badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
There's knowing more or less what a word means and then there's knowing what it is. After a lifetime of reading books set in Britain and knowing that "chimneypots" are some sort of architectural feature on top of roofs, there was a point of visiting London over the last couple of years where I realized that chimneypots are indeed pottery things that look just like pots, sitting on top of (brick) chimneys. If only I could convey how mindblowing that was and still is. I am in bed looking out of the window at about eleventy million chimneypots RIGHT NOW, which makes me feel absurdly appreciative of how exotic and strange they are to me while being completely normal and mundane to everyone here. Fucking chimneypots. Who knew?

It also took me 2 years in Chicago to know what "tuckpointing" meant as I kept seeing it on signs and cherishing the sound of the word but forgetting to look it up. I may have finally deduced it from context.

For your entertainment I present a 52 page PDF about chimney pot spotting. Supposedly the number of pots on top of a chimney indicates that there are different fireplaces all going to that same chimney. Does that mean there are different brick flues each leading from its own fireplace to a particular pot??

Date: 2012-02-14 12:38 pm (UTC)
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
From: [personal profile] sanguinity
I found rooflines in England FASCINATING. I took lots and lots of photos of rooflines. Because of things like chimneypots. (And also thatch!)

The thing that blew MY mind was when I was walking in Cambridge, looked down into the ditch beside me, and saw lilypads. In a ditch. Growing wild! Without intent! Lilypads! Just growing there like it was an everyday thing and not a reference to a fairy story or something! And realized, Whoah, THIS is where all those fairytales are set! RIGHT FUCKING HERE.

I mean, it was trippier than when I first realized that the weather/seasons in children's books wasn't some imaginary constructed social convention, but actually existed in places like New England. (Apparently there really are places where the leaves fall off the trees in quantity? And then are dry and crunchy instead of wet and slimy? So that the prospect of jumping in them is alluring instead of... highly questionable? WHO KNEW?)

Date: 2012-02-15 04:00 am (UTC)
jesse_the_k: Finding Nemo's Dory, the adventurous fish with a brain injury (dain bramage)
From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k
Fortunately or not, I've lived near two Ivy League colleges who've worked very hard to emulate Oxbridge architecture. That, coupled with Peter and Harriet browsing for chess sets and chimney pots in Oxford Town, enabled me to visualize them early.

Tuck-pointing moved from the realm of the abstract to the concrete when I organized a four-story scaffold and a rental side-grinder to renew the mortar between ALL the BRICKS in our five-story residential coop on Lake Mendota.

Lilypads in a ditch! NOT POSSIBLE. (Where they occupied by fairies?)

The other thing that only makes sense in the UK is lawns. I mean really, lawns without daily rain and sheep?

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