Thursday, July 30, 2009

Longdown Station

For some reason the planned trip to Longdown coincided with one of the hottest days of the year so far. It's good to be walking in the shade of trees in sunny weather and there's a nice old place here with a bit of hills and view then down into an old winding path that follows a brook, past a ruined barn and on to an old railway.

The whole area seems to be covered with the Empire of Giant Wood Ants now but up and past them and again past the lake and to the old railwaytrack itself and the inevitable 248 yards of dripping Edwardian darkness that is Culver tunnel. Going back isn't really an option at this point so it's through the tunnel whatever.

Back into the light on the other side is Longdown Station, built in 1903 and still complete with platform. It closed to passengers in 1958 so the trains are long gone now. Then there is a very wet track which leads to the second and longer Perridge Tunnel, gated on this end and named after the adjacent posh family The Perridges. Perridge Tunnel (829 yards long and curving) which has collapsed somewhere two thirds of the way through possibly due to a mushroom growing business going pear shaped in 1986, actually lies on a natural fault line of some sort, earthquakes in Okehampton and all that. I have been walking here since I was about 15, it hasn't changed much.

Usually it's quiet in the woods, apart from the pheasant shooting of course, though this time when we were about three quarters of the the way through the tunnel we heard a distant engine sound which turned out to be a tractor coming up the tunnel from behind us, the sound being much more disturbing than the resulting tractor which finally appeared, with a bit of smiling and waving. An interesting acoustic situation indeed. Plenty of drinking water useful around here. I forget how much slower you have to move in the heat.

The tunnels were originally built not because of any specific geological obstacle of any sort but because the folk in the big house didn't want to be disturbed by the railway, which is some indication of the lengths gone to to please these sort of people. It's a lot of work in the dark and an awkward bloody business by the look of it.


queenofthenile said...

Culver tunnel looks scary.

nobody said...

Pish tosh! You could see the end of it from the outside. Mind you having a tractor come in would be a definite wig-out.

I don't know if it's exactly germane but you reminded me of how motorcycle helmets (twenty years of motorcycling, me) somehow make the sound (particularly a siren) appear to be coming from every direction at once. And then once the siren is gone, weirdly you can still hear it for the next fifteen minutes or so. I talked to other riders about it and they all knew what I was talking about.

Um... perhaps the point of that story is that it's bloody lucky you weren't wearing motorcycle helmets whilst in the tunnel, else you'd have probably gone completely bonkers. I know I did.

Otherwise that was brilliant. Was the old train station possessed of charm? Or just smelling of pee? Pee or no, between the photes and text I do enjoy these jaunts John. And regards to the maid too.

john said...

Hello Queenofthenile, it isn't too scary really though there are big puddles and plenty of stumbling possibilies. I always hope that I don't fall down a big hole though it hasn't happened so far.

Cheers Nobody. I always thought motorcycles were a good form of transport only spoiled by the amount of cars and lorries on the road.

The station does have quite a lot of charm and the whole walk is always interesting. I like to go back in the Autumn as it nice then.

We have the folk festival on here this week so I will go and get lots of lovely pictures of the morris and molly dancers tomorrow. Lots of cider around including some very strong Thatchers which is a marvelous glow in the dark orange colour. Lots of good music too.

The maid sends her regards to you Nobody and she wanted to let everyone know that she has just washed her hair for the first time in three months.

Skye said...

Beautiful pictures John! I'm looking forward to the ones of the folk festival :)

queenofthenile said...

Hi john. Have been thinking about the maid and her her hair. Haven't tried putting off the hairwashing, but I know a journalist here, Richard Glover, did take the challenge a little while ago. I offer this URL if the maid is interested.

(Sorry, don't know how to turn it into a link)

john said...

Hello Skye and thanks! I have been out taking lots of photo's over the last couple of days and have seen some good dancing, even the weather hasn't been too bad. I see Canada has had some pretty rough weather over the last month. I will hopefully get some pics up soon, there has been some lovely molly dancing.

Thanks Queen of the Nile. The maid and her hair refers to something that Nobody wrote a few months ago about personal hygiene and the differences between men and womens. Unless she had told me I wouldn't have noticed that she hadn't washed her hair for months.

About a decade or so ago I noticed that a new sort of mens magazine was turning up which seemed to be pushing men to worry and obsess about their body image. Articles about what to wear, how to get a six pack etc.

I am always surprised that people fall for this rubbish but I shouldn't be as the marketing is relentless and of course plays on a young persons insecurity and so is a good way to screw money from them for soapy shit, expensive label clothes and other tat.

Cheers for now.

queenofthenile said...

Oh OK. I came in on the tail end of the conversation. I feel a bit like Hrundi V. Bakshi in "The Party" ;-)

nobody said...

Hello Queen of the Nile,

Good to see you haven't sunk. That was that other African Queen obviously. And Richard Glover? Dear oh dear. What are the odds he cravenly goes back to the shampoo?

Like I did! Hi folks, it's embarassing I know but I had my second shampoo yesterday. Weirdly enough my hair was fine for the longest time but then the dandruffy itchy scalp thing went nuts. I'm inclined to think that it coincided with me giving up beer, as unlikely as that may sound. I think a balance was established (a long established beer-a-day habit) and I threw the whole thing out of whack by stopping.

God help me having to use shampoo for the rest of my life though. To hell with that. I think instead it would be better to find a new balance. The ticket (a la conversations I've had with Miraculix who's across these things) is to quit processed sugar.

And as soon as my long scheduled Devotion to Aergia is over I'm up for it. Um, I can't quit before, since a Devotion involves (apart from the incense obviously) the eating of offertory cakes and biscuits etc.

Anyway my scalp is better but my hair is back to that weird splintery dry feeling. I look forward to sorting out my diet and getting back to the nature boy thing. Ciao Ciao.

queenofthenile said...

Hi nobody,

Thanks for your concern about my stern. I did have a look at your April blog on personal hygiene and it's a keeper.

john said...

I too hope everyones sterns are ok out there, do keep an eye on them.

Yes Nobody, the cakes and biccies are a tricky one to give up for sure. It sounds a bit like the munchies to me though I'm no doctor, still devotions have to be observed.

One thing that I meant to mention to you about Quentin and his garbled films was that I saw him interviewed and just thought that this man was doing way too much coke, it's no wonder his films are crap as every idea that you have on coke is absolute genius no matter what garbage it really is.

Lots of people told me how good Reservoir Dogs was so I saw it on video. The only thing I remember about it now was how long and lingering the torture scenes were, as if we should be getting off on it somehow. Although it brought up some questions as to the complicity of the viewer I just thought it was horrible, it being torture for entertainment.

nobody said...

No doctor you say John? Is a diagnostician not a doctor? Regardless I'm sure you've communed with Aergia yourself at some time in the past.

And Tarantino in interviews! Exactly! I've never seen a person keener to be interviewed than Tarantino. Most people prefer to let their work talk for it itself. Tarantino on the other hand would rather talk than work. He's only made six movies you know. But he's done enough talk for sixty.

Otherwise it sounds like your reaction to Reservoir Dogs and mine were identical. I couldn't get past the torture thing either. And um, don't watch Death Proof mate. The middle bit where the first four girls are slaughtered is unbelieveably graphic. And did you know that aside from his six films he's also acted as producer for various other films all of which were of the graphic dismemberment variety? Frankly he's a nasty piece of work.

john said...

We know Aergia p oh! I'll have to run I have a friend buying a painting here..

Well that was nice, it's not often I sell a painting, maybe I can get myself a passport now. Where was I?

We know Aergia pretty well here though she comes and goes these days. Blimey its all go here today, more people coming.

Those would be the Saw films I think, I've seen them in the shops but they wouldn't be my sort of thing, no. I don't really watch a lot of films anymore though have been catching up a bit lately.

It's good to see Les back in action again. Anyway must get on, back soon.

Penny said...

hello john!
long time no pop in, I have been here looking, but quietly.

as always fantastic pics, I do love coming here to see them and am glad you put them up.

I don't know all that much about photography, so I am glad you knew what those straight lines in the haiku pic were.
I just liked the picture.
It was as simple as that for me, much like your pics, I just like them!

Reservoir dogs, higly overrated. I am with you on that one, though I will say, my hubby liked it.

I will not participate in the hygiene discussion, it was enough at nobodys the one time.
I think that was when all the ladies disappeared suddenly!!

Penny said...

goodness john, you have moved your links, I wanted to listen to the guitar music. but I found it.

john said...

Hello Penny, it's nice to see you around here. I'm similar with a lot of the blogs I read as I don't comment a lot. I always comment if I think I have something to offer but otherwise, no.

Blimey I see what you mean about the links and that, I have no idea how they all got down there as I haven't moved them and they weren't there yesterday. I'll see if I can get in and move them back again. Cheers

john said...

Well that's weird as according to my customise layout thing all those elements are where they always were but as anyone can see they are all down the bottom of the page. I don't know what I can do. Maybe they will move back of their own accord at some point. Bugger!

debbn maid said...

penny said"all the ladies disappeared"..good job i'm not a sensitve girlie!! ;}