Canterbury January 2016 – The Cathedral

Saturday found us in Canterbury on a lovely, clear day. The Boy had never been to the cathedral, so we popped in to have a look. You can find lots and lots of amazing snaps online, so here are just a few things that caught my eye.

I’ve always loved this figure of Christ on the gatehouse to the cathedral precinct.

I’m not sure what these creatures are on one of the cathedral doorways, but I like them.

This candle burns on the spot where St Thomas a Becket’s shrine was, until it was destroyed on the orders of Henry VIII., who also ‘unsainted’ him for good measure.

I was rather taken by the altar front…

…and restored painting.

Intrigued by this weekly service...

…and left wondering how many memorials record death by ‘an assassin’?

Bewl Water

It was lovely to have to chance to go for a walk with my Pa around (a bit) of Bewl Water on Monday morning.

The reservoir was completed in 1975, and is a lovely spot, although created at a great cost to the people who were moved, and their farms flooded.

We used to go there for walks quite a lot when we were kids…

…and it was quite lovely to spend time there, with my Pa (and Desmond the hound) once more.

Knitted Friend

Those of you who know my Ma, will understand why I bought her this little parrot (amongst other things) for her birthday. He looks very much at home here.

A Romantic Moment

Who lives in a house like this? The curator of Bayham Abbey.

Thanks to good old Henry VIII wanting a divorce, only the abbey ruins are left.

The site is incredibly peaceful – which is amazing given that it’s on the Kent-East Sussex border, a very highly populated area with lots of traffic.

I was last here when I was very little – I couldn’t remember very much about the site, except the tree above the site of what was the high altar. My Pa remarked that the Romantics would have loved the place. When we researched the abbey afterwards, we discovered that the site (as well as the rest of the estate) was landscaped by Repton, so that the ruins could be thrilled over.

The square building on the left of the gatehouse, is a summerhouse built in the 1800s – so that the denizens of Bayham Hall could picnic while looking at the abbey.

Hanna Jnr.

Here is a shot of my lovely big sis. – my Grandpa always used to refer to her as Hanna Jnr., to differentiate her from Gertie (my Grandmother), who is Hanna Snr.

I like the look of quiet amusement on her face.

Some Nice Boats – on Sunday

Silly moo that I am, I forgot to take my camera with me at the weekend – so I had to take pics with my ‘phone. If you squint, you might just be able to see a Thames Barge on the horizon!

Here is a rather nice yawl

…and an equally nice ketch.

A Swell Time on the Swale

On Sunday I went out with my Dad on his boat. He moors at Swale Marina, which is at Conyer, at the end of a tidal creek.

This means that you can only leave and approach the marina around high tide, so it must make it a nice quiet place to moor.

Despite the weather forecast, it was grim! Overcast, spitting with rain and not a breath of wind. In the gloom I could quite imagine the spirit of Magwitch, or Conrad’s narrator in ‘The Heart of Darkness’ – both of whom exist in literature on these marshy, mud flats.

My suggestion that we retire to a nice, warm pub, was greeted with a hard stare, that reminded me of my late, Grandma Edith (Dad’s Mum). I’m glad we didn’t, as we saw lots of wildlife, including an owl in flight and two seals.

Still, we had everything a boater needs…

…including ‘George’, the auto-pilot…

…a fancy GPS system…

…and appropriate mug!

The ‘Master Mariner’ decided to do some fishing.

And caught this little bass.

One of the reasons we’d decided to go out on Sunday, was that there was due to be a Thames Barge Match on. I love Thames Barges, so it would have been a real treat. Unfortunately, the weather meant that it didn’t take place.

We motored all the way round the Isle of Sheppey – which meant we had to go under old Kingsferry Bridge, when it lifted on the top of the hour. The bridge lifts on a water powered hydraulic system.

Every where in the mud flats were great gauges, marking where boats had turned or gone aground. Some large containers ships come through these creeks, bringing materials, such a limestone, to the paper mills.

However, the majority of the boats are small fishing and pleasure craft.

All in all it was quite melancholy – perhaps because of the weather – but more because this is a dying landscape. Until the 1960s this was a busy working waterway.

Wild Web

Despite my Mother’s assertion that this was made by a huge spider with fangs, I think it was made by caterpillars.