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Month: July 2017

More Misericords

More Misericords

The strangest things turn up in church carvings sometimes. Why is this naked woman riding a deer? That looks more like some pagan fertility rite than a christian symbol. But then the same set of misericords also has a mermaid combing her hair… … dragons… … a camel carved by someone who had never seen a camel… … domestic violence… … and this one. Goodness knows what is going on here. Why are that woman’s legs so small that they…

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Shakespeareville

Shakespeareville

Here we are in Shakespeare’s Stratford-Upon-Avon, the Shakespeare capital of Warwickshire, and supplier of Shakespeare to the World. Just as Lichfield is proud of Dr Johnson and Walsall is proud of Jerome K Jerome, Stratford is ecstatic over being the home of Shakespeare. Do I need to point out that all three of these writers got the hell out of the Midlands as soon as they could and headed for London where people would appreciate them? Shakespeare at least returned…

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Drunken Bidford

Drunken Bidford

The river is getting narrower and there is more current against us. The locks have strangely extravagant follies attached to them, like a lighthouse with no light… … and a bridge with no way to get across it. The Upper Avon Navigation Trust were a strange bunch. A: What does this lock need? How about ground paddles to make using it safer? B: No, let’s put up a lighthouse, so people can find it in the dark. A: But nobody…

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Horny Moses

Horny Moses

I already posted a picture of Paula and the cows at Chadbury Lock on Facebook, but here’s a couple more to start with. Poppy left us this morning at Pershore, and we picked up Nick and Margaret in Evesham. They used to have some whalebones in the park in Evesham, and now they have a statue of a whale and gates shaped like whales. By now you are probably sick and tired of hearing about abbeys, so I’m going to…

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Up The Avon

Up The Avon

Our regular readers (all two dozen of you, and very much appreciated you are) will know that there is more than one River Avon, but this is the Stratford-Upon-Avon one rather than the Kennet and Avon one, or any of the others. This one runs into the Severn at Tewkesbury while the southern one into the Bristol Channel at Avonmouth, because some people have no imagination. The views of the countryside are much better from the Avon than the Severn,…

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Just When You Thought I Was Done With The Wars Of The Roses

Just When You Thought I Was Done With The Wars Of The Roses

Tewkesbury is notable for two things, Tewkesbury Abbey, and the Battle of Tewkesbury, which ended in the abbey when the Lancastrian nobles who had claimed sanctuary there were dragged out and executed. The Battle of Tewkesbury was when Edward IV.2 in the white corner stole the crown back from Henry VI (Part 3) in the red corner, who had stolen it from Edward IV.1. Henry VI (Part 3) was a prisoner in the Tower of London at the time, so…

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King John Was Not A Good Man

King John Was Not A Good Man

We took on a new crew member today, our friend Poppy, who we know from the Bahamas. We took a walk with her past Greyfriars, which unfortunately was not open today, and then into the Cathedral. This contains the tomb of King John, who you may remember was a monarch of limited moral compass. John is mostly famous for being evil and signing the Magna Carta, the foundation of constitutional government and human rights. Of course, he immediately renounced it…

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The Importance of Bowling Alleys

The Importance of Bowling Alleys

There’a a stall in the market with owls you can pet. They are just as insane as the swans, but more lethargic because they work the night shift. Worcester as a city has not done well at preserving its past. In fact the best preserved old buildings are there mostly because they were on the same street as the city jail for two hundred years, so nobody thought it was worth building something new there. Yesterday I suggested that a…

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Onto the Severn

Onto the Severn

After a week at my brother’s we are on the move again, heading down the River Severn. The Severn was named after the Goddess Sabrina, or perhaps it is the other way round, it’s hard to tell with deities. You may notice that they don’t actually have the same name any more. You can imagine the scene in the Sabrina household. River Sabrina: Mum? Goddess Sabrina: What is it darling? And will you please stop flooding all over my kitchen…

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Black Country

Black Country

In frustration at irregular verbs, I once asked my French teacher if there was any language in which the verb to be was regular. “Yes,” he replied, “Pleck.” Pleck is a working class neighborhood in Walsall. “I’m, you’m, he’m, we’m you’m, they’m.” I got to hear to old familiar conjugation again yesterday, when we visited the Black Country Living Museum. The museum is a collection of buildings from all over the Black Country, reassembled brick by brick, to preserve the…

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