Thursday, June 25, 2015

Oakham

I drove - to extend my range since I have begun driving again after a four months pause, because of my broken wrist.
We strolled around, just looking.  First stop was the Castle - a very small one, built between 1180 and 1190, in the reign of Henry II for Walchelin de Ferriers, Lord of the Manor of Oakham. It was principally a fortified manor house. It did at one time have a curtain wall, a gatehouse and a drawbridge with iron chains. Oakham Castle probably also had towers at strategic points along the walls as well as a moat.


Ever since a horseshoe was presented by Edward IV in 1470 after his victory at the Battle of Losecoat Field, there has been a tradition that any peer of the realm visiting Oakham should present the Lord of the Manor with a horseshoe. 230 of them are displayed on the walls of the Great Hall, all hung so that no devil can swing in them, as is the Rutland way.
It is thought that they are linked to the de Ferrers name (meaning farrier) and family crest.
Lorraine Cornwell - Rutland County Museum





We walked past the Butter Cross or Market Cross

The stocks have five holes for some reason.

We walked through the churchyard of All Saints church, 

and came across the Old School building. The history is intriguing.
On the lighter stone is carved  SCHOLA LATINA       GRAECA    HEBRAICA    Ao 1584
These were the subjects the master was to teach.
This inscription uses Hebrew and Greek lettering. The bottom part may be in Latin, but is illegible.
SIG COM GUBERN SCHOLAR ET HOSPICHORUM IN OKEHAM ET UPPINGHAM IN COM RUTL
. . . . . . . . . . .      school and hospital(?) in Oakham and Uppingham in the county of Rutland.


Along the end wall is some old, rather stylish graffiti


He is photographing the graffiti, not adding to it!


For more about Oakham see Oddities of Oakham  and Colours of Oakham on a dull day from my photo blog.  And on this blog The Walk that wasn't .

Friday, June 19, 2015

Mottisfont

We made use of our NT membership! Easy to spend a day here. The name comes from Moots Font - a well where a medieval community used to meet.

The house was originally a priory, then became a Tudor house, built around the former church, and still later an 18th century country house. Maud and Gilbert Russell owned it and it became a gathering place for artists, writers, philosophers, designers and other guests during the early 20th century.




You've heard of pork sausage . . .

The grounds are magnificent, and extensive.


The walled garden is full of roses and many other flowering plants.




The grounds contain many other attractions
Huge sweet chestnut trees
statues
pruned plane trees

a tulip tree
the ice house

the font itself.

The house is worth visiting - for Rex Whistler's trompe-l'oeil mock classical drawing room, the furniture and the vast collection of paintings. 
In the art gallery we saw an exihibition of Lyons teashop lithographs - by many well known artists.
You can see some of them at the link below:
http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2013/july/lyons-lithographs










Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Leicester snippets

Early Christmas shopping excursion. I should add this was last year, before Christmas 2014!  Just catching up with some unposted stuff!









Allow me to whine . . .

February saw us in Leeds for superb performances of two short operas - Falla's La Vida Breve and Puccini's Gianni Schicchi. See Guardian review.


The next day we met Dan and family at the outdoor ice rink. Fool that I was, I decided to give it a go, for the first time in five years, since I broke my femur roller blading. This cartoon someone posted on facebook seems appropriate -

Alas, after twenty minutes of sheer enjoyment, I crashed down and fell on my right arm. Distal radius fracture, involving plaster cast, then brace, and I am still having difficulty with forming a fist - so not yet able to drive. Grrr!
Me and my "blue swan"

That's four months. To be fair it is improving- with the help and encouragement of the local hand therapy department. I can now open doors, carry cups and plates, play the keyboard and the recorder, and knit.
I'm very lucky that I have Harry to drive me about, and that my walking pals are happy to act as chauffeur, especially if I plan and lead the walks. At least the wrist hasn't interfered with that activity.
A bare-wristed me

OK, whining over for now!!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Saturday, November 01, 2014

A Halloween poem.

My contributions to a collaborative poem just about hold together . . .


The ancient feast of Samhain
is now approaching fast
that time when we remember
the spirits of the past

Do you dare to read the tombstones
Do you dare to walk the lanes
or wander past the churchyard
blood curdling in your veins?

The veil between our world and theirs
grows thin as night proceeds.
beware, oh mortals, of the mist
that lingers in the reeds.

The time to light the lamps has come
to banish fear and gloom
to welcome friendly spirits home
and give the others room.

A small child holds a parent's hand
and candles banish murk
but just beyond the flickering flame
fearful creatures lurk.

The jack o' lanterns'  dubious light,
trickers and treaters too,
guisers acting out their roles
see the evening through.

Wandering souls are quieted
wandering people fed
and now the magic's over
we can all get to our bed.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Corby Glen and Bourne Woods

To Corby Glen
and Willoughby hall
for art exhibition

sunlight and shadow
trimmed trees follow the curve
of central flowerbed



the Woodhouse Arms
polished tables
and open fire

lunchtime
sandwiches, salad and coffee
by the sunny window


a curly pot sheep
watches us eat
sheep-wrapped mint chocs




in Bourne woods
criss-cross paths through autumn trees
lead to fenland views



wide grey skies
piled clouds slashed with blue
far flat horizon



light strengthens
from dark to sunbright
glowing bark

golden leaves
in the spotlight
against dark backdrop