Monday, November 17, 2008

fossicking (and draw winners)

Current work: Medical, chapter 2
Listening to: Peter Green
Reading: Maggie Kingsley, A Baby For Eve (phenomenal book – great characterisation, very emotional subject and handled with great sensitivity)

First, the important stuff: the book draw. Thanks so much to everyone who replied here or sent me private emails about cats – you’ve given me tons of ideas and it’s really appreciated. (Diane, I’m still grinning about your grandmother’s comment.)

My cat dilemma is now sorted: I’m using Jan’s backstory for my rescue cat (it reflects the heroine’s past rather well). The cat will be a Burmese like Biddy’s (I like the hot water bottle bit) but female (though am borrowing Dylan’s name for the puppy who appears later in the book). And am using a name suggested by Mags (Pandora – whose story will suit the cat, and it’s also the name of certain jewellery I like – yes, Mags, I know I should’ve thought of it myself *g*), And my random name-draw came up with Liz Fenwick.

So Jan, Biddy, Mags and Liz, please email me (kate dot hardy at btinternet dot com) with your snailmail addy, and I will post copies of The Greek Doctor’s New-Year Baby later this week.

Spent the weekend doing bits of the book (i.e. writing out of sequence – have come up with a solution to a problem, and just hope my editor sees it the same way); did most of my Christmas shopping; and also did a bit of location research. Sadly, some of the churches I wanted to visit were locked, and there was no hint of a keyholder (one was particularly galling as it’s to do with DH’s family history research; and another claims on its website that it’s open and stewarded every day. Not on a Sunday afternoon at 3pm, it’s not – so we have to go back another day). But I did get most of the pictures I wanted. And some that were en route. DH hates asking for keys so I can only really do this if I’m out with the kids. I so wanted to see the elephant bench-end at Thurgarton. (Mutter, mutter. But he’s good enough to join my research crew as chauffeur me so I can concentrate on mapreading… so I shouldn’t moan.)

Here’s the village green at Heydon, a village that always feels as if it belongs in a different time. (It's frequently used as a film/TV drama setting.)

The church has some fabulous wall paintings, including one that may be of the Magi as part of a nativity sequence.

It also has the most enormous marble slab, commemorating Erasmus Earle – he was an MP in the Long Parliament, and was responsible for sentencing to death the people involved in Norwich’s ‘Great Blowe’ of 1648. (Hmm. I’m with Norwich on that one, not Earle. Am usually a bit of a fence-sitter on the Civil War, as there were huge wrongs on both sides, but on this case am firmly with the Royalists.)

At Little Barningham, there’s an unusual box pew. The carving on the pew (dated 1640) reads:
For couples joynd in wedlock and my friends that stranger is, this seat did I intend, built at the cost and charge of Steven Crosbee.

All you that doe this place pass by
As you are nowe even so was I
Remember death for you must dye
And as I am so shall you be
Prepare therefore to follow me.

(The verse is pretty common, and there’s another fabulous example in Norwich Cathedral.)

But the really unusual thing is the skeleton on the corner (the spectre at the feast, perhaps?).
Sadly, this is a replacement, as the original carving was stolen in 1995. (It does make me wonder – what kind of scumbag saws off a carving in a church and steals it? And what kind of scumbag gives them money for it? It couldn't have been sold on the open market, so it has to be in a private collection. Wouldn’t it be nice if these people developed a conscience and returned it?)

But, to leave on a nicer note – rosy-tinted glass. All right, ruby glass. I’m pretty sure this is flashed glass as I noted chips of white (in other words, there is a layer of ruby glass blown over the white glass to make it slightly lighter) and I think this is just lovely. It’s from Roughton church (I went there to see the herringbone work on the tower, so this was a bonus).


liz fenwick said...

How exciting! I didn't know there was a book in the offing!! Will email you :-)

Jan Jones said...

Ooh, how generous of you, Kate!

I, er, think you might just have my address kicking around somewhere, don't you?

Lovely ruby glass - not so sure about the skeleton!

Kate Hardy said...

Liz - excellent, will wait to get your email :o)

Kate Hardy said...

Jan - mm, I might just have it around :o)

And I knew you'd hate the skelly. The glass is lovely, though.