Saturday, 31 January 2009

Malvern, Monks and Maids.

If I've been a bit quiet 'blog wise' for a while, it's because chaos has once again overtaken my home.
It's been full of men, making a lot of mess, yet I am so grateful to the plumber, electrician, carpenter and plasterer, who have, bless their hearts, transformed my bathroom !

It's just so lovely to move out of the dark ages into the modern world of plumbing etc. All my 'facilities' are new and in full working order. Bliss!
( Recent and prospective visitors are giving audible sighs of relief!)

So, Saturday morning comes and the new bathroom needs some decorating. Well, there's not really room for two people painting in there so, I escaped over to Malvern to visit my Mum.
I took Mum for a drive around the Malvern Hills and we called at the 'Kettle Sings' Cafe for a cup of coffee, a tea-cake and a generous helping of Soul Food, the views are magical.
I did feel slightly guilty at the thought of Mike slaving away with a paint brush, but I didn't let it spoil the moment. . . .

Mum looking out over the Herefordshire woods and hills of her miss- spent youth (so she tells me).

The Malvern Hills

Just up the hill from the cafe we found these 'Fair Maids of February'. That's the old name for these welcome little beauties, Snowdrops.

We didn't linger long in the cold ,easterly wind!
On the way back we took a detour, to Little Malvern Priory.
Such a pretty spot, the old church, all that remains of the 12th. century monastery, clings to the side of the Malvern Hills.

The plain below, as far as the river Severn, was once a wild and remote hunting reserve. Can you imagine how it would have looked when the monastery was founded?
Folklore tells us of two monks, Jocelin and Edred, who journeyed from Worcester in 1127 to found the Priory for the Benedictines.
William Langland (1330 - 1386), the first poet to write in English, was a pupil here.
I love his 'Vision of Piers Plowman'
It begins so gently, 'In a somer sesun, whon softe was the sonne . . .'
Now , where was I? . . .
Inside the church it was so cold, damp rising up and coming down, I think it needs lots of tlc., as do many of these wonderful old buildings.

Two little piggies with their snouts in the trough. They've been snuffling away here for many centuries and the wood is worn from thousands of hands leaning on them.

A locally made, 14th century tile.

I couldn't resist this beauty. All alone in a field, just below the Priory.

After a while, guilt got the better of me and I took Mum home, intending to head back to Evesham and help Mike with the painting. . . but only just off the main road is the lovely village of Birlingham, so another small detour.

The churchyard changes it's carpet with the seasons.

At the moment it's a 'Snowdrop carpet'. Soon to be followed by the Crocus carpet, Primrose, Daffodil etc. etc.

Inside the church there were ladies , all muffled up against the cold, serving welcome cups of tea to visitors.

Perfect. Tea and Snowdrops, now I really must get back to help Mike. . .


The lovely Karrita over on My Mothers Garden has kindly included me in her series of interviews with Artist /Gardeners. Even though I'm sure I'm there under, horticulturaly challenged , false pretences, I am deeply honoured to be included!

Please do visit her, she has a beautiful blog and much to delight the eyes of anyone who loves a garden.

Thank you Karrita.


Anonymous said...

What a lovely day out with your Mum, and absolutely stunning photos!

annette emms said...

Mibsy - thank you, how kind you are!x

Jolly Good Yarn Girl said...

Well what a lovely tale of a day. Your Mum doesn't look like she's had a mispent youth at all though!
We saw carpets of snowdrops at Attingham Park today - magical.

lorhen82 said...

Annette, thank you so much for sharing these photos. They're so lovely, and for one who may never get the chance to see England, I always love to see anything I can from there...especially wonderful old buildings like the priory. Posts like these transport me to another place and let me imagine what it must be like in person. And I'm so glad that you had such a special day with your mother! ~Lori

Anonymous said...

What wonderful photos - the carpet of snowdrops is fabulous. I enjoyed reading your interview on Karrita's blog.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Such beautiful pictures. How I wish we had snowdrops here - they are so lovely!! Thanks so much for taking your camera with you on your wonderful day, because I feel as though I went along with you!

femminismo said...

Snowdrops! How lovely. I only have a few but they haven't poked their heads up yet. I do have tree peonies that are starting to show green tips and I'm shouting at them "Don't come out yet!" I remember covering them with bed sheets during a February ice storm we had several years ago. Thanks for the gorgeous trip outdoors via your photos. Very, very lovely. And I'm glad you will soon be back in business with a fully functional bathroom. (Me, too, very soon, I hope.)

Hermes said...

I love the Malvern Hills though haven't been for a few years. Those Snowdrops - wow.

Heather said...

I have just tried to leave a comment for you, so you may end up with two! Your photos are beautiful and the combination of snowdrops, old stonework and churchyards is so inspirational - food for the soul indeed. I love the Malvern Hills, what tales they could tell. Your Mum looks far too respectable to have misspent anything! Have you seen the wonderful medieval tiles in Great Malvern Priory? I am just off to visit 'My Mother's Garden' as you suggest. Enjoy your new bathroom!

Linda Lunda said...

How Beautiful!

My Mother's Garden said...

Hi Annette~
Sounds like a lovely day spent with your Mum! And the perfect way to spend the day while someone else paints your new bathroom :)

I have fallen in love with the church and the seasonal changing of the carpet, I could spend the day wandering the grounds of such a beautiful place.
Gorgeous photos!

Thanks for the kind words about the blog! Everyone has enjoyed learning about you and your creations in the interview!

annette emms said...

Jollygoodyarngirl - Believe me, my mum is still full of mischief!
I must get to Attingham soon, I've never been there.

Lori - why, thank you. You are most welcome to pop along any time!x

Karen - Thank you. Snowdrops are always such welcome little beauties!
I hope you are fully recovered from your flu!x

Pamela - oh how lovely it would be , to have your company on one of my rambles! Glad you enjoyed it.x

Femminismo - thank you, the little maids are so sweet, I love them.
An ice storm sounds terrifying! I've never seen such a thing!
Good luck with the bathroom! Our kitchen is next on the list . . .

Hermes - yes I agree, they are special. That area is very dear to my heart.x

Heather - thank you so much for your lovely comment.
The tiles at Malvern Priory are wonderful, as are the stained glass windows, the miserichords and so much more! Then of course there's the beautiful backdrop of the hills. Heaven indeed!
We obviously have lots of interests in common . . . x

Linda - thank you, please come and visit again.x

Karrita - you are kind!I'm so pleased that you love the church with the snowdrops! I love it too, with all it's changing colours. The crocus carpet comes next, I'll try to remember to snap you a picture.x

Linda Lunda said...

I will!!! Can I link to you?

annette emms said...

Linda- Yes please! I will do the same.x

Nutty Chocolate and Amazing Grace said...

Grace Said: "It was lovely to meet Rowan today and run over the hills in the snow. Catch up again soon - I'm off now for a snooze!"

annette emms said...

Nutty chocolate and Amazing Grace - Thank you! Rowan and I enjoyed it too!

lynne h said...

oh these snowdrops, annette! and the stone arch. and the oak tree... sigh... xo

flyinamber said...

beautiful carpets of snowdrops!
and photos of old church are the wooden detal with pigs,stone arch,the tree alone in a field and the old old and beautiful..

rivergardenstudio said...

I love old churches as well, and your photo's of them are stunning. My mother's ashes are buried in the old church in Great Ellingham... I think that is the spelling. I wondered if sometime I could use your picture of the tiles and the arch in a collage sometime!? They have really moved me... Roxanne

annette emms said...

Lynne - thanks honey!Glad you liked them.x

flyinamber - thank you ,we definitely like the same things!x

Roxanne - Thank you so much , you are most welcome to use the pictures. I would love that!
I don't know Great Ellingham, that's another one for the list!x