Sea Sunday

July 10th

Yesterday was Sea Sunday which we celebrated with great enthusiasm down at St Lawrence. Some of us read poems – three people, Dave, Derek and Wendy, ‘volunteered’ at the last moment and read so well, as did the usual suspects, Carole, Helen, Jane and Michael. Anne was at her best at the harmonium, which seemed very happy in the warm conditions, and accompanied loud and tuneful renderings of favourite hymns. I muttered about monks and ‘thin places’ and prayed for everyone and everything as I usually do. Four adorable little dogs waited patiently in the porch during the service. Calls for a ‘Pets’ service, one day? The hot and cold drinks were much appreciated, as were the Welsh cakes provided by Maureen and the lemon drizzle cake from Carole, and lots of us stood around and enjoyed social interaction (fellowship).

Pete, Michael and I had cleaned and prepared the church the day before and Pat did some serious polishing on the day. The beautiful flower arrangements were supplied by Julian from ‘The Florist’ and shells, driftwood and a buoy borrowed from Toni of ‘Lilypad’. Thank you, everyone, for a lovely afternoon!

For photos, see our Gallery page.

Lavernock Nature Reserve

I set off this morning on the 94 bus for Fort Road from where I walked to the Lavernock Nature Reserve. It was cloudy but the sun soon came out and it was warm work trotting around the reserve. Saw and heard a warbler singing. Here’s a slideshow of some of the plants and insects I found:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

St Cadoc’s Church

Went with Parish of Penarth and Llandough MU members to Llancarfan to see the recently uncovered wall paintings in St Cadoc’s Church; it was a lovely hot afternoon. Ian Fell explained the paintings to us; those pictured here are Death, The Seven (six here) Deadly Sins, and St George and the Dragon:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Cosmeston Revisited

A muggy morning. I went down to Cosmeston again, looking for orchids and I found them! A great many early purple orchids were standing upright like soldiers in the south-east part of the East Paddock.

Early purple orchid

A few pyramidal orchids in bud and lots of pale flax:

Pale Flax

And common field speedwell:

Common Field Speedwell

Not to mention the tiny cut-leaved cranebill:

Cut-leaved Cranesbill

And the subtly scented dog rose:

Dog Rose

Plus a member of the pea family, dyer’s greenweed:

Dyer’s Greenweed

And plenty of ox-eye daisies:

Ox-eye Daisy

And dogwood in the hedgerow:

Dogwood

In the East Paddock I met a lively Welsh Border Collie and his master who had just thrown him a ball:

Welsh Border Collie

And on the way back to the 91 bus:

Up tails

And a white (Pekin?) duck:

Pekin Duck?

Day trip to Tewkesbury

My friend Mike drove me to Tewkesbury on a cloudy, drizzly day; what an interesting little town. And the Abbey is such a delight: a huge Romanesque tower, massive Norman columns in the nave, roofs with simple Early English vaulting, and the roof in the quire displaying gilded suns (the ‘Sun in Splendour’ was the badge of the House of York and Edward 1v had these suns set here after his victory in the Wars of the Roses). There are three chantry chapels, built so that masses could be said for the soul of the late person who had provided it. You may not want to know about the Wakeman Cenotaph which displays a decaying corpse being devoured by a worm, a frog, a mouse and a snail; the idea was to show how hollow is earthly pomp and position when the grim reality before us all is physical death. The Chapel of St Catherine and St John the Baptist has two magnificent modern windows designed and made by Tom Denny for the 900th anniversary in 2002 of the coming of the Benedictine monks to Tewksbury. Their theme is the Benedictine motto ‘Laborare est Orare’ (to work is to pray). We came upon a craftsman working on the brass eagle lectern – he was lacqeuring it, I believe.

Tewkesbury Abbey gives you a tremendous sense of the divine presence and of prayers and psalms and hymns offered up over the centuries – much as we find at St Lawrence but on a larger scale, of course.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.