Friday, 31 October 2014

All Hallow's Eve

There's ghoulies. and ghosties,
And long-legged beasties,
And children abroad, for tonight
Is All Hallow's Eve
So you'd better believe
There'll be monsters to give you a fright!

 You'll hear taps on the floor,
An occasional roar.
Vile threats that will curl up your toes.
So hand over those sweets,
Give them plenty of treats
And don't let a witch through your door.
The sky is so dark,
We won't go to the park
Just stay at home free from all harm.
Those pumpkins are scarey.
Say an extra "Hail Mary"
And turn on the burglar alarm!

 Tomorrow's All Saint's Day.
Our fears once more hearsay
And life can return to the norm.
No more tricks, no more treats,
No strange sights in the streets.
Just be thankful you've weathered the storm!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

A little bit of gothic .....

...... never comes amiss this close to Halloween.
So where better to find some than down among the dead men
(and women, or course) in the churchyard at St Ed's.
Imagine the scene in a couple of sleeps time, just as darkness
is falling, when the local spotty youths will be congregating
in the bus shelter before
daring each other to take the short cut past all the
spooky gravestones on their way to the local
supermarket to buy their cheap cans of lager and eye
up the local talent.  The only night of the year when
they won't be put off by a couple of warts and a pointey hat.
I included this one not because I thought it might send the
odd shiver or two down your spines but because I thought
it showed potential as a cross stitch motif.
I'm sure the owner won't mind and judging by the date
it's well out of copyright.
Always save the best till last ......
..... and this one really would make you jump if you turned
round suddenly and hadn't realised she was there!
Happy haunting.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Are you sure this is wise Julia?

No, I'm not sure, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

However one quick look and I soon changed my mind.
Wot no Sean Connery look alikes?
No second-hand Michael Caines
or even a well thumbed Ian McShane
- just this lot.
I wonder what the two with hats on are trying to hide?
Or perhaps they feel it gives then that
debonaire touch of mystery.
Dream on baldie!
Now that's more like it, a much better
line of enquiry to pursue indeed.
By the way Mary - that looks suspiciously
like your Paul to me.  Top row, far right.
Ooops .......

Sunday, 26 October 2014


Pink Feet from Iceland,
Brents from the cold,
White Front's from Russia,
Canada's bold.
They all fly together,
They all fly in skeins.
Quick fetch in the washing
Their poo really stains!
Lots from the Arctic,
None come from Spain
But they all come together
..... it's goose time again.
Just another good reason for returning, like the geese,
to Acle on the marsh near the sea with big sky.
But, unlike the geese, I'm not planning on laying any eggs!

Friday, 24 October 2014

The Black Death

Today we're back at St Ed's in Acle to take a look at another
of it's treasures - the Graffito!
Mind the steps as you enter.
The old Saxon round tower with Norman additions.
 With the ebola virus rampaging throughout parts of Africa
and beyond it doesn't somehow take too much
imagination to picture how it must have been
in mediaeval Europe during the time of the plague.
Suspicion of strangers, panic in the hearts of the
people and fear on the faces of all lest it should
come calling and step over the threshold into their homes.
Not much to look at but a powerful message nonetheless.
 Acle was one such place touched by the pestilence
in the year 1349 because a message was recently discovered
written on the north wall which had been hidden for
centuries by plaster.  It read as follows:
Oh lamentable death, how many dost thou cast into the pit!
Anon the infants fade away, and of the aged death makes an end.
Now these, now those, thou ravagest, O death on every side;
Those that wear horns or veils, fate spareth not.
Therefore, while in the world the brute beast plague rages hour by hour,
With prayer and with remembrance deplore death's deadliness.

 No one knows who wrote the Latin inscription.
It may have been the Parish Priest holed up in the church
saying masses for the dead while all around the plague rampaged
sparing no one, high or low.

I bet my bum looks big in this.
 The use of the words "horns and veils" in the inscription
is thought to refer not to sinners and the righteous
but to lay and religious women as horned headdresses
were very popular in the middle years of the 14th century.
And on that cheerful note I shall leave you.
I must go and look for my paint spray can - you
never know when you might want to leave the odd
few words on the north wall!
Although I think in similar circumstances I'd
keep it short - "Damn and blast".

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Home Contents Insurance - aaargh!

This morning I popped into the office, which is
the beating heart of our little community, to flag up a
problem with my gutters.  Whilst there I just happened to
glance at the notice board and saw a poster
for a company offering contents insurance
specially tailored for people in similar circumstances
to myself.

Knowing my luck, I thought I'd better.
 Good, I thought, that will save me a trip into Norwich
so I jotted down the details (including an extremely attractive
first year offer of £25.54 which is less than 50p per week
as they were quick to point out for those of us whose
wits are too addled to work it out for themselves.)

Is your mummy there Peter?
 Back at the lock up I wasted no time in phoning and spoke
to a "child" who introduced himself as Peter.
I was tempted to ask if his mummy knew he was playing
with the phone but somehow managed to resist.
Now we get to the bit which outraged me.
We went through all the rigmarole and small talk and
he quoted me a figure of £56.92.  That's strange,
I said in my best dowager voice, the poster in the office
said £25.54 for the first 12 months.  How do you
explain that?

Don't mess with the wrinklies - some of us still have teeth!
 Without turning a hair he told me that company policy was
to only offer the lower price if challenged.
I'll leave it to your own imaginations to write
the ending to this little scenario as I don't really want
to go into print with my exact words.
But to give you a clue - thieving and another word for
illegitimate were in there somewhere.

Monday, 20 October 2014

God moves in a mysterious way ......

..... his wonders to perform
which is why, on my first surreptitious visit to the Church of
St Edmund King & Martyr in Acle
that I made a rather spectacular entrance through the
North door (yes, I know, the one usually reserved for the Devil!)

The North Door
I was so busy sticky-beaking everything at once that I failed
to miss one vital, and rather important, piece of information.
The rather tiny and partially obscured sign which
read "Mind the steps".

Consequently my first view was captured laying flat
on my back at the foot of said steps whilst
uttering foul oaths and blasphemies for which I
expect to pay heavily on the Day of Judgement.
Good job the Vicar wasn't about.
15th century font
 The font is one of the church treasures and was dedicated
in 1410 AD, so eat your hearts out my colonial readers,
we're talking real history here!
It has eight panels containing the symbols of the four evangelists
alternated with angels all doing angelic things.
No Alice dear, not making Angel Delight, whatever next?
Some of the faces had been smashed during the Reformation
only to suffer further vandalism at the hands of the Victorians
when they attempted to restore them!
Talking of faces, there is also a rather moving memorial to the men from
Acle who fell during the Great War which is somehow made all the
more poignant by the fact that it bears fading sepia photographs
instead of simply a list of names carved in stone.
There's a great deal of interest in St Ed's which could turn
into a mini-series if I'm not too careful but for the moment
I'm off to find something soothing for all my bruises
which are springing up like mushrooms as I type.
And - yes, Camilla, I've tried turning the other cheek
but it doesn't help.