First of all, anyone who follows Billy Blue Eyes' church bothering blog, The Church Explorer, will like me be sad to know that he has collapsed and is currently in Intensive Care. Hoping he is sorted and back home a.s.a.p. Get Well Soon Billy.
Kittens are scooting about like there's no tomorrow. Lulu is slightly less comfortable, but she did have her hernia done, and they have their painkiller drops of Loxicom with breakfast and seem fine after that. I was down for a couple of hours in the middle of the night (again) and all the cats were on the sofa with me - the kittens taking it in turns to go in the plush bed I bought them when they were tiny. I got a bit more of my book read but honestly, I've got a stack of books to get through a mile high and no time to read. That said, I am putting in a couple of hours a day on the family history, inputting family to
Amazon Ancestry. Retreating into the past like that is always a good coping mechanism for me.
I'll just do brief descriptions for the misericords:
I loved that they had included a beautiful modern misericord of our late Queen, riding side-saddle (as at Trooping the Colour), and we will say that the horse is Burmese, the black mare she rode for 18 consecutive years. She was a gift from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police).
The Hart at Rest, which was the badge of Richard II (deposed by the first Lancastrian king Henry IV).
The Antelope Gorged and Chained. This was the personal badge of the saintly Henry VI in whose reign the misericords were carved. The Pagan Green Men either side were a reminder to parishioners to be aware of loose morals and sin.
Mermaid with (missing) comb and mirror and dolphins (love their rather human teefs!) - an anti-feminine theme as mermaids symbolized seduction. This particular one may have been paid for by John Merbury, a patron of the living here in 1437, who had this symbolism as his crest.
A rather strange one, since the bat has the head of a young woman. This symbolises the harpy )(or Eve!) - pretty, but rapacious and craving gratification, who uses her charms to destroy her man.
This was my favourite - though poor owl, he was he symbol of ignorance and as a creature of the dark, symbolically was seen as shunning the light of the Gospel. There is a very similar owl at All Souls College, Oxford so one assumes that the craftsmen travelled to wherever a cathedral or large church was being built, and plied their trades.
This lovely seasonal misericord probably represents January or February, when the countryman could sit indoors by the fire and enjoy the profit of his labours the previous year - flitches of bacon and a pot cooking over the fire. Similar misericords may be found at Worcester cathedral, and a series of seasonal ones at Malvern Priory.
This rather splendid Griffin, with Griffin head close-ups either side, is supposedly the offspring of a lion and an eagle, and rumoured to guard hidden treasures. This symbol of watchfulness was adopted by Edward III as a badge. However, in the French bestiary it was symbolic of the devil.
One to make you smile - a drunken tapster drawing wine from a cask while in his left hand he still holds the bung. Either the trusted servant abusing that trust, or a dig at a monkish cellarar with a drink problem.
Though missing their heads, this carving would seem to be a lesson on the evils of the demon drink, and probably dates to the late 14th C (based on clothing style).
Beautifully carved bench ends showing two Angels.
And above the Misericords - such craftsmanship in all these beautiful statues and angels.
Many thanks to Peter Klein, whose descriptions of the Misericords I used, word for word in places.
Off to get a paper now. Enjoy your Sunday.