Friday, 17 July 2009

Birds and Saints

So you thought you'd got rid of me? What can I say! I enjoy telling you what we're up to. It's so nice to share.
Yesterday we continued making the most of our freedom to play in the great outdoors with a trip out to the Norfolk Broads. I must admit we avoided the pleasure cruisers, chip shops and coach parks and headed instead for Hickling Nature Reserve.
The hides are beautiful, roofed in traditional reed thatch made from the reeds which grow throughout the reserve and which are home to the very rare Bittern. And we saw one! The beautiful boy and I saw a Bittern! Hubby missed it; still a very sore point! He was looking the other way watching a family group of 5 Marsh Harriers putting on a beautiful display, but for a moment I glanced the other way and there it was; a beautiful reddish brown form gliding low across the top of the reeds. The boy was lightening quick to follow my hiss of 'over there' and I was so pleased he saw it too. A good one for his Nature Notes. It would have been a parent bird fetching feed for it's young. We saw a Bittern! Yippee!
Of course no trip to the broads would be complete without a bit of messing about on the water
the boy was quickly at home enjoying the new opportunities to spot Grey Heron up close and see the acrobatics of pretty little Common Terns, symbol of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust.
And then I had my second double take of the day, I glanced around and who do you think had taken control of the boat?! He had quickly realised that befriending the Reserve staff would be a clever idea and his plan paid off. He was delighted to navigate our way back from our trip.
Eventually the time came to return across Norfolk from East to our home in the West. We stopped at a delightful tea room in Ludham and took time to look around their astonishingly beautiful church.
Their 8 sided font is particularly special for the carvings of Woodwose - more popularly known as 'The Green Man'. I wrote a study of these whilst at art school and have a huge fondness for the pagan character who appears so often in places of Christian worship. It amuses me to think of the craftsmen adding their pagan symbols whilst being paid by the Bishop. It also impresses me that the church of the 15th Century was such a pragmatic institution as to allow these symbols to blend with their own.
This lady Woodwose is especially rare - I have never seen one before. I loved the texture of her hair and garments.
Also in this treasure laden church is an impressively conserved Rood Screen. To be able to stand up close and touch a piece of carved artwork, so beautiful and delicate, knowing it was made by a great craftsman over 500 years ago, well, I find it takes my breath away. In places you can even see the vandalism of scratch marks made to remove Catholic symbols during the Restoration.
This affable chap in his Ermine robes is St. Edmund, King of East Anglia and renowned holy relic!
And here is Edward the Confessor with his miraculous ring. How different a place might England be if he had ever had a son? Do you think he looks worried?
We were rained off our outings today.. the house is easing into it's holiday cloak of lego construction....everywhere! Walking is becoming more dangerous by the day...
The kitschen is also under siege.... but I have a rule never to clear away creative endeavours simply to be able to eat at table... We would de-camp to the dining room but hubby has commandeered the table in there with piles of dull paperwork so I keep the door closed!
So now some me time! My man and boy spent much of today in their work shed playing with wood and .... well, doing whatever it is they do in there... so I followed their lead and took to my workroom too.
I so enjoyed working on my new header and buttons for here and there. The final designs were worked in a way which is fast to piece and fun to stitch.
and I have applied this approach to my new work. Here is the first owl I have completed without help from the boy. I caught a quick picture whilst she was perched upon the barmy shelf! She seems very at home there!
and then I started work on another one. I am about to start hand embroidery on this one and I am loving those little crochet eyes...
I received an out of the blue bundle of buttony fabric goodness from Sandie over at Sandie's Patch which included lots of these little blue crochet flowers. Such a kind thought and so much to play with in one parcel! Thank-you Sandie. You are very kind to have thought of me!
Hope you are all getting into the holiday mood now the main schools are finally out! And the weather can only get better..... :-)


Anonymous said...

Nice pics of your outing! And I used to LOVE legos... I recall very vividly blanketing the floor with my building projects. Ah, memories.

Menopausal musing said...

"Eat on your knees!" (That was my rule when my Beautiful Boy was a little one). You have years ahead of you to eat at a table when Lego pales into insignificance. :O)x

Faded Splendour said...

Wow you are on one of our favorite Norfolk/Suffolk treasure hunts....rood screens!! What a great day out.. We love the one at Ranworth Church...beautiful..even a hidden recently found Ranworth painted rose hidden behind the screen! Then a quick a climb to the top of the tower...brilliant!!

See u next week C&Txx

Laura said...

What a great post! Your writing and pictures reminded me of two favorite children's books: Coot Club by Arthur Ransome and The Children of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston.

Love glimpse of the creative work, too!

Kat S. said...

So interesting to read about your life and adventures. Love the pics too. Thanks for sharing.

beck said...

What a delicious post! Love all your buttons and the bright new look of your blog. I haven't popped by to see you for a while and it's nice to be back. Enjoyed all the historical info and loved having a peek inside your lovely home, xox

ana said...

I am always happy when I read your posts! your son is a doll! and I, being orginally from "New England, Providence, Rhode Island area have a warm special place for the English culture, you make my day !
love the new look ! Thanks for sharing such wonderful memories!

(in Highlands Ranch, Colorado-USA)

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

I haven't read anything yet (this time) but will be back. Have just been so cheered by the lovely colours of your blog, starting with the banner and background and then the lovely pictorial content. Bye for now. Lesley

KC'sCourt! said...

You are having my idea of Fun Time. I wish I could join you
Julie xxx

Bumble Bee Cottage said...

What a lovely start to the school holidays; I think we will have to do something similar with our trio. It does them so much good to have an appreciation of nature and the world around them. Your owls are fab, I especially like the use of the vintage chenille fabric.

The Curious Cat said...

I love the Norfolk Broads - went there last March on a boat trip like you! Interesting about the greenman - he keeps popping up in my life but I really don't know much about him...

pinkfairygran said...

Agree about Ludham church... many years ago we looked at buying a house across the road from it, one of the four storey ones. I absolutely loved it with all its little nooks and crannies, a kitchen in the basement and a loft room perfect for husbands model railway, and all the rooms in between. Still wished we had bought it.... ah well, if wishes were horses and all that.

Mummy Boo Bear said...

Loved your post, and it certainly seems you are having so much fun! Love the info about the greenman, I knew a bit a about him that he was a pagan symbol.

Loving you holiday look in your house. When Lala finally finishes school (next friday cant come too soon) I am sure we will have such a look too!

Loving those owls how cute are they.


Anonymous said...

That's a fantastic boat for messing about on the water. Looks like the perfect day out to me. I like the links to the History facts, I think I will have to try and get the hang of putting a few links on my blog.

Pomona said...

I have had some very happy times in Norfolk - you make me want to go back again!

Pomona x

Shabby Chick said...

Love the new look blog!

Lego is so treacherous, I absolutely dread treading on that or sticklebricks.

The owls are very cute :)

mel xxx

lottie said...

Gorgeous as always, thanks for sharing your outing.

Your work is stunning - glad Sandie is now following you - she's a lovely lady and very talented.

My sons used to commandeer the house too, when they were tiny. And I loved it, and totally agree, you can't 'wreck' their creations can you.

The time soon comes when they are grown, and you really miss the lego littered rooms, smelly trainers in the porch, and laughter and chatter of their friends in the house and garden. But then come the grandchildren - and it starts all over again - bliss

Penny said...

It's lovely to read about my home county from a different perspective, it gives me lots of ideas for things to do. Enjoy the beautiful boy and the lego, it goes so fast. Thanks for a lovely read.

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