Chris Wadsworth
Percy Kelly - Looking East to the Ennerdale Fells
Writer and Art Consultant

23rd January 2015

DOTTY

Damian Hirst dot paintings - now -  on Planet Mars.

Really?

Music by Blur – also on Mars?

I heard it on BBC Radio Four News a few days ago so it must be true!  Eddie Mayer said these things had been on Mars for twelve years. What is going on in the Universe?  I was sceptical. This must be a joke, but It’s not April first.
Having defaced and polluted our own planet we are now  littering space with our stuff.

I hurried home to Listen Again in case I had been hallucinating.

No it is true. The space ship Beagle has been sitting on Mars for twelve years unable to communicate: making everyone believe it had never landed after its launch in 2003. The mission’s aim ironically was to look for signs of life on the Red Planet. It was spotted and identified by NASA last week. Still no sign of life though.
During its development period, its genius designer Professor Colin Pillinger invited Blur to  compose a call sign - a personalised ring tone I suppose and asked Damian Hirst if his dots could be used to calibrate the cameras - a sort of test card. Colin Pillinger died believing Beagle and all its equipment was lost in space and the mission was a failure. 

Something may activate it one day in the future.  Then there might be a gallery on Mars - a gallery filled with sentient beings stroking their chins and sucking their teeth (if they have them) trying to work out what it’s all about.
There’s a thought to conjure with!

And another thing …
Thank you for the feedback on the Kelly trails.  Part of the Maryport trail gave cause for concern last autumn when I had to report a minor landslide on to the riverside path leading to Well Lane and the harbour bridge which had been caused by a high spring tide and heavy rain. This has now been cleared and flood gates have been put in place where the path becomes a road to protect the newly renovated houses along Well Lane. The gates will be activated on the rare occasions when the tide is unusually high.  When you descend from Tute Hill you will be able to see whether there is a problem There is also a warning notice at the bottom of the hill. You will not be able to get through when the gate is closed. Don’t try - work out an alternative route. Or wait for a better day!

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