24 September 2011

The Stone Menagerie no 1

Well, alabaster, to be absolutely accurate, rather than stone - but I really couldn't resist taking a shot of this carved dog on the Rickardes tomb in Chipping Norton church. The detail is amazing, and it was surely carved from life - you can even see the claws, and I can just imagine the collar with what were probably a gilt brass buckle and matching quatrefoil decorations on the leather. Some sort of bull terrier, I would think - I saw one very similar hanging its head out of a car window only a few days later, looking for things to chase, as it were. Pity this one looks so melancholy (and I wished I could un-muzzle him!), but I suppose he's partly intended as a mourner...

15 September 2011

The Ancestors Say Hello

Yesterday we had a day in Chipping Norton in search of my Meades ancestors. The weather was bright and breezy and the town looked at its best with all that pale gold stonework reflecting the September sunshine. We made a beeline for the church - often a good place to start anyway, but in this case there was an extra that put a smile on my face straightaway. One of the first things I saw was this inscription:

for all the world like a welcome.

We also found Mowbray Meades on the war memorial plaque, and a group of at least three gravestones to members of the family just outside the door. And Richard Meades who was my great great great great grandfather was the mason who led the rebuilding of the church tower early in the 19th century. Salute!

14 September 2011

Electric Flowers?

A slightly bizarre image taken at the end of a coach tour during the recent biennial conference of the Anthony Powell Society in London. Not actually electric flowers, despite appearances! (Best effect achieved by clicking on the image to enlarge it).