Today is St Swithun's Day, and it's been nice weather. For those who don't know, here is the whole back story ...
St Swithun’s Day (or ‘Swithin’ as he is also known) is the feast day of a ninth century Anglo-Saxon Bishop of Winchester who died in 862 AD. Swithun was born in the Kingdom of Wessex (an Anglo-Saxon Kingdom in the South-West and the precursor to the unified Kingdom of England) and educated in Winchester, the Kingdom’s capital.
Little is definitively known about Swithun’s life although he is said to have been the spiritual adviser of Æthelwulf, King of Wessex, who donated much of his royal land to Swithun to build and restore numerous churches.
With his dying breath Swithun is said to have requested that his final resting place be outside, where his grave could easily be reached by both members of the parish and the rainfall from the heavens. Swithun’s wishes were met for over 100 years. Swithun’s body was removed from its simple grave and interred in the new Cathedral on 15 July 971. A shrine to the Saint remains in the modern Winchester Cathedral to this day. According to legend, forty days of terrible weather followed, suggesting St Swithun was none too happy with the new arrangements! Ever since, it has been said that the weather on 15 July supposedly determines the weather for the next forty days, as noted in the popular Elizabethan verse:
“St Swithin’s day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St Swithin’s day if thou be fair
For forty days will rain na mair”
(Thank you Historic UK for the details)
So, it has been sunny here - we will see what the next 40 days brings!
And, as it's the 15th -
15 Do you remember a place that was once all fields and is no longer?
When I moved to Bude in 1986 it was a smallish town, surrounded by fields ... sadly, now, you can't tell where Bude stops and Stratton, or Poughill, start
A couple of days ago I had my annual eye-test. I go to Boots, which means I see a different optician every time. I saw a very nice lady this time, but as she sat down I knew she had bad news. However, as it turned out, it wasn't as bad as she had thought!
One of the tests I had done was the individual eye field of vision, and that is what she wanted to start with ... She needed to tell me I had tested as 50% vision in my right eye. However it was my turn to reassure her! I had surgery in that eye back in 1989, and for a few hours I had been totally blind ... then I told her to look at the photo of the rtina. She was then suprised I could see anything at all!
So, as I pointed out, I have 3/4 vision, but am not really aware of the fact as my left eye compensates most of the time. On even more good news, no need to change the glasses prescription (so no big bill), and the loss of vision is only marginal compared to last year.
So all in al a positive trip.
And continuing to be positve - lets keep up ....
14 If being permanently stapled to a cello would somehow bring about world peace would you be prepared to be permanently stapled to a cello? It would hurt a little bit and you would never quite be able to escape the pain but there would be world peace and you could learn to play the cello.
i am a clarinetist. I am a saxophonist. I don't like stringed instruments ... however at least it's a cello and not a violin. So, for world peace, ummmmmmm, maybe!!
9 How obsessive are you about your bins?
We have a 2 bin system, so it's easy to use ... so I like to recycle as much as I can
10 Have you ever been up on the roof?
No - I am not good with heights.
However, I have been on the roof of the tower of Exeter Cathedral (but it has a wall around, so I could cope)
11 What's the largest vehicle you have ever driven?
My licence lets me drive a 7 1/2 ton truck. Dad and I hired one some years ago to collect a load of stuff when his mum was having work done. So, an all-day drive, each way, and we did a 50:50 split
12 Have you ever met your doppelganger?
I pity whoever is "me" ... so would be too scared to meet them!
13 What is the best certificate that you have ever been awarded?
My degree was pretty special
However I also just received a certificate for my 100 length swim for Guide Dogs for the Blind ... that was a special swim, so glad I have the certificate as well.
I will aim to do better ;)
Even if you don't really know much about the city, most of us have heard of Edinburgh Castle. I went there on my trip, and really found it a fascinating place - complete with the Scottish War Memorial, 3 museums, a Norman Chapel and various Tudor buildings. Yes, it was a full day, but still hard to take in - and even harder to try to share in just a few photos.
However, while there I did try to collect a souveneir, or two ... but sadly I only had one ticket for the return home!!( Trying to get a taste of the CastleCollapse )
And, for those who don't recognise the icon - In the Dresden Files, the council of wizards is situated in a tunnel network under the city, and especially the castle
6 What amazing secret about a relative did you only find out after they were dead?
Our family have been pretty open, so I think I learnt things from them ... however I do know a few stories about my great-great grandmother, on one side ;)
7 Have you ever employed a smith of any kind?
I have owned horses ... so yes, farriers (blacksmiths) are part of the bill
8 If you could levitate six inches off the ground what would you do with this impressive but actually not very practical skill?
I ought to say I would dust the top shelves .... but it would be nice to move around without wearing out my shoes
One of the advantages of National Trust Membership is seeing history being saved ... and being able to visit these properties.
While I was in Edinburgh I visited 2 NT homes, and another one ... so got to see some history.Gladstone's Land
is said to be one of the oldest houses in the city ... and is certainly very dark in places, however one thing I did love was the painted ceiling in the main room( History through the yearsCollapse )
The othe NT property I went to was The Georgian House
... and as the name suggests it was built as Edinburgh was being extended in Georgian times, int what is now called The New Town.( The Georgian HouseCollapse )
As well as seeing NT properties I also visited John Knox's house
. He got it from the previous owner who was actually one of the court goldsmith's and helped re-model the Scottish Crown Jewels. Another old house - with the painted ceilings( More historyCollapse )
If you love graveyards then Edinburgh is certainly a place to go. Literally around the Old Town are 4 Kirkyards/Burial Grounds that I went to, and a little further out were even more. Burial in Churches was banned in the 1660's, and so the elaborate memorials we see in English Churches just moved outside ... and amazingly are still in good condition.
However, anyone who doesn't like graves has to go and see one grave, of they never visit another ... that of Greyfriars' Bobby. Just outside the Kirkyard is his statue, and it is good luck to rub his nose. I don't actually believe in luck, but still couldn't resist. And for those who are confused, I will "borrow" Wikipedia ...Bobby belonged to John Gray, who worked for the Edinburgh City Police as a nightwatchman. When John Gray died he was buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard, the kirkyard surrounding Greyfriars Kirk in the Old Town of Edinburgh. Bobby then became known locally, spending the rest of his life sitting on his master's grave.
In 1867 the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Sir William Chambers, who was also a director of the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, paid for Bobby's licence and gave the dog a collar, now in the Museum of Edinburgh.
Bobby is said to have sat by the grave for 14 years. He died in 1872 and was buried just inside the gate of Greyfriars Kirkyard, not far from John Gray's grave.The full Wikipedia article is here ( A few views around Greyfriars, and Carlton Hill KirkyardsCollapse )
While I was in Edinburgh, as I said I couldn't get to Holyrood as the Queen was in residence ... however I did get to see the Church she went to on the Sunday morning (although I went to the Cathedral instead!!). She goes to Canongate Church .... and yet again, it has an amazing Kirkyard( Following in Her Majesty's footstepsCollapse )
Still not organised with photos ... but will post some eventually, I promise.
However I am going to try and do this month's meme ... seeing as I failed last month. So, I have a few days to catch up on ... so, here goes -1 Have you ever flown a kite?
No!2 What is the most beautiful thing you have ever destroyed?
I have blown many dandelion clocks ... they are stunning, aren't they?3 Have you ever planted a tree? Or chopped one down? If you have done both which was more satisfying?
I have done serious pruning of trees with Dad at their last place, but left some.4 Would you rather live in a world without deodorant or painkillers?
I try not to use pain-killers ... and certainly, if you use public transport, deoderant is a must (even if some people still fail to realise this!!5 Can people really change?
Yes, but sadly very few people want to( And here is the rest of the month's questionsCollapse )
... Just got back from Bonnie Scotland ... exhausted, both from a super week, but also a 14 hour overnight coch trip. So I won't be catching up with you all (sorry), but have got to get myself "sort of" organised!! Especially as I am working om Saturday.
Anyway, a super trip, that I really enjoyed.
Jiffy is asleep behind me - he loves his new holiday home, and actually last weekend he "did" Glastonbury. The family decided they were going to have an open house and party the weekend away, and although it was for Glastonbury, I think Jiffy turned out to be the star attraction!
Anyway, as today is the 4th
, I do have to wish all you Colonials the happiest of days, and hope that you have managed to cope for another year without us!!!
Thank you for those who sent me birthday wishes - I had a great 4 days!!
On Friday I met up with a friend who is in her late 70's ... we met for lunch half way between where we both live ... and certainly spent a great time catching up. Any in Britain who watched the festival of remembrance last November will have actually seen her (just) as her father was in the Royal Flying Corps, so she was one of those who carried photos in for the remembrance ceremony.
On Saturday I met up with Brenda and we went to a Stately Home in South Wales ... and her I am in front of one of the garden displays
We had a lovely day as always. and although I miss seeing my nephews (and my brother), sadly I have never been able to be close to them.
On Sunday Christine and I were "wicked" as we didn't go to Church. She came into Exeter and bought me lunch, and then we went round the museum, and had afternoon tea. Great fun, and super relaxing.
Yesterday, on my actual birthday, I went for a walk for an hour at Budleigh Salterton, which is about 35mins drive away. It was lovely to be able to relax ... and, anyway, I did have to test out the new zoom lens on my camera and see what I could do ....( Here is the beach, and one test shot off the lensCollapse )
And, now it's Tuesday!
I have cleaned my bedroom, and the stairs (and boy am I hot?) Soon I must get an early lunch, as I am taking Jiffy off on holiday this afternoon ... and then coming back to pack and to catch the overnight coach to Edinburgh. So I shall be truly away till the end of next week ... so the meme for June has been abandoned!
Anyway, hope you are all keeping well - see you on the flip side
I know, I never popped back to catch up, but the tiredness has been a real problem this week.
However yesterday was my last day at work for a fortnight, although today and over the weekend I am busy meeting friends. But I will try to be more organised (if you could see how dusty the house is you would know you aren't the only ones I am ignoring!)
Anyway, I just wanted to say Hi, and to tell people of what today is ... other than The Longest Day. My favourite animal is a giraffe, and today is World Giraffe Day, so I have copied and pasted this off their news page for today, so you can see a bit of (yet another) project to save the stunning animals of this world ...
World Giraffe Day – 21 June 2019 – is dedicated to Twiga Tracker, the largest giraffe GPS satellite tracking programme ever in Africa (‘twiga’ is Swahili for giraffe).
Giraffe were listed as Vulnerable to extinction on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in 2016. Giraffe numbers in Africa have plummeted by a staggering 30% over the last 30 years.
We estimate today that there are only approximately 111,000 giraffe remaining in all of Africa.
To save giraffe in Africa, we need to gain a better understanding of where giraffe live, where they move and how they use their habitat. Twiga Tracker aims to track a minimum of 250 giraffe across their range with innovative GPS satellite solar units.
This is an ambitious goal – both logistically and financially. At a cost of USD2,500 per unit, deployment in remote areas of Africa will cost an estimated USD4,000-5,000 per unit – a total of more than USD1,000,000.
Twiga Tracker is a collaboration between some of the biggest names in field conservation and science: GCF has partnered with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and San Diego Zoo Global.
I am all behind with the meme, with reading your posts ... and life in general!
I ended up working a full week this week, and the last 3 days have been a struggle. So much so, I pulled out of a music thingy, and am glad as I slept for 16 hours last night. I do feel a bit better, but still very tired. However this week I am back to my normal 3 1/2 days, and then am off work for a fortnight. So, all in all I am positive about how I coped last week. I will catch up, at some point, I hope!
However I did want to get these icons posted as they are for monthlyinspo
round 25, and the theme is Flaming June. I have decided to make the 10 from a favourite film of mine, The Longest Day, which seemed so appropriate being the 75th anniversary of the Normandy Landings, and my holiday there the previous month.
As ever, all are snaggable, but credit would be appreciated. The credits are available over at my icon journal - d4s_icons
, although the images are from Google search on non-copywrite sites