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Churches of Porto, Portugal
Spectacular Death, Golden Temples and the glamour of Faith.
The X Factor
Sold the biggest painting ever (not including Guernica) to Britains most famous architectural dealer today - Drew Pritchard, star of the Salvage Hunters. No TV cameras; the deal for our 15’ high painting was done over the phone. We’ve known Drew for a few years and he has always been very honest with us. So, of course we asked him about the groupie attention he got from being on the telly.
“Several offers a week. Not as many as Gavin (the driver) who is better looking than me but quite a lot. Some send emails with pictures and vital statistics. Others will approach me in supermarkets and simply offer sex”.
Being happily married, Drew has no time for this. But it does make you think. If one took up with a groupie how long would it be before they realised that you had faults like any other person? How long before they were complaining about that shelf you never got around to putting up? That groupie anniversary that you forgot? And maybe worst of all, the feeling that you weren’t as famous or as desirable as TV baker Paul Hollywood??
A Reign of Love
No connection to the appalling Coldplay… Acquired this excellent William Strutt print illustrating a famous bit of scripture. (See below). Strutt was an Englishman who went to Australia to try his luck in the Gold Rush there in 1852. Being already unstable, his lack of success and the harsh conditions in the Gold Fields may well have completely fried his brains, leading to Victorian Psychedelia like this. I love the sentiment and the sentimentality but look into the eyes of the humans and the animals and try and tell yourself that they don’t all look under the influence of drugs.
Isaiah XI 6-8
6 The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. 7 The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 The suckling child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the cockatrice’ den.
Only a few children braved the Easter Egg hunt at our church - all the more for the ones who were there, including my grand daughter Sofia (the Duffel). For the grown ups inside the church, lots of really bad wine and cake. We all celebrate resurrection in our own way. May your stone be rolled away also. This has been the most Christmassy of any Easter I have ever known - and I don’t mean that in a good way either.
Smokers at our Warehouse.
An age old scene; well at least since it became illegal to work and smoke at the same time. Smokers may well die younger but at least they have a more sociable time before that happens. People wouldn’t look this relaxed if they were eating carrots or drinking fresh fruit juice.
Before and After
We’re having some building work done at the warehouse at the moment which means things are even more chaotic than usual. Which is saying something. I got our people to move the big Nativity set and for a couple of days I just had a feeling that something was missing… See if you can spot the difference before and after I worked it out. Ten Hail Marys if you fail.
Morality Tale Part 3
A funny thing happened to me on the way to work. I was pulling onto the M25 from Junction 8 when I noticed a chap in a Bulgarian registered car desperately trying to flag me down. As we are going to Bulgaria in the Summer I thought I should stop; and besides I hadn’t done anything remotely charitable for months. In broken German (he didn’t know English) he told me that he had run out of fuel and that the nearest garage had refused his credit card as the plastic was split around the chip. He said that he was desperate to get to his sisters house because of… something… and he would give me his gold ring in return for some petrol money. It was a chunky, genuine gold ring and he pressed it into my hand. Feeling sorry for him I handed it back and gave him £15 whereupon he started crying and kept trying to give me the ring back. I kept saying no, more or less chucking the ring at him. In the end he kissed my hand all over - another first for me - and then I drove off.
And no, I wasn’t pick-pocketed. However, ultimately I was pretty sure I’d been scammed. I suppose the real test would have been if I’d kept the ring after handing over a few notes: Whether there would have been a bit of a fuss. If it was a shakedown it was a good one. Real tears, drama and that whole trust thing with personal jewellery. Would the sort of person who would stop to help a person actually strip them of their valuables? That’s the genius bit, if it was a scam. Hell of a way to make a living if it is and I guess you must really want/need the money to put yourself through that on a regular basis. If it was scam. I won’t be completely sure until I see another East European apparently broken down on a slip road waving jewellery.
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St Margaret the Queen
Quirky name for an old church in Buxted near Uckfield. Cared for with a congregation who aren’t short of a Range Rover or two, this is as English as it gets. From the Yew Tree certificates to the 700 year old coffer surrounded by junk, Mr Bean in a Bowler hat listening to Winston Churchill speeches, whilst turning up the volume with a cricket bat could not be more English than this. Comforting to know that it still exists.
Don’t forget the Robin
A sign that spring is coming or that winter is about to really whack us one more time? More and more wildlife is coming into the warehouse. One of our ladies had to chase a Fox away that was skulking around the religious statues, there’s the Rats and more acceptably here is the Robin. They’re supposed to live for 12 years or more so this Robin and us might go back a long way. They are sweet to look at but are famous for being killers on their own turf and their droppings rot away our carefully applied waxes and polishes…
De-Fusting Church Textiles in California
Our dear California customer likes our Altar Frontals but has always typically found them a bit ‘Fusty’. What better way to remove those Olde English Mildew and Mould hints by drying them out on a well positioned Lexus? The number plate is to die for as is that sunshine and blue sky which, to us Land of Eternal Mist punters looks so good as to be photoshopped.
Bank of Heaven
Found this on our doorstep. Is it a sign? What is the exchange rate? I think they might have chosen a better picture; less of the downcast stuff and more of a noble profile. Or straight at the camera a la Christ Looked at John and John Remembered.
Lewes High Street after The Imposition of Ashes. After Pancakes… come Ashes. Weird ancient Greek hymns, no collection and a nice quiet ambience only spoiled by me asking the priest if he’d mind if I photographed him ashing my daughter. Quiet horror and disgust on his part and embarrassment for her. Ah well, she’s used to it at least. I’m probably autistic.
Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.
Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ.
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