Friday 21 December 2012

Solstice in the Marshes

Last year I offered my libation to the midwinter sun at the site of the Arminghall henge: this year, the offering was tea instead of homebrewed ale, and the site a touch... livelier. Watching the sun rise over Buckenham marshes, the roosting rooks and crows suddenly took off, seemingly all at once, from the nearby woods, into the day ahead. An amazing sight to experience and a beautiful sunrise: not the worst way to start what is supposed to be the end of the world...

The Earth Is a Temple of the Sun

Happy Midwinter, y'all.

Thursday 20 December 2012

Tree Sprites: The Fairies by Norwich Market

Christmas fairy lights in the trees on Gentleman's Walk, Norwich. It wouldn't be the most energy-efficient idea in the world, but I propose a cultural shift: instead of Christmas lights, towns and houses light up over the winter with more general 'seasonal' lights. Mid November through to late February, say, to help counter the New Year blues a touch. The stripping of the lights in the grey early days of a year always feels so harsh and brutal.

Wednesday 19 December 2012

Christmas in Doggerland

Another couple of images lurking on my hard drive, from (I think) January 2011. It was certainly into a new year. Have always quite liked the image of discarded (natural) Christmas trees following the festive season. They make the unremitting misery of January feel even more bleak. This tree, dumped in the wash on the beach just outside West Runton, also ties into my neverending fascination with the decaying coast.

Thursday 6 December 2012

Deep Hole Formi(ng)

An image I found lurking forgotten on my hard-drive. I've babbled on about my fascination with coastal erosion and the lost Doggerland before: this is an unused image from a load I took whilst walking the beach and cliffs at Happisburgh, the village that is being slowly claimed by the sea.

Deep Hole Forming. Sums up quite a lot, in its own small way.

"Once Our Foe:" The Grave of Jean de Narde, Dereham

In the churchyard of St Nicholas, Dereham - the same churchyard in which St. Walstan's Well can be found (as detailed in an October 2012 entry), lies a memorial for a French soldier called Jean de Narde. The imposing-looking bell tower of St Nicholas actually stands apart from the church proper - apparently the actual church tower is not strong enough to hold the bells, making this separate structure necessary.

Supposedly dating from around the early sixteenth century, in the late 1700s the bell tower had something of a different use - that of a holding prison for French prisoners of the Napoleonic wars. On October 6th 1799, one of these prisoners managed to escape the tower, only to be shot, and killed, by a guard. He was buried in the churchyard.

The memorial was erected in tribute to de Narde in 1858, and includes a line I found particularly moving when I read it: "Once our foes but now our allies and brethren."