Monday, 26 October 2015

Across The Border

Bodiam Castle has been on my bucket list since I first saw a picture of the glorious approach across the moat. As we were staying in East Sussex and the weather forecast was good, it was an obvious destination.  However, as we headed off murky clouds slid furtively across the sky, obscuring the sun.
And there remained.

Despite the gloomy and frankly disappointing weather, I still got some interesting shots.

...some featuring my favourite model...
but it was frustrating, knowing how much better my pictures would be, if only they were bathed in golden sunlight.  
Yes, mist, frost, snow or rain would all add mood to my shots, 
but the unrelenting grey murk that Mother Nature had perversely decided to deliver, just did not impress me!  
From time to time the cloud would thin, and we would wonder if the sun would make an appearance before we left.
Having had our fill of vertigo inducing battlements and hauling ourselves up and down spiral staircases, we retreated to watch a short history of the castle.  It was very interesting, but left us feeling as if we would never ever feel warm again.  We retreated to the cafe to defrost before heading off to explore Tenterden in Kent.  
Finally the sun decided to break through
and we spent a very pleasant couple of hours exploring this pleasant town.  
The gentle sunshine illuminated the stone walls of the parish church with bright patches of colour.

The KHT was very taken with the railway station

Unfortunately there were no trains running, which surprised us as it is half term in many places.

As we returned across the churchyard we were surprised to see a wheelchair, lurking in the churchyard.  I have no idea why...

Heading back towards the Sussex border, we were surprised to see the bank of cloud, still lurking.

Never mind, if the sun did not smile in Sussex at least the fish in the moat showed their faces, 
as they competed with the ducks for the bread so generously distributed by the tourists...

Thursday, 8 October 2015

That's Entertainment?

On average seven women and two men are killed by their partners each month in England and Wales.

Last night I witnessed a murder.
Add to this the shooting of a suspect,
abduction of a child,
theft from a deceased person,
sale of a child into slavery
and a training school for pick pockets.
Mix in a few song and dance routines and a pub with a decidedly non p c name
and the whole thing magically becomes entertainment...

Yes, last night I took my daughter to see a production of Oliver, and she loved it.
This was no Disney version.
It was dark and gritty, with cockney accents to boot.
The children's chorus were a delight as they sang "Food glorious food" with gusto.
The Artful Dodger was delightfully artless.
Nancy sang with passion.
The Doctor was cynical.
Grandfather was idealistic.
The Undertaker was delightfully melancholic.
Bill Sykes was intimidating, oozing unpleasantness - sadly we have all known someone who made us feel that uneasy.  We watched in fascinated horror, as he toppled down the stairs after being shot, wondering exactly how far he was going to fall and would he really make it into the orchestra pit...

Yet as I watched I was aware of the darker side of society that the story illustrated.
Poor Nancy - a victim of domestic violence.
Murdered by the one she thought loved her.
Grew up in a pick pocket gang.
Was it only the proceeds from petty crime that were taken from her?
Where and when did she lose her innocence?
Maybe she never really did.
In my daughters eyes she sacrificed herself for Oliver.
"It's no different to the Bible!" observed the rational one, on hearing my misgivings.
Yes, there is violence galore in the Old Testament,
and turn to the New Testament for the greatest sacrifice of all.
Now that is what I call a twist...

Monday, 5 October 2015

"Join our congregation..."

Come on in.
Just push the door open
and make yourself at home.
The seats are comfy,
padded bench seats,
or individual chairs if you prefer.

Come on in.
The place is cosy and warm.
No nasty draughts
whistling around your ankles
or neck.
Take off your hat,
unwind your scarf.
You don't need to wear a coat in here!

Come on in.
Listen to the babble of cheerful voices,
small group discussions on the topics of the day.
The groups organise themselves,
they don't need a leader.
They show pastoral care,
discussing operations
and promotions.
And the group over there
came straight from Aunt Vera's funeral.
They knew the right place to come!

Come on in,
There is plenty of history,
tastefully updated.
We like to preserve the past
but cannot afford to compromise on comfort.
After all our building need to be fit for purpose,
we are not a museum,
we are need to meet the expectations of the visitors of today.

Come on in.
I hate to mention the word money,
but I am sure you understand
but we have bills to pay,
and future developments to finance.
So dig deep into your pockets
and avoid any embarrassment!

Come on in.
Not all our drinks are alcoholic,
though our coffee isn't what we are known for!
There is plenty of room for improvement.
Gluten free?

Come on in.
We are open every day
until late in the evening,
when we will be encouraging you in your leaving.
Don't you lot have homes to go to?
Have a safe journey
and come again soon!

Come on in.
The service is swift
but admittedly may not be what you are used to.
You may have had experienced something different,
before you saw the light
and stepped through the doors
into the warmth of our congregation....
at Weatherspoon's...

"join our congregation"