Friday, 20 March 2009

Just for a while, let's forget. . .

Just for a while , let's forget the credit crunch and all the other miseries, Spring is here in all its glory and how welcome. . . . evidence as follows . . .

I met this beauty on an early morning walk along the riverbank . . .

White violets in the lane by mum's house . . .

Wild plum blossom in the old orchard.

On Thursday I went to a meeting of my Textile Group. The countryside nearby is known for it's wild daffodils.

They grow everywhere, on the sides of the roads, in ditches, the woods are full of them and there are meadows where new lambs lie amongst them.

The area is criss crossed with footpaths. Who would not be tempted to stroll along 'The Daffodil Way' or 'The poets path' ?(Named for the Dymock Poets)

There is a little Norman church , St. Mary's at Kempley and the daffodils grace the churchyard. . . .
These magical little flowers are much smaller and more delicate than their cultivated cousins.

St. Mary's sits in a flower filled meadow and holds a very special and rare treasure.

Wall paintings from the 12th. century.

The magic was here in Norman times, as it still is. . .

Friday, 6 March 2009

Sometimes, like today, I can't find a common thread to link all the things I want to blog about, so please excuse the random assortment which follows. . .

This cottage is the home of some friends of ours, dear friends, with whom we like to go 'walkabout', as often as we can.
They live half way up a hill in the Cotswolds and they feast their eyes daily on some of the most beautiful scenery in these parts.

Lovely views in all directions, this one from the bottom of the garden.

Just up the road, a neighbour's cottage. My son, Nick, helped repair this thatch when he did his thatching apprenticeship.
I've found some more material for my 'Gargoyles, Ghosts and Gravestones' talk and all this research is such a brilliant excuse for exploring Tea Shops as well as churches. . . and so to Burford, Oxfordshire.
This dapper looking chap is a 'weeper', mourning the passing of Sir Laurence and Lady Tanfield, seen below. . .
Known in life for their terrible wickedness and in death for their rides in a spectral coach up and down the main street of Burford.
Their tomb is huge and dark and I didn't linger there long. . .
Such pretty fragments of old glass, here a Lady in a wimple and below a pilgrim with his cockle shell of St. James.

Can you bare to come outside in the drizzle?
The trees lead down to the river Windrush, the prettiest of rivers , which laughs and tumbles it's way through green valleys and little towns. Follow it on foot and I can guarantee you'll find many wonders. . . not to mention some lovely pubs.(Shall we do that in the summer hmmm?)

The 'bale' tombs, once extravagances of those involved in the wool trade, are peculiar to these parts.
Close up, another world to explore.
Talking of other worlds, My lovely mum was 80 years old on Wednesday.
We're having a family party on Sunday, but on her birthday my brother and I took her to Hereford, at her request.
We did some mooching around, some shopping and eating, easy to spend time in this fascinating old city.
The Cathedral has enough to keep me enthralled for a lifetime, it's like being in a sweetie shop, don't know what to look at first, for now here are just a few delights . . . .

Mum's favourite, in any church, anywhere, is the Corona. It seems to be suspended in mid air, over the altar.

My favourite, in amongst all that is ancient, are the windows in stained glass, made in our times to honour Thomas Traherne, a 17th century Hereford man, a poet and a mystic.

I'm just sorry that my pictures don't capture their true beauty or the atmosphere as the sun comes through them.
If you ever go to Hereford Cathedral, perhaps to see the medieval chained library, or the Mappa Mundi (a 13th century map of the world on Vellum) please don't forget to look at the windows too. .. . . . .
Now , it's getting late but I need to ask for help. . . The group of Textile Artists I belong to, Group Purple, are putting on an exhibition in the summer. It's called 'an Anthology'.
We each have to choose a piece of prose or a poem , and make a series of work inspired by the words. Easy, yes?
Well, I hesitate because the title was, I think, my idea and now I just can't choose.
I love Mary Oliver's 'Sleeping in the Forest' and Sam Walter Foss' words which begin, 'the woods were made for the hunters of dreams. . . '
Or should I choose something light and silly like the Owl and the Pussy cat?
I just feel that I need or want , a change of direction, any ideas? Please.x