“But St George is the patron saint of the English!” you must be exclaiming, possibly with indignation.And of course that’s correct,except that St Edmund was also our patron saint, well before St George was.
The night before King Richard the Lionheart won the battle of Lydda in 1199 during the Crusades he had prayed at the tomb of St George so, after his victory, he adopted George as his own personal patron saint. Before long, English soldiers were wearing the cross of St George into battle and by 1348 he was officially the patron saint of England. Continue reading
I’d been wanting to go to Ireland for most of my life, it seemed and I finally got to spend a fortnight there this summer. What a wonderful place: full of history, charm, friendly people, good accommodation and wholesome food. Here are some of the things I found out:
I first became interested in W.H. Davies (1871-1940), the author of The Autobiography of a Supertramp, when I was writing a blog entry on his poem which begins, “What is this life if, full of care,we have no time to stand and stare?”. You can read this most relaxed of poems and the blog entry here.
While scratching around to find some information about the man behind the poem, I was interested enough by what I read of his personality and life to want to read his autobiography. Even the title of it sounds quite modern and inviting to a twenty-first century reader, despite being written in the very early years of the twentieth century. Interestingly, much of the book also reads like something written more recently.
Many of us think we know what buildings there are of interest in our area and we’ve probably visited all the best-known ones. Then, when we encounter a new part of the country, we follow the hordes of tourists to the likes of Stonehenge or the Tower of London or the Roman baths or wherever screams loudest at us from the racks of gaudy tourist leaflets.
But, if we take the trouble to read up on some more detailed information or, better still, to talk to the locals or the experts, we can often be rewarded with finding somewhere really special which not everyone knows about. Continue reading