Last time I was here, I was whinging about having a Very Significant Birthday.
Actually, I had a ball. I made it last from the week before my birthday until about four weeks after. Lots of little parties – afternoon tea, lunch, drinks, and of course the big family lunch party. (And look at my cake! This is just so awesome. My friend is an amazing sugar artist and these irises are so delicate.) (Cough – we all know I go by two names. Kate’s work. Pam’s family.)
My nearest and dearest contributed money towards my birthday present – a new camera.
And I was utterly thrilled at the definition I could get of the moon. (This is a hand-held shot. On my old camera, it would’ve been a blob with fuzzy edges. Notice the craters.)
And y’know you have to test these things out. (It’ll be put through its paces at a gig this weekend, when I go to see Muse, and I am SO EXCITED about that. But that’s another story.)
Now, one of my passions (yes, apart from cake and the gym and music and dancing) is history. I live in a part of the world where there are nearly a thousand medieval churches (some in ruins, but most still working). And if it’s a nice afternoon at the weekend, my DH and I sometimes sneak off to do some church-crawling – basically looking at the architecture. Sometimes it’s glass, sometimes it’s brasses, sometimes it’s incredible carved bench ends, and sometimes it’s something very obscure indeed…
So here are some shots from our last trip.
This is a carved bench end of an elephant and castle from Thurgarton church. The definition is amazing.
And a brass from Thwaite – roughly dated 1472.
At Heydon, there’s something really unusual – a bit of a crusader shield. It’s painted with the cross of St George – and apparently it was actually used during the Crusades. (This was a bit blurry because I was experimenting!)
But for me some of the most poignant things were at Sheringham. There are several 15th-century carved bench ends; one commemorates the legend of a mermaid who was apparently thrown out of a service by the vicar as someone who shouldn’t be in the church (which is half a mile away from the sea, up a hill – our poor mermaid must have suffered getting there!). (And anyone who’s read my ‘Crown Prince, Pregnant Bride’ – this is what sparked the mermaid window.)
Then there’s a cat carrying one of her kittens.
And the Chrysom child – a baby wrapped in swaddling bands (specifically for baptism). I found this really moving.
And there’s a lovely brass, too – I adore the kennel headdress!
Do you come from an area with such rich architectural heritage? Where’s your favourite place?