Gardens of the Mind

I have put together this post in my appreciation for Geoffrey Jellicoe (1900 -1996).

Jellicoe was an architect, landscape architect, historian, traveller, lecturer and author. He has been a lasting inspiration for me.

When I studied landscape Architecture at the University of Edinburgh it was Jellicoe who was the guide for my mind’s eye. Without Jellicoe, I feel certain that I would not have gained distinction in all subjects along with the award of the Scottish Chapter prize. I was not a good draughtsman but I had ideas; uncultivated ideas. Six years of training in Medicine (at the University of Aberdeen) had rather stifled my creative and imaginative self and I was altogether rather too tight and rigid. In good part, I feel this a consequence of the unhelpful, and really too strict division between the so-called ‘two cultures’.

In what follows I have “borrowed words” of my betters, taking three quotes from a number of my favourite authors: marginalia and fragments that for me somehow seem to say something about Jellicoe and the ‘two cultures’. Interspersed are a few short clips of Geoffrey Jellicoe talking about draughtsmanship and gardens of the Mind.



 

‘Have you ever noticed that certain days are injury days?’

I was filming in our garden today as the sky was beautiful, the spring bulbs colourful, and the green as fresh as can be.

By chance, an NHS Forth Valley lorry passed in front of the camera. My heart missed a beat. The lorry was advertising the Minor Injuries Unit.

Three years have nearly passed since I resigned from NHS Forth Valley. When an employee with NHS Forth Valley I championed an ethical and evidenced-based approach to the diagnosis of dementia and for transparency in terms of financial interests of staff.

As a consequence of this, I myself left NHS Forth Valley with injuries. Not physical injuries but just as real.

Looking back, I am proud to have tried my wee best to put ethics at the very heart of my practice. To stand up for those who may not be as able or who may feel frightened to stand up for themselves.

The title of this film comes from the novel “Vinegar Girl” by Anne Tyler

The music is by Steven Lindsay – “Exit Music”

Under the vast Andalusian skies

We recently had a wonderful family holiday in the south eastern corner of Spain.

Andrew was able to join us from University and both he and Rachel had exams to study for. Rachel is doing her Highers and one of her subjects is Spanish. Andrew is studying mathematics at Edinburgh University and has chosen this semester to also study Gaelic.

We need to thank Dai and Eileen for this holiday and indeed for many other holidays.

Our time was relatively short so we did not manage to get to the Alhambra but we did manage to visit Almeria and the Capa de Gata coastline.

We also visited the abandoned ruin of El Cortijo del Fraile which had once been a setting for The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. It was quite special and amongst the scrub and ruins one found most beautiful wildflowers.

Some of the words in this film are “borrowed” from the novels that I read on holiday which included: “The Muse” by Jessie Burton; “Vinegar Girl” by Anne Tyler; “Decline and Fall” by Evelyn Waugh, and “The Corridors of Power” by C.P. Snow.

This film contains audio from Radio 4 (Desert Island Discs), Radio Scotland, and the voice of Muriel Spark and the poet Joan Poulson (‘Pictures in my mind’).
Music credits (in order of play):

(1) ‘Piel’ by Arca
(2) ‘Anoche’ by Arca
(3) ‘High Ticket Attractions’ by The New Pornographers
(4) ‘Liability’ by Lorde
(5) ‘Systemagic’ by Goldfrapp (live on Later with Jools)
(6) Theme of ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ by Ennio Morricone
(7) Cover of ‘This is the day’ originally by The The