Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday 20/09/2013

It is a quiet week, nothing to write, lots of spinning of the black Welsh fleece as the slow pace of Autumn unravels itself.  The wretched cat that comes into the garden  has killed one of the collared doves, and lurks behind the flower bed in the hope of killing more birds.  I counted 6 cats this week progressing through the garden, the sparrows, and blackbirds have disappeared, maybe because of the cats or maybe because they have moved on now the breeding season is over. So enough of cats....
Have been looking for a house down Cornwall way, an exercise that will probably take a year or two, apparently at this time of the year a lot of holiday homes come on the market, and there is indeed a fair selection, we rather fancy a barn conversion, but I note that most places have oil heating which must be expensive to run, what you need is a multi-burner stove/aga maybe.  
We would have gone down around this date to see the unfolding of the quartz path way between the Hurler Stone circles, there is a dig taking place to uncover it but it is rather an expensive trip when you cannot be sure of the weather down there. Still I look forward to the moment it is revealed, everything centred on the Cheesewring Tor, stone circles and Rillaton Barrow.

This is it in 1938 when it was uncovered, and the report only came to light recently, when someone unearthed it at Bristol University.

Oswald of Northumbria; 604-642 AD

Fascinating character, he ruled over both the Northumberland kingdoms of Bernicia and Deira, and was for a time Bretwalda or overlord of a greater part of Britain.  The church at Lythe was named after him, at his death in battle at Oswestry he became a saint.  His history is to be found in Wikipedia, but what is interesting about him is the fact the he was a pagan turned christian, and in many ways responsible for the eventual adoption of christianity in the North.  In the battle against the pagans, Penda of Mercia was the opposing side, Oswald was killed, and in the gruesome detail of the time (thank Bede for this) his head was spiked and limbs chopped off.  But, and here I quote,

 " Reginald of Durham recounts another miracle, saying that his right arm was taken by a bird (perhaps a raven) to an ash tree, which gave the tree ageless vigor; when the bird dropped the arm onto the ground, a spring emerged from the ground. Both the tree and the spring were, according to Reginald, subsequently associated with healing miracles. Aspects of the legend have been considered to have pagan overtones or influences this may represent a fusion of his status as a traditional Germanic warrior-king with Christianity. The name of the site, Oswestry, or "Oswald's Tree", is generally thought to be derived from Oswald's death there and the legends.".

So Oswald on his death becomes a saint  spreading his miracles through this magic, the soil from where the dropped arm was taken firstly cured a dying horse and then various other people till a very large hole appeared in the soil!  These tales of miraculous happenings are of course the stuff of legend, but it is interesting how Christianity took hold of pagan's ways and gave them christian credence.

St.Oswald Church at Lythe

Human head at centre of cross stone

Interior of this church restored in 1911 in the Arts and Craft style

And of course another pagan incursion in the 9th century AD

Music to go with some of the beautiful skies we have been having of late.  Nick Drake a long vanished voice, pinched from one of the blogs on the side.. Northern Lights


  1. Oil is a nightmare. Avoid it like the plague. We do everything with an efficient wood burner but it does mean a lot of work chopping - probably not what you want to be doing a great deal of if you're not there so often. If we were doing this place again, we would probably go go for one of the new really efficient small range things. You live and learn!

  2. Hi Em, all grist to the mill, one friend says that they pay about £30 a week for oil - no way, small house and a range is the answer ;)...