You will see the back cover of Quarried shows a castle that bristles with telephony devices. Perhaps one of them is delivering this post to your smartphone. The castle is actually a watchtower, built in 1807. Napoleon was a threat and the coast was fortified with Martello Towers to delay if not withstand any invasion plans he devised. The tower was needed for line-of-sight signalling to ships and to the soldiers stationed in the string of Martello Towers that protected the island. Two centuries on and the tower continues to do what it was built for. It relays a cloud of communications.
My childhood playground still has some rusting pitons embedded in the rock faces. The count and complexity of climbing routes continues to rise as climbing equipment technology improves. I once worked alongside a Welsh paramedic who frequented Dalkey Quarry. He told me this standing in the Saharan desert.
I was surprised at how challenging this photozine project became. The change in the perspective and elevation rising from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Telegraph Hill added complexity to the planning and execution. That seems fair, in retrospect. I was, after all, standing with my tripod-mounted-camera on a ledge exhumed from the core of a pluton that is at least 420 million years old. The forgotten labourers who made it possible are the ones to whom my efforts are dedicated.
And so I come to the end of my explanation of the Quarried chapbook. I’m truly delighted by the responses I’ve had to this issue and the earlier editions. The feedback has included some extraordinary stories, some tales of unexpected coincidences and the surprise that some of the pictures have encouraged others to explore new ideas.
Talking of new ideas, we watched Benet Brandreth QC introduce us to the fundamentals of classical rhetoric in the London Library Literary Festival. It’s all about persuasion rather than oratory. It seems that I knew nothing about rhetoric before I watched his lecture. The five canons were new to me but I thought to adapt my explanations for Quarried to that structure. And of course, we ordered the book.