washing and drying
sin ickle stains lifted
away in awarm steam
clearing a pathway to
washing and drying
sin ickle stains lifted
away in awarm steam
clearing a pathway to
Never been on the roof of a Catholic Cathedral…until….NOW!
Watching the mason’s cut stone, in-situ, to fit windows. Clouds of stone-dust swirling into the air. Orange roofs, the mediterranean, in the distance. Being on top of a Cathedral gives you all sorts of new perspectives and an appetite for Paella…
The wedding practice-party mingle in the sunshine outside St James and St William of York church. I skirt the party and slip into the substantial entrance porch of Pugin‘s psuedo Norman church. A handsome young man in the porch is talking on his mobile phone:
I’d just like you to take the “a” off the end of my name. At the moment it looks like two girls are getting married – Nicola and Alexa. My name is Alex not Alexa. Please just put it right
I imagine the wedding with the grooms name miss-spelt as a girls name. If they are having the rehearsal, the wedding is probably fairly soon, I am impressed at how well the groom maintains a semblance of calm as he delivers his plea
The sound of christian church bells calling people to prayer cheerfully echos around the Wendy House garden on a Sunday morning. In April London Road, Wokingham Road, Cumberland Road, adjoining streets and park come alive with orange clad Sikh’s singing and sharing goodwill in the streets for Nagar Kirtan
Until recently there were only a couple of Mosques in Reading town. Converted buildings rather than purpose built. Can you imagine approximately 10,000 local Muslims using a couple of tiny converted buildings?
Reading town’s first purpose built Abu Bakr Masjid Islamic centre is part of the solution, and nearly complete. It adds wonderful colour, spirituality and architectural interest to the already diverse and vibrant Oxford Road
It’s on the outstanding Number 17 bus route. Alas, it’s not big enough for 10,000 muslims
Another beautifully architected Mosque is now planned for East Reading, also on the awesome Number 17 bus route
Reading town feels multi-cultrual and as-if people care about more than just the acquisitiveness of capitalism
According to the church guidebook Jane Austen’s aunt was imprisoned in the local Gaol for shoplifting
Why I love England #15: ‘peeling church bells
Seattle Sunday and Saturday felt interchangeable. The main percievable difference was that Saturday night heralded a sleep-in while Sunday night heralded the start of the working week. Saturday and Sunday were both filled with open, buzzing, malls, bowling alleys, ski-slopes and roads. Returning to England returned my beautiful Sundays.
English Sundays start well with a warm, naturally slow, awakening. Things just keep getting better from there. Whether sunshine, rain, fog, drizzle… going out in it or staying in, the choice is mine and the doing is free from shopping. Then comes the distant peal of church bells. Sunday gives time to be with beautiful people; to do nothing or something. Perhaps a spot of painting, a walk in the park, pull weeds from the garden, talk, listen.
On colder days a log fire fills the house with the gentle scent of warm woodsmoke, the clicking of the Stove as it warms, the sparking of logs and roaring of flames. Lashings of tea, Sunday lunch followed by lashings more tea.
An evening amble to a pub quiz, real ale, laughter, debates and arguments in the company of friends.
Sunday draws to a close with me all wrapped up in sweet smell of fresh laundry and crisp, silence, of the white cotton sheets. They engulf me as I contentedly fall into deep sleep.
you’re the only girl for me
We laughed together at his assertion. It was one of the most honest expressions of closeness I’d heard then or since.
After two weeks of dating that involved lots of
Easing the suprise with the phrase ‘you’re the only girl for me’ and explaining that he preferred boys. With hindsight, this explained the dearth in exchanges of bodily fluids.
20 years later. He’s still passionate, humourful, debating, smoking, prefering boys and I’m still the only girl for him. Only now there is even less excahniging of bodily fluids because the boy’s grown into a christian
The word ‘Coptic’ appears to refer to an Egyptian language spoken in Pharonic times and currently written with the Greek alphabet
The language is now used in the Coptic church, a christian church with it’s own Pope (not the Catholic one). The apostle Mark reputedly bought christianity to Egypt in the first century AD when Egypt was governed by Rome, Emperor Nero
The Copts seceded from the other Christian churches in the 5th century because they rejected the decision of the Council of Chalcedon (451) that Christ had a dual nature, both human and divine, believing instead that he had a single, divine nature
Christianity is now the largest minority Religion in Egypt. About 95% of Egyptians are Muslim. The christains have a difficult relationship with the state, government and some Muslims
I visited the 7th century St. Mary’s hanging church in Coptic Ciaro. Called the ‘hanging’ church because it is built overhanging the Roman gatehouse of old Cairo. This church was increadibly beautiful. Painted walls with motif’s that often looked celtic, arabic writing, gold-leaf
Wall panels were delicately carved wood inlaid with ivory in regular geometric designs. Often straight lines constructed to enable you to see circles and curves. The colours created a warm celebratory atmosphere, very different from the white-washed walls of many Church of England churches. This celebration in art appeals to me.
I was suprised to find the paintings of people (Mary, Jesus, Saints) depicted very pale-skinned people that looked like North Europeans, an over-emphasis on pale skins given the likely colouring of the people portrayed. They were at least portrayed with brown-eyes and dark hair
Above Cairo, within the Saladin citadel, sits the Ottoman style Muhammad ‘Ali Mosque (1848). An ornate structure that provides water for washing before prayer sits in the centre of an quadrangle. The huge prayer room is lit by hundreds of low-energy light bulbs in glass jars that may once have held candles. Tourists glide around using flash photography with blue plastic boots covering their shoes. I followed my muslim guide’s example and removed my shoes.
Outside the mosque is a panorama across the city. If you listen carefully you can hear the peep-peep-peeping of the traffic below….
Africa, through the door, second star to the right….
The swallows in St Nectan’s church were flying from window to stained-glass medieval-window. Chirruping. Sounding distressed, desperate, like people making 999 (US = 911) phone calls. Plenty of painted stars on the church ceiling but no phone service to answer the calls…
It’s autumn equinox, getting noticably cold. It’s a long flight south, I hope they find the door before winter sets in. Painted stars can be fatally distracting from the things that really make life…
My drab, starless, self felt helpless in the hermitted church.
The Islands of the Cyclades are strewn with white churches, often with blue roofs and all with bell-towers. The bells would ring between 6pm and 7.20pm a single tone, often flat, with a basic tune conveyed by a regularly varied pace between the rings.
Graveyards were normally accompanied by a small church, mainly churches stood alone on island high ground, often perched on Island mountain tops.
One highlight of my Greek holiday involved sitting on this church wall in the early evening listening to the ceremony songs waft through the open doors, children wobble in and out of the church, two old ladies greeting attendees and shepharding the children, watching the passers-by cross themselves as the sunset gathered on the horizon.
Great Knollys street is cited on several websites as being named after a family, with no information on the family beyond the name. Snooping the net leads me to suspect it is the family that included Sir Robert Knollys, born 1547 in Reading, progeny of the Lord Mayor of London in 1409-1410. Sir Robert Knollys was variously an MP for Reading, and keeper of Twickenham based Syon House for an order fo Brigittine nuns (and monks – mixed orders). Wikipedia ingenouosly describes him as ‘one of Henry VIII henchmen. There is a quaint story stemming from Sir Robert Knollys’ time as lord Mayor of London that I stumbled across here:
The Knollys Rose Ceremony commemorates an ancient City custom dating from 1381. Sir Robert Knollys owned a house on the West Side of Seething Lane. During one of his absences abroad his wife is reputed to have purchased a property on the east side of Seething Lane and built a footbridge over the lane to the other side, without the equivalent of planning permission and resulted in the City Corporation of the day imposing a rent of one red rose, payable each year on the Feast of St John the Baptist.
There are some red roses blooming in the Wendy House garden. In Reading.
Robert Knollys’ son Francis Knollys is also a likely source for the street name. Francis was a puritan protestant who was ‘granted the manor of Caversham’ . The Wikipedia description is slightly less partisan than its description of his father. Francis was a friend of Henry VIII. Francis was also a close confident of Elizabeth I throughout her life. He is cited on web site as being given the title ”Treasurer of the Royal Bedchamber“ . He was also long-time warden of Mary Queen of Scotts during her detention. Francis frequently resided in the disolved Reading Abbey where he would entertain Queen Elizabeth I.
My emerging picture of Reading’s character is growing to be pro-Royalty, pro-protestantism with lashings of pre-christianity, and welcoming of female roles extending beyond those stereotyped as wives and potential wives.
I like Reading.
they do not drip messy wax, they do not blow-out in the gentle church breezes, securely collecting donations, equal lights for each prayer, only the bulbs need replacing and the cover eases dusting and cleaning. These prayer installations were in both the Cathedrals I visited in Spain.
The emotional, sensual, experience of an electric prayer barely touches that of lighting, smelling, watching real candles.
This is one of ‘Wardance’s way-too-small collection of ‘miss-spelt’ church signs they are all so vary god. I want Maw!
on the western high plains of eastern Washington in the tiny city of Outlook stands a small white church. Where e-mail meets knee-mail:
UK Vacation 3
This “Lord Mayor’s chapel” was originally built to service a hospital in the 13th century. It was bought by the City of Bristol and is the only chapel owned by a “city” (corporation). Rather than owned, for example, by a religious order or private family.
It clearly demonstrates the close relationship between local city administration and religion in Britain. Whether this close relationship is a good thing is open to debate. Id be curious about people’s opinions.
The Flags look like they may show ‘coat of arms’ representing ‘sponsorship’ of this Church. The bristol city coat of arms, is one possibility. Other possibilities include families that have significant relationships with this church, for example the Dragoo family, professional Guilds, or oganisations (e.g. Universities). I wish I’d asked about them while I was there…