Posted on August 30, 2020
“Music is the universal language of mankind.”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Music, once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit, and never dies.”
― Edward Bulwer Lytton
Histories of ages past
Unenlightened shadows cast.
Down through all eternity
The crying of humanity.
‘Tis then when the Hurdy Gurdy Man
Comes singing songs of love… —Donovan
“Music is the strongest form of magic.”
― Marilyn Manson
“The most wretched people in the world are those who tell you they like every kind of music ‘except country.”
― Chuck Klosterman,
“Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.”
― Lao Tzu
“Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens.”
― Maria von Trapp
“… I got to try the bagpipes. It was like trying to blow an octopus” –James Galway
“Music is the beat of a drum that keeps time with our emotions.”
― Shannon L. Alder
“There is no sorrow in singing.”
― Lailah Gifty Akita
Stay tooned for more next week!
All pictures embiggenable with a click 🙂
Posted on August 23, 2020
“Cats are connoisseurs of comfort.”
― James Herriot,
“Cats strongly believe that everywhere is designed for their comfort!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan
“The way to get on with a cat is to treat it as an equal – or even better, as the superior it knows itself to be.”― Elizabeth Peters,
“The ideal of calm exists in a sitting cat.” —Jules Renard
“I am the Cat who walks by himself, and all places are alike to me.”
― Rudyard Kipling,
Black cat or white cat: If it can catch mice, it’s a good cat —Deng Xiaoping
“Having a bunch of cats around is good. If you’re feeling bad, just look at the cats, you’ll feel better, because they know that everything is, just as it is.”― Charles Bukowski,
“I had been told that the training procedure with cats was difficult. It’s not. Mine had me trained in two days.”—Bill Dana
“A black cat crossed my path, and I stopped to dance around it widdershins and to sing the rhyme, Ou va-ti mistigri?
Passe sans faire de mai ici.”
― Joanne Harris,
“I have a cat, the pet that ranks just above a throw pillow in terms of required responsibility.”― Anna Quindlen,
“The problem with cats is that they get the same exact look whether they see a moth or an axe-murderer.” —Paula Poundstone
“Everything I know I learned from my cat: When you’re hungry, eat. When you’re tired, nap in a sunbeam. When you go to the vet’s, pee on your owner.” —Gary Smith
“I have lived with several Zen Masters – all of them cats.” — Ekhart Tolle
“No one can truly understand the bond we form with the cats we love until they experience the loss of one.”–Unknown
Posted on August 16, 2020
“Wearing a hat is fun; people have a good time when they’re wearing a hat”. ~ Philip Treacy
“And all your future lies beneath your hat”. ~ John Oldham
People, when they buy a hat, they can’t explain why they want to buy it or why they want it, but they do. It’s like chocolate. ~ Philip Treacy
“Whenever you wear your hat, your day will be special.” ~ Margo Nickel
“Personally I would never want to be a member of any group where you either have to wear a hat, or you can’t wear a hat.””~ George Carlin
If you’re going to wear a cowboy hat, you’re going to have to go all the way. You should have livestock around you, settle all of your disputes with a pistol, and ride a horse absolutely everywhere. ~Tom Segura
“The success of a hat definitely lies with balancing the personality of the wearer with the type of occasion. Don’t listen to those rules about face shape”. ~ Philip Treacy
We just know inside that we’re queens. And these are the crowns we wear. ~Felecia McMillan
“It wasn’t the wearing of the hat that counted so much as having one to wear. Every trade, every craft had its hat. ” ~ Terry Pratchett
“Why should anyone be frightened by a hat?” ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
“I haven’t got an ad lib for people throwing bread rolls at my hat”. ~Tommy Cooper
“For no matter what the world, men who deal in headwear are men to be trusted above any other”. ~ Frank Beddor
“Some hats can only be worn if you’re willing to be jaunty, to set them at an angle and to walk beneath them with a spring in your stride as if you’re only a step away from dancing. They demand a lot of you”. ~ Neil Gaiman
All pictures are embiggenable with a click,
Stay tooned for whatever comes next time! 🙂
Posted on August 9, 2020
“What do dogs do on their day off? Can’t lie around – that’s their job!” – George Carlin
“A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down.” – Robert Benchley
“I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult.” – Rita Rudner
“The bond with a true dog is as lasting as the ties of this earth will ever be.” – Konrad Lorenz
“Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love, they depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog. It merely expands the heart.” – Author Unknown
“Old dogs, like old shoes, are comfortable. They might be a bit out of shape and a little worn around the edges, but they fit well.” – Bonnie Wilcox
“Even the tiniest Poodle or Chihuahua is still a wolf at heart.” – Dorothy Hinshaw
“The dog was created specially for children. He is the god of frolic.” – Henry Ward
“Everyone thinks they have the best dog. And none of them are wrong.” – W.R. Purche
“The bond between a hunter and his dog can’t be described; But only felt” – Steve Reider
“No animal I know of can consistently be more of a friend and companion than a dog.” – Stanley Leinwall
“The journey of life is sweeter, when travelled with a dog” – Bridget Willoughby
“The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants.”
― Johnny Depp
“If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater suggest that he wear a tail.” – Fran Lebowitz
“The greatest fear dogs know is the fear that you will not come back when you go out the door without them.” – Stanley Coren
All pictures can be embiggened with a click.
Stay tooned for whatever comes next!
Posted on August 2, 2020
“There’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.”
“Life is a sea of vibrant color. Jump in.”
― A.D. Posey
Limitless and immortal, the waters are the beginning and end of all things on earth.
The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.
Jacques Yves Cousteau
To me the sea is a continual miracle; The fishes that swim, the rocks, the motion of the waves, the ships with men in them. What stranger miracles are there?
“To reach a port we must set sail –
Sail, not tie at anchor
Sail, not drift.”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt
“There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul.”
― Victor Hugo,
To me, the sea is like a person–like a child that I’ve known a long time. It sounds crazy, I know, but when I swim in the sea I talk to it. I never feel alone when I’m out there…
My soul is full of longing for the secrets of the sea, and the heart of the great ocean sends a thrilling pulse through me.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
There was a magic about the sea. People were drawn to it. People wanted to love by it, swim in it, play in it, look at it
“In still moments by the sea life seems large-drawn and simple. It is there we can see into ourselves.”
― Rolf Edberg
There is, one knows not what sweet mystery about the sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath.
Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think.
All pictures embiggable with a click.
Stay tooned, for whatever comes next! 🙂
Posted on July 26, 2020
Who doesn’t like the noble steeds, the pretty ponies, the Drey’s? I used to ride when I was a little girl, and love to see horses when I’m out and about. Of course they love to be photographed too!
“From horses we may learn not only about the horse itself but also about animals in general, indeed about ourselves and about life as a whole.”
― George Gaylord Simpson
“The horse. Here is nobility without conceit, friendship without envy, beauty without vanity. A willing servant, yet never a slave.”
“A horse is the projection of peoples’ dreams about themselves – strong, powerful, beautiful – and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence.”
“A horse is worth more than riches“.
— Spanish Proverb
“When you are on a great horse, you have the best seat you will ever have”
“Through the days of love and celebration and joy, and through the dark days of mourning – the faithful horse has been with us always.”
“I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a horse.”
“The horse, with beauty unsurpassed, strength immeasurable and grace unlike any other, still remains humble enough to carry a man upon his back.”
“I believe that the value of the horse and the opportunity of the horse in the future is likely to be as great as ever. Aeroplanes and tanks are only accessories to the men and the horse, and I feel sure that as time goes on you will find just as much use for the horse—the well bred horse—as you have ever done in the past.“
—Sir Douglas Haig field marshal in the British Army and a senior officer during World War I.
“The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and freedom.”
Sharon Ralls Lemon
“There is something about riding down the street on a prancing horse that makes you feel like something, even when you ain’t a thing.”
“Horses change lives. They give our young people confidence and self-esteem. They provide peace and tranquility to troubled souls, they give us hope.”
“Horses make a landscape look beautiful”
all pictures embiggenable with a click.
Stay tooned for whatever comes next! 🙂
Posted on July 19, 2020
Something different this week, so you can have a rest from all the edumacational history normally turning up in your feed on a Sunday. I’ve been taking photographs since I was a teenager, though only really started learning about photography 10 years ago. I love seeing other people when they are engrossed in taking photographs, and if I see someone so engaged, will take a picture of them if I can do it sneakily! So here is my collection of some of the happy people making memories, and a few who do it for a living.
“It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.”
– Alfred Eisenstaedt
“Photography has no rules, it is not a sport. It is the result which counts, no matter how it is achieved.”
– Bill Brandt
“Gosh, my job is so easy! I just click a button all day… said no photographer ever.”
“Results are uncertain even among the more experienced photographers.”
– Matthew Brady
“In the world of photography, you get to share a captured moment with other people.”
– James Wilson
“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”
– Aaron Siskind
“Photography is a love affair with life.”
– Burk Uzzle
“The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do.”
– Andy Warhol
“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.”
– Marc Riboud
“A camera is a SAVE button for the mind’s eye.”
– Roger Kingston
All picture are embiggenable with a click!
Stay tooned for whatever comes next!
Posted on July 12, 2020
Following on from our trip to Richmond Castle, Sophie and I went a mile and a half down the road to the ruins of Easby Abbey, and as you know, before we get to the pictures, we must first do
The History Bit 🍪 ☕️
Easby Abbey, or The Abbey of St.Agatha is one of the best preserved monsteries of the Premonstratensian order. Premonstratensian is a bit of a mouthful, and I’d never heard of it so in case I’m not the only one here’s a quick run down of what it was/is. It’s full title is The Order of Canons Regular of Prémontré, also known as the Norbertines (sounds like a grunge pop group) and in Britain and Ireland the White Canons, on account of the canons wearing white habits.
Founded in 1120 by Norbert of Xanten (which is in Germany). Norbert has nothing to do with Easby Abbey per se, but he’s an interesting chap so lets dig a bit deeper into his history. Nobby’s Dad, Heribert, Count of Gennep, was a member of the high nobility of the Holy Roman Empire and related to the imperial house and also to the House of Lorraine. Because of the family connections, he was ordained as clergy to the church of St. Victor at Xanten, wherein his only job was to chant the Divine Office. Nobby wasn’t up for that so much and paid someone else a small fee to do it for him while he went off to become a councillor to the emperor Henry V in Cologne. The salaries he got from the Xanten church and the royal treasury allowed him to live in the style of the nobility of the times.
He quite liked living high on the hog for not so much work, and managed to avoid ordination as a priest and also turned down the chance to become a Bishop of Cambrai in 1113. But two years later, Nobby had a near death experience whilst riding his horse to Verdun. A thunderbolt from a storm struck near his horses feet, naturally the horse threw him and he lay unconscious for nearly an hour. Nobby saw this as a wake up call, gave up his posh life at court and returned to his church in Xanten to live a life of penance placing himself under the direction of Cono, Abbot of St Sigeberg. In gratitude to Cono Nobby founded the Abbey of Fürstenberg in 1115, endowed it with some of his property and gave it over to Cono and his Benedictine successors, which was jolly nice of him I think.
Nobby was 35 years old at this point and soon accepted ordination as a priest and became a great devotee of the Eucharist and Our Lady. He adopted a lifestyle of ascetism, (adopting a frugal lifestyle, characterised by the renunciation of material possessions and physical pleasures, and also spending time fasting while concentrating on the practice of religion or reflection upon spiritual matters.) Unfortunately his ascetism was so fierce it killed his first three disciples. 🙄 He tried to reform the canons of Xanten, but in light of not wanting to starve to death, they declined and denounced him to some council or other, whereupon Nobby resigned his positions, and sold up his properties to give to the poor. Off he went to visit Pope Gelasius II who gave Nobby permission to wander as an itinerate preacher so he trundled around Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and northern France, where he did some unspecified miracles. Along the way, in many settlements he visited he found a demoralised clergy, often lonely chaps, feeling abandoned by the official church, and practicing what’s known as concubinage, which means they were indulging in matters of bodily naughtiness with ladies they could not marry.
He also became acquainted with the Cistercian administrative system that created an international federation of monasteries with a fair amount of centralized power, though local houses had a certain amount of independence. These reforms, written up in their “Charter of Charity” would affect him significantly in his own future work. Nobby gained a lot of acolytes and founded houses of his order all over the shop, firstly in Premontre, as well as becoming the Apostle of Antwerp after combatting a heretical preacher called Tanchelm. He became the Archbishop of Magdeburg where he survived a few assassination attempts whilst reforming the lax discipline of his see. In 1126 and in his last years, he was chancellor and adviser to Lothair II, the Holy Roman Emperor, persuading him to lead an army in 1133 to Rome to restore Innocent to the papacy.
Nobby died in 1134, and initially buried in Magdeburg. The abbot of Strahov in Prague was able to claim the body after a few problems such as Magdeburg turning protestant and military fisticuffs and such like. He is now buried there in a glass fronted tomb and was canonised by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, so is now Saint Nobby.
So back to Easby and it is listed in the Domesday survey of 1086 as ‘Asebi’, which was held by Enisan Murdac, an important local landowner who was a vassal of Alan le Roux or ‘the Red’, Earl of Richmond (c 1040–1093) whomst you may remember from the History Bit re: Richmond Castle.
The abbey of St Agatha at Easby was founded in about 1152 by Roald, constable or principal officer of Richmond. It’s thought he was the son of Hasculfus Musard, lord of Tansor in Northamptonshire and of estates in Oxfordshire. He established Easby as a Premonstratensian monastery, only the third such house to be founded in England. In the process, the existing minster community was probably absorbed into the new abbey.
Roald endowed a modest bit of land to Easby which rose slowly, over the centuries and there are over 100 charters documenting it’s rise. Sheep farming seems to have been their main income. Not much is known about the early buildings of the monstery, but there is a re-used 12th century doorway in the west range of the cloister, and surviving fragments of the abbey church probably dating from 1170 or 80. In the 12th and 13th centuries the monastery prospered, with the increase of more Canons and the replacing of the original buildings on a grand scale. In 1198 Egglestone Abbey in nearby Teesdale was founded as Easby’s only daughter house.
During this time Roald’s descendents kept hold of the constableship of Richmond going all lah-de-dah and styling themselves De Burton or De Richmond, but then in the late 13th and 14th centuries they started to sell off their estates for unknown reasons.
In come the Scropes of Bolton, a family from Wensleydale, and landowners of knightly rank. They made the abbey their buriel place and it’s most likely they paid for an extension to the chancel in the 14th century. In 1392 Sir Richard Scrope the 1st Baron of Bolton granted land to the Abbey and it was substantially enlarged. Sir Richard served King Richard II and also fought in the Battle of Crécy under the Black Prince, (Richard II’s Daddy). He had been made Lord Chancellor in 1378, trying to stop Richard II spending all the treasury dosh on wars against the Pesky French, but resigned in 1380 when the government collapsed after all the military failures in France. He regained the position after the Peasants Revolt that had started then, but was sacked by King Richard for non-cooperation in 1382, so went off back to Bolton and rebuilt his castle there. He had a 4 year long dispute with Sir Robert Grosvenor over his armorial bearings for the right for his shield to be emblazoned “Azure, a bend Or.” A court of chivalry decided in his favour, with Geoffrey Chaucer gave evidence in his favour. Although his son William had been executed by King Henry IV for supporting the deposed King Richard, Henry held Sir Richard in high regard and allowed him to keep his lands and titles. He died in 1403 and was buried at Easby Abbey.
A good deal is known about the abbey between 1478 and 1500 when the abbey was subject to inspections on the state of it’s community. Richard Redman the Abbot of Shap and later the Bishop of Ely was the principal of the Premonstratensians in England and he recorded any goings on. In 1482 he discovered a canon called John Nym had run away after being accused of improper bodily naughtiness with a widow, Elizabeth Swales. Redman wanted him found and to face a tribunal, which he was and he did, where he was exonerated. By 1494 he was the Abbot in charge. Redman also observed that although the Abbey was in debt, the buildings were well maintained and food was provided.
In the 16th century little is known about the abbey, but in 1535 the then Abbot, Robert Bampton, drew up a document restating the rights of the Scropes as patrons. Round about this time there were rumours that Englands monasteries would be suppressed and it’s thought he issued this document to obtain the Scropes support for keeping the monastery intact.
That was a vain hope in the end, as the year after Easby Abbey was closed. Their were only 11 canons left by then, so the abbey and it’s lands were let to Lord Scrope of Bolton for £300. Also by this time Richmond was taking a major part in the Pilgrimage of Grace, whereby the north rose up in support of the monasteries. That went tit’s up and by Springtime 1537 the leaders of the uprising had missed the opportunity to defeat the Crown’s forces. It was, of course, Henry VIII in charge at this time, and he was well miffed about the uprising. His pal the Duke of Norfolk was tasked with crushing the rebels, and Henry wrote to him saying “at your repair to … St Agatha and such other places as have made resistance … you shall without pity or circumstance … cause the monks to be tied up [hanged] without further delay. Vengeance was a thing with Henry.
The Abbey was returned to the Scropes but by 1538 most of the buildings had been demolished and the lead roofing stripped. The Scropes gave up the lease in 1550 and the abbey and estates went through several pairs of hands before another Lord Scrope, Henry, bought it back in 1579. There’s no evidence of any repairs being done to the Abbey between the 16th and 18th centuries and an engraving of it in 1721 sees it not much different from it’s present state.
The Scropes passed it on through the family until the death of Lord Emmanuel Scrope in 1630. His daughter Annabel married John Grubham Howe and so the estate passed into the Howe family. In 1700 Sir Scrope Howe (way to go combining the names!) sold it to Bartholomew Burton and then it passed through several different hands until 1816 when Robert Jaques bought it.
Late 18th century and 19th the abbey became known for being a romantic ruin and was painted by several artists including JMW Turner between 1816-18. Then in the 19th century it became the plaything of antiquarians, and Sir William St John Hope partially excavated it in 1885-6. It was still owned by the Jaques family up until 1930 when it was taken over by the Ministry of Works.
And some pictures I took of it to finish up with.
Posted on July 5, 2020
Following on from seeing Richmond Castle in Part 1, Sophie and I went into the market place
The church in the market place is the former Holy Trinity church. The tower is 14th century, and was originally detached from the nave, but they are now linked by a more modern, possibly Victorian block. At the east end shops and houses are built against it. Since 1938 it has been home to the Green Howards Regimental museum, tracing the history of that regiment, which was inaugurated back in 1688. As well as other stuff it houses 3700 medals awarded to members of the regiment and includes 16 Victoria Crosses.
The obelisk you can see in the centre of the market place was put up in 1788 to replace a medieval market cross. Would rather they hadn’t but the 17th & 18th centuries marked Richmond’s Hey-Day and new elegant Georgian housing and buildings replaced many of the older medieval buildings. Argh!
We visited the 18th century Millgate House, a building on the south side of the market place known for it’s beautiful garden arranged in terraces below the house.
We also had a look inside the Market Hall, which was open 7 days a week.
And then it was such a nice day we went to see the River Swale waterfalls, which would have been more beautiful without the stupid boys.
Not everyone jumped in.
After this we went to visit Easby Abbey so we’ll have a trip there next week! Stay tooned folks!