Monday, 23 February 2009

When Nature dreams of Spring.

Yesterday we found . . . . drifts of Snowdrops in the Rococo gardens. . . . .
and crocus by the church at Painswick in Gloucestershire.

It seems that nature really is dreaming of Spring.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

The King, the Queen, 300 Knights and 13 Bishops

I've had my nose to the grindstone just lately, so I gave myself a day off today.
First and best, I went to visit a friend for couple of hours.
Here is Lily, her rather beautiful dog, sometime friend and partner in crime of Rowan.
She is an English Setter, with a definitely aristocratic bearing.

On the way home I took a short detour in Gloucestershire, to Hailes Abbey and the nearby church. I'm on a 'church crawl', gathering information for a talk which I call 'Gargoyles , Ghosts and Gravestones'.
It's about our old churches and the history and inspiration to be found in them.

So hence, the strange title for this post, I know, but. .that's the list of 'A' list guests invited to a bash of medieval proportions.
I'm talking about the consecration of Hailes Abbey in 1251 .King Henry the third, his Queen, 300 hundred Knights and 13 Bishops. . . some party.
There isn't very much left of this, once famous place of pilgrimage; but the few arches and stones that remain, hold so many secrets and stories.
There are hills on three sides , birds singing and an atmosphere of complete peace.

The old pilgrims path winds it's way up the hill behind the Abbey, in places, it's cobbled stones pass under long tunnels of twisted Hazel and Hawthorn bushes.

Next to the Abbey is the lovely little church, it has a modest exterior but is full of magic inside.

Someones worn and forgotten story.

A dragon, I think.

A tile from the 13th. century.

Stained glass saints, rescued from the Abbey.

I was so thrilled to find this faded, beautiful owl. . .

and these lovely textures on the walls.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Snow and stuff.

We don't often get snow in this part of the world, so . . when we do. . . well, we try to enjoy it!
Rowan doesn't look too impressed though!

Yesterday, when the snow arrived, our familiar fields and lake were touched by magic. . . .

I hope I will always be this excited to see snow!

Today the sun worked more magic on the landscape.
Rowan and I went for a walk on the hills above Broadway.

Rowan was delighted to make a new friend, Grace. Isn't she gorgeous!
Most dogs love snow and these two had a wonderful time rolling, chasing and playing, up and down the hill

After Grace had gone home we decided to find the 'way through the woods'. . . .

Just so you don't think life's all play, I did go home and finish painting the bathroom. . . .