I've just been to the Advent Carol Service in Winchester Cathedral. I haven't been for a few years, but it has wonderful singing. The main reason I wanted to go was I expected them to use the Annunciation Anthem by John Taverner who died recently.
They did and it was just as stunning as I remembered. The words are taken from St Luke:
How shall this be, seeing I know not a man:
Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women.
The choir had progressed down the cathedral so they were at the West Door, but four girl choristers remained in the choir end.
They sang the first line, which sounded fragile in the vast cathedral.
Then the entire rest of the choir comes in with "HAIL", an utter wall of sound, and they repeat that four times. Then they sing the rest of the line, and it seems like the various parts of the choir, sopranos, altos, tenors, baritones and bases interweave like a tapestry.
The four choristers sing their line again, and the choir replies. And then the choir sings the last line and the word 'Blessed' somehow seems radiant, full of light. And then far in the distance the four soloists sing their line again, and it's sad and fearful. The whole work just captures the story of the Annunciation and it's breathtaking.
I was taking some photographs yesterday for the Etsy shop
and decided to also photograph my collection of Ornamental Turned boxes. I'm very keen on wooden objects since they're so tactile and the grain of the wood can be very attractive, and I have several turned pieces of wood.
But my real soft spot is for these boxes created by the technique of ornamental turning.
These take a lot more work than the simpler turned items, and require special machinery which is difficult to get nowadays, so Victorian machines are often used. In the case of those that look like cogs laid on top of each other, the first row is made, and then the machine has to be reset so the next row is a little further along, and so on, which means they take a lot longer to create.
All of my pieces are made by Ken Gilbert
of the Guild of Herefordshire Craftsmen and he uses native and exotic woods. The last one I bought, which is the tall one on the left side of the display, is bigger than I usually get, but it's made of camphor laurel and there's a refreshing smell every time I open it. I buy them at the Malvern Spring Show (and sometimes the Autumn Show) where he regularly displays.
Go here to see individual pictures of all of my turned boxes
, and admire these beautiful objects.
We're still raising money for the Meeting House refurbishment which is underway at the moment, and which looks like it will come in on time. Like to help for free?
If you ever buy online, consider signing up for Easyfunding.org
. Each time you go to a site through Easyfunding and buy something the company will give a small percentage of the sale to the meeting house fund. Downloading their 'Find and Remind' widget makes it even easier to do.
And at a bit more expense, there's an Etsy shop
which is selling some items for the appeal - not all the items, so read the listings.
For the last couple of months there's been a Landmark Trust Photography Competition
to find pictures for next year's calendar. I entered a few photographs and was delighted to hear today that this picture
of Swarkestone Pavilion is going to be used for January. I must admit every time I look at it, I think I should have got all of the tree in, but I do like the late afternoon light.
There were some gorgeous photos posted so I'll be interested to see what else has been picked.
Wed, Jul. 11th, 2012, 03:34 pm
Another photo since this was so funny. Art installation on torch route of that little-known ancient Olympic sport: the egg-and-spoon race.
And here's the Olympic Torch entering Winchester along Worthy Road.
And our torch bearer for this section is Sian Wood.
Everyone enjoying themselves along the road, everything was cheered from the local bus that came through beforehand tooting his horn, to the police outriders and runners, and finally the cars and cyclists who were allowed into the road once the cavalcade had passed.
I went away for a week's holiday to Herefordshire and district this month. The main event was the Malvern Spring Flower Show, which I try to go to with my sister each year. Apart from the show we visited a couple of stately homes, and it was just the right season for tulips. So follow this link: Tulips on Flickr
for a selection of the best
photos - I took dozens.
A possible apocryphal story today - a Quaker meeting wasn't given permission to build a meeting house because the neighbours were worried about the noise from services.
Our family has no connection to the Titanic, but there was a strange eerie coincidence. Several years ago my brother and I went to see one of the Titanic exhibitions which displayed articles that had been brought up from the wreck.
As you entered the exhibition you were given a 'boarding pass' with the name of a member of the crew or a passenger. I had a woman who survived the sinking, my brother had a carpenter from Cornwall who didn't.
What was strange was that in February 1913, just ten months after the Titanic our grandfather sailed to America en route to Canada ... and he was a carpenter from Cornwall.
Sun, Feb. 12th, 2012, 07:57 pm
Not sure if this is due to the cold weather, but walking back from meeting this morning I saw a Little Egret
in a stream. What's really strange is this was in the middle of town with houses around. I can remember when they were incredibly rare, and it was still startling to see one.
Well, since I didn't know that the European equivalent of 999 is 112, I thought I'd share this link.
Since it's absolutely perishing at the moment, I was thinking back to when I was warm in the summer. And the warmest time was in Boston, so thought I'd post a few pictures to bring a bit of sunshine - like Morecambe and Wise! When I came back in June I posted some pictures of the WAFA Show
we went to, but we also visited around Boston. We stayed with some friends who took us on some trips, a great treat since we couldn't have managed that ourselves. Theoretically I could
have hired a car, but driving in Boston just looks insane, so it wasn't going to happen. Having a local driver meant we could get out of the city, and then look back at the Boston skyline:
( more pictures after the cutCollapse )
Thu, Feb. 2nd, 2012, 06:55 pm
A small meme
"I'm running a test (not really - it's just a meme) to see who's reading my posts. So, if you read this, leave me a one-word comment about your day that starts with the third letter of your LJ USERNAME. Only one word please. Then repost so I can leave a word for you. Don't just post a word and not copy - that's not as much fun!"
No obligation, anyone. :)
Sun, Jan. 29th, 2012, 11:16 pm
Just been to see the new silent film The Artist
and found it unique and very witty. From the opening credits, which use the same typeface and format as the old 20s and 30s films, you're drawn into the world of the silent film. After a few minutes you forget it's in black and white, and when they do use real sound it's startling and discordant after the music of the soundtrack which has been doing so much to tell the story.
There are lots of call-outs to old films, the star "George Valentin, played by Jean Dujardin, is a combination of John Gilbert, Rudolf Valentino and Douglas Fairbanks. You get a Keystone Kops moment, a bit of swash-buckling, an actor disappearing into quicksand, a call-out to the first sound scenes in "Singing in the Rain" with the fixed microphones, and a very clever dog, like the terrier in the 'Thin Man' films. There was also a cheerful dig at the historical inaccuracy of the old films, where after a sword fight with costumes reminiscent of the Three Musketeers, Napoleon suddenly stands up :-)
They have a lot of fun with the idea of talking in pictures - the opening scene shows the hero being filmed in a scene where he is fiendishly tortured, and the intertitle (a word I never knew before!) comes up with "I'll never talk". But he does, right at the end, and with just the right words.