"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Happy Christmas


Happy Christmas everyone

I hope everyone has a lovely day although I know for most of us it will be a different kind of Christmas Day.

Sunday, 20 December 2020

Recent Reading, Christmassy Things and a Brief Drive out to the countryside.


Recent Reading

I bought King of Dust direct from the author and also treated myself to Gargoyles and Grotesques (a Shire book by the same author). A really interesting read with some super photos including some from churches we have visited.  I also have a book written by Alex Woodcock on Exeter Cathedral which I will read in the New Year.

I love the Wesley Peterson series and this book was, as usual, hard to put down.

Getting Ready for Christmas

I decided to knit Timothy a Christmas Jumper and Scarf.  

I feel very guilty that these days the Christmas Tree Fairy has been replaced on top of the Christmas Tree by a Father Christmas so I always display her on the fireplace.  I bought her from Boots when D was a toddler and she was quite expensive or so it seemed to me as we didn't have a lot of money those days with me not working.

I found a florists in Coleshill who would take orders for holly front door wreaths online and then deliver.  The second wreath is called Winter Wonderland and I am going to put that on the inside of the front door.  It looks as though I will be able to keep and re-use in future years.

The Ring Necked Parakeets are back!  This one was spotted in next door's garden. Sorry not the best of photos taken through a window at distance!  (Remaining photos all taken by D).

In the good old days when D used to get press night theatre tickets we twice went to the Hippodrome to watch the Birmingham Royal Ballet perform "The Nutcracker".  One of the most magical experiences of my life.  Of course this year, being in Tier 3, there are no theatres open but Birmingham Rep who planned to have performances of "The Nutcracker" this year by the same ballet company did decide to do a live performance on one night which was shown online.  One of my birthday presents from D was a ticket for this so we watched on Friday evening and yet again it was a magical show to watch.

Last weekend D and E ordered and prepared a Festive Afternoon Tea Box from Morrisons which was another nice treat.

Yesterday I took D out to take some photos for his day job and we drove back through the countryside visiting some of our local villages.

Hampton in Arden including an angel outside St Mary and St Bartholomew's church.

Driving past a golf club located between Maxstoke and Coleshill we spotted a flock of deer. They have ear tags so I assume they are not a wild flock.

Christmas Tree in the churchyard of Coleshill Parish Church and a lovely sunset.

I hope everyone is staying safe and well.

Thursday, 10 December 2020

Berkswell and St John the Baptist Church


As mentioned in the last post we went a short walk round the local village of Berkswell last weekend.  It is only a small village with a few half timbered old cottages, stocks, a village green and pump, and my favourite pub "The Bear" and one of my favourite churches. I didn't take any photos of the Green this time as it was full of people. I suspect people had driven to the village to meet up and chat with friends. Certainly the car park was full and two ladies were sat on picnic chairs drinking from a flask!  It was  sad to see the little general store and post office seemed to have closed down. The museum in the village closed a few years ago sadly.

The 16th century Bear Inn. In a normal year we would have been going for a meal this week as it was my birthday on Tuesday but being in Tier 3 pubs are closed at present. To be honest even if it had been open I wouldn't have fancied going for a meal at the present time. 

The Well House (17th century) once the Old Rectory. 

Bercul's Well which may been used for early Christian immersion baptisms. It is a 4.9 metre square stone basin and was restored in 1851.

We found a few mistletoe berries which seemed to be growing on a holly hedge. Must admit I had not realised Holly was a host plant of mistletoe.

It was much quieter in the churchyard. Apart from one man taking photos at the entrance there was no-one else about.  Easier to take pictures if no-one around as every time I stopped in village I would turn to see someone marching straight in my direction and the pavements are narrow! I was constantly crossing the road to avoid people as so many just don't seem to understand what "social distancing" means 😬

St John the Baptist according to Pevsner "is easily the most interesting Norman village church in Warwickshire" and it also features in Simon Jenkins' 1000 Best churches book.  It is a church that is always open but at the moment the door looked well and truly locked and there was no sign of the usual "Church is Open" sign.

The Gothic War Memorial by Sir Charles Nicholson was built in 1921.

The churchyard cross dated 1850 is on a medieval base of 6 steps.

Part of the corbel table

There is usually a Pied Wagtail on the church roof.

I always pause to look at some of the graffiti carved on the tower walls.

I did search for snowdrops but no sign yet of any leaves emerging. It is a good churchyard for birds. I've seen Green Woodpeckers here, a family of Spotted Flycatchers and one winter my first Hawfinch.

I will try and go back late January to check again for Snowdrops.

For my birthday D cooked at the weekend our favourite Pizza express pizza (Veneziana with a tomato base and pine nuts, red onion, capers, black olives, sultanas and mozarella) with polenta chips. Then on my birthday B made a Toffee and Pecan Meringue Roulade.

I'll share a few photos D took in the next post as I haven't uploaded them from the camera card yet.  So photos above all by me taken with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera.

I hope everyone is staying safe and well.