Following on from yesterday's postlet I spent an amazing few hours in Battersea with Arty L drooling [figuratively I hasten to add]over antique loveliness that was so far out of both our budgets it was laughable [let's just say London Prices and you'll get my drift!]. We were at the Winter Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair for which she somehow gets free tickets.
It was an occasion to admire and be inspired as well as chuckle quietly over things we remember the first time and aren't any more to our taste this time round. I think it was Oscar Wilde who said something along the lines of there being no good taste or bad taste....just your taste or mine and it's very true. With permission I took photos of a few items which caught my eye.
Saturday looked to be another of those slug coloured days...you know all sludgy greys and muddy browns, but at least it started out dry. I love walking and it meant that I could use good old Shank's Pony without getting soaked. Being outside gives me much appreciated head space just to muse and be amused about what's going on around me.
With camera in hand, I am delighted to report that a bit of watery sunshine managed to briefly break through the bank of clouds, so I took full advantage and snapped away happily as the true colours and forms of things came alive....although it lashed down later, this brief little interlude set me up for the day.
The promise of things to come.
So many shades of evergreen.
Crimson dogwood stems.
Nature's choice of palette on the stonework.
A perfect example of Victorian functionality and lack of imagination [some Victoriana I love....not this one though]. It commemorates Victoria's Diamond Jubilee and our Queen's Silver one.
Close up detail.
Then there's rather strange thing....now used as a planter it was given in 1920 to commemorate Captain R B Drummond, MVO who was the Constable of the West Sussex Police between 1879 to 1912.
However, far more intriguing for me is the "Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association" inscription which runs along the front. After a bit of digging, I have now discovered that the Metropolitan Free Drinking Fountain Association was set up in 1859 by the MP Samuel Gurney and Edward Thomas Wakefield to provide free drinking water for the masses. As if that name wasn't in the slightest bit unwieldy, in 1867 they added in the Cattle Trough wording to reflect their concern and need to address animal welfare. Thankfully now it is simply known as the Drinking Fountain Association http://www.drinkingfountains.org/ Nowadays they run the Find a Fountain campaign to encourage people to drink more water....with the welcome news that fountains are going to be on the increase as we're encouraged to end our love affair with bottled water I think they're going to be busy over the coming months!
More tomorrow about why I was off to the station......
A comment over on Lovely Grey's blog earlier this week sent me scurrying off to do an online search for a "Cerne Abbas clock". I now find I'd rather like one of these in my life, so if anyone should happen across one in a charity shop let me know!😉 It would go rather nicely with my Cerne Abbas pewter necklace I've got...it always makes me titter inwardly when I wear it, but it's only usually when I'm dancing and it's not a family event [unless I'm feeling particularly devilish!]
"Makhalipile" was the nickname given to the anti apartheid campaigner and erstwhile president of the movement, Bishop Trevor Huddleston, by his supporters and it means "dauntless one". A former pupil of Lancing College, this is the memorial window to him in the school chapel. In 1941 he went out to South Africa and made it his life's work to bring a policy which segregated people along the lines of their skin colour to an end.
The window was designed by the Chichester artist Mel Howse and is the division between the rich and poor. The corrugated iron roof splits the two classes with the city above and the shanty town below and it is very striking. Huddleston is depicted in one of the panels.
If you double click the image to enlarge it you will be able to see the face behind the mother and her infant.
Huddleston's lifelong friend, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, dedicated it to him in 2007.
Due to some swine breaking the weather on Saturday and it being decidedly wet, the outdoor mini adventure plans were put swiftly on hold....after a bit of head scratching I think I managed to come up with a pretty good plan B.... thrifty yet interesting indoor things to do in January is always a bit of a challenge!
This is Lancing College chapel which stands proud on top of the South Downs....this time though it emerged out of the fog like a stately galleon as we approached. It was finished in 1868 and is massive at 90' high....if you squint at the picture below you can just see me bundled up which gives you an idea of the scale.
At the time of planning the architects were advised that the site was totally unsuitable for a building of this proportions....the ground is soft, but they went ahead anyway and had to go down 75' for the foundations before they hit bedrock. On the way down they had to remove a lot of chalk which has been used inside for the ceiling. This, along with the plain glass windows and the salvaged Portland stone floor [rescued from a ship which had sunk with its cargo intact], makes the chapel interior bright and airy even in such gloomy conditions.
Views facing both ways along the aisle.
Ceiling in the foyer.
It will come as no surprise to regular readers of my witterings that I never just visit a church unless I've got another target on my agenda....there are the most wonderful carved stalls which originally came from Eton College chapel in 1923. Looking at the quirky creatures and greenmen I thought perhaps they were older....it came as a pleasant surprise to find that in fact they're Victorian and were designed by Sir Gilbert Scott in 1851. Not the usual straight laced sensible affair I would expect from this era.
This dragon must be very dinky judging by the fact he's not much bigger than his hoard of acorns!
There were many more to amuse me, but these two were my favourite.....each one the size of a coat button, their cheeky countenances proved hard to resist!
On a dank, dark day in the depths of Winter it can be hard to believe that there's any colour out there to see in Nature. I've recently been introduced to the beauty of tree bark which is easy to overlook. For any fellow newbie fans out there here's a rather lovely downloadable PDF file with of lots of different colours and textures which might help you identify a few. This is the work of Phil Barnett http://abcissa-websites.co.uk/download/bark.pdf and the fellow in the photo is my barking mad chum A who always adds a bit of sparkle to any get together!
Honestly that woman has no idea how to sweep the carpet properly. I listen out for the knowing sound the brush makes and come hurtling down from my chosen place of rest [you can hear the tell tale thump as he lands on the floor upstairs and then throws himself down the stairs]. She has no idea just how much effort rousing oneself from one's slumbers entails, but I am a selfless soul and manage to arrive just in the nick of time to save her from herself.
Nestled in the crook of her arm I then guide her round showing her repeatedly how it should be done....sadly she's rather forgetful these days and seems to be unable to retain the finer points...'tis simple enough. One brush stroke, one cat stroke repeat until the task is complete.😼
This is my daily morning routine now....the bleeding feline started "helping" me a couple of months ago....although he's constantly getting in the way he never fails to make me laugh even though I'm trying to get on!
"We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak."
Saw this in Totnes last summer. Somebody kindly listened to me today whilst I let off steam. That simple gift of their time has allowed me to feel heaps better than I have done in days and more like my normal self. Must be better....am making a little plan for a mini adventure for the weekend!
As I sit here typing these few lines it's the most glorious day out here...bright sunshine and cerulean blue skies. The warmth coming through the window is greatly appreciated and I'm looking forwards to picking up the pace of my normal life once again when I return to work tomorrow. We took this shot just after we'd dropped TYM off recently and I like the way our elongated shadows have been captured.
"Keep your face always towards the sunshine and the shadows will fall behind you."
It can take a bit more dogged persistence and digging to find the joys of January, but the discovery of the little shoots on this bush gave me a rush. Mother Nature is quietly setting out her stall for the forthcoming season. There's always something happening out there!
I've noticed that I'm not the only blogger who's succumbed to this lurgy type thing which is currently doing the rounds. The upshot has been confinement to barracks and sitting it out, but thankfully I've started to feel a bit better this weekend, so with sunshine forecast and fresh air badly needed we made a quick dash out to one of the local country parks. Once the site of the brickworks it's now a haven for wildlife and a multipurpose area for all.
Weather permitting the local model club come down every Sunday morning to sail their yachts on the water. You can just see the white sails in the far background. However what had caught my eye were the black blobs on the trees. Cormorants...you'll just have to take my word for it that's what the fuzzy image is!
I came home feeling like some of the fug had lifted and although not yet fighting fit, definitely on the road to recovery.