Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Couple Weeks with Mom....



My mom flew in week before last and it promptly snowed again. It was beautiful, as you can see, but, C'MON.... three days home from school put a serious crimp in all the plans I had envisioned for us. Despite that hiccup our first week, I packed in as much as I could for us this past week.

(Thus the whole ~no posting~ thing. Sorry! I'm sad I missed the whole delurking day thing last week, it looked like bunches of fun to try and get all those people that you know are looking at your feed and stopping by for a peek to actually leave a comment to let you know they were there. I did manage to go to two blogs that day and comment.... No, I can't tell you who they were. And I actually only lurk on one of them.)

One of the things that my mom and I did lots of was scarf down scones while having "cream teas." When you drink tea with cookies (biscuits), scones, cake, jam, butter, and clotted cream (if you're lucky), then it is called a cream tea. Just having a cup of tea, is called "having a cup of tea."

And, just for good measure, dinner is called "tea." You can't imagine how confused I was the first time a mom, excuse me, mum, asked if one of my kids was staying for tea when he went to another boy's house to hang out after school. I was all like, What? Good God, woman, I hope you're not giving my kid tea at 6 o'clock at night! (blink, blink) Oh, ha ha, I see.... you mean you're willing to feed him dinner.... I get it now.

We also saw lots of churches. Like Winchester Cathedral, Salisbury Cathedral, and our own little Saxon gem that is in our tiny little village.

And I learned a new term that I had never heard before: Leper's Squint. It is a little window or hole that is set at an oblique angle to the church's altar, so lepers could watch the church service outside at a safe distance from the healthy people within. I didn't take a picture of the squint, but took a picture of the amazing door that leads into our church. (This is the same church that community holiday talent show took place at, that I sang Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas in.)

To get in the church, you walk through this very unassuming outside door and are greeted by this incredibly gorgeous, massive, and ancient looking door. Seriously, the door was put in about 1300AD! And that little tiny handle still works, you have to twist it and it lifts up an iron latch on the inside of the church.

Remarkably, this church is never locked. You can go in at any time to enjoy the beauty, the quiet, ....the solidity of the place. Can you imagine such a thing in the USA? There is a stained glass window above the altar that is over 600 years old. Not one broken piece! It is incredible.

Funny and bizarre side note: The nails used by rat-catchers in medieval times to hang rats on the doors of buildings are still in the door. Ewwww.

Here are a few more pictures of the church. It really is a lovely place.

The view from the small children loft.

The cemetery that surrounds the church. The headstones are so weathered you can't make out any names or dates on many of them.


This cannonball, which is located in the back of the church, is said to have been fired in our village by Cromwell's army, during the English civil war, around 1642.

Neat, huh?

27 comments:

  1. THOSE are exactly the kinds of reasons why we chose to live outside the box, metaphorically speaking of course ;) , & why, despite all the challenges we continue to live abroad and love it! Wanna come see my 16th century village church?? (betcha don't hear that often..haha)

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  2. Oh - how I want to come back to Europe!!

    The church is amazing.

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  3. What wonderful pictures. Thank you for sharing. And I'm de-lurking myself.

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  4. Fabulous photos! The church is beautiful, so filled with history.

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  5. Very neat. Glad to see you back in the bloggy saddle.

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  6. I'd go to church if we had ones like that here.

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  7. That tea thing IS confusing.

    Love,
    The NeverLurker

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  8. Good dispatch and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you as your information.

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  9. I love all your church pictures! One of these days, I'll get to Merry Olde England, as well as Ireland.

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  10. I love the pictures. I love historical things and that is a very interesting church and the background info is awesome.

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  11. Great pictures....sounds like you and your Mom had a great visit.

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  12. A church that is never locked, a door that's worked 600 years or more? Only in England, wow, old time respect is alive. That is so good to know, it really exists. Like you say, not in America.

    Must be nice to have your Mother visit!

    Secretia

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  13. M keeps telling me that I'd love England. Your posts are starting to convince me he might be right.

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  14. "Dinner" is not always "tea" and "tea" can be confused with a beverage of the same name. Life, it seems, is totally confusing.

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  15. I have a passion for England ... long before I fell in love with a Brit. There is so much history and beauty in that country. Its the little details which make it a photographer's playground. I hope to be back at the end of April and can't wait!

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  16. What a beautiful post. I want to be there... right now!

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  17. Are the scones in England as dry as they are in the States? To me they all taste like a vat of flour.

    I just found a fish and chips pub about 10 minutes from my place and I'm dying to go!

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  18. Terrific pictures. Hey, you think they're messing with you on the whole tea thing? Cream tea is tea with pastries, having tea is having tea and staying for tea is staying for dinner? You may be the victim of a village-wide hardy har on you. LOL!

    Kidding, course.

    Cheers,

    SLC

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  19. I love the cemetery shots!! They are awesome.

    Thanks for sharing!!
    xoxo

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  20. What a wonderful experience you and your family are having. Soak it all in. Your photography is lovely.

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  21. I want cream tea. Or one of those cupcakes from last week. Either or.

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  22. That is sooo neat. I have always wanted to visit Europe. Especially want to go to Sicily and Ireland to visit family I haven't seen since I was fresh from the womb.

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  24. I missed the delurking thing too - but I didn't have an excuse other than out of the loopness. I have to get on this what's going on with blogs mail list. Seriously - I miss every memo - shouldn't I have a clue after doing this for 18 months. I managed to have three children in 18 months - so you'd think I'd manage to be a bit more connected by now.

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  25. Ooops! Didn't finish. I would LOVE to have that time to sightsee with my mom. We haven't been to another country together since I was 14 and we spent a few weeks in Italy. I was a real treat back then, full of disinterest and put upon sighs. What a waste - I wish I could go back to do it again. Sounds like you had a wonderful visit.

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  26. How incredibly beautiful! That church is astounding!

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