Monday, 3 October 2022
Sunday, 25 September 2022
........officially arrived last Friday when the earth's orbit entered the Equinox in our northern hemisphere. However, it is still sunny here with lovely blue skies, and long may that continue. The big difference now is that the evening sun sinks earlier and earlier with each passing day.
Recently all of the family celebrated my birthday - a wonderful treat organised by our two sons. When a child I was very aware that my birthday heralded the moment when it was time to return back to school, and that the summer holidays were finally over. It was also the middle of the harvest season, but no longer, now the crops are ripening at least four or more weeks earlier.
One of my much loved grand-daughters made me this special birthday treat. A vase that she has created out of cardboard and then painted in her own imitable style - I really love and greatly appreciate it very much.
In our garden the grape vine has produced bountiful bunches of juicy ripe black grapes
The sunflowers stand tall and stately. They bow their heads whilst swaying to and fro from the slightest passing movement through the air.
I am working with the enthusiasm of a man
from Marseilles eating bouillabaisse, which
shouldn't come as a surprise to you because I am busy painting huge sunflowers.
Saturday, 17 September 2022
The flag stands at half mast and the church bell tolls.
― Mehmet Murat ildan
Saturday, 10 September 2022
St Faith's Church in the Herefordshire village of Bacton stands in an elevated position looking down over the River Dore in the Golden Valley.
This ancient church contains two very rare Tudor treasures, one of which is
the Blanche Parry Monument, which was commissioned by Blanche for herself 12 years before her death. For 56 years Blanche was the close
confidante of Queen Elizabeth 1, Chief Gentlewoman of the Queen's Most Honourable Privy Chamber and Keeper of Her Majesty's Jewels. The monument shows sculptured effigies of both herself and the Queen along with a 28 line inscription. It is dated to before November 1578
and is the earliest known depiction of the queen as Gloriana signalling the propagation of the queen's iconography and cult of virginity beyond the court. The inscription was designed to both demonstrate Blanche's closeness and
importance to the queen, and bolster the royal image. The wording concludes with the lines -
So that my time I thus did pass away
A maid in court and never no man's wife
Sworn of Queen Elizabeth head Chamber always
With maiden queen a maid did end my life
Blanche's epitaph appears to prove that Queen Elizabeth did live and die a maid (virgin). Having composed the inscription herself for her own church monument, Blanche would never ever have dared lied to God for fear of harming her chances of entering heaven.
Thursday, 8 September 2022
Friday, 2 September 2022
It was a dull, grey day, with more than a hint of rain in the air as we set off to spend the day exploring the Golden Valley in Herefordshire. However, the BBC weather forecast assured us that the day would be bright, warm and sunny, and happily they were right.
Our first port of call was Dore Abbey, a place that we were keen to visit having caught a glimpse of it as we drove past years ago. The abbey was founded in 1147 by Cistercian Monks who came over from Morimond Abbey in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France. They seeked seclusion, and founded their houses in wild and remote areas. Dore Abbey's position in the Golden Valley reflects their ideology and aspirations. Now, however, due to the building being almost 900 years old, it requires huge sums of investment in order to keep it maintained. Some young stone masons were carrying out various tasks on the tower when we arrived. They appeared to be checking all of the stonework and mortar then dealing with any problems discovered as they swung to and fro all across the tower.The battlement tower that they were repairing was raised after the reformation, giving the building "a touch of England" to an otherwise French exterior.