Sunday, 27 February 2011

The Canterbury Trip

This is not going to be a funny or witty post, because I have to admit that I am officially smitten. The Canterbury Cathedral is just magical. It's like being in and out of history, there are little doors and secret places and ruins and wonderful Gothic sculptures and funny pagan column capitals. It made me all giddy, how touchable every piece of stone was (I REALLY touched them), how alive the whole place felt. When we walked around the church and got through the cloisters and ended up in the remains of the Monastic Herbarium, I felt I was back in Zsambek, where my love for church ruins have started. The cathedral also has one of the biggest crypt I have ever seen beside the St. Peter's Basilica. And instead of the place becoming a ghost ridden tourist attraction, it is a living place of worship and prayer and research and if that wasn't enough, the Archbishop of Canterbury is the leader of the whole Anglican Church all over the world. And they have Very Reverends and Most Reverends. The Cathedral also has its own jam and fudge brand. That is surely funny.

The houses within the city wall are also pretty old. We had lunch in the house where the Mayflower's charter was signed. Big thing :) Celebrating that, I had American Breakfast and my picture taken in a ship window mirror. Brendon ate pancakes with berries. And more pancakes. And then the end of my eggs and hash browns. And banana smoothies. I had hot chocolate with marshmallows. Then it started to rain and so we came home.

Brendon thought that the city was spooky. Brendon thinks all English cities are spooky.

The nave of the Cathedral and 28 years
 of building work of some poor soul.
Me at cafe whatever

The sculpture which was thrown
 out of a church and ended up there

When even the scaffolding looks marvellous

To remember where we are

The Herbarium

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Memento mori

Yesterday we tried to visit the Highgate cemetery. We only got to the east side, because the guided tour of the west side was washed away by hail and rain. I also wasn't sure if I wanted to see whether my camera can swim or not.
It is easy for an English graveyard to look all adventurous and romantic. Because of the constant humid weather, even a 10 years old tombstone looks like something from the time of secrets and druids. Covered by moss and ivy.

But it also made me think... Who did we build graves for? For the dead? I bet they don’t care, no matter what we believe in. If they are really religious and they sit up on the clouds with their chosen God, would they really care where their carcass is located? If they believe they are dead for good and no Gods, no honey, no endless mercy, but worms and decay, would they really want a little stone house to commemorate their own remains?

Is it for us to remember? I remember alright to every soul I ever loved and lost, I don’t need to visit memories made of marble.

Is it for us to show to other people that we care? I think we are sorry creatures if we care for the dead instead of caring for the living. And so many times we only care for those people when they are gone.

Yeah let’s make nice big tombs so we can push away our bad conscious of mistreating our relatives while they were still alive. As if it helps.

Humans are strange. We are so much the victims of our pride and vanity that we actually make cities for dead, where we can show off our money and love. Oh so weird.

That said I have seen the grave of Marx. More famous next time, when we actually look at the west side. Malcolm McLaren, here I come.
On the way back to the top of Highgate we have visited a pub. Not an unusual thing in itself, but this one happened to have the first ever autopsy made in one of its rooms. Obviously the ancient Egyptians and Rembrandts friend Nicolaes Tulp would have something to say about that… And it also has a ghost. Spanish maid apparently. And Dick Turpins hidden booty.

Food was good, I had haddock, Brendon had pigeon.

Tomb of the mossy kind
Ivy and the moss
In the pub with the ghost
More tombs, moss and ivy

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Who's gonna ride your wild ponies

I admit it was my idea. We were told it will be warm. But it also rained so the whole area was grey and dark and unpleasant. And was full of wild ponies. Very wild ponies. Brendon thought the Hound of Baskervilles was also around somewhere. He also thought that the New Forest National Park was a very scary place, so let me tell you this:

The New Forest is not new, as a matter of fact it is the antithesis of new.
The New Forest is not even a forest, but a marshland.
The New Forest is filled with wild ponies. What is a wild pony anyway...
The New Forest has castles and ghosts. Apparently...
And the wild ponies...

But the scariest thing is that the center of The New Forest, a village called Lyndhurst (it really is a village, one main street and two side street) has a Ferrari and a Maserati dealer.
Now how about that...

Very green moss and the bog
Bolton's bench
Another very green moss with another bog
Brendon and the wild ponies at Hill Top (it wasn't a hill at all)