St John’s Church, Kenton. Shortly to become a Hindu Temple. We cleared this out and found these old photographs. (The top one is ours; taken just before we locked up). Poignant and a reminder of transience. Perhaps in 50 years time a company called Hindu Temple Furnishings will be doing something similar to us with this very building.
DECRO ARCHITECTURAL FAIR KNEBWORTH 2014
Thought I’d pick a few photos to try and convey the excitement of this dynamic trade and public event.
Our Lady of Notre Dame de Lourdes
Property of a friend. And a reminder why Statues of Our Lady and female saints are more in demand than male ones.
Martyrs of Sussex Part 2
The crew of the Mary Stanford Lifeboat. In 1928 the entire 17 man crew of this boat was drowned in a storm whilst trying to rescue the crew of the Alice of Riga. Unknown to them this crew had already been saved by another vessel. The weather that winter night, from all accounts, was appalling with gales and huge waves. It is not unreasonable to think that the crew, as they launched their boat that night, must have realised that it was quite likely that they would die. But they went anyway. Their deaths represented the loss of the entire male fishing population of Rye.
Martyrs of Sussex Part 1
St Philip Howard (28 June 1557 – 19 October 1595) was the 20th Earl of Arundel. He became a Catholic after witnessing a debate between Catholic and Protestant theologians. This was a bad idea in the time of Elizabeth I. The situation was not helped by him publicly praying for the victory of the Spanish Armada. Arrested after attempting to flee England he then spent the remaining ten years of his life in the Tower of London, eventually dying of dysentery. On his deathbed he begged Queen Elizabeth to allow him to see his wife and child one last time. She said if he agreed to attend a Protestant church service just once he could be reunited with his family and have his property and titles restored to him. He refused this offer and died shortly after. Canonised in 1970 he is considered one of the ‘Forty Martyrs of England’.
The dog beside him was his constant companion in the Tower and acted as a messenger between Philip and the other prisoners. Sadly, I couldn’t find out his/her name.
They introduce themselves as pro-life. And I say, ‘Oh, I’m so glad. You must be fighting for healthcare for the poor.’ And they look at me like I’m bonkers.
Hadleigh URC Time Lapse
Thanks to Meryvn at the above church, here is the ultimate before, during and after sequence of photographs of a pew job we were involved in. Pews: now you see them, now you don’t.
Photoset with 6 notes
Bulgarian Hill Church
Up in the hills behind Bulgaria’s Rila Monastery we found what seemed to be this abandoned church. It was mostly filled with rubbish and mouse droppings and nobody appeared to have been there for a while. Possibly it and the buildings around it were some kind of overspill for visiting clergy and pilgrims to the big monastery below and now it just wasn’t needed. Anyway, of all the churches I’ve ever visited, this one probably ranks as being the one in the most beautiful setting. Whoever the monk in the photograph was, I hope he had a happy life.
We’ve been coming on holiday to the Villa Sophia for fourteen years. On the edge of a nothing village called Chrani in the Southern Peloponnese of Greece, this is where me and my family have come to swim, sunbathe and eat every July/August.
The accommodation is basic, the children sleep on a sofa and an old pull-out bed. There is no air-con and it is definitely not mosquito proof. But you can see the sea from our balcony and walk down to it in about a minute - with no cars to worry about. Choices are simple. There are basically three local beaches you can lay on, three local restaurants you can eat at and one local cafe you can drink at. We read a lot and store up heat for the forthcoming English Winter.
This year is probably the last we will go there. Johnny our eldest son is leaving home and it is the end of family holidays as we knew them. To underline this, our landlord of the Villa Sophia, Andreas, died shortly before we arrived. He had been fighting cancer for two years but always seemed like he was going to beat it. As we got out of our car, Coula, his widow hugged us all in turn and we cried together. Unhelpfully, Coula’s mother, who must be in her 90’s, is now completely senile. Whenever we would come across her, she would wave frantically at us, her face a few inches away from ours.
Knowing that something is over makes you see it in a different way and not always for the better. Our apartment suddenly seemed shabby and uncomfortable. If we hadn’t been going there for years we wouldn’t have wanted to stay there. The petty rivalries and jealousies of the village which we had got to know seemed like… too much trouble. The ubiquitous German tourists who of course had seized the best villas, best spots on the beaches (clumps of recliners, chairs and umbrellas all chained up in a very unGreek way) were now insufferable.
And yet. In the past nothing mattered that much because there was still the future to look forward to and because we created our own reality. Andreas our cheerful landlord was the custodian of this for us. Gifts of fruit, eggs,oil and wine every day. Cheerful ‘Yassous’ and ‘Yassas’ being called out. Mimed jokes which we would laugh at. The sound of his step through Honda growling up and down the hill a dozen times a day.
Andreas took care of our summer holidays for us. Over the years which have fluttered by without much to mark them, our summers at least were memorable and provided a chance for me to be with my family away from Britain and all the dullness and work there.
The thing about death is that it seems so strange that your old junk outlives you. Old overalls of Andreas were still lying around, a tap that has dripped ever since our first visit was still leaking. Half empty quarter bottles of Metaxa, half empty packs of cigarettes and that step through Honda, still there. I can see why some other cultures buried or burned the possessions of the dead with them. Seems less of an affront, somehow. However, Andreas’ garden hadn’t stayed the same. His orderly allotment of fruit trees, cabbages and other vegetables was overgrown and gone to seed.
So, if there’s a message, perhaps it’s that after you’ve gone all the things you should have got rid of or tidied will still be there. And that the things you cared about and worked at will turn into dust.
Spend time with your loved ones while you can is what I say.
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