Friday 30 June 2023

Good Things Come To Those That Wait

 Three years ago during the summer of 2020 my friend Lisa had lifted one of her plants and divided it. She offered me a clump which we bunged in the garden. Yesterday I was rewarded with its first flower [with more to come]. Some sort of daylily I do believe....perhaps a tawny one?🧡


Whatever it might be it's mighty fine. It did come as a bit of a shock finding it though because the truth is that I had completely forgotten about ever planting it [gardening not being my thing], but it made for a great discovery! Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Arilx


Tuesday 27 June 2023

In the bag

Not for the first time I'm sharing a picture of the display of mummified animals they have out in Chippenham Museum when I was there back in the Spring. I always take photos of such things because the magical practices of everyday folk is of great personal interest to me, but I wasn't planning to show them.....so what changed my mind?


One of the things I particularly enjoy about adventuring is the researching and teasing out of any tales that may emanate from the things I encounter on my travels. I'd looked forward to reading more about this set of a cat, rat, toad and frog upon my return in my well thumbed copy of "Magical House Protection" by Brian Hoggard so was a little surprised to find that it made absolutely no mention of it. Being a bod who likes to help I decided to send a message to Dr Hoggard about it, but fully expected him to know about it. He replied immediately to confirm that he'd not heard of this example, so with an apology about the quality of my photos I sent the above two over to him. We left it that he'd drop in and see them for himself next time he was in that general area.

Six weeks later and Dr Hoggard followed through with his own visit...the only difference being, that as the expert in the field [he organises the annual Hidden Charms conferences about this and other related topics], he was invited to see inside the case! At this point my involvement ceases, but it's been so interesting to read the comments from other knowledgeable people about it. There is a simple theory that if you get a cat and a rat found up a chimney together then it might simply be the case that the feline chased the rodent up there and then both perished without there being any human intervention. What apparently made this particular example different is the survival of the leather bags in which the amphibians had been contained. Not only are they rare to find, but they also prove that they were placed there deliberately by someone. Sadly it still doesn't provide a definitive as to why, but I do feel that maybe I have made a small contribution in moving the story forwards by signposting the evidence to the right people who are in the field. It's a very satisfying feeling💜

Arilx

Monday 26 June 2023

Midsummer


 I wasn't going to put up any photos from Mythago's latest jaunt to Stonehenge for the Summer Solstice, but it was such an incredible day that I'm afraid that I can't resist just sharing the one! This time the sun shone for us and most unusually we've abandoned our normal Gothic black tatters. With ten minutes at the end we grabbed the chance to photograph all the new kit we've been busy sewing over the last couple of years for our Greenman story. It's certainly bright when you see it all together like that. Rest assured we'll be back in black next time we dance out. There's a fine line between this being cool and crossing over into My Little Pony territory!

Thanks for indulging me.

Arilx

Sunday 25 June 2023

Where's Garfield?

Before we travel I compile a list of possible places or things I'd like to see in the area where we'll be going. From this point it's then a case of looking at where we're staying and whether any of the things are either grouped near one another or if they're a feasible distance as we don't want to spend the whole time driving. If they make it through this stage then Mr GBT puts the destinations on to the satnav except this time he came back to me to say he couldn't find Garfield. I'm probably a woman who has cats [or hedgehogs] on the brain most of the time, but no it wasn't Garfield the Cat I was wanting to visit, but the tiny Herefordshire village of Garway.

If anyone is into visiting churches one of the most famous ones in the county and arguably nationally is Kilpeck because it's got the most extraordinary complete set of Romanesque carvings done by the so called Herefordshire School of Carving. It seems likely that these masons were taught at Hereford cathedral and then went out and left behind examples of their work not only here, but in Shropshire and Worcestershire. St Michael's is another church in the set.

If you drive up a quiet country lane with grass growing up the middle this is the sight which greets you..from the wild flower filled churchyard through to the rose coloured plaster it's hard to not be charmed by it.

One of those carvings for which its famous [there are only a handful]. I often look at them and wonder what message was it intended to convey to those who looked upon it. Some sort of Christian message we now can't access, a visual pun or something which carried forward echoes and symbols from a pre Christian time.

Above the piscina is a serpent [possibly a sign of healing], a fish, a chalice and a wafer.

In many ways though it's this church's earlier history which makes it such a significant place of worship. It might be in a quiet backwater now, but it is only one of six Knight's Templar churches remaining. It saw a fair amount of remodelling after the Templars were suppressed in 1307 and it passed over to the Knights of St John known as the Hospitallers. The foundations of the original circular church can still be seen. The shape was to echo the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

There might only be traces left behind hinting at its past, but if the tower is open there is a carved Templar coffin lid which has been reused as a window lintel and this fragment which I spotted lurking in the flight of former rood screen steps.



If you're craving peace and tranquility then this is the perfect spot to find it. After the naughty carving in Hereford and Malvhina this was the third and final thing on my wishlist of things I wanted to see.

Arilx














Thursday 22 June 2023

Gnome not at home.

 We'd been out of the car a mere twenty minutes when I stumbled across this up a side street in Cricklade. Normally a meter cupboard wouldn't draw my attention, but then usually it doesn't have this in the middle of it.....


Of course, being me I had to stop and take a second look....I knocked politely, but there was no gnome at home!


Walking a little further down I spotted my quarry in the window of the big house [that's a black blind you can see behind the little fella so I wasn't invading their privacy]. Obviously Monday afternoon is for lifting weights for this particular gnome😆


Have a great weekend everyone....we're dancing in a certain set of rather well known stones down in the West Country for a belated Solstice celebration with the druids.

Arilx 

Tuesday 20 June 2023

Malvhina


 There were three things I wanted to see when we were on holiday. The first was that rude flashing male carving which I put up last week and this is the second. The very beautiful 'Celtic' [I use that term loosely] princess Malvhina. She's the work of Rose Garrard and is fed by the three Malvern springs from Happy Valley, Rushey Valley and Ivy Scar Rock. By the time the water emerges it has been fully filtered and is safe to drink [apparently]. Her design is inspired by different periods in Great Malvern's history from the ancient standing stones to the Medieval statues and the Victorian Pre-Raphaelite movement. She'd look very much at home in the Chalice Well garden in Glastonbury. During the welldressing season she's often swathed in glorious garlands. Do have a look online if you want to see her in all her floral finery. She exudes a great sense of peace and calm in our harried world. 

Arilx

P.S. I shall aim to show you the third item which was on my wishlist in my next post.


Sunday 18 June 2023

A decade on....

 On 15th June 2013 I invited people pull up a chair and take a read if they liked what they saw. In all honesty it was for me to have somewhere to share the many quirky and fascinating things I encounter, to write about my experiences and record the snippets of social history I adore. It was also somewhere that I would leave my private life pretty much at the door and use the space to appreciate what riches I have. It followed on from a dark and turbulent period which had left me in a low place, but it was the first time I had risked creating something with my own stamp and put it out for others to see. In many ways taking that step has been greatly enriching and through it I have come to a far better understanding of who I really am. It's been a very positive experience and has made me determined to keep the content generally light even when I might be below par. A decade on many things have changed for the better, but the things I loved when I started are still very much with me. I thank everyone who has come along with me for the ride for part of the joy of blogging is that it's a two way process and it's brought new people into my sphere. Through it I have made new friends both in the real world and virtually. You've all made it such a pleasure so here's to the next ten!

Obviously it wouldn't be an authentic post if I didn't leave you with a photo of some oddity I found whilst I was away....today's offering is a hobbit door painted by Phil Ironside on the Western Power door in Great Malvern. Tolkien often walked on the Malvern Hills with his great friend C S Lewis.


Arilx


Friday 16 June 2023

Sussex and sunshine.

 Today it's Sussex Day which, until recently, hasn't been much of a thing for most people who live in the county. Along with the recent rise in popularity of folk, Morris dancing and Paganism there seems to be a thirst for creating new traditions and like buses, Mythago is dancing at two new events this year to mark it. I rather like that we're going to be in West Sussex today and over in East Sussex tomorrow.

The temperatures are due to cool down a little, which for purely selfish reasons, as a daft bat who chose to join a side who wear masks, I am grateful for. One thing I have learnt over the years is that when it's hot at these events I not only need to take on a lot more liquid, but I lose a lot of salt....it gives me the perfect excuse to eat crisps😄 [well that's my excuse anyway!!] I expect lots of us are leaving bowls of water out in our garden to help the wildlife at the moment [my two hoggies are always very thirsty when they come out] and I've seen several businesses doing likewise for passing hounds. This sign did make me chuckle....I might be short, but I declined their kind offer to imbibe!!


Hope everyone has a great weekend. 

Arilx


Tuesday 13 June 2023

The Exhibitionist


 Good evening folks...yup 'tis me back from my holihobs with a piece of rudery for you. Before you ask it's to be found in the upstairs in the church cafe in All Saints church in Hereford. No coincidence either that I just happened to choose the table directly below it. It's one of the well known so called "exhibitionist" figures, but the argument that they were all there to warn of man's baser nature I find hard to believe for this one. It's so high up and tucked away I very much doubt anyone could have seen it in the gloom. Most of the people sitting enjoying a quiet cup of coffee had absolutely no idea this was just above their heads😈

We had a fabulous holiday.

Arilx

P.S. I've just learnt that his nickname is Seamus O'Toole!

Friday 2 June 2023

The Teddy Bears Picnic

 Usually the toppers round here are made for a specific purpose in mind....more often than not either a charity campaign or a social issue. The motivation for this one was rather different....simply that the little children should have something nice to see on their walks to and from school. I would have loved it when I was a child.



I am going to be away from the blog for a few days, but hopefully will return with tales to tell. Have a great weekend.

Arilx

The Not So New Town

 If I asked you to name a New Town you might say Welyn Garden City, Milton Keynes or here in Sussex we've got Crawley. Some have fared b...