Dwight Peck's personal website
Collections of various kinds of things, in no particular order and of varying degrees of potential interest, placed here from time to time in the public interest
'Maybe everybody should have a hobby.'
of the Jura. A photo series on the communal farms
of the Swiss Jura mountains in the dead of winter -- growing like Topsy, some 75 or 80 wintry farms up now, andonly one taken down because of a private-property owner's concerns about increased
littering on the premises.
of the Jura. The Swiss Jura,
in the Mont Tendre region, is made largely of limestone and in manyplaces has
washed out in dark holes and chimneys small, medium-sized, and frequentlygigantic.
sport to be had in seeking them out in the snow, darting up close for a snapshot,
and backpedaling frantically, giggling in triumph. The Grand Search for Holes.
[gazing in fascination into a hole, photo left]
in the Jura. Rudimentary
lessons on how to go about enjoying this popular winter sport, and also on how not to.
Swiss towns and villages (some of which we've dwelt in). Right here.
Tourist trains of Europe. Spotting the ubiquitous Dotto Trains from Italy, and the more elusive Tschu-Tschu trains from Germany, in the fashionable tourist destinations all over Europe. Clang clang.
of Lake Geneva (Lac Léman). The
fleet of eight "Belle Epoque" lake steamers and assorted other vessels,
on Lake Geneva and selected other lakes elsewhere. Climb aboard.
refuges of the Jura. Photos and descriptions of a bunch of little one-room
huts stuck out in the forest, good to memorize in case you twist your knee someday
out there whilst hiking along dreaming of your future career triumphs and not
watching where you're going. Crawl in here.
Cats with character. Melvin the Doge (b. 10/2016), subsequently joined by Choupette (b. 11/2018), vying playfully for dominance. Here they come!
Some running pix, from back in the day. A few world relay records, half a century ago, and assorted other sporty escapades. Huff puff.
Collectibles: Odds and Ends. Photos of various things we thought were pretty funny at the time, like Beheadings, Martyr-Saints, Nursing Madonna, Funny Baby Jesus, Last Supper Menu, Kristin & the Lions, Penitential Mary Magdalene, and Joachim Beuckelaer. Maybe good for a laugh.
exceptionally strong instincts towards gazing for long hours off the balcony at
Swiss scenic vistas with a chilled bottle of beer firmly in hand, from time to
time Mr Peck has been gratefully dragged away to other venues. Selected travels and visits since
(Herr Peck's and a few others). An essay on faces and what they sometimes reveal or don't. (And Kristin's as well.)
- faith and doubt in the time of Queen Elizabeth I. Rather a lengthy tale of nasty
court politics in England in the 1570s and 1580s and, in France, espionage, murder,
and general mayhem in aid of Mary Queen of Scots and/or the Spanish Armada. It's
a "true story", too (right!). Illustrations included in the
Web version (not in the 1.7mb PDF). Advance to the
index page (no credit cards or adult authentication required).
smaller but still pretty big story. Derborence - a new translation (by Dwight) of Charles-Ferdinand
Ramuz's classic tale (1934) of
peasant life in the Swiss Alps in the 18th century, when the back half of the
Diablerets mountains fell off and buried all of the summer high-mountain livestock
grazers -- but, months later, one of them came home! And then went back! The great
plan was to illustrate the story with lots of evocative photos of the place today,
but for the moment the haunting Ramuzian prose will have to suffice. This is a
must read for all sentimental mountaineers, nostalgic peasants, and unashamed
poetical spirits who admire family values and ghostlike apparitions. Advance
to the Intro page.
a few more stories, some perhaps semi-true. Robert
Dudley (1532?-1588), Earl of Leicester and Queen Elizabeth's long-time
favorite, was the subject of scandal from the very beginnings of the Elizabethan
era in England (1558-1603). Study of the black legends surrounding his life, times,
and putative crimes provides insights into the political, social, religious, and
administrative history of Britain and lots and lots of furtive and ribald fun.
Mr Peck spent many pleasant hours pursuing these matters and writing up his results,
quite a few years ago, and somewhat later, scanning them and posting them all here.
At least all of them that can still be found under piles of NYRBs and behind the
sofa cushions. Here is a menu of 16th century
diatribes, libels, and screeds, parental guidance encouraged for some of them.