Friday, October 27, 2017

27th October

This is what I see first thing in the morning, the quietness of the graves always makes me stop and contemplate the old church sturdy through the centuries, the dark green of the yews, there is a photo of them as young babes planted at the beginning of the 20th century.  The leaves on the trees getting thinner by the day.  When I get up in the dark, the robin greets me with a burst of song, there are two in the garden, occasionally bickering, bossing the other birds about.  The little wrens low to the ground follow the line of the church wall, in and out of the wooden frames always hunting for tiny insects.  Occasionally birds, either the sparrows or blue tits get caught in the hen's run and have to be let out.  We seem to have an invasion of ladybirds, they come into the house, foreigners says Paul! but I reckon they just want some warmth.  I remember butterflies in the old house, camping out the winter in the wardrobe, fluttering against the window when the sun streamed through.

snapdragons holding on

there is something graceful about the branches of the sycamore as their leaves gently reveal their bones

A few days ago I sent some knitted stuff off for Knit for Peace, and got a rather nice letter back from them with this little booklet of charity appeals to give out for Xmas.  Perhaps I shall leave it out for family to contemplate. rather like the three fine chickens to be given to African war widows, if they feed them well they should have plenty of eggs.

And here is Macfarlane's small poem of praise to the wren.


When wren whirrs from stone to furze the world around
her slows, for wren is quick, so quick she blurs the air
through which she flows, yes -

Rapid wren is needle, rapid wren is pin - and wren's song
is sharp-song, briar-song, thorn-song, and sren's flight
is dart-flight, flick fight, light-flight, yes -

Each wren etches. stitches, switches, glitches, yes - 

Now you think you see wren, now you know you don't.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

26th October

Lucy had a letter the other day it was from the vet reminding her that she needed her annual vaccination.  Whilst I am not sure she needs annual vaccinations, she definitely needs to go for some psychiatrist work.  She gets hysterical about some things, we haven't worked it all out, but seems to be about pain, though very low level, it could be something she has eaten, or her paw is hurting after  walking, or it could be something from the past.  She is lazy, walks are not her favourite pastime but travelling in the car will win hands down.  Part of the problem about walking is that she gets blisters on her feet, she had an operation on one paw but it looks as if the other one is giving her problems - think shoes are called for...
That leads me to my shoes, ever since the accident, my ankle has been swollen with an infection, they checked it at the hospital but could find no fleshing eating virus! okay I may or may not be joking.  But it means that I have to wear sandals to go out, and have you ever wandered through soaking wet grass with sandals on?  I have bought myself larger shoes in the shape of a pair of flashing coral shade canvas shoes, which always give me a shock when I put them on, and now have ordered a pair of wellingtons to go walking down to the green.  Progress.  Paul says that I must be more careful and not put a strain on others,
Aril mentioned the other day that Duloe stone circle was a favourite of hers, so I shall put some photos on, could just about manage to walk through the fields to it, as it is small, it is almost like a quartz crown of white stones, a burial place for an important person.  One of the stones looks like a witchy person so perhaps it is appropiate for the coming event of halloween, not the American version but that other scarier version of the dead rising from the graves, it doesn't happen in the next door graveyard sadly though ;)

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

25th October

Something to take one's mind off the continual bleating of news, still like it, as apparently half of Bath's residents do as well!

Watersplash’ by Henry Herbert La Thangue (1859-1929) – which was voted the most popular painting in the Victoria Art Gallery’s collection – depicts a scene of traditional English rural life as a flock of geese are driven through a shallow stream by a boy with a stick.

Manager of the Victoria Art Gallery, said: “‘Watersplash’ transports us so successfully to a place of sunny, rural tranquillity that it is hard to believe what a radical painting it was in its time.
“Victorian taste dictated that artists should use fine brushes to give a porcelain-like finish to their pictures. In contrast, La Thangue used square hog’s hair brushes to create a richly textured surface – focusing on movement and light rather than detail to paint everyday subjects as spontaneously and naturally as possible.”

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Weirdness of Cornwall

Today, Sunday I am up early, had porridge for breakfast have kneaded the dough for bread and now sit in front of my photos of Cornwall.  You may have gathered along the way, that though I am interested in churches, megalithic stones also grab my interest.  Whether they be endless stone circles or long or round barrows, they still sit in our landscape ready for any mythology that falls out of the sky..
Our friend in Cornwall probably emails every day with his exploration of the stone circles on Bodmin moor, and I remember the week we spent there, in a rather horrible cottage, the owners lived next door and allowed their three little dogs to s--- on the driveway.  But the moor was on our doorstep, and the Hurler stone circles but a five minute walk.  Lots of ponies wild living with their foals, many a case of cruelty as they were not fed over the winter months and starved.
Our first arrival, after the long drive in pouring rain was the car park to the Hurlers, and I leapt out in the rain to try and view the circles through  mist and rain, I remember so well this little pony and foal walking across the road looking bedraggled.

We could walk to this museum, an old mining building
The three stone circles are laid gently on the flat ground quite a way from Stowe's Pound and the Tor, this was the altar on which the old priests must have focussed. today, the tor has been quarried away but you can still see the remains of the old settlement places on Stowe's Pound, large stones gently bending down into the deep hole of the quarry.  It was here that 18th century Daniel Gumb mentioned earlier lived in his stone cave with his family, was he hiding from the tax man I wonder?

Prehistoric stones trying not to fall into the quarry

What happens to these young ponies I wonder?

One of the circles with the tor in the distance

A very watery landscape, the bumps and hollows of old mines creating a strange landscape

These are the Piper stones
All the things you could see in the Parish we stayed in.

Rillaton Bronze Age Barrow, home to the famous Rillaton gold cup, which now resides in the British Museum.  In the dark cavity luminous lichen, a strange sight.

Sue's hens sitting comfortably on the bench, this was the place we fell in love with and almost moved to Cornwall!
There is a break in contemplation, Lucy is bored she knocks over my spinning spools and brings me a ball of wool to break the concentration, the chickens need letting out she says and I need a pee...  as light appears it is wet and very gray, there is an ominous sandy look to the sky, but too early for the morning cuppa.

What I remember about Cornwall, the weather was pretty bleak, the landscape felt strange to a person who has lived amongst the lush meadows and hills of Somerset.  One of the reasons we did not buy a house there though, was as Daphne Du Maurier said the 'bungaloid' nature of the houses for sale.  Yes I know when you get old bungalows are best, but aesthetically they get beaten hands down by lovely old cottages - which always sell for a fortune by the way!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Bits and pieces - 20th October

Taken on a bleak day, the grey of the paving stone says it all.  But Bowles Purple flowers gently all through the summer

Comfortable but no 'puppy eyes' for the moment, no wonder I call her a little trollop;)

I picked these this morning in the sunshine behind is the dried hydrangeas.

The Deluge, by Winifred Knight.  To me it represents the state of England at the moment
I choose this photo for calmness.

A lovely video, only 2 minutes, of a great murmuration of starlings beset by a falcon, the music and birds blend beautifully.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wednesday 18th October

Lucy is very near to being murdered at the moment, threet nights on the run and she has had her 'mad' time.  Last night as I catnapped on the sofa, she emptied the log basket, started on the book shelf and generally made as much noise as she could wandering round the room like a demented canine  Macbeth.  I think it is something to do with how dark it becomes in the evening, her life before being locked up in a shed, starting to haunt her.  Or could it be what she has eaten? finishing off a bit of salmon last night. Methinks tranquilllisers for one of us!
Well Ophelia went by here without too much trouble, windy yes, but no trees down,  leaves yes but today it is quiet the sun is out and a few roses make their second coming, always welcome.

Here I lie by the churchyard door

Here I lie because I'm poor
The further in, the more you pay
But here lie I as warm as they.
Daniel Gumb

Linkinhorne Church   an earlier blog on Daniel Gumb
And now to a church, Daniel Gumb has been haunting me for a long time, after seeing his rocky home at the Cheesewring on Bodmin Moor, where he lived with his second wife and a hoard of children on the moors, his ability to educate himself and carve beautiful gravestones is interesting.  That he was character and respected in his own time in the 18th century, for Paul's cousin Sue remembered some papers she had seen written by him with mathematical annotations in one of the big old houses in Cornwall.
We went to the above church where a couple of gravestones had been done by him,  this was in Linkinhorne I think it was called St, Melor (no time for the saint at the moment).  The incident both Paul and I remember was of a great owl being ambushed by some crows as the owl flew from the church, probably looking for young crows.  I have just read that this Norman church must have had an earlier history because of the Celtic carving round the South porch and the font.  Don't think we went inside sadly just wandered around the old churchyard.  So some photos of this church.  
I love the easy atmosphere of old graveyards, hardly decipherable 18th century gravestones, respectfully written, you wonder about all those who could not afford one, where did they get buried?

Daniel's lettering was of the finest, his 'celtic' curves deliciously executed ;)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Melancholy - 15th October

Yesterday I went out to let the chickens out and happened to glance at the East wall of the church, the sun was just rising a fiery red through the copse but it did not hit the East window instead a shadowy tracery of branches was illuminated against the grey of the wall but the effect soon vanished.  The picture below reminds me that everywhere, and especially in America at the moment hurricanes and fires are destroying people's homes and land.

The Storm of 1703
You can find more about this storm which hit England here, but on the Somerset Levels drowned people and animals for many miles.  It happened in November, and of course the great storm of 1987 happened about this time to, so Ophelia will you please miss us?

A friend has just come back from a holiday in Scotland, they stayed in a cottage next to a light house but had gone to see some galleries and museums. They had been to a Paul Nash exhibition, J collects northern industrial paintings, they hang dramatically on the walls of their sitting room.  It reminded me of an exhibition in the Bath gallery a few years back, and seeing this.. you can read about here  I remember being extremely moved about the painting.  I would like to get a couple of prints for myself, Paul is covering the walls with Japanese art, but I find things very expensive, such as £400 for a print.  Quite like Robin Tanner's Wiltshire woodcuts, though they are tiny......

Eclipse of the Sun - Paul Nash

and then.......................................................November Moon, which you can read about here

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Fracking - Liam's story

A rather eloquent young lad talking about fracking in his village of Kirby Misperton.  The gas smells are of an earlier time when there were wells for gas sunk, his description of the police at the end tell us of the well known bullying tactics employed.  What does actually come out at the protest camp is the range of age groups caught up, from 85 years old to this young man.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday - 13th October

Do blogs come to a halt when the weather gets bad?  Red sunsets, red virginia creepers line the fence, weather that is both cold and wet with the benefit of a cold wind as well - hallo Autumn.

Last couple of days I have been worried about my son, he doesn't answer the phone, mobile or land.  Since he inherited his father's house, he now lives alone and I worry about his type 1 diabetes.  But then an email appears in my mail box, Hi mum, and the world settles down into  a pattern I need.  He had wandered back to the Bristol flat for a few days to be with friends.  For someone who works with computers his adherence to a mobile phone is terrible.  He manages his diabetes well, though it was a worry to me, remember buying him a tagged chain to wear warning that should he be found unconscious than it was a lack of glucose which was the problem.  I remember the story of a young man in London sitting on the edge of a pavement drunkenly talking to his terrified mum, who was more concerned that her son would end up in a police cell without a proper medical report on his diabetes and not knowing where he was.
As my ankle gets better I have decided to spin and ordered some blue faced leicester, which hopefully I will dye when spun into hanks.  I occasionally look at my table loom regretfully but the setting up of the warp would be difficult.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sunday and goldfinches

Yesterday a book arrived, it is 'The Lost Words' a spell book by Jackie Morris and Robert Macfarlane. It is beautiful, both the words and the paintings.  Jackie has used gold for a background for some of the paintings.  I think a lot of people were shocked when the Children's Oxford Dictionary, missed some of the nature words and blackberry became 'Blackberry' a technical term. 
Jackie Morris lives not too far from Solva up on the hill overlooking Carn Llidi, in a small white cottage with her animals.  The book is large, coffee table size, unfortunately it can't live on our coffee table because Lucy is always pulling things off it!  Two captures from the book, the blackbird amongst the blackberries, and the acorn.  It is sad that today's children have their noses stuck either in mobile phones or tablets and the 'dangers' of the outside world keeps them  inside the home as the magic of nature flows by unseen outside,  The little wren poem was beautiful Macfarlane has indeed found the spell words for this small tribute to our diminishing world of nature.

Another book bought a week or so ago, Simon Jenkin's 'England's 1000 Best Churches' the museums of England is how he defines them, it is rather disappointing in the sense that it is the churches he misses, so herein NY we have Lastingham and Kirkdale but not Pickering with its wall paintings.  But there must be thousands he has missed, they reside in nearly every village slowly disintergrating over time as their once vibrant religion slowly fades.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Harvest festival 2017

Squashes, dahlias, chrysanthemums and apples..............

friday - 6th october

knives are sharpening this morning to oust the prime minister after her run of bad luck at her party speech on Tuesday.  Many people will feel sad for her after that terrible coughing fit and stupid prank played by a comedian (or not).  She should be allowed to get on with the job, I blame the media for looking for stories and scandal to fill the air waves each morning.  But enough of that, what else drifts across my foray into the internet.
Catalan and their break for freedom from Spain swings into view, as always there is a historical reason for this, but the people seemed determined to see it through.  Below is a video of tractors blocking the motorway, the Spanish police having driven one way could not get back into Spain much to every one's amusement.  It reminded me that 'Farmers against Fracking' had also happened here in Kirkby Misperton a few days ago, though not as many tractors!  Scotland has said it will not allow fracking in their country, but we are still to see whether it will be halted in this country.

The story is at Kirkby Misperton that preliminary work is being undertaken, the protesters are doing a 'slow walk' in front of the lorries and the police are hassling pretty strongly.  If you look at the photo of the people who stand against fracking and you can see the face of many near or at least senior citizen age.  The people who 'lock' themselves either to chain fences or various pieces of piping are in the age range of 40/50 years old.  There is I presume seasoned young protestors at the camp site, those young outcasts who need a good cause to fight (in lieu of a job?).  In many ways their presence is a force for good, though it allows the police to pick on them severely sadly.

When the law has to enforce the government's will, one asks what do these people, the police feel, in Catalan the fire brigade people came between the two opposing forces in an effort to protect the ordinary public.  It happened also in Kirkby Misperton, called to dismantle a 'tower' built by the protestors the Yorkshire fire brigade have said they want nothing to do with it, their union is anti-fracking.
A last video, it always brings tears to my eyes, The Wild Horses of Newbury, two opposing forces, the horses a distraction, but in this simple naive piece of filming, the power of the state shines through!

Do we need change? yes of course we do, but I have followed road protests these last 20 years, The Newbury Bypass, Tara in Ireland and Solsbury bypass  outside Bath, roads have fitted into our lives making driving easier but the loss of the 'old ways' is felt very strongly by the young.

Really I should be talking about social housing,  it is a disgrace as more and more homeless families arrive in miserable social housing, governments still chatter over the fact that more housing is needed without actually making it happen - the so called 'free market' is a joke....

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Thursday 5th Oct.

Today the Harvest Festival takes place at the church.  All summer the farm vehicles have gone back and forth through the village, so I would think there has been a bountiful harvest.  Making bread this morning I remembered a story C had told us about the harvest loaf.  The loaf for this village is kept in someones freezer, each year it is pulled out and decorates the church, but she can't remember whose freezer it is in!
Anyway until I take some photographs later on here is last year's photo, at the bottom is a link to a vicar called Robert Stephen Hawker, who was supposedly responsible for the Harvest festival coming into being.  Something I would contend is not strictly true, as the celebratory times of the year have been witness too many joyous feasting and gathering together, right through medieval times to those early Saxons.  

So if I go round the house today singing 'All things bright and beautiful' I should be forgiven....

p.s. the harvest loaf photo was nicked from 'the ordinary cook' image.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

3rd October

The calamities of the world ferment around us, we are once more into political conference time as well, Theresa May talking on Today this morning, she is a sensible voice for capitalism but I'm a socialist and as she walked her words round awkward subjects such as 'austerity' and Grenfell Tower I despaired.  She fronts some of the most stupid conservatives on record and I have absolutely no faith in their party whatsoever.  Well that's off my chest ;)
And talking of chests I am sporting a 24 hour ECG monitor for a heart that won't keep a rhythmical rhyme, which it has done for a great deal of my life along with high blood pressure.  Which all goes to show we should not go to the doctors with other ailments!  Knitting and walking has always been my cure.
I cannot understand the world I live in, a man so arrogant has to take many guns and fire upon innocent people, killing them with such brutality.  The quiet normal life of our village seems a haven from such violence.  Is it better not to talk about it and accept it or as I have found in my first blog this morning to accept and open one's heart to it.  Anyway conservatives are small fry on the world stage.
Going into Kirkby this morning we met C as we halted on a road junction and a quick chat produced the information that J would make the wooden boxes for flowers either side of the village which had been put forward at the last event meeting.  Funnily enough Paul had been to a meeting the night before of our sister village and been overwhelmed by the 15 members that sat on the committee.
They want to run our events leaflet with theres, but I think we should remain independent.  They are a scary lot, got rid of the previous committee, not by brute force I hasten to add, but definitely strong verbal argument, causing one of our village members to throw in the towel..... politics doesn't have to be big but sometimes it is better to keep a cool distance!

Tuesday - 3rd October

There is nothing to say as once more tragedy strikes again in America, they call him a 'lone wolf', they insult the wolf.  His act is rectified by the people who protected their dearest by laying down their own lives. There is not even an answer to the owning of 300 hundred million guns owned by some American people - where do you start?

"Always, on the inside of our hardness and shyness and numbness is the face of compassion through which we can reclaim our humanity. Our compassion waits there to revive us. When opened, our heart can touch the Oneness of things we are all a part of. Then, we can stand firmly in our being like a windmill of spirit: letting the cries of the world turn us over and over, until our turning generates a power and energy that can be of use in the world." —Mark Nepo