery so we could visit COLLECTING GAUGUIN SAMUEL COURTAULD IN THE ’20S. This is a very small exhibition, Samuel Courtauld didn’t collect very much! It’s quite a dense exhibition with paintings, prints and drawings. Gauguin was a very skilled draftsman but this is not really evident in his paintings.

Then over to see Laura Knights Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery. Her work is very inconsistent and patchy. The BP Portrait Award 2013 brought the usual crop of work, many finely painted but nothing terribly innovative or exciting.

Then a visit to the PACE gallery, London to see Robert Irwin’s site specific panel and fluorescent tube installations. These are the epitome of phenomenology.

Lastly, a brisk walk down Cork Street to look at the works in the numerous galleries before they are annihilated.

Went to The Globe Theatre, London to see Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Brilliant evening out, a good spectacle even though I couldn’t quite follow the story. It reminded me of artist Charles Avery’s ‘The Islanders‘.