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Happy Good Friday

The term “looker” for shepherd originated on Romney Marsh, next door in Kent. Romney Marsh is a fascinating place. It’s the sticky-outy bit of Kent that waggles suggestively at France.

The little building there is called a looker’s hut and they once dotted the marsh all over. They were mostly used during lambing time, when very close tabs are kept on the ewes and newborns. The typical example is one room, brick, with a chimney and maybe a window. Little cosy places appeal to me mightily. A looker’s hut would be just the thing.

When lookers keep an eye on the flocks these days, they pull up a trailer. Or drive the fields all day. The old huts are falling down, being vandalized or deliberately demolished (when no-one is looking; they’re all protected by order). I can think of a couple that have disappeared just in the years we’ve lived nearby. Very sad.

Here’s a Wikipedia collection of photos, and another from Google Images.

Have a good weekend, all. It’s a four-day holiday here (no separation of church ‘n’ state for the Motherland), but I promise to turn up on Monday and share the leftovers.


Comment from Harry
Time: April 18, 2014, 10:30 pm

What, this means no Dead Pool?

Comment from weasel tablet
Time: April 18, 2014, 11:13 pm

Somebody won the Pool???

Comment from Anonymous
Time: April 18, 2014, 11:34 pm

Comment from Mrs Compton
Time: April 17, 2014, 10:30 pm

Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez up and died!

From the last pool.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 18, 2014, 11:37 pm

Doesn’t look like anybody had him, though — unless they spelled the name wrong.

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: April 19, 2014, 12:38 am

So as a fan of Brit shows on PBS, “Romney Point” figures heavily in a Foyle’s War episode (50 Ships). Since the evil doer is an American rich guy, I had always thought they made up the name Romney to trash a modern day Republican.

You know, the same way most BBC shows glorify the liberal and demonize the conservative, no matter if its a show on Midwives, Cornish doctors, or lovers from the Korean War.

But now I see there actually is a Romney Point and its a real place near Hastings too. I can now watch re-runs of that episode without gritting my teeth.

Comment from weasel tablet
Time: April 19, 2014, 2:03 am

I had to stop watching Foyle because it was so anti- American, Tom…but the local stuff is very accurate.

Comment from Mr. Dave
Time: April 19, 2014, 3:12 am

Wasn’t there a hairy, hairy gent who ran amok in Kent?

Comment from Mojo
Time: April 19, 2014, 6:05 am

Lately he’s been overheard in Mayfair…

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: April 19, 2014, 7:57 am

Happy Easter Stoaty, and Cousin Badger!

Comment from dissent555
Time: April 19, 2014, 9:43 am

… and his hair was perfect.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 19, 2014, 11:11 am

Though, come to think of it, I’ve never heard it called Romney Point. The point is called Dungeness and there’s a nuke on it now. Also a miniature steam railway and all kinds of weirdnesses.

Comment from Mojo
Time: April 19, 2014, 2:15 pm

Wasn’t Foyle the same guy who played “King Charles” (although they never called him that) in House of Cards?

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: April 19, 2014, 6:01 pm

That’s right, Mojo and now I can’t see him as anyone else!

I agree with Her Stoatliness about Foyle’s War. It’s always enjoyable to see your home turf (not that either of us are real natives here) but the knee-jerk Leftism and condescending anti-Americanism is just miserable, lazy and all too typical of the Guardian readers who have pwned our TV.

Happy Easter to you too, cousin Scott!

Comment from drew458
Time: April 19, 2014, 7:07 pm

I guess I was right about the sheep. And I’ve got you to thank for my Saturday post; I did the sound mirrors at Denge. What a great area you live in; I can find hours worth of fun stuff just clicking about with my mouse. It must be a million times better actually being there.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 19, 2014, 8:30 pm

The listening ears! Well worth a trip over to drew’s blog to read about them.

We walked out to them once, years ago. It’s on a public footpath.

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: April 19, 2014, 9:36 pm

Romney point is where the Nazis dropped off the spy, who happened to be the brother of the wife of some local Lord or something. They used the term about 30 times, which is why I kept thinking it was an anti-Mitt meme. Spoiler: The wife signaled the sub from her place at the point. The American industrialist murdered local-boy-gone-drunk near there too but escaped Foyle due to the “50 ships”. Cool storyline.

I even bought the DVDs for the first four seasons. As PBS goes, Foyle’s War is pretty light on conservative bashing and anti-Americanism. Last Tango in Halifax was pretty awful as is Rick Steve’s “BackDoor” travelogue.

OTOH, I just watched Niall Ferguson’s series on PBS and WOW! An unapologetic defense of free markets and freedom and anti-Progressive. How did that get thru the PBS directors?

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: April 19, 2014, 9:41 pm

Regarding those listening ears. So they were built in WWI, when the Germans bombed London the first time.

Soooo, given the Germans had bombed before, what in the world happened twixt 1932 and 1938 in the British brains to make them forget? The PM was conservative too.

Comment from Oceania
Time: April 19, 2014, 10:32 pm

Americans getting done over by WW2 Lee Enfields! lol!


Comment from J.S.Bridges
Time: April 20, 2014, 6:08 am

Oh, my…Oceanic Ignorance, the Kiwi Klown, does it again – note the date: April 19, 2010four years ago!!

By now, of course, those Marines are long since healed, likely home, and certainly not in the least concerned about a couple of mud-butt Taliban turkeys with old WWI-era Lee Enfields or Mosin-Nagants – while the mud-butt Taliban turkeys are quite likely long since wind-blown dust in some part of that nasty li’l corner of the world…

Old, old “news” – and didn’t amount to much even when it was still “fresh”…four long, dusty years ago…

Comment from Oceania
Time: April 20, 2014, 2:00 pm

Yes, well – they still got done wella nd truely .. and you haven’t moved from 5.56 … and are too afraid to.

Although I should mention what your CIA head was doing in Kiev, with Yats the Yid, and what your Lt Col Jason Gresh was up to trying to blow up airfields and gas reticulation facilities in the Ukraine.

Rumour has it that some of your Greystone employees have been captured … and that there is a chiller with American corpses at an airfield in Germany.

Might be time to crack out that 303 and see what it can do? After all, it was originally a black powder round from 1886.

Comment from drew458
Time: April 20, 2014, 3:37 pm

tomfrompv – the prototypes were made during the war, but the best ones came after the war. And it’s not like they forgot, although they had post-war depression and thus lack of funding. Then the Great Depression – which was worldwide, at least for the first few years.

I have no desire to hijack Stoaty’s comments, but what happened was … the British invented radar. Ok, they perfected their version; everybody was working on it in those days. Radar was waaay better than sound. Look up Robert Watson Watt.

So no more need for ears or mirrors, and they built the Chain Home system ASAP. And saved the world.

Comment from Pupster
Time: April 20, 2014, 11:40 pm

Happy Easter all.

Stoaty, I believe this is relevant to your interests:


Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: April 21, 2014, 3:25 pm

Coming off a busy weekend in which I visited two Catholic churches I lived near as a boy, but had never set foot into, and also spent 2.5 hours (!) at a candlelight vigil at another church. Then on Sunday, my huge black cat Wolf pushed his way out past the screen door, which I hadn’t latched properly, and then . . . sprawled out on the walkway to get some sun. He didn’t run off; he was just determined to get some fresh air, I guess.

To me, the words “Romney Marsh” always trigger the memory of the Disney “Dr. Syn: Scarecrow of Romney Marsh” series, an 18th-century English Zorro, with Patrick McGoohan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6i-3eJ7a98

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 21, 2014, 6:50 pm

Heh, Pups.

I try not to go to Imgur these days. It was a huge timesuck. I’m too lazy to be trusted there.

They really did film that around here, Wolfus. They re-issued it on DVD about the same time I moved here, so I bought the special edition in the collectible box ‘n’ all. It’s a great Disney — though we ’bout died when ol’ Walt came out at the beginning and said it was a true story. That the locals still talk about Dr Syn down at the pub. Booshwa!

The books are good, too, but pretty intense. The Dr Syn of the books was…not a nice man.

Comment from Pupster
Time: April 21, 2014, 7:35 pm

I have no memory of Dr. Syn. I remember watching The Wonderful World of Disney on a black and white TV when that intro about ‘the wonderful world of color’ played and I wondered WTF they were talking about.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: April 21, 2014, 8:34 pm

Hmf. I’m going to see if the local college library, the college where I work I mean, has any of the Dr. Syn novels. “Not a nice man” — what was he, a sort of 18th-century version of Richard Stark’s pro criminal Parker?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 21, 2014, 10:39 pm

I got them as audiobooks, when I had that long commute. I remember the ending of one surprised me so much, I pulled into the driveway and stared at my MP3 player for a moment.

No, wait, they were radio plays from the BBC, I think.

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