Saturday, November 8, 2014

All that glitters............

The collared doves have produced two young and they sit around the garden presumably waiting to be fed, a little chivying should make them explore other possibilities for food before they become to tame. It is best not to get too attached, there are sparrowhawks round the gardens who quite happily kill the doves.

The other creatures in the garden are the hedgehogs, the mother came out the other day, and I feed them on cat biscuits and crushed peanuts to build up some winter weight for their dormancy period.

Yesterday LS had to clear up some spilt gold in the box he keeps it in, gold is used on the scrolls, either in the form of 'sprinkle' or thin sheets of foil are used to edge the scroll, and we both dipped our fingers in the gold and swallowed, it doesn't taste of anything but is supposed to be good for you and is used in medicine. As you can see the sprinklers are part of the box as is the fine paper that you press the gold down with to flatten it.  Also the offcuts of gold from the sheets of foil.

the shakers are in the front


This is I think platinum

Gold dust sprinkled on the carp painting
Something had been niggling my mind over gold, a piece of news about Saxon gold, apparently the Saxons knew how to change gold to its highest gold quality as Maeve Kennedy in the Guardian explains.  Not quite alchemy but a sure knowledge of the science .........

"The technique was not written down in Anglo-Saxon times, and had never been detected in metalwork from the period, but a similar technique was known from Roman accounts. It must have been spoken about by the brilliant Anglo-Saxon metal workers, and involved taking gold which was alloyed with up to 25% silver, and heating it in an acid solution – made from iron rich minerals such as brick dust – so that at the surface the silver leached out and could be burnished off. The surface would then appear to be the highest quality gold, but just below the surface there was inferior metal."

If we have time when we go to Whitby soon I hope we can visit the York Museum, as there seems to be an exhibition on, and there is also some things from Lastingham church I want to see, and perhaps explore the Roman occupancy round the part of Yorkshire we know best.


  1. That looks like a great exhibition. We are culture-starved here and would love to be closer the Welsh border for forays into Oxford and a coach to London for the day . . .

  2. The problem is Jennie, something called money. Trips up to London become expensive with train fares, meal and probably tickets for exhibitions. We have never done York so it should be interesting, there is Jorvik as well of course.

  3. Like the idea of crushed peanuts and cat biscuits for the hedgehogs. Ours eat the cat food in the barn, while the cats seem to exist on baby rabbits.
    We too have a sparrow hawk and it certainly catched the doves - sometimes plucking them just outside the kitchen window.

    1. Was not sure what to feed them but looked it up on the net, cat biscuits seem to be the most popular - no fish skins. Sparrowhawks dive so quickly from the sky it is almost impossible to save the doves but then that is what nature is all about.

  4. My favourite part of York (as an Aussie student in the 70s and visitor in the 90s) has been the walk around the walls around the Cathedral sector. Jean

    1. I have wandered round the walls or the little shopping streets, whilst waiting for a connection on the train, it is a very busy city. When my son-in-law used to drive me to the station always passed the university with the students crossing the road.....