Postcards from Madeira. 2

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It,s about a 45 minute walk from our hotel to the centre of Funchal and we pass through this lovely park, I,m not sure of the name. From it you also get a view over the harbour and the cruise liners that visit most days.

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A big attraction in Funchal is the covered market for fish, fruit and vegetables. Many local people go there to shop, while many tourists go to look at the unusual displays of fish and colourful displays of the local produce.

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Postcards from Madeira. 1

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Our second visit to Madeira and to the Enotel Lido hotel in Funchal. This view from our balcony was taken about 9.30 am. Sunrise is quite late in October, after 8 o clock. Breakfast in the main restaurant until 10.30. A very nice all inclusive hotel, locally rated as 5 stars. We enjoyed it last year and, after 3 days, we,re enjoying it this year too!

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More from The Knitted Bible.

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Palm Sunday.

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Wedding at Cana.

Pictures from Studley Methodist Church, 10th October 2014.

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Noah’s Ark

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Knitted Bible tableau.

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Jesus blessing the children.

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The Knitted Bible

My first blog post for over two years. I recently started using a tablet, Nexus 7, which is changing the whole way in which I use computers day to day. So with a holiday coming up this could be the time to restart my occasional entries here.

Today we went to Studley Methodist Church where they are exhibiting the Knitted Bible. This consists of 33 separate tableaux, 14 from old  testament stories and 19 from new testament stories, all made using knitted figures about 6 to 8 inches high. They were made by a total of about 50 people connected to the United Reformed Church in Hartlepool in north east England and are loaned to various churches throughout the country for fund raising displays.

Images to follow!

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Postcards from Gran Canaria 2

Thursday 23rd February 2012. 9.00am

Another lovely sunny morning and a good night’s sleep. On the balcony again, the sun is well up and plenty of people about. Nice to sit or stand here in the morning and watch them “reserving” their sunbeds for the day, striding towards the pool area, towels in hand. We both find sunbeds very uncomfortable to sit or lie on and, ever since I got sunburnt as a kid, I don’t sit in the sun for long.

Our room faces east so we get the morning sun and we lose direct sunlight on the balcony in the early afternoon. This suits us, when we have had south facing rooms we found them too hot later in the day. Time for breakfast…………….more later!

We have nice days here. Breakfast, followed by a gentle walk along the seafront. It’s great here in Meloneras, there is a seafront promenade, paseo de maritimo, which stretches about 2 miles across the front of the resort from Playa Meloneras…………

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to the sand dunes of Maspalomas……………

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Our Riu hotel is situated about half way along so we go out of the hotel gate and turn left or right as the mood takes us. It’s mainly flat, well paved and usually busy, strolling along the “prom” was always a popular holiday pastime and here is no exception.

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Sometimes a small boat sails by…………

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Lunch, coffee on the hotel terrace, sit in the sun for a while then find a shady spot in the hotel garden followed by more people watching on the terrace………….that’s a typical day.

More about the hotel and the local area later……………………

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Postcards from Gran Canaria 1

Tuesday 21st February 2012.  4.45pm

Sitting on the balcony of our room looking out over the hotel garden and swimming pools towards the Atlantic Ocean.

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Not a bad view is it? Temperature is about 23C as I write and it has been a lovely warm day. A wind getting up now, as often happens late afternoon, and people are starting to drift away from the pool area, back to their rooms or maybe the hotel terrace for a drink.

The wind is whipping up a few white horses on the sea. We see little in the way of boats from here, just the occasional yacht sailing by. Meloneras is at the southernmost tip of Gran Canaria, itself the southernmost of the main Canary Islands. I think that there are a couple of smaller islands slightly further south but for me this is the end of Europe and it is marked by the Faro, or lighthouse, of Maspalomas.

 

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I think of it as the end of Europe because, although we are on an Atlantic Island 1000 miles south of the Spanish mainland, the influence and culture is entirely Spanish. There are no indigenous people here, the last of the original population, the Guanches, died out many years ago and there is no indigenous language, just Spanish and the multitude of European languages you hear around you all day. Mostly folk like us, from northern Europe, who come to get a bit of sun and warmth away from our own winters.

Enough for today. Here’s a picture of the main hotel block in the evening sunshine.  More later……………….

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Elmley Castle, Worcestershire, St Mary’s Church.

Leaving Sedgeberrow we crossed the A46 passing Hinton on the Green which we had visited about 18 months ago. It was picnic time and we found a good place to pull off the road with a good countryside view.

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While we were there a sparrow hawk sat in the trees on the left and also a heron flew by trailing his legs in it’s lazy way. You can still enjoy a picnic even in January and nature is all around you.

On to Elmley Castle. A pretty village, quite busy at lunchtime with cars parked and folks eating at the pub.

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The church is in the middle of the village, Pevsner notes that the path to the door continues in line with the village street.

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A lovely village church, dating back to the 12th century, it includes work from the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. On a January day it was cold inside, colder than outside. As usual there are more images on my Flickr site so here I want to highlight the two superb monuments in the north transept and some interesting stone carving.

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This is the Savage family tomb for William Savage, died 1616, his son Giles, died 1631, and Giles’ wife Katherine who died in1674. Carved in alabaster this is one of the most beautiful tombs I have yet seen. The details in the carving are excellently done.

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Katherine lies holding a baby, every detail of clothing beautifully carved. She died 42 years after her husband so I wonder what is the significance of the baby, perhaps a grand child?

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The foot of the monument with two lions, a stag with an arrow through its neck and four kneeling children. The clothing and footwear look most realistic.

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Four children kneel at the foot of the tomb. Probably the sons of Giles Savage. Pevsner (Alan Brooks 2007) suggests a date of 1631 for the tomb, the work of Samuel Baldwin.

On the opposite wall of the transept is the large monument to Thomas, First Earl of Coventry, died 1699. Signed by William Stanton. This edifice was supposed to be placed in the Coventry family church at Croome d’Abitot but a family dispute made that impossible. The Earl’s widow had married Thomas Savage of Elmley Castle and thus the monument finished up here. His lordship looks very relaxed.

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 Two more pieces of stone carving, firstly the font. The bowl is 16th century but the carved dragons on the base are likely to be from the 13th century and very realistic.

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Finally a small carving of a rabbit from the porch. Undated but certainly medieval. I understand that there is also a pig but the cold beat me in the end. A return visit in warmer weather is needed.

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English parish churches are full of surprises and relics of our history. This one is no exception and well worth a visit. It is usually open.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sedgeberrow, Worcestershire.

Tuesday 17th January was another relatively fine day and an opportunity to visit a couple of Worcestershire churches. We had to make a call in Alcester so drove on to Evesham for a coffee stop at Morrison’s. Very useful these supermarkets with their free parking and facilities for personal comforts. This coffee shop is a little too near the main doors  and was a bit chilly on this morning!

A couple of miles south of Evesham, Sedgeberrow lies just off the A46 and is an attractive village. The spire of St Mary’s church is well visible as you approach but, as so often, disappears the nearer you get. The church is in the heart of the village and is kept locked. The vicar no longer lives in the village, he is at Hampton, Evesham, but there are two churchwardens listed on the board and we came up trumps with the first, Mrs Banks. She asked us to wait a few minutes and she soon arrived by car with her husband. They made us most welcome and were able to tell us a lot about the church and how it is today.

The church was consecrated in 1331 and today’s building is original including the west tower which is unusual as it hexagonal in its lower stages and octagonal in the upper stage and the spire, probably as near as we get to a round tower in Worcestershire. (The spire was renewed in Butterfield’s 19th century restoration.)

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The interior is 14th century and was restored to this state by William Butterfield in 1866-68.

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He installed the large, wide screen and the unusual reredos together with the tiling around the chancel, the pulpit and the font cover. The font itself is thought to be 13th century.

 

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The church is high and wide which suggest an Anglo-Saxon origin. The west wall has a rectangular opening very high up which is similar to other Anglo-Saxon churches. (Unfortunately obscured by the screen in this image.)

 

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A very successful visit and many thanks to Mr and Mrs Banks for opening up.  More pictures on my Flickr site. I would like to go back in warmer weather and take some pictures of the village!

From Sedgeberrow we went on a few miles to Elmley Castle which will be the next post.

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