Tuesday, 17 September 2013

A September Septet

Often I post a blog of odds and ends when I've worked my way through all those in the pipeline and seen what has been missed out because it doesn't really fit into one post or another or just missed by accident. Today I still have a good many blogs to come but it feels a good time for the odds and ends blog now. It is seven little bloggets so to speak, some are very small, some perhaps should be two and to be honest, not all are from September. But before I start, here's a sunrise. Not things I see very often in Summer. Not that I'm a late riser but by the time I've had a cup of tea or two the sun is usually high in the sky. This was taken while I was camping, when the slightest hint of the day streams through the canvas and morning tea is taken in the wild open spaces.

Jester in Stratford upon Avon

How did I miss this fellow out when I was covering my wanders around Stratford. It is the Jester by James Butler and was unveiled in 1994. It has jester related quotes from Shakespear on the four sides of the plinth, like this one from As You Like It,

"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool"

Lady Godiva

Legend has it that Lady Godiva was the wife of an 11th century nobleman who imposed harsh taxes on the local people. Lady Godiva begged him not to and he said that he would lift the taxes if she rode through Coventry naked. She did so on the grounds that all the townsfolk would stay indoors and not look. The only person that looked was Peeping Tom who was struck blind for his trouble. Lady Godiva's husband kept his word and lifted the taxes.

To remind them of the event, the fine people of Coventry have this fine statue to look upon, made in 1949 by Sir William Reid Dick. She seems to have been decorated with some blue plastic ribbons today.

Vintage Cars in Kirkcudbright

Here we are briefly back in August with a display of vintage cars in the Harbour Square in Kirkcudbright. This year there were more than ever (it happens annually at the same time as the duck race - no race coverage this year I'm afraid) and they spilled onto the grassy mound at the harbour. I had to change camera memory cards that day and the bulk of my pictures are there currently about 400 miles away from me on the old card, but these ones are from near the end of the day. In an effort at continuity with Lady Godiva, this car is a Lea-Francis who made cars in Coventry

If I'd had access to my other pictures, I could have confirmed this but I'm pretty sure that this is a 3 wheeled Morgan making it's way home.

This  old Rover seems to have been left all on it's own.

Antiquities at Lacock Abbey

Mr William Henry Fox Talbot, lived in the 19th century at Lacock Abbey but more of that at a later date. In a small museum there, there are a small number of ancient artifacts that may have been collected by WHFT on his travels - the labeling doesn't make it clear and two of the objects at least seem now to be owned by the British Library. They are great example of hyroglyphics which he taught himself to read. This is an Egyptian Funerary Tablet, perhaps from Abydos, in the 18th dynasty (around 1570 - 1293 BC)

According to the label, also from the 18th dynasty but this time dated from 2040-1782 BC.  This is what wikipedia has to say about the 18th dynasty - somebody is wrong about the dates (I suspect the label)

Nothing wrong about the information I present for this stone as I have none.

If not quite bang up to date, this bowl from Greece is much more recent, dating from the 6th century BC.

An Iron Owl

Spotted on a doorstep in Lacock.

Spiffing Topiary

When you pass the time wandering around stately homes and castle gardens you see bushes trimmed into all sorts of shape. I caught a glimpse of this over a wall which may be the neatest I've ever seen.

On further investigation it was even more impressive.

This may be the shapeliest piece of topiary I've seen.

Tealing Earthhouse and Dovecot

Just north of Dundee is the village of Tealing. The Megabus behind me on the main road seemed rather put out by the fact that I wasn't prepared to attempt to 90 degree turn onto the Tealing road at 70 mph but settled for an angry toot of the horn rather than driving over the top of me. Tealing is doing rather well for a village it's size for it has two Historic Scotland properties. The one below it the Tealing Dovecot. You may rmember that a few weeks ago I saw in side the dovecot at Crossragual Abbey, and now, never having been inside one before only a month ago, I get a look inside another.

In the middle ages, the keeping of doves and pigeons was encouraged by an act of Parliament, which meant that many such buildings were built up and down the country. This one was built in 1595 by Sir David Maxwell of Tealing. By the 17th century, pigeons were becoming far to numerous and something of a pest, so their numbers had to be restricted.

From the edge of the field, the Tealing Earth house doesn't look like anything much. By the time you reach the enclosure you start to see a curve ditch bricked up at the sides with dry stone walling.

It was discovered in 1871 and much pottery and Romans glass fragments were excavated from it as well as some bronze rings. It has been dated to the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. It would have been roofed and used as cellar space rather than anyone actually living down here. The associated dwelling would have been a round hut which would have fitted into the curve of the cellar and an access would have been available from the hut. 

This diagram from the information board gives a good idea of the hut and cellar arrangments.

Built into the wall by the entrance is this very clear cup and ring marking. Cup and ring markings predate the cellar by thousands of years and it would seem likely that the builders have used a stone that already had the marking on it in their construction. Perhaps they used the stone because it had the marking on it.

There ends my little septumverate of bloglettes. Starting with a sunrise, it seems sensible to end on a sunset. This one over the Dee estuary at Kirkcudbright. When the tide's out, it's just a sea of mud and the river seems very insignificant as it sneeks down a small channel in the mud. Still, a sunset can make all sorts of things look nice.


Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Wait! All it takes to eliminate taxes is to get a naked woman to ride a horse through town? That shouldn't be hard to do these days. I like those cars.

Lyn said...

Lovely post......love the topiary!

The Glebe Blog said...

Bloglette or Blogette. Wiktionary go with blogette, it's a nice word but my spell checker wants to change it to Georgette.
I see those bored shepherds have been busy again (who was it that told me that)
The shapely topiary, I think I might have once known the model. Reminds me of the trimmings at Mount Stewart over the North Channel.
Interesting items Sandy.

Shundo said...

Well I had a lot of catching up to do there Sandy, but am glad I have managed it. I hope we are going to get your version of the connection between Lacock, Fox Talbot and photography in a later post - http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/1997.382.1
I think I will need to write you a good long email about the various correspondences between your recent outings and some of my adventures back home.

Sandy's witterings said...

Good point John. My letter to the prime minister is sent, all I need is a young lady to help me with my tax cuts.

Thank you Lyn.

Jim, A small investigation suggests that shepherds could easily be responsible as they certainly seem to have had sheep then. And without government paperwork or the distraction of the internet, the production of cup and ring markings would have filled the odd hour quite nicely.


Shundo, Did we nearly pass each other after all? Mr FT is indeed due a visit as is so much. I'm amazed at what a chap can see in a three day tour as well as drinking tea with friends and the odd beer. Much to come here but mostly when I get to a decent internet connection.

Michael (Light-In-A-Box) said...

Sandy, a nice collection of photos. It seems everywhere you go there is a statue around every corner, but around here every corner is a Starbucks coffee shop!
Gotta love those old cars, nice! : )

Zia Wolf-Sun said...

Wow! Fantastic collection of photos! Beautiful sunset and I love the vintage cars...now as to Lady Godiva...lol...I think maybe I should try that!! :)

Pam said...

As future generations examine our culture as we ponder those of ancient Greece and Egypt, I wonder what they'll make of the iron owl?

Sandy's witterings said...

Michael, we have as many Starbucks as we do statues - they do good Earl Gray but just get photographed less.

Zia, Sunsets, vintage cars and Lady G - you could just combine the 3 and drive off into the sunset au natural.

Pam, I should imagine that future millennia think we have some owl cult going on. Though with some of the other objects they're likely to dig up, I can see a bit of future head scratching. Actually, sometimes I see a bit of present head scratching.

Rustic Vintage Country said...

Yes, this is a lovely post with some amazing photos!

Reifyn said...

My you do get around a bit! I really appreciate the time and care you put into your blog posts and pictures—I've just discovered it and will be back to see what you've got in future for sure. I spent 10 years travelling once and wish I still could. And by the way, just a bit of info on the post above this one (the armour): horse armour is called "barding": not something you hear every day, and nothing whatsoever to do with bards! (At least I don't think so...) Cheers, Reifyn

Sandy's witterings said...

Thank you Reifyn, for your kind words and information on horse armour - sometimes as much information turns up in the comments as it does in the blog itself.
Indeed they do take a while to write - thus the lack of any for a week or two - I'm at work where we have a terrible internet connection which is hardly up to looking at other peoples blogs let alone writing one (plus the fact i have work to do).

Sandy's witterings said...

Tres bon Reifyn, Miss Varo, Hieronymus, yourself et al. I do like illuminated text. No link or commentability, but keep it up and I pop in from time to time.