Monthly Archives: February 2016

Churches

Well, I can certainly say this about England: there is no shorter of old ornate very old churches. This is the St. Mary’s in Natwich (means ‘vale of salt’ from Roman times) and although they started building it in 1286 it wasn’t finished till 1390 because somewhere in there (1349-1369) it got interrupted by the Black Death plague. That must have been a very horrible time. What the walls of this church could tell you if they could talk. 

   
Made out of that same red sandstone. If you really looked close you could see how time and weather has worn it away on the outside.

 
Thespian porch or front door, above is where these interesting heads greet you outside. 

   
 
I’m thinking possibly some King and   Queen. 

  The floor plan even looks like a cross. 

  Although there was some work being done this gentleman invited us in and showed us proudly around. He was quite disappointed I wasn’t seeing it with all it needlework which was being stored due to the dust of construction activities.  

  
I just marvel at all the stained glass windows I’ve seen. They are like beautiful jewels with the sun shining through them and so detailed. 

  
This pulpit dates from 1601, the Elizabethan period.  

 
There was an older stone one dating from the 14th century shaped like a chalice.  

 Looking up was beautiful as was looking down.  

 That alter has an inscription from its donation in 1638 and probably was old then. The carved figures above relate to the crucifixion, the Virgin Mary, and St John along with the four patron saints of the UK: St.s George, Andrew, Patrick, and David (St. David is the Welsh one. Every first of March is St David’s Day or Dydd Dewi Sant).  

   
I am always surprised to see people living so long in the past.  

 Now for the fun stuff. I had this parsons nose pointed out to me. Obviously someone didn’t like the parson

  
The chairs were my favorite. This chair company started from very humble beginnings when they were poor as church mice. So on every chair they carved a little mouse. 

  
How fun is that?

Tac Store

A friend of my cousin’s, Carol, has this lovely tack store in Nantwich. 

Upstairs was all blankets or rugs as they call them  I loved this one with the horses on it. 

 I noticed the jumpers that day I went to the jumping show with this kind of pad under there jumping saddles. 

 
And these I’ve never seen before coming to England. A person puts this kind of blanket on when you are warming up your horse. Kind of a back of the horse 1/2 blanket. It velcroes together in front of the rider and then wraps around them and sits on the rump of the horse. 

 
  Not too often I see a bit I’ve never seen before but this one was a new one on me.  Kind of like a chain bit but with balls. Weird. 
  
I noticed the jumping horses have these on their heels and realized they screw them into their shoes when I saw this set. Lots of these there. 

 
I thought these boots were interesting cause they had places on the sides to keep the spur straps from riding up.   

I was surprised at all the colors of breaches. 

   

 
 
  
So I didn’t see saddles but they had tons of other stuff, all English type things including feed and we had a lovely visit as well. I love tack stores. 

Flowers

They were selling flowers on the street downtown to day. 

  
And the planters in front of the stores are full and blooming. It was a sunny day finally and they looked so bright and cheerful. 

  
  
I keep going in this one store and looking at this little pink coat in my size. Isn’t it the cutest. 

Today I was dreaming of my cowboy meeting me at the airport when I come home and me looking all cosmopolitan and spiffy dressed. The truth is after 9 hours on a plane I would probably look tired and messy from sleeping in my clothes anyway. But hey, a girl can dream. 

The Horse Yard

After church today we stopped round the horse yard.  

  If you look in the far distance in this picture you will see the tower of the cemetery I went to the other day. 

Each person has a grass paddock and a stall. They move their horses out of the stall to the paddock every morning and back to the stall each evening. Each person does all their own chores including picking manure in their paddocks. 

  
That’s Indie watching my cousin pick out her paddock. 

  
The tools he uses to do that. 

  
I was thinking I’ve never seen a half post nor rails split like this and wood isn’t my first choice because of the cribbing issues some horses have. 

  
This structure really interested me. It is part of a legal footpath that the public can use to walk right through the paddocks. This area has tons of public walking paths. Not sure I would want someone wandering through a paddock my horse was in but at the same time I would welcome the opportunity to walk in the country myself. 

  
I liked how some of the stalls were set up looking into a riding arena. No indoor arena here. And there was more than one arena. One had some rather curious footing that my cousin said was recycled carpet. It looked like shaving sized pieces of rubber carpet backing to me. 

   
The stalls were nice and they don’t use shavings rather wood pellets over rubber mats.  
As you can see it was rather wet and muddy and if you look closer at the last stucture you will see the outdoor hose and someone washing off their horses legs before they put them in the stalls for the night.  Although it rains a good deal they obviously don’t have to deal with the frigid temperatures we do in Canada. 

It’s alway interesting to me to see how other people do things. The folks there would probably be shocked to see how we mange our horses on the Canadian prairie. We always tried to leave then as close to natural as we could but not everyone has that luxury.   

Singing in the Rain

I actually sang this song this morning on my walk to town under an English umbrella. My dancing wasn’t near as cute. 

Click: Singing in the Rain
  

Books

I can stand almost anything if I have books, ever my friends, helping me feel better and do better. 

 They are as close to real magic as I can find. Transporting is in time and place and even allowing us to be someone else while we emerse our selves in other worlds  

 Fascinating portals, libraries are. 

Flying

I’m wondering if this doesn’t describe me. Thought I was doing so well as a caterpillar but I’m almost feeling like I have wings now. It has been a grande once in a lifetime experience this flying over the ocean. 
 

A Rainy Day in the UK

It is a familiar story here, rain, that is. But today my cousin took me to a place that has, I think it was, 7 buildings full of  antique for sale. Lots of pretty things but I find I’m not so much into stuff anymore. My cousin found a very comfortable wooden captain’s chair he would like to replace his uncomfortable desk chair with. 

But the real highlight was a trip to one of his favorite places. He has many fond memories in this cemetery of dog walking and teaching his niece to read and do numbers from inscriptions on the headstones and playing with her in the fall leaves. His mom and dad are buried just behind this structure which was a whole church at one time. 

  
 
  
So many clocks on towers here.  

 
This was the backside of the tower

  It was an old and rather wild place
  
They run sheep in it to keep down the grass, thus the gate.  

   
 
Some of the stones were quite remarkable and looked like the people buried there had long and very interesting lives. 

  
It was next to this field where a lady was walking a husky type dog and not far from the horse yard where my cousin does horse chores for his niece once a week. 

Then we had super at one of my favorite places to eat. 

   All in all it was a nice way to spend a rainy day.

Learning Latvian

If nothing else, I should be able to count to ten. I have so much time on my hands (and numbers now) that I felt like I might do something to improve my time. Although I’m in England I already know English lol so, since I thought the Latvian language was quite pretty and loved Latvia so much I thought I’d try that. Who knows, maybe I’ll get the chance to go back. It would be so nice to see it in the spring. Although I liked it even in the dead of winter. 

  
The one on the left is the correct spelling. The one on the right is a reminder to me of how the word sounds. I only have the Internet to learn from but it’s a start. It’s not the same as actually seeing someone say the words but it’s all I have for now. I wish I could find a Latvian here in Crewe to talk to. 

  

  I’m having fun anyway. It’s good to keep my mind busy. 
Vīsu labu! 

Photography

tonight I went with my cousin (who is a very good photographer) to a phtography competition at Keele University about 1/2 hour away. 

  
I thought maybe I shouldn’t take photos of the photos but I took one of people looking at the photos. Lots of discussion and networking going on. I picked out 5 favorites and my cousin’s was one of them, an awesome horse jumping photo. 

 
They served wine and orange juice and water. And gave prize money for first second and third. Top prize money I think was £300 ($600) which is nothing to sneeze at. It all felt familiar like when I studied art at University close to 40 years ago.

A fun evening.