Wednesday 29th June 2016

On Reading Nietzsche

I feel its best to be a simple man
For education only leads to discontent
I try to study the way of it all but it flies over my head
It raises nagging negatives
I close my eyes to the lines I cannot fully grasp
Great holes appear in my soul
I wished that I had begun to know myself earlier
Or I had had the means to do so
Why was I condemned to a life that would only
Leave me asking more questions?
As I begin see the reasons
I realise I have learned it all too late
Education leads to the self
The self leads to loneliness
Loneliness leads to thinking
Thinking leads to questions
Questions lead to disillusion
And a wish, yes a dream for an alternative solution
A way out
An escape route
There is none
We are all condemned to nothing
This I have learned from self education
O how I wish I was but a simple man
For education only leads to complexity

John Bishop June 29th 2016-06-29

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Artists’ Workhouse

Display in the former needle factory is everything from original soft furnishings to paintings, ceramics, mixed media, needlework and more.

Speaking on the opening day (Saturday) organiser Dawn Harris said: “It’s been really great; we’ve had a lot of people who are doing the Arts Trail and popping in, seeing what’s on display and enjoying our pop-up cafe.

“It’s been absolutely lovely and although we didn’t have that long to organise it, it just shows that the Arts Trail really works.”

The event is part of a county-wide initiative known as Warwickshire Open Studios which features the stunning work of artist Michala Gyetvai on the front cover of its free booklet – and Michala just happens to be exhibiting in Studley.

“The Artists Workhouse is a wonderful venue and I’m so pleased to be here,” said Michala, who, inspired by English Romanticism and the Warwickshire countryside, specialises in stunning miniature needlework or huge lofted works big enough to cover a wall.

Her colleague, ceramicist Hilary La Force added: “Dawn has done a wonderful job here and its a superb venue to exhibit our work in.”

Mrs Harris meanwhile paid tribute to local Studley businesses, which, ranging from Dyers the undertakers to flower shops and a bridal shop had not only agreed to host an artist but also entirely re-arranged their window displays to accommodate them.

“Full credit to the venues because they have really taken this venture to heart and their support has been fantastic.”

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Studley is a large village and civil parish in the Stratford-on-Avon district of Warwickshire

The manor of Studley is recorded twice in the Domesday Book mostly as part of the lands of William son of Courbucion; who was appointed Sheriff of Warwick soon after 1086; where it reads, “In Ferncombe Hundred in Stodlei (Studley) 4 hides. Land for 11 ploughs. In lordship 2; 3 slaves. 19 villagers with a priest and 12 smallholders have 9 ploughs. A mill at 5s; meadow, 24 acres; a salt house which pays 19 packloads of salt; woodland 1 league long and ½ a league wide. The value was and is 100s. Swein held it freely.” A further holding is listed as part of the land of William Bonavallet “William holds 1 hide in Stodlei from William. Land for 2 ploughs. In lordship 1 plough. Meadow 4 acres; woodland 3 furlongs long and 2 furlongs wide. Value 10s. Godric held it freely.”

It is the site of both a castle, not the 19th century house called Studley Castle, and the remains of a medieval priory. The Augustinian priory was founded in the 12th century by Peter Corbizun but was closed at the dissolution under Henry VIII and was used as a source of stone for other local buildings. Nothing remains today apart from the use of the name priory in a few local building names such as Priory Farm, which now much modernised, embodies a few fragmentary portions of a conventual building. A gabled west wall of stone rubble contains the remains of a large 14th century window. A few medieval sculptured fragments are built on to the walls.

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Studley was known for being the site of a sewing needle and surgical needle making industry.

This specialisation started when Elizabeth I permitted a number of Huguenot refugees to settle here, bringing this rare craft with them. Their expertise enabled English needle manufacture to catch up with French methods and Studley was a leading area in this advance, gaining a European and even worldwide reputation.

From the 19th century precision made surgical needles were in demand and with advances in manufacturing technology such was the demand that over 3,000 workers were employed. In 1977 the old factory where needles were made was burnt down, and the production of “Aero” needles moved to a nearby site. The original factory site now contains a supermarket, other retail outlets, and housing. One of the streets in the village is named “Crooks Lane”, ostensibly because the crooked needles from the original factory were dumped at the end of this lane, but the road was there before the village had a needle factory.

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At the start of the last century Royal Victoria Works belonged to the needle manufacturers Henry Wilkes & Co. Established in 1815, the firm had become one of the major needlemakers in the district, partly through the absorption of other local firms. On a Wilkes billhead dated 1901 they state that they are the ‘successors to’ J Davis & Co, John Hill, John Shrimpton & Sons, James Cottrill & Son (all of Studley), WM James & Co and Jesse Boulton & Sons (both of Redditch).

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In accordance with the spirit of the time – when factories were something to show off – the billhead is embellished with an engraved illustration of Royal Victoria Works. Viewed as if from above, the factory had a classical symmetry about its layout, with offices and workshops arranged either side of a gated entrance and courtyard. It looks extremely grand. However, compared with what still exists on the site, the depiction would appear to be somewhat exaggerated in terms of size – but this was the convention of the time, done no doubt to impress Mr Wilkes’ customers. Our building is what remains of the building on the left of the billhead, the ‘L’ shape that is formed at the rear of the estate.

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Zootopia

In a world populated by anthropomorphic mammals, a rabbit from rural Bunnyburrow named Judy Hopps fulfills her childhood dream of becoming the first rabbit police officer in Zootopia, an urban utopia. Despite being the police academy valedictorian, Judy is relegated to parking duty by Chief Bogo, who doubts her potential. On her first day, she is hustled by Nick Wilde and Finnick, a con artist duo. The next day, Judy abandons parking duty and arrests Duke Weaselton, a thief who stole plant bulbs. Bogo reprimands her, but an otter woman then enters, pleading for someone to find her missing husband, Emmitt Otterton, part of a string of disappearances of predator individuals. Judy volunteers, causing Bogo to fire her, but he instead reluctantly gives her two days to find Otterton after Assistant Mayor Bellwether, a sheep, praises the assignment, under the condition that Judy resign if she fails.

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Judy discovers that Nick was the last one to see Otterton, so she blackmails him into assisting her by covertly recording his confession to tax evasion. They track Otterton to a limousine owned by crime boss Mr. Big, who reveals that Otterton, his florist, went “savage” – reverted to a feral state – and attacked his chauffeur Manchas, a black jaguar. At his home, Manchas mentions that Otterton had been yelling about “night howlers.” Suddenly, Manchas himself goes savage and chases the pair. Judy saves Nick by trapping Manchas and calls the ZPD for help. But when Bogo and other police arrive, Manchas has vanished. Bogo demands Judy’s resignation, but Nick defends Judy, pointing out that she still has ten hours to solve the case. As they leave, Nick opens up to Judy, revealing he was bullied as a child for being a fox and subsequently became a con artist, resolving to live out the stereotype of a fox.

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Bellwether gives Judy and Nick access to the city’s traffic camera system and they discover Manchas was captured by wolves, which Judy surmises are the “night howlers”. They locate Otterton and the other missing predators in a lab where Mayor Lionheart, a lion, has been keeping them hidden and trying to determine the cause of their strange behavior. Lionheart is arrested, and Bellwether becomes the new mayor. Judy, praised for cracking the case, asks Nick to join the ZPD and become her partner, which he happily considers. However, Judy then speaks at a press conference and angers Nick by suggesting a biological cause for the recent predator behavior. Nick refuses her offer and angrily leaves, and a guilt-ridden Judy resigns amid a wave of fear and protests against predators, a minority group.

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Back in Bunnyburrow, Judy learns from her parents and reformed childhood bully, fox Gideon Grey, that “night howlers” are toxic flowers that have severe psychotropic effects on mammals. Judy returns to Zootopia and reconciles with Nick. They find Weaselton and discover that the bulbs he was stealing were night howlers intended for a ram named Doug, who has weaponized a night howler serum into a dart gun, which he has been using to turn predators savage. Before they can bring the evidence to the ZPD, Bellwether intercepts them and steals it, revealing herself as the mastermind behind a prey-supremacist conspiracy. Judy and Nick are trapped after Nick refuses to abandon Judy when she is injured. Bellwether calls the police, intending to use the serum to make Nick kill Judy, but Nick has disarmed the weapon by replacing the serum pellets with blueberries, and Judy has recorded Bellwether’s confession as the police arrive. Lionheart denies any knowledge of Bellwether’s plot, but asserts that he imprisoned the savage predators for the “right reasons.” Judy rejoins the ZPD, and Nick joins to become her partner (becoming the first fox police officer). The savage predators are cured by an antidote. During the film’s closing credits, popstar Gazelle holds a concert to celebrate, with Bellwether and her accomplices angrily watching in prison.

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Finding Dory

One year after the events of Finding Nemo, Dory begins having fragmented dreams and flashbacks of her life prior to meeting Marlin and Nemo, particularly of her parents Jenny and Charlie. After hearing Mr. Ray’s lecture about migration, where sea animals instinctively return home, Dory’s memories are triggered, and she suddenly urges to find her parents, only vaguely remembering that they lived at the Jewel of Morro Bay.

Marlin, initially reluctant, and Nemo decide to accompany Dory in her quest. With the help of Crush, the trio rides the current to California. When Dory wanders near a shipwreck, they are forced to flee from a predatory giant squid which nearly devours Nemo. Marlin and Dory manage to save Nemo, but Marlin snaps in frustration at her for endangering Nemo. Although hurt, Dory seeks help and travels to the surface, where she is taken by volunteers from the nearby Marine Life Institute after being caught in six pack rings.

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Dory is sent to the Quarantine section tagged, where she meets an ill-tempered, seven-legged octopus named Hank (Ed O’Neill). He deciphers Dory’s tag, meaning that she will be sent to a permanent aquarium in Cleveland instead of being released. Due to past trauma, Hank dreams of enclosed isolation and agrees to help Dory find her parents in exchange for her tag. Discovering her birthplace in the Institute’s Open Ocean exhibit, she enlists the help of childhood friend Destiny, a near-sighted whale shark, and Bailey, a beluga whale who believes he is unable to use echolocation. After reaching her old home, Dory learns that the blue tangs are receiving their own exhibit in Cleveland and have been sent to Quarantine. Meanwhile, Marlin and Nemo attempt to rescue Dory. A pair of sea lions named Fluke and Rudder introduce them to a dimwitted common loon named Becky, who manages to get them into the Institute. After travelling through various exhibits and places, they reunite with Dory in the facility’s labyrinthine pipe system. The trio travels to Quarantine with the help of Destiny and Bailey, who is finally able to echo-locate.

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They locate a tank of blue tangs, but are told that Dory’s parents traveled there to look for Dory and have not been back since. Believing them dead, Dory is shocked but Hank only manages to retrieve her. Marlin, Nemo, and the blue tangs are loaded in a truck bound for Cleveland. Anxious to board, Hank accidentally drops Dory into a ocean-led drain. With no memory, Dory wanders inconsolably before she comes across a trail of shells. She remembers following shells, and she finds Jenny and Charlie. They reveal that when they failed to find her, they thought that she escaped into the ocean. Hoping they would reunite, they escaped and spent years forming trails of shells for her to follow.

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Although she is happy to have fulfilled her quest, Dory remembers to rescue Marlin and Nemo. Destiny and Bailey escape their exhibits, and alongside a group of sea otters and Becky, they help Dory intercept the truck. She rescues Marlin and Nemo, but is accidentally left behind. Dory convinces Hank to escape with her, and both hijack the truck and drive it into the ocean, freeing all of the captive sea animals. Dory, her parents, Hank, Destiny, and Bailey return with Marlin and Nemo to live a new life at the Great Barrier Reef. In a post-credits scene, the Tank Gang, still trapped in their now algae-covered plastic bags, reach California. They are then captured by volunteers, with Bloat once again saying “Now what?”

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