Saturday, 19 November 2016

That's how the light gets in

This came up on my Facebook feed today; an FB-manufactured 'memory' from this day last year, when my partner shared it with me. I was glad to be reminded of it, however. It's been a black ten days, but there have been moments of light.

On Sunday we went to see Blackbeard's Tea Party at the Bristol Folk House - an annual event, as I am Band Auntie. 

Earlier, up the pub, I'd talked with my nephew and niece-in-law about how to write the political songs the times demand without descending into rant.  The answer, of course, is to find a historical parallel and use that. The same stories love to repeat themselves, and giving the listener the chance to make the connections makes the message more powerful. This was borne out at the gig when they played 'The Diggers' Song' - 'Stand up now, Diggers all!' - which felt positive and apposite. 

Just down the road on College Green 19,240 small wrapped figures were laid out in straight lines in an installation called 'Shrouds of the Somme' - one for each man killed on the first day of the battle a century ago. A reminder of where intolerance and war-mongering leads us. 

On Wednesday we had tickets to see Jonathan Pie, whose political rants I find funny, though I'm not sure how well they translate to a longer show. Or maybe it was just that with the election of Trump, reality has far outstripped satire. 

Yesterday, I was on parental chauffeur duty which required me to drive Chew Magna in Somerset - somewhere I've driven through many times but never actually visited. I bunked off for an hour or two and visited the Church of St Andrew. 


There was a striking play of sunlight and shadow in there. 

On one of the pillars, some impressive graffiti with serifs

There are also some interesting tombs. These are the cherubs on the tomb to Edward Baber and his wife, Anne, who died in 1578 and 1601 respectively. 

And this is a detail of the tomb of Sir John St Lo (died 1447) and, probably, his wife Agnes. Sir John - and his effigy - are 0ver seven feet tall. For some reason he looks a bit perplexed ...

... unlike this fine fellow. Wooden effigies are quite rare - we saw one at the Church of St Bartholomew in Much Marcle back in the summer - and this one is strangely vital. 

The Victorian inscription proclaims him to be Sir John Hauteville (1216-1272) but the style of armour sported by this knight is 200 years later than the last of the de Hautevilles. 

Whoever he is, the inscrutably smiling knight isn't letting on. 

Finally, today I met up with Dru who's currently moored near Limpley Stoke in Wiltshire and we travelled to Westbury to pick up a picture I've bought from the lovely artist, Kat Otterbee. On  the way we stopped off to buy some potato sacks of logs, Kat's currency of choice. It feels good to buy unique Christmas presents direct from artists, rather than chain stores and multinationals - a small protest against capitalism and exploitation. 

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