The Abingdon Blog

The Abingdon Blog is a photo record of events and places in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, started on January 1st 2006.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Bigging Up Titian's ‘Bacchus and Ariadne’

This is the third year that the Arts Festival has featured a Bigging Up a Famous Painting . Alan Mynall holds up his 1/25th of the total picture.

25 artists each painted a 2ft x 2ft portion of Titian's Bacchus and Ariadne in just 6 hours. At 4:00 the canvases were collated to create a giant version of the original.

Then came the moment of truth as the large picture was turned to face the audience.

Here are the artists with their picture.

The event was sponsored by Schlumberger and Price's Stationers, and the finished canvasses will be on display at the Guildhall over the next two weeks - during the arts festival.

Lots more is going on which can be seen at Abingdon Arts Festival. For example

Kevin Tomlinson has taken his show to Canada, America, Norway, New Zealand, Holland and Hawaii. The show explores all those times in life when we are “on the edge”. On 26th March he will be Bigging it up in his home town, Abingdon.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Street View Abingdon

Interesting comments from the post of two days ago with the launch of Google Street View for the rest of the country - and in Abingdon.

Google haven't got everything exactly right yet. East St Helen Street has been called West St Helen Street. But even people who live in Abingdon make that mistake.

Comments from 11th March find clues when the cameras came round. This motor show advertised on the bus stop outside the Community Hospital on Marcham Road agrees with their dating of June 2008 - it says Sunday 29th June 2008.

But areas in North Abingdon like this bus shelter near Tilsley Park were captured nearer Christmas. So the google cameras did not do it all in one visit. There are no leaves on the trees in this area.

It is amazing that Google have done it, and that they have been allowed to do it. It is amazing to be able to revisit from my laptop all the houses I have ever lived in, and the schools I went to etc. But it does seem an amazing intrusion of privacy.

Let me know the best reflection of the Street View vehicle you find. It must have got reflected in a shop or car window somewhere.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

News from A Parallel Universe

This is John Gribbin signing copies of his latest book after a talk hosted by Mostly Books at the Guildhall.

Another book by John, 'Get A Grip On Physics', was photographed lying in the footwell of Tiger Woods car a few months ago. Photograph: Handout/Getty Images, and cropped by Images.

John had lots of interesting things to say about parallel universes and even the possibility of time travel, but he was at a loss to explain how one of his books came to be found in the footwell of Tiger Woods Car that fateful day. He said the book was out of print, and that after the Tiger Woods incident the book was selling for up to $100 on Ebay, but John had not made a killing because he only had a couple of copies left himself.

Moving on from there I could have turned left but instead went right and called in at the the annual Morris Mens challenge at the Brewery Tap where I found two ex Mayors playing darts.

The Morris Men proved themselves too strong at pub games and pub quizzes and defeated the current Mayor's team. The Morris Men will now go off from that triumph to do some dancing at one of our twin towns, St Niklaas, over the weekend. It is some sort of mid-lent rest-from-fasting event - just like Mother's Day.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Rather Bad News

We are in the middle of the Oxfordshire Science Festival and the start of the Abingdon Arts Festival. The one science event I see advertised in Abingdon takes part later today. Popular science writer John Gribbin will be doing a talk called The Multiverse at the Guildhall.

But be warned, I have learned some rather bad news predicted by cosmologists from watching science programs on TV and John Gribbin will be talking Cosmology.

In about 5 billion years the Sun will no longer be seen as a distant object that can be made to balance on the Millenium Needle.

The sun is not sufficiently big that when it runs out of fuel it will collapse into a black hole, instead the centre will collapse and the burning gas exterior will expand into a huge hot vaperous Red Giant star that will eat up the earth, including anything that remains of Abingdon. Not a trace will be left...

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

All in A Line

Perhaps it is the prevailing wind but all the signs down near the Abbey Gardens are pointing in the same direction.

Monday, 8 March 2010


The Monday Market is on every week. It is the largest Market in Abingdon and on a sunny Monday adds a real buzz to the town.

There is an amazing stall selling seed potatoes with names like Santana, Anya, and Winston.

We have a French Market coming this Friday and Saturday - but can it beat this pure English Market for colour?

At the Monday Market you can even find the Sky For Sale.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

First in English

There is currently a display of little French shops in the windows of Patisserie Pascal - all made by Year 6 from Our Lady's School during French Week.

I hear that pupils from Our Lady's are encouraged to ask in French when they go shopping in Patisserie Pascal in East St Helen Street. It is after all a good place to try out your French.

et maintenant en français

Il y a un exposition des magasins français dans la fenêtre de la pâtisserie Pascal - tous faits par la 6 e année de l' école de Notre-Dame, Abingdon, pendant la Semaine du Français.

J'ai entendu dire que les élèves de Notre-Dame sont encouragés à parler en français lorsqu'ils font leurs achats dans Patisserie Pascal à East St Helen Street. Il est après tout un bon endroit pour essayer votre français.

(corrige les fautes s'il vous plait si le français est un peu mauvais)