Sunday, February 8, 2015

Living on the outskirts

A 'Yggradsil' god maybe
I start with this news from the Saturday Guardian - The March of the neo-pagans gathers pace in Iceland with a strange lookalike Scandinavian god figure found many years back on the front of a canal boat at Bathampton.  In Iceland neo-pagans have become popular, again it is a gentle rerun of old pagan Scandinavian history; no sacrifices, and three gods and three goddesses are evoked in the ceremonies of pagan weddings.  And if you happen to live in Iceland, there is a religious tax which goes to the churches, so this movement will one day have its own place of worship...

"This thin carved branch is a goddess figure called Nerthus, found at Foerlev Nymolle in 1961." Taken from 'The Bog People' by P.V.Glob

But really, finding the photograph bought back memories of the canal, river and railway line that winds out from Bath to Bradford-on-Avon through a very pretty valley.

@ Avon Wildlife Trust

It is a 6 mile walk or cycle ride, both of which I have done on a few occasions.  There was a prospect of a cream tea in a small restaurant by the side of the river, and then the the great tithe barn in Bradford-on-Avon, one day I shall go back and photograph this barn, and of course the Saxon church to see.  A pretty town which once had mills on the banks of the river Avon.

But finding the photograph, also brought the next few to light.... Bath had/has a colony of 'hippies', they lived in the derelict houses just past the last residential area of Bath by this part of the river, they occasionally lived on the barges that lined the river, sometimes camping on the slopes  in summer.  So what you see is a miscellany of barges with their rooftop gardens....


  1. There was a time, many moons ago, when that kind of life would have seemed like a perfect one to me. Have learned a bit more sense (and the need for comfort) since then!

    1. I know Pat, the word 'comfort' springs out! Bath had a good hippy colony because after the Glastonbury Festival, those that took to the road would migrate to Bath. Somerset is a beautiful county in summer.....

  2. Gosh, having only a rooftop like that to gartden on, would be such a challenge. What to grow? Delphiniums are probably off the list . . . Edibles with pretties round the edge of the pot, perhaps.

    We still have our Welsh hippies - some of the original ones who came at the end of the 60s and are in wheelchairs now, on occasion, plus the New Agers who are frequently seen and have colonized Teepee Valley near us.

    The Goddess figure is intrigueing - I have the Glob books and they have always blown my mind.

  3. As you say Jennie, edibles(salad) and herbs with flowers to liven it up. The Glob book is fascinating, but I would not leave it lying around for children to read, those bog figures are the stuff of nightmares.

  4. I always thought it would be lovely to live on a barge until a friend did so and I visited her. The reality was one of stinky chemical lavatories and freezing cold exacerbated by your rooms being plunged into the water. Not for me!

  5. Well to be honest I have never been on a barge Em, except the once, so have never experienced the rather unromantic smell of chemical loos, but the idea is good floating down the canal, getting stuck in locks and a slow pace of life...