Saturday, January 12, 2013

New Year floods and ectoplasm

This was taken just beyond the weir beside the River Weaver in Nantwich, Cheshire, where Joe and I spent Christmas. Directly ahead at the end of the pathway there used to be a huge mill, burned down in the seventies when a stray firework dived inside.

The swans are enjoying the flood. We decided not to cycle through this - back-to-front to boating lore, where if swans are bottom-up you know it's too shallow for a cruiser, if swans are swimming it's too deep for a bicycle.

There was an unexpected connection to home when we were visiting Joe's mother in Hayes, Kent. Joe pulled out three old books from under the sideboard, published in the early 1950s.

It's monkeys I think of first when I see the name capuchin, which I suppose says something about my upbringing, but of course this Annual was produced by the Order of Capuchin Friars. The Capuchins are a branch of the Franciscan Order, recognisable from their russet brown habit with long pointed hood (capuce). It was the hood that gave them what began as a nickname. The friars' range is worldwide, but the monkeys only live in Central and South America, and were named by explorers after the friars. I have to say it's a stretch of the imagination to see the resemblance between friars and monkeys, but I suppose if you were in uncharted (and presumably terrifying) jungle in the 15th century, you'd be looking for connections with home.

So this is the photo I found in the Annual:

You can just see the caption which says 'Mountshannon, Co Clare'.

It's clearly the main street, but I'm not sure in which direction. I'll have a proper look next time I'm there in daylight.

We were lucky to not get caught in floods when we were travelling around the country visiting family and friends. All the way up the A1(M) from London to Leeds just before the New Year we were hearing of 20 mile-plus diversions in towns to left and right, roads closed due to flooding.

In Leeds we went on a New Year's Eve quest for cocktail glasses with Joe's cousin Siobhán. This was the post-midnight result:

I don't recall trying to contact the Other Side but there you go. The medium appears to be at work. I'd say that's ectoplasm wobbling up by the curtain.

There's some fabulous countryside around Leeds, so on New Year's Day Siobhán and I went off with the dog to Chevin Forest Park. So did the rest of the world and her husband, but it was wonderful anyway. Plenty of space to almost think you were alone. Great views and enough fresh air to revitalise.

So here we are creeping back into the light. The birds are singing and the broccoli is sprouting. The gods and goddesses are in their heavens.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,
    I also own a Rampart 32. I keep her in north wales.
    My Parents also live in Nantwhich. spooky eh.

    send me an e mail and i will send you some photos.