Saturday, May 31, 2008

For Kelly

A great video about that scary new invention "The Book"

Ultimate vestments

Jem sent me a photo of the Pope. How's this for a stole???

Friday, May 30, 2008

Fiddle back follies

At last the Green set for Jeremy is finished.
Here are the latest photos of it.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Birthday Britishness

It's always exciting when a parcel comes.......these lovely cups by Emma Bridgewater were sent special delivery from our friend Vicky in Lymington for my birthday yesterday. I've loved this series of cups for a long time but never been able to afford them.

I had a lovely birthday.
It started with a cup of tea in bed with pressie opening. Followed by morning tea and sparkly cakes at Clarissa and baby Zebedee's. A mystery drive to a STATELY HOME called Anglesey Abbey, a quick visit to the Fitzwilliam museum in Cambridge and then home for a spot of bellringing in East Harling. I say how spiffing and absolutely jolly.
There was another special parcel when we got home that had been put through the door from my friend Jem ...a new book called 'The 3 serpents of the North door', by Saul Penfold, a book for older children in the style of Harry Potter about a time travelling adventure in and around Norwich Cathedral. As I was reading the forword I realised my day had come full was written by Emma Bridgewater, the very same....

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lamingtons at Lymington

This weekend we went on a (rather long) drive to visit our buddies Vicky & Jamie at their very cute house in Captains Row in Lymington. Near the Isle of Wight.
I made Lamingtons as an Aussie tribute to their choice of address. (Pink ones I know, slightly sacrilegious) Here are their very cute Border terriers, George & Gracie.
It was the perfect day for messing about in boats. Here are Jamie and I in the little one that got us to .......
Their big one.....Guess who was very, very happy?

After morning tea & boating activities, we went for a brisk walk on the salt marshes.

Chat chat chatting all the way. The sun shone and all the May came out....specially for us.......
The Buttercups too...
Georgie porgie had to have a little lie in the grass to cool down after running like the wind.

A great time was had by all.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Oh Dear (Warning gruesome images follow)

It has been hot here over the last week or so & Richard has been up fixing and painting the barge boards along the sides of the roof of a friends house just 'round the corner. He's been getting a marvelous tan but I've been slightly nervous of him up on scaffolding by himself, with one leg balanced on the hedge.....
It's been good weather for drinking a beer after work too. For some reason his beer of choice was this one, Carlsberg Special Brew. It's got a really high alcohol content, much higher than I realised.Last night we went 'round to Clarissa's to watch a programme about the Global Village Trucking Company.
Richard had had a beer before we left & quite a few glasses of wine as we watched all his old hippy buddies from the rival Norfolk commune re-living their well spent youth. It was amazing to see how much & yet how little had changed.
As he left with ideas of being 21 again, Ricardo decided that all his time spent in Circus Oz had given him powers no mere mortal could live up to & he quickly swung himself up on a pole that crosses Clarrry's driveway... He got up alright.... but with no help from the Special Brew couldn't stay upside down for very long, his legs gave way & he bit the dust (or gravel in this case) and gashed his head really badly. Six stitches later. He's vowing never to go near a Special Brew again.
Thank God the urge to down a can or two hadn't overtaken him up that bloody scaffold!!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Nice work if you can get it

My dear friend Jeremy (Hi Jem) has kindly commissioned me to make a couple of Fiddle back Chasubles sets for his Church at Eye.I have been enjoying myself thoroughly. It's so nice to get the chance to do the best job you can possibly do. It satisfies the perfectionist in me immensely.
Jem has been collecting vestments for a while and had the most beautiful embroidered Maniple that we have cut up & remade into a stole. Maniple's aren't used so often nowadays and can still be found in pretty good condition. The embroidery on this one is very fine, inspired and different on both ends. On a recent trip to Sudbury I managed to score a really expensive green silk at a fraction of it's proper cost. It s making up perfectly. The round motif is from a Cope that Jem has had folded away for a while.
Here's the interlinig going in...
and the lining being put on...
The spade ended stole has the traditional IHS in gold bullion couched on it from another stole that has perished.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Bell ringing outing

Yesterday (Monday) was a Bank holiday!!!!
I remember when I first came to England. I could not work out this Bank holiday thing. In Australia holidays have a name and a purpose (albeit sometimes strange as in Melbourne cup day where the state stops completely for a horse race).
Here it seems that if a Bank considers it's time for a day off then we all comply. Who am I to disagree. Yesterday was a rare one as the sun shone and the birds sang their little hearts out. Blossom was everywhere along with new lambs.
It was the annual bellringing outing!!!! An amazingly English phenomon where we hopped on a bus & visited 5 different and remarkable Church towers to ring bells.
Here are some photos from the day.
This was the tomb in the Church at Isleham of one Robert Peynton 1590 in a fabulous suit of armour and his wifes petticoats carved in great detail under her dress.

A golden griffin at his feet.
This is the roof at that same Church. Incredibly old wooden angels that you can just see if you click on the photo to enlarge it.
An old knight, Sir Godfrey Bernard (ob c. 1275) in this recess under the arch in the north wall.
We had lunch in Ely. Here's the Cathedral looking through a vista of almost-out-wisteria and forget-me-nots

What would an English outing be without the obligatory icecream with flake. Here's our little buddy Grace who we are trying to encourage to take up the extreme sport of bellringing.
This was the painted Victorian wall at the first Church we rang at...Fordham.
and the cross at the same Church
Here are our little bellringing buddies, with me in the sun on the grass. Hannah & Grace.
Next there was the amazing and spooky Church at Stow Bardolph where a very creepy sight meets you in a mahogany cupboard in the Hare mausoleum off to one side of the Church. I'll let the Norfolk Churches website pick up the story as it tells it so well.

"It is with something approaching excitement that I stepped through the north chancel doorway into the Hare mausoleum. Here was what I had come so far to see.
The doorway is 19th century - before, you had to enter from the outside. The family pew set into it was originally within the chancel. The mausoleum has undergone a more recent restoration, and is now neat, clean and well-lit. It is obviously used for much of the daily business of the church. All around are Hare memorials, dating from the early 17th century up into the late 20th century. There are about twenty of them all told, some more prominent than others, but the one I most wanted to see was the plain mahogany cabinet that sits in the north-west corner.
A bronze plate tells us that it contains Sarah Hare, who died in 1744. Open it up, and there she is. A wax effigy, dressed in her own clothes. She was about fifty when she died, and it was apparently her own wish to be immortalised in this way. The door to the cabinet is not without reason - she is terrifying, her face dumpy, warted, defiant. I had obviously seen photographs of her in the years since I first read about her, but nothing can really prepare you for the frisson as the cabinet door swings open. It made me think of fairground peepshows that I can just remember, and I realised that I would have paid for this, too."
Here she is in all her triumph, one of the only wax effigies left from this time that isn't in Westminster Cathedral.