Day of the Triffids influence on Shaun of the Dead

I was watching the 1981 BBC adaptation of Day of the Triffids today. There was a scene when the ‘hero’ Bill Masen and a girl he has resecued, Jo, seek refuge in a pub from a zombie-like mob of blind people who roam the streets.


It’s not long before they are discovered by a another group of the menacing blind people who omimously feel their way around the outside of the pub whilst Bill and Jo sit tight inside


This is much like in Shaun of the Dead when Shaun goes to rescue his girlfriend Liz and they too barricade themselves in their local, The Winchester. Soon the zombies return and circle the pub.

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The images here really struck me with their similarity
There were also some fantastic images in Day of the Triffids of London 6 years after mass blindness and a mystery virus had caused depopulation. I have an unwatched copy of 28 Days Later that I shall view with a new interest.


Free book for Christmas

Here’s something I wrote a couple of years ago as part of a public art project funded by the arts council. We started with the question of ‘what makes a place’ in response to a massive shopping centre being built in our home town, then headed off on a series of psychogeographically inspired derives over the course of 18 months.

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Winter solstice: See the light on the darkest day | Art and design |

maeshowe The meaning of light … the passage into Maeshowe chambered tomb, on Mainland, Orkney Islands. Photograph: Murdo Macleod

It is time to pray for the return of the sun. In this deep midwinter, we can start to imagine what the winter solstice meant to the ancient inhabitants of Britain who built Stonehenge and Maeshowe, and who aligned these mysterious buildings to receive the remote rays of the sun on the darkest day of the year.

This is the holiest time of the year – if you happen to share the beliefs of these ancient pagans, which, in fact, are obscure because they left no writings or even much in the way of figurative art. But the winter solstice must have been deeply important to them because on this day, and this day only, sunlight creates startling effects at Britain’s late neolithic and early bronze age monuments. Most astonishingly of all, it enters the long narrow entrance passage of the burial mound of Maeshowe on Orkney’s Mainland island and glows on the back wall of the inner chamber. The building becomes a giant camera, catching sunlight in a moment of mystery and wonder.

The architecture of Maeshowe is one of the marvels of these islands. Inside the earthen mound is a profoundly impressive chamber made of massive blocks of stone arranged in powerful lintels neatly layered, perforated by accurately rectangular openings. There is a precision to the stone construction and its plan, with symmetrical side chambers. When later Viking warriors broke into the chamber they wrote runic inscriptions on its stones, adding to the strange atmosphere. But it is at the winter solstice that Maeshowe consummates its mystery with the astronomical spectacle of the sun piercing its dark sanctum of death.

Light in darkness, life in death, the moment when the sun begins its return journey towards midsummer. Truly the pagan midwinter is a moving celebration. But, as we rush around buying presents, do we remember the true meaning of the winter sun festival?

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Ventures and Adventures in Topography

Episode 3 – Scarp

This week John Rogers and Nick Papadimitriou head out onto the North Middlesex/South Hertfordshire Escarpment, subject of a forthcoming book by Nick.
Scarp is a conspicuous but broken ridge running from Batchworth Heath, near Harefield, on the Middlesex-Buckinghamshire border, via Oxhey to Elstree and thence eastward to High Barnet. Further east, the ridge runs through Hadley and Enfield Chase, widening considerably north of the former place towards Shenley and North Mimms. The eastern edge of Scarp curves north and then north-east, following the River Lee upstream into Hertfordshire, until it diminishes in height in the region of Hertford and Great Amwell. Much of the land is green belt broken by small clusters of dwellings, old farms and ribbons of Victorian suburban houses. Scarp attains its greatest height at Stanmore Common (480 ft).
With a reading from the book by Nick Papadimitriou and music by Europa51

Read more about this episode on the Ventures blog and watch a video of the walk on Vimeo

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