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Sep. 8th, 2007

1. This afternoon I went to Bracklesham Bay, which is not only a glorious (and largely sand-free) beach for swimming, but has more fossils than you can shake a stick at. I picked up quite a few 'twixt salt water and shingle, mostly Turritella inbricateria (little spiral things), with a few Venericor Planicosta (cockles, more or less). Eocene, so ~50 million years old.

2. Found my new Biber CD, Vespro Della Beata Virgine (1674) which I (vaguely) recalled unwrapping but could not locate anywhere. Naturally, it was where I left it in the logical place for new CDs, the car. It's gorgeous, especially the opening Dixit Dominus which is rather ... forceful, with a violin part that reminds me of Vivaldi's Winter and glorious bass/soprano harmonies.

3. Post-beach, was in need of carbs and caffeine, so I bought myself a picnic and headed for Boxgrove, setting for a non-fiction book that I found gripping -- Fairweather Eden, an account of the excavation and archaeology of one of the oldest prehistoric sites in Britain. (Includes a tutorial on flint-knapping.) People were working flints and butchering food here half a million years ago, during one of the warmer interglacials. Not long in terms of Turritella inbricateria but not to be sneezed at.

Sadly, I have no idea where the dig actually was, and as it was rescue archaeology the land has probably reverted to aggregate extraction. Instead, I went to have a look at some modern stuff: Boxgrove Priory, where one can wander around the ruins of the 13th-century guesthouse whilst the soberly-clad choir hurry past to some event in the main church.

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