Thursday, 31 December 2020
Wednesday, 30 December 2020
We trundled across to East Sussex earlier in the month after Michelham Priory had reopened the parts it could to visitors. Firstly a brief potted history.... It was established as an Augustinian priory in 1229 and disbanded in 1537 [cheers Henry VIII] and spent the next several hundred years with different owners operating as a farm with tenant farmers in residence. By 1896 it was in a sorry state, but the then owner James Gwynne restored it. During WWII it housed evacuees at one point and then was used by both British and Canadian troops at various points. Its time as a farm came to an end in 1957 and in 1959 Stella Hotblack [the final owner] gave it the Sussex Archaelogical Society which brings us up to the present. Look I even remembered to take a couple of photos outside which I thought most noble as it tiddling down at the time.... you can still see the undercroft and there are some details remaining which tell of its earlier religious origins.
Throughout the property all the rooms had been decorated in historically appropriate Christmas styles. However, I think I've done enough Xmas themed posts so I thought you might enjoy some of the other things on display instead.
This is the devil's chair which I have written about previously. It's early and came from nearby Friston church. The only thing that's known from the archives is that it was donated in the 1960s. Due to such low visitor numbers the room steward very kindly let us get nearer to it to take some close-ups. The face on the seat is from where it gets its name.
I do so enjoying chatting to the people who volunteer at these places as they are always such a fount of knowledge. This particular lady is involved in the Sussex graffiti project....gleefully we exchanged notes and she gave me another easily missed apotropaic mark to go back and look for. These ones were the most easily visible on one of the fireplaces.
Whilst on the topic of fireplaces I was trying to imagine the faces of the Canadian officers when the legs of a female ATS appeared all of a sudden in this fireplace. The two naughty ladies had decided to surprise the chaps by coming unexpectedly through a hidden trapdoor above them, but it splintered and one of them got stuck. She had to be rescued and they both got charged and probably fined! Their jape certainly backfired!
Tuesday, 29 December 2020
Monday, 28 December 2020
Sunday, 27 December 2020
Just a small handful of photos which capture the essence of the last couple of days.
Back in mid October, with my tongue firmly in the side of my cheek, I jested with our friends P and C how we could always have mulled wine and mince pies sat on the logs in the secluded little spot we always have our walking coffee at hidden away from prying eyes. How those words have come back to haunt me.....thankfully the weather was sunny for our annual Christmas Eve jaunt. We followed it with homemade soup in their garden....if you had told me this was the mad sort of thing we'd be getting up to a year ago I'd have laughed at the ridiculousness of it😁
A most splendid Christmas day spent with my folks. This rather wonderful candelabra puts me in mind of the ones seen in the Great Hall in Hogwarts.....it's inspired me to dedicate every Saturday night during January and February to the viewing of the Harry Potter films in sequence. We've already got them and I never tire of them. Accompanied by suitable film watching snacks that should be our free entertainment sorted for a few weeks!
Tuesday, 22 December 2020
This rather gorgeous stoop in a 12th century Italian marble one mounted upon a 19th century Portland stone plinth from Michelham Priory. Am signing off a little earlier this year, but may I take this opportunity to wish everyone a peaceful Christmas and a relaxing New Year. Thank you so much for reading my blog....I am so grateful that people take the time to stop by.
Love from Aril, Mr GBT, TYM and Humphreyxxx
Monday, 21 December 2020
A lovely evening's wander with Mr GBT and TYM to see this year's festive offerings. The good townsfolk did not disappoint with their advent windows and I think 4 year old Harry Botting who won this year's competition to design a Christmas decoration has smashed it with his lovely rainbow tree.🎄
Whatever else might be going on right now it's hard not to feel uplifted by the colours and sparkles of the season when seeing this type of thing.
Friday, 18 December 2020
Thursday, 17 December 2020
Wednesday, 16 December 2020
My son asked me what colour russet was last night.....Autumn browns with copper tints I said or like these sculptures we saw on Sunday. Despite the heavy rain they looked perfect offset by the foliage colour in the background.
Tuesday, 15 December 2020
I got chatting to a lovely lady over the weekend who explained to me why the base of some columns in churches are shiny. Originally there wouldn't have been any seats for the congregation and people would perch whereever they could find a suitable spot. Over time the lanolin from their woollen clothes leached into the stones of the columns producing the shiny effect. Having been absorbed over many years into the stone it can't then be removed. I do so love a snippet of social history.
Monday, 14 December 2020
Sunshine on Saturday meant walking plans could go ahead with friends P & C. We'd had to put our meet-ups on hold for a few weeks, but now that we're allowed out to play again.....
Frankly I spent most of the walk gassing and not paying that much attention to my surroundings.....even this tangerine coloured fungus only came onto the radar when one of the others pointed it out to me! Not exactly easy to miss now is it!!
However, this double bridge was just about obvious enough for me to notice. It was decided by the Board of Trade that the original brick one left too steep a gradient for the train to have to ascend to the nearby station. Before the railway could open it insisted that the embankments were raised to give a gentler incline and the iron girder bridge was built above it. This apparently makes it a unique example of Victorian engineering and I'm sure the change must have averted some potentially tragic accidents.
Friday, 11 December 2020
Thursday, 10 December 2020
A mud free adventure was the order of the day for Saturday's spot of adventuring with Ice Badger. We both welcomed the prospect of a weekend off from boot cleaning, so I cast around for something for us to do locally. The little local arboretum I thought would tick all the boxes as it's midway between our two homes. I first blogged about it here http://gnatbottomedtowers.blogspot.com/2017/05/julia-and-emmas-arboretum.html but haven't been back since. It's not heavily used and we had it to ourselves. As you can see it still had quite a lot of colour hanging on which was a lovely surprise. Since I last was there they've added some benches which look across to the South Downs beyond. On the days when IB has to work from home she reckons this would be the perfect place to come to for a lunchtime break as it's only 10 minutes from her doorstep.
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