Yesterday began with being towed backwards across Wiltshire. Then some intensive looking.
Best seen across a vacant lot:
The fullness required many hours, which we were unable to give.
There was something appropriate about the power socket handy for St. Barbara. In case her father needed it?
Finding Dewi Sant was like meeting an old friend…
It was a mistake to take an audio book. The tunnels must be the noisiest on the network: growl, roar, whistle and rattle in one excruciating go.
And there we were again: being towed backwards across Wiltshire.
It isn’t a word really. But a scrubulous weekend is what I had.
I returned to muggy days and sea mists
and scrubbed ten windows, three double sets of glass doors, and a conservatory. Both sides.
The seagulls were eyeing up the gleaming panes, sniggering to themselves. So it seemed a good idea to get in first.
I was a bit surprised by these lacy ones.
Now I am back in the attic nest with a lot of books about icons.
Being underslept, I had difficulty keeping a focus on the official business of the day.
It was distractingly easy to consider munchy ginger fudge, since they keep the fudge shop so handy to the cathedral. I leave it to each reader to decide on the wisdom of this policy. At lunch time thought became action.
A pamphlet: less obviously enticing. I was nonetheless tempted by this distraction, and was only prevented from some old-fashioned reading under the desk by the very small class size and my corresponding visibility.
Part of the day was spent contemplating hand sewing fine hems of muslin. Later I congratulated myself on the prescience which had caused me to pack pins.
… till May be out. So I took my jacket and woolly hat … (Click a thumbnail for gallery)
Well, the may was out, and very benign too,
though there is always something dispiriting about alighting here.
In a fine tradition of inspecting station roofs. I don’t think this is a sparrow’s, though.
Still not wearing a coat. In fact,
I removed my jumper.
Aaaah. I’m not sure why it made me so happy
to find essays on Bede in the 7 day loans category,
and Gregory of Tours,
and Notker the Stammerer. I’d like to think they know.
We walked, basking, through the barracks gardens,
and went on a long leg of domestic inspection.
I got out of the train into a time warp. I didn’t need a coat there either.
This was a curious thing to find in the sitting room:
Our unfortunate local spy did not visit this location (so far as anyone knows) and the cordon stops short at the front door. I was thus able to proceed librarily towards the station.
Salisbury Museum is small but dense; I find something new on every visit. This is the head of a 9th century aestel (reading pointer), and it shines.
The cathedral has glassed in and glassed out various small and large cavities in its structure. One of them is big enough for the refectory; this morsel of space is by the loos.
It is about life size. I failed to find a label, and my iconography is not good enough to pick up the hints. Chalices and books, anyone? Glass and anonymity isolated the figure like an anchorite walled up alive.
A nostalgia piece really, or an introductory text for those of us who weren’t there for steam trains or WWII. The details are interesting, though excessive use of the words ‘hero’ and ‘heroic’ is always to be reprehended; in a properly narrated story, the reader will be quite aware of courage without having to be told, and there was a lot of it about at the time.
Then there are the three Judiths. Biblical Judith is pink and there is a lot more of her; Middle English Metrical Judith is yellow, and is both selective and inventive; and Old English Judith is green, and unfortunately missing her first section, so we are not exactly comparing like with like. The point is to clarify what was left out, what was included, and what was made up as additional story elements in the re-tellings. Hmmm.
(although rather slowly) across Salisbury to the station, where a choice presented itself: wait perishing on the platform, or sit in the waiting room, which smelled of … well … railway waiting room.
With feet placed in the sunshine, outside was tolerable, until a train came and paused for fifteen minutes with its engine roaring. How many decibels? Too many in a semi-confined space. Here it is seen through the iron cage
some of which rose to involve itself in other parts of the ironwork. The pillars ranged away down the platform.
My countrypeople will be mildly surprised to hear that our trains ran to schedule and, when we arrived, lunch proceeded with little delay. The view was ugly except for the magisterial march of showers along the sky.
A little more nest building, and back to the station, where our trains were once more on time. And legging it (rather slowly) across Salisbury, up the hill and into the nest.
Returning from the home patch to find a peculiar and unsettling incident going on in Salisbury, of all unlikely places. Apart from the usual sticky-beaks, most people are going about their business, though at times with rather raised eyebrows, as indeed I am doing myself.
Nest building continues. I love charity shops.
Meantime I am reading the story of Judith in the Middle English Metrical Paraphrase of the Old Testament. Spelling Nebuchadnezzar as ‘Nabogodhonosour’ is genius. And ‘pupplysch’ is an excellent word. And it was written by a proto-feminist, which can’t necessarily be said of the biblical source:
Thei say, “We wott we have yt wun
with wyll of God and wyt of thee.”
Enough to think about for now.
lxxiv : Wear your dressing gown back to front
It’s surprisingly efficient when sitting up in bed to read in the cold cold small very small hours.