Thursday, May 19, 2011

For The Month Of May

           .... two photographs of a hand-carved statue
            of Our Lady of Walsingham at a local church.

Ironically, the photo above was a disaster in colour, as it was very dark indeed, and when I tried to use a flash, the result was equally disappointing in terms of white-out. Picasa photo editor came to the rescue and provided me with a B&W  version I am fairly happy with :-)

Because the statue sits on a high window shelf, it was impossible to get a decent flash photo, though I tried repeatedly. I didn't want to stand on the new upholstered chairs in the Lady Chapel. so the flash is predominantly visible on Our Lady's legs and the rest is too dark. 

Photo-editing did not prove to be the answer here, making Our Lady and the Christ Child look as though their eyes are shut......

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Recently Read

Seventy Two Virgins is a satirical spoof- thriller about a terrorist incursion into the heart of British Government during a visit by the President of the USA. Totally un-PC and very cleverly written.

Adventures On The High Teas I found very disappointing and really quite boring compared to his first travel book, Pies and Prejudice, which I loved.

If you have any interest whatsoever into the social history of WW2 or of London,  London At War by Philip Ziegler is a must-read. A large book, I thoroughly enjoyed every page.

The Watchman was a good re-read, as are all Chris Ryan's books, if you like military thrillers.

Shopped was a jaw-breakingly good insight into the devious inner workings and machinations of supermarkets and their impact on the food producers of Britain. I was appalled at the tactics big chains use to intimidate, browbeat and ultimately coerce food producers. It was a sad and shameful read.

I am becoming a firm fan of Gervase Phinn's wonderful books about his life as a School Inspector in Yorkshire, and was thrilled to find not one but two books in the last ten days in the local charity shops; both were delightful :-)

A Right To Be Merry is a delightful book, written by a RC Poor Clare Nun  pre-Vatican 2, describing her life as an enclosed Choir Nun and her musings about God. She was obviously a woman of sound common sense and quite extraordinarily insightful intellect, and so much of what she says is pertinent today to those seeking to love God more. I originally read this as a teenager, and was so happy to find an almost pristine hardback copy on Ebay.........

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I took DD3 to a check-up at the Orthodontist yesterday, and the street where the dental surgery was located  is in an old part of Blogtown.

I fell in love with the original railings fronting each garden......

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Funny Thing Happened Last Week

DD3 is a keen member of her school's Junior Choir, and she recently took part in a school concert. As a proud and supportive mother, I went to watch her and her fellow pupils showcasing their quite remarkable musical abilities, anticipating a thoroughly enjoyable evening's musical entertainment.

I should have known better. Before I left the house, somebody had obviously attached to my person a magnet for strange things to happen......

I was able to get a good seat, three rows from the front, and settled myself in. Just before the performance started, an elderly couple came and sat next to me, the husband closest to me and his wife on the end of the row.
Several pieces new to me  opened the performance, notably Piazzolla' s Libertango which was delightful, and then came the turn of DD3's Choir. DD3 did really well in her solo lines, and it was all going swimmingly well. There were also several vocal soloists and a wind trio and harp solo to enjoy.

Then came a piece of such sublime beauty, wonderfully played by a young female cellist, that it was breathtaking.  
(This is a Youtube clip of the piece, played by Dariusz Skoraczewski for your delectation)

Part way through, I became aware of movement on my left. The elderly gentleman was tapping out the tune, noisily, on his rather portly stomach. It was more than a little distracting.

Then I became aware that not only was he removing his shoes, he managed, very agilely, to lift his left foot onto his lap and was tapping his toes with his hand, then playing with his socks.  As I said, my magnet for attracting weird events/people was obviously on Full......

I shall never be able to hear that piece by Ravel ever again without it raising a wry smile. But at least the man's feet didn't smell, and for that I am profoundly grateful :-)
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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

More Photos From St Fagan's Museum 1

Sheep may safely graze.......
There are always farm animals at the living history farms at the site;
 these are some we enjoyed watching.
 My husband is convinced that I am obsessed with sheep :-)

                                             ...and a tree stump with an interesting fungus.

The interior of a Cockpit, where the barbaric practice of forcing cockerels to fight each other attracted huge crowds who placed large bets on the outcome.

And the rather more peacable exterior !

A reproduction Celtic Iron Age village, surrounded with a wooden palisade.

Inside, looking up at the thatched roof.
The smell of woodsmoke from the fires was incredibly strong in the huts.....

The doors were very low,
even DD4 had to bend down to get in safely....

Wall-daubings inside.

Wooden bowls and buckets, baskets and ropes.
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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Photos Of St Teilo's Church

The outside of this lovely double-aisled church.

                                                                 The south porch and door.

On entering the south porch, this is what you see !

                                                     The font, in the western end of the church.

The equivalent of an iconostas, separating the altar area from the nave of the church. The statue you can just see on the left east wall is that of St Teilo; a better photo below....

This tiny altar was on the left, the one below right was on the right hand side, depicting the instruments of the Passion.

Above was a stunning carved screen of various saints, and a Rood, behind which was a graphic painting of the Last Judgement. The souls of the lost held in the maw of the great fish were quite scary.

There were wall painting everywhere in the Church :-)
The earliest ones date back to the early 1300s.

The Agony in the Garden

The Scourging

Simon of Cyrene helping to carry the Cross

The Crucifixion at Golgotha

And above that, Noah's ark

Angels surround the windows.....

The Baptism in the Jordan

The weighing of Souls

A very Western, very un-Orthodox depiction of the Trinity.
Ho hum.

The side of the altar was also screened off with a painted panel of angels.

A reproduction medieval English organ has been installed in the Church, and a concert given recently.

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St Teilo's Church

This is a short piece of video I took with my camera at a recent visit to St Fagan's Museum, Cardiff. At the museum is a wonderfully restored medieval Welsh church, St Teilo's, as it would have looked before the Reformation............
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