Thursday, 10 April 2014

A Ramble from Loddon to Hales

Looking back over my shoulder I could see the tower of Loddon church sinking into the trees as I wended my way along the paths and lanes and on into the countryside. 

With a lick of sun on my back and a delicious fresh leafy green tang in the air, on I walked, losing myself in the rhythm of my movement...

However, when I saw a large herd of beautiful cows grazing, I had to stop and stare. To this city boy they appeared other worldly. For a moment, I thought of my mum...

"He had lovely long eye-lashes - like a cows" she once revealed to her young sons. Big mistake! Still to this day we rib her about 'Cows Eyes' who gave her a ride (and that isn't a euphemism!) on the back of his scooter and jumped a light, blinking all the time with lashes like a cat-o-nine tails. 

The cow looked at me with a bit of a hard look in its eye - but I wasn't cowed. However, I was surprised to note that they wearing hearing aids. I looked at the cow; the cow looked back at me. There was a bit of an edge to this situation, so - to lighten things up a little - I told the cow an improvised joke...

Q: "What do cows have for breakfast?"
A: "Moo-sli!"

I tried another quip...
"I'm just going for a moo-ch. What about you?"

The cow just looked back at me, impassively. She didn't appear to be amoosed at all. No sense of humour! I decided to move on...

After an hour and a half or so, Hales church came into view. My pace quickened as I looked forward to re-visiting this fantastic Norman country church, with it's round tower, thatched roof and original apse (the semi-circular shaped east end). 

Even if Norfolk's livestock do lack a sense of humour, the county's churches certainly are something to behold.

For further information about Norfolk's amazing churches, visit Simon Knott's excellent site...

The Norfolk Churches Site

~ by Munro Tweeder-Harris Esq. ~

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Hearts Racing!

Male Ragged Ramblers appreciate a well-turned ankle as much as the next chap. Therefore, there was many a twinkle in the eye of our members when the delightful Clarissa Bulwer-Rant joined us for tea and cake recently. She set many a heart a-racing I can tell you. What a honey! 


Friday, 7 March 2014

Wheels & Wellies

Please click on image in order to enlarge (it not you!)

Jebediah had a regrettable habit of cycling head down, paying no heed to potential hazards around him.

Please note: as an experiment, we have removed the comment moderation we previously had in place to prevent unintelligible spam gibberish from overwhelming our blog. Please feel free to comment here and add your own human generated gibberish if you so wish. Huzzah!

Friday, 28 February 2014

A Small Plaster Head

One of the many delights of visiting a church for the first time are the surprise finds one encounters. So it was when Mr Many Coats and I recently happened upon this plaster fragment. Horse? Seahorse? Dragon? Sea Dragon? Not quite sure, but this small head (c6 cms in length) certainly piqued our curiosity. 

Thursday, 20 February 2014

A Venerable Petrol Pump

The last people to buy petrol from this venerable pump were Vic King and Mr Pillage, late of Guist in Norfolk. The year was 1978 and it was the morning of the 21st of August - a sunny morning with blue skies and the sound of skylarks singing distantly. 

Two hours and twenty one minutes after this purchase Vic King and Mr Pillage terminated their longstanding friendship following an irreconcilable difference about dating evidence in vernacular medieval buildings.  This wasn't the first relationship to end on the jagged rocks of such pernickerty disputations and it certainly won't be the last. Egad!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Finningham Church - Keep Out!

The photograph was taken at the porch door of St Bartholomew's Church, Finningham, in North Suffolk. We are always saddened when a church meets the criteria for inclusion on our 'Inaccessible Churches' Google map (which you can find on the sidebar of this blog). I'm afraid that, unlike most churches in this area of Suffolk, Finningham was very much locked when we visited last week. Not only were no keyholder details available, there wasn't even any signage we could find to let us know where we were. In the end, I asked Mr. Many Coats if he could GPS our location. We were not impressed!

We will be delighted if anyone from this church contacts us to say that, either: 

  • We caught them on a bad day
  • We were dozy dolts who failed to see the signage
  • We've researched the literature, realised that open churches experience less crime than locked ones, and have, consequently, had a change of heart and have decided to make it an open church, as it was intended to be. 
In the meantime, Finningham Church has earned a place on our 'Name & Shame' map of inaccessible churches:

Inaccessible Churches

Tunnock Talk

Ragged Rambler's are very partial to Tunnock's Teacakes. In between our exhausting antiquarian explorations and investigations we can often be found discussing different aspects of these delightful chocolate-clad clouds of soft, moist mallow. Thus, as we sat eating a delightful packed lunch in the porch of a church in North Suffolk the other day, we got to yarning about the Teacake. Play the following recording in order to get a flavour (do you see what we did there!) of the conversation...

Of summer days

Of summer days,
We sit and think.
The warming glow,
Gracing faces.
Lighting places,
Lifting spirits,
Cheering souls.
We sit and think
Of summer days

Friends with laughter
Flowering brightness
Lichen blossom
Birds singing.
We sit and think
Of summer days
Busy bees, making honey
Ragged Ramblers being funny.
Oh do we though 
sit and think
Of summer days soon be coming.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

No Matter Which City Urine

Please click on the image in order to enlarge it

Like all sensible people I have a particular interest in the history of pre-cast concrete toilet buildings. I have researched the subject extensively and have travelled far and wide in search of concrete evidence. My quest has taken me to every continent and, because of her inexplicable lack of interest in this area of research, has even cost my former wife her marriage. 

During all of this I dreamt that one day I would locate the oldest pre-cast concrete toilet in the world. Whilst at this particular juncture I am not prepared to share my full research findings with the wider world, I can reveal that the oldest such toilet is located on St Crispin's Road, Norwich (see image, above), a quaint city in the Eastern part of the United Kingdom. Constructed in 1919, this convenience would have attracted huge queues back in the day. Whereas I had expected there to be some conveniently situated interpretation panel, alack there was nothing. 

What on earth are the city authorities thinking of in neglecting such a treasure! I am quite sure many other heritage tourists would travel from far and near to see such lovely and ornate lavatorial architecture. Why, were this located in Canada or the United States I am quite sure that there would be a purpose-built visitor centre staffed by a team of interpretative guides and one of those generic gift shops. It is my sincere hope that such a vision will be realised within my own lifetime...

I am not a man normally prone to outbursts of emotion, but standing before this exquisite artifact I thought of my wife and how she foolish she had been to have missed a moment like this. I found myself flushed and sobbing uncontrollably. I was in a blue funk. Quite frankly, I was dying for a slash; had already dribbled a little - wouldn't you know it, the flippin' thing was boarded up! 

© W.C. Khazi 2014

Monday, 20 January 2014

'Dave Allen in Search of the Great English Eccentric'

We are interested in eccentrics and eccentricity. We admire Dave Allen. We hope that you enjoy this.