Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Staffordshire Hoard

I am really thrilled as Cheshire sister has just phoned to tell me that the recently discovered Staffordshire Hoard is going to be on display in the Potteries Museum in Stoke on Trent from 13th February until 7th March.
I am planning our visit.
The Staffordshire Hoard website   has 659 Photos are of the artefacts .I have chosen to download this picture of a strip of gold,with the inscription from Numbers Ch. 10 v 35 and reads:

"Surge domine et dissipentur inimici tui et fugiant qui oderunt te a facie tua", equivalent to:
"Rise up O Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed and those who hate the be driven from thy face." 

This could be the beginning of an Orthodox prayer suggests one of the comments on the Flickr site hosting the pics. You may download pictures from the 'portableantiqities' Flickr pages as long as they and all the partners in the 'Staffordshire Hoard' project get credit for them . Of course they do. The pictures are all fantastic. The website shows just how far Open Source benefits the user and the creator.
It has to be one of the best presentations I have ever seen promoting anything, since my love affair with the Sparklehorse website a few years ago.
I have just found my handbook to the Sutton Hoo Ship Burial. It says '1968 Margaret Bruce 'inside and  my 'Early Medieval Designs Pattern Book' 1995. They are going on my bedside table next to my Thomas a Kempis, Derek Prince and my current detective novel (gruesome Swedish and rather good). I shall sleep tonight thinking of curly patterns, border patterns, my trips to Iona and Lindisfarne, and the Lilla Cross on the North Yorkshire Moors .
As coincidence would have it , a new series has just started up this evening on BBC1-one of the Dimblebys having a trip round the world looking at artefacts showing that these fair isles were a cradle of World Art History. To be fair I had no idea that the earliest surviving  Complete  Bible the Codex Amiantinus ( Vulgate) housed in a Florentine library had actually been written in Wearmouth or Jarrow.  A facsimile may be seen in Sunderland . I am going there too. Seeing the  electronic copy of the Lindisfarne gospels for the first time was a revelation. You can do this at home now on the 'Turning the pages 'facility on the British Libraries website. Oh , I am so not going to be bored.
I have dug around in the garden here for nearly 20 yrs. I have found bits of old pocket watches, clay pipes, lots of nails, a cat skeleton, and bits of what might be horse harnesses. No flithers, no Roman tiles, lots of shards of domestic Victorian and Edwardian pottery are all I have to offer.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Westminster Libraries

I am very impressed . I do not have to bring my PC to London when I can get an hour a day here at Westminster Library just near the Chelsea  flat ,free, warm and quiet, with 2 USB ports . All I had to do was join the library, which any UK Citizen may do. They are open until 7pm every night but Saturday too,
I am very impressed. My bus pass takes me all around London.
I am very impressed. The 1 day Travel card allowing me to get to Aunty Jean quickly by rail (16mins) at East Croydon only costs £5 for the off-peak day.
I am very impressed.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

The wood between the worlds.

Great Railway Journeys I have  done  (5)

I cant really say that it is a great journey from Brighton to East Croydon, not like going all the way to St Pancras on First Capital Connect.I travelled on a frosty , sunny day. That should have been enough to suggest scenic views of field and woods bathed in winter light and shiny with frost but it just wasnt. Once again, the windows were so dirty that no photo would do actual justice to the charm outside. I glimpsed really pretty scenes between Wivelsfield and Haywards Heath, but may only tell you about them.

After Haywards Heath the recent snow melt had encouraged small pools to look like 'The wood between the worlds '  in the first Narnia story , in events order, 'The Magicians Nephew'. This part of the great Narnia Chronicles has always appealed to me. I have spent the last 50 years spotting 'woods between the world' from railway carriage windows. Todays one ,  was not quite right , as in the book it is not winter in the wood, but it had a narnian feel, albeit in a fleeting glance. My best Narnian 'wood between the worlds' is just south of the railway line after Burton Agnes and nearly at Nafferton , one of my other great railways Journeys. Here I record  that I wrote about it before Michael Portillo did, and I mean the Hull to Bridlington line.(see September Archive)
My search will continue. I am a devoted collector of views of the world as seen from the windows of trains, buses and cars. I am even thinking of taking a wash leather with me on my rural rides.
East Croydon meanwhile is as far removed from Narnia as Jadis was from victorian London. I love the new urgency of its approach now that the Tram links are completed. So I have taken my beloved spouse a la Bishop Baines standing as if waiting to go to Sutton.