Sunday, 28 August 2011

a full weekend!

Uffington is finished, I now have to decide what he should be surrounded by - perhaps this vivid blue silk, found in a flea market for very little.

and we have had ad weekend full of people, we who are normally very quiet.

Neil's niece and her man, on their way from here to there, stopped by overnight; a fleeting pleasure as they had to be gone early the next day. Then followed, good friends and their two children, who had come to sample the delights of the area. They stayed the following night, so we had the delight of childish stage whispering early in the morning, the two youngsters full of unsuppressable excitement at being somewhere different overnight; two young souls used to having their eager questions answered. I found myself on the floor wiht them, pencils out, drawing elephants, cups and hot air balloons. A delight to be with, full of interest in everything, full of delight in being alive, eager and thoroughly exhausting! They loved the dell where the badgers dwell, and played with the cats on the lawn. It was their mother's birthday and she was wistful, being far from her family in France. I felt for her. I hope these brought her some balm

we are really enjoying the garden at the moment. 
Thinking of Jude who is in the storm across the indigo sea, I am conscious of being in a very good place.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Today we had plenty of rain - nearly 1.5 inches according to the rain gauge. It pooled on the patio, making a patchwork of  bubbles and rings over the existing patchwork of plants and paving
 it ran down the roof of the conservatory, melting the yew tree, rippling on the glass
and was caught fast by the brave spiders web hanging lacy behind the water butt, now overflowing
This evening we have sunlight streaming through the blue, blue sky
glancing across the patchwork landscape
shimmering in cloud castles
I hope Jude is spared too much damage by the coming hurricane. My feather has found it's way to her safe haven across the sea.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

A feather for Jude

This little feather is flying all across the sea to Jude in New York for her Magic Feather project. The feather is for my daughter Jen - Jen the hen, but not a hen's feather, rather a wren's. The rose is for Mum, Rosemary really, but always "Granny Rose" to Jen, both much loved women encircled by my love for them. You can see other feathers flying in to the project here. It is one of the things I've been stitching recently, along with Uffington who is gradually getting his space filled by many many little stitches. I'll post a picture of him later, when his landscape is more complete.

All that stitching though, is not good for the bit of me that needs much more exercise, so today my dear one and I went to the Seven Sisters Country Park for a wonderful perambulation along the meanders and down to the sea, where we saw

wide open spaces

layers of landscape

layers of time, flint and chalk slowly, slowly sifting down over millennia

marsh samphire, glowing red despite the hazy day
 greater burdock, all spikes and rough edges
carline thistle, like little captured suns
teasel rising sturdy above a soft bed of silverweed
stone and wood, weathered and feathered to soft shapes
sea lavender drawing lacy patterns against the while chalk cliffs
and a great many people, all having a pleasant time wandering along, photographing each other, listening to the wind, the sea, themselves, each other, mobile phones, dogs and children
We walked for a goodly while, the day hot and humid with much moisture in the air, other's conversations drifting in and out of focus as we passed fellow walkers. Then we stopped for lunch at the Exceat visitor centre where this fern caught my eye - such a soft glowing green against the weathered tiles
and drove back home over Beachy Head and down through Eastbourne to the Pevensey levels.

A good way to work off the stiffness and stagnation that comes from sitting too long - even if that sitting is productive !

Saturday, 6 August 2011


something quiet is forming, just a start of something - will see where it goes.
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Friday, 5 August 2011

Heaven was delightful!

I had a really lovely day on Wednesday. I saw:
A griffin's claw from St Cuthbert's shrine,
Eye shaped amulets, pleading for improved sight,
Containers for hands, arms, foreskins, breast milk, bits of the true cross,
Holy Hankies. Scallop shells of quiet and tokens from Lourdes and Walsingham.
I pondered on the trade in these things, surely source of wealth for many; benefiting from the disquiet of souls. The second council of Nicea in 787 declared that all altars should have relics, before consecration could take place; a cloth lowered to touch the relic within it's altar would bear some of the holy power away for the entreater.
One offering read,

"imperishable flower of the martyrs save me from the storm of the evil spirits of my mind and give me victory over them".

In another room there was a wonderful early Irish bell cover from the Shrine of St Cuileain. Look at those lovely Celtic horses guarding the four corners. This was possessed of such power, that liars who touched the bell would "fall down in convulsions or be strangled by its chain".

Then we left the Museum of wonders, ate a good lunch - at 3:30pm! and on to the National, where I was delighted by this dear little boy with his mischievous smile, watching Saint Hubert being Exhumed, incorrupted!

a delicate little crescent moon, somehow growing amongst a humble Madonna's flowers

several Johns with and without heads, and some delightful little landscapes, peering between the legs and arms of the sacred people to bring all that holiness into the space real people occupied
Crivelli's delicious fruits and fantasies
and a Mantegna Angel 
who reminded me not a little of Evelyn De Morgan's Pre Raphaelite dancing damsels
Our Lady of Peace - Evelyn De Morgan

Then, on our way back to the station, deep in the underground, on a tube train, someone spoke to me! Two lovely London ladies on their way from here to there, who complimented my tattoo

and struck up a laughing conversation with me and Jen. They were utterly delightful, and I wish I could tell them what a pleasure they added to day's end on my birthday.

Thank you all for recent comments - share the pleasure ...

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

visiting heaven!

OK not literally, but today is my birthday and we, that is me, my dear one and my lovely daughter, are trotting up to London to visit this and this. I wonder if the two organisations had any dialogue about these exhibitions, they seem so appropriate to be running at the same time.

I think we cannot begin to imagine the inner world of the people who created and venerated these objects. it must have been a magical place, full of miracles, but also full of brutality, ignorance and the fear of divine or human retributions. I remember when my Mother in Law, who suffered from Alzheimer's, would hide behind her bedroom door, muttering, sometimes in a voice that was completely not her own. It struck me then that the medieval mind would have had no hesitation in declaring her behaviour to be due to demonic possession, or witchcraft; even I found it disquieting, but understood the why.

I'm hoping that today will shine a bit of light on that world, one that has fascinated me since I first studied art for "A" level, many years ago. Once of my favourites then was this. It will be part of the exhibition today. I'm anticipating a very enjoyable day out.