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Horizontigo 27 February 2016

Posted by cooperatoby in Uncategorized.
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CIMG9333 Horizontigo. Twiske mill in the distanceI thought I’d coined a new word to describe that feeling of disorientation I still get when faced with an entirely unrelievedly flat landscape – horizontigo. It still gets to me even after 2 decades of constantly travelling through it in Flanders and Holland; I long for a rolling Chiltern hill or a Yorkshire moor.
So I was disappointed to find the Urban Dictionary has got there first, defining it as the feeling you are going backwards when the vehicle next to you starts up. I think the Germans have a great train-related word for that, but I can’t find it.



1. cooperatoby - 1 March 2016

No I hadn’t taken in that Mondriaan started off painting gloomy watermeadows and willows, though I should have as I love the Gemeentemuseum in the Hague. After a couple of decades of that you can sympathise with why he switched so violently to bright colours. His cubist paintings remind me of Sim Cities too, and modern Dutch architecture isn’t afraid to go along with that and use bold bright cubes to all a bit of verticality to the landscape.

2. Geof Cox - 28 February 2016

I was born and raised in the Cambridgeshire ‘black fens’ Toby, and still admire it’s mathematical beauty. Standing on the bridge over the 100 Foot Drain at Earith, the river is a perfectly straight silver line to the horizon. I’ve since lived in and come to love the picturesque beauty of hill and dale too – but for me it’s not a question of preferring one over the other, but finding the right mindset to enjoy both…

cooperatoby - 28 February 2016

I’m sure you’re right, very zen of you. And what about your nearby seaside? But I had the same disorientation when venturing into the Fens to collect field beans for Suma (my field bean stew was infamous, talking of flatulence Ian). The drains were built by Dutchman Cornelius Vermuyden of course, as I’m sure you know. In fact it’s the wateryness of it all that provides those few welcome changes of elevation, namely the nice little humpbacked bridges. it’s quite weird- vertiginous this time – to look upwards into the shadow of a massive barge sailing serenely along overhead.

As for mathematical beauty, much Dutch urbanism is so rectilinear and well-organised it makes you feel you’re in a Sim City.

geofcox - 28 February 2016

Have you seen the early figurative paintings of Mondrian by the way Toby? You can see exactly where his better known abstract style came from. Maybe something landscapey in Dutch taste?

3. casmey - 27 February 2016

You were suffering from flatulence! (if not from the landscape then from the lack of a coherent Brexit debate) LL&P

4. litgaz - 27 February 2016

Urban Dictionary might have got there first, but I feel your definition goes rather better with the word…

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