Have a great weekend!
By the time I got to Tuesday I could put it off no longer.....I had to go shoe shopping which is something I never enjoy, but several pairs of faithful summer sandals have finally given up the ghost. Starting with the charity shops there was either nothing in my size or vertiginous numbers that definitely only came under the wedding/Saturday night out category. I'm not in the market for a set of bunions to compete with Victoria Beckham's thanks😈 Anything else wasn't going to stand up to me putting it through its paces and it was going to be a case of buy cheap buy several times over. Thankfully the tale has a happy outcome and am now restocked courtesy of the sales.
Whilst I was pottering around I happened to notice how pretty the town centre was looking. I understand that the colour scheme was inspired by the coast and I think that they've nailed it. It particularly sets off the blue on the bandstand.
Well what do you know....this "weed" has turned up uninvited in our garden. We pondered whether we should leave it alone [ after much excitement last year that leave-it-alone turned out to be a slightly less than thrilling buttercup!] or remove it as whatever it is really has chosen the most awkward spot to grow in. As you see from the photo below it's competing with a very vigorous raspberry. However, we decided to give it a stay of execution and over the ensuing months it has grown a bit like Jack's beanstalk....all upward and green leaves. That was until we got back from holiday when we noticed some tiny little flower buds had appeared.....we've sat patiently these past couple of weeks for it to bloom and I have to say it was certainly worth the wait....
Nowadays Deerhurst is a tiny village and it seems hard to imagine that it was here in 1016 that Edmund Ironside and Canute signed the treaty which saw them cease fighting and agree the division of land in the North and South between them. Mysteriously Ironside died shortly afterwards and his share passed over to the Viking making him the first King to rule over the whole of England since the Romans. From the Norman conquest onwards Deerhurst began to lose its power and gradually slide into obscurity. However, it doesn't take much of a leap of imagination to see how it might all have once been....the signs are still there.
The more than substantially sized St Mary's church might just be classed as a parish church nowadays, but it started out life as a priory church and formed part of the larger Benedictine priory site [ the attached house is the priory farmhouse] which was in place by AD 804. Over time the lands were divided up and reallocated until the whole lot was dissolved in 1540. What we're left with is the most complete Saxon church in the country. It is a marvel of strange beasts and carvings which incredibly predate the Romanesque gems I usually vaunt on here.
This one is known simply as the Deerhurst Angel. She sits up high on the exterior of the church, but she started her life on the inside of the original Saxon apse. Now all you have left of it is a semicircular line of ground level stone work which picks out where it once stood.
As you go through the main door you are greeted by these beast label stops on either side of the entrance. Those are quite large fangs they've got whatever they are and the traces of red show that they were once painted. To me they look quite canine like, but the general view is that they are dragons. To my eyes the carvings on either side of the chancel arch look far more dragonesque. Whichever version is correct or not, what we do know is that supposedly there was a Deerhurst dragon which enjoys terrorising the locals and snacking on their cattle. In a bid to stop the rapicious creature the King put up a reward for whoever killed it. One John Smith stepped forward and by leaving milk where he knew the brute would drink it he took advantage of its resulting drowsiness and hacked off its head with his axe. Apparently he was given land for his derring do.
In 1675 a large carved stone was discovered in the area. It recorded a stone chapel being built on the orders of the local Saxon Earl Odda for the soul of his brother Aelfric who had died on 22nd December 1053. Unusually for the time and for England it was dedicated to the Holy Trinity. The location of the chapel had long since been lost, but the Odda Stone, as it came to be known, found its way into the conservatorship of the Ashmolean Museum. This was enough to send me scurrying back to my photos of my one and only visit there. Knowing me and my penchant for old stones....bingo! My hunch proved to be right. Not that I had any idea of where it had come from you understand then!
Some shots from our garden that I took over the weekend. We've now [Mr GBT has I should say although I did ably assist him with some of the antirrhinums one evening] put all the pollinator/bird friendly plants in that we had planned for and with all the rain everything seems to have taken including the cutting from my parents beauty bush that we didn't think had made it. With all the rain we have had it's given all the newbies a head start and so over the coming years it should all meld together nicely into a managed tangle. Am delighted with it all so far, but despite the recent sunshine those figures still look as miserable as sin!
In my family there is a run of birthdays between May and July. I like to make everyone a birthday cake [except TYM who prefers cheesecake] of their choice, so this afternoon I shall be baking for my Mum. Earlier in the month it was a lemon drizzle for Mr GBT and prior to that I decided to surprise one of my best friends with this....she loves unicorns and anything purple. It met the brief and she was delighted [it tasted good], but it hasn't converted me to purple icing I'm afraid! She's now the proud owner of those unicorn sprinkles....I didn't think I would have need of them again anytime soon🦄
Now one of the things Mr GBT and I like to do best in the world is to visit a tearoom for a cuppa and a slice of something moreish and calorific once in a while. The Abbey Tearooms in Tewkesbury is a marvellously quirky little cafe stuffed to the gunwhales with all sorts of intriguing knick knacks. I'm still inclined to go outside where it's possible/practical so we headed out to the tables in the tiny courtyard garden out the back. How could I resist when I clapped eyes on this highly original space and innovative reuse of everyday items. I thought you might enjoy the views too and the final photo explains the background of the creator of this little oasis. The knight is because the Battle of Tewkesbury on 4th May 1471 was one of the major battles in the Wars of the Roses.
If you're a rescue animal lover like me [and most of my friends for that matter] this story about Hodge the Cathedral Cat might warm the cockles of your heart https://www.catcuddles.org.uk/news-articles/happy-rescue-anniversary-to-hodge. It sounds like he's settled right in in his new role🐈 For those with an interest in church cats [tick on both counts from me] there's even a talk on the topic here https://cathedral.southwark.anglican.org/visiting/hodge-the-cathedral-cat/clerical-cats-in-history-an-online-talk-by-dr-kathleen-walker-meikle/
Have a great weekend!
With the racism fallout following the Euro 2020 final this sculpture called "Touching Souls" by Mico Kaufman sits outside the abbey in Tewkesbury and seems rather timely. Kaufman said that if you noticed one of his public sculptures please stop and ponder on its subject. It depicts the cultural interdependence which characterises our world and "reflects on the bond that substantiates our humanity".
That moment when you're faced with a spare set of antlers knocking about the place and you decide to adopt a "novel" approach to display them... no pretensions of emulating Edward Landseer's "Monarch of the Glen here. No...you mount them on a wooden head and then paint an anatomically correct body to go with it.
Mr GBT and I do our best to do something if we find we have a day without any commitments at the weekend. What we do varies according to tim...