About Me

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Bristol , United Kingdom
I am co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Return to the Birthday Boneyard

It being my mother's 90th birthday yesterday, we returned to one of her favourite places, Clevedon, for celebratory coffee and cake in the pub that overlooks the front. 

Unlike last year, my sister, brother-in-law and niece were with us (but not my father, of course). 

It was another grey day, although grey suits Clevedon quite well. It isn't a shouty, fluorescent sort of place. 

And you could tell it's been cold, as the blackthorn, which was out in abundance this day last year up at St Andrew's Church, has yet to blossom. 

Since she'd never visited before, I showed my niece the late Norman sheela-na-gig  ... 

... who is actually quite modest as exhibitionists go.

I've seen this corbel described as a raven, though it reminds me of  the chough-based insignia inside the church. At any rate, it's definitely a corvid.  

Then, another favourite bird, distinctive by its undulating flight between graves. Ooh, I do love a green woodpecker! (It's on top of the nearest cross, side-on, if you can't make it out.)

This is definitely Woodpecker Week for me. 

St Andrew's is one of those churches which seems to reveal itself in instalments. (It is pretty dark in there.) I hadn't really had a good look at the carvings around the Norman arches before.  

This dog on the south side of the outer arch - at least, I think it's a dog - is protecting the chancel from the Devil. Underneath there's a rose wheel. 

On the north side there are three interlinked rings representing the Trinity. 

Alabaster tombstone, circa 1415 - Hic Jacet Tho. Dom De Clyveden
For the first time too, there was a guide book available to buy - although only one copy. So I snaffled it quick, and will return for more, better informed fossicking, but only when it's warmer and lighter. 

Then it was back to my mother's for cake and ninety bumps. 

(We didn't give her the bumps.) 


  1. Thanks Debbie, maybe you can give St Mary's Ely the same treatment one day - I see so much more through your eyes than mine.

    1. I would love to have a good nosey ... and in the Cathedral too, of course. I'll have to manoeuvre a visit one day.