Have you ever found that weeks can seem to have disappeared from your life?
This is exactly what has happened to me in January and I will try and explain how and why.
I spent the most joyous Christmas at home with my elder son arriving first from Sydney, and my younger son and family coming from Bangkok later.
I had spent quite a lot of time preparing for a full household and also thinking about what everyone might like to do during the short seven days that my younger son Angus and his family were here from Thailand. Elder son Sloane was over until the 18th January — a wonderful added bonus.
The Bangkok contingent arrived on the 23rd December, Alice’s 18th birthday — great excitement despite jet lag — we started off decorating the Christmas tree before Alice opened her presents and then devouring a scrumptious celebratory chocolate birthday cake. Ever since my two sons were young, the Womble candle holders have taken pride of place and they did yet again, coming out of their special container. Wise Great Uncle Bulgaria, Handyman Tobermory, Chef Madame Cholet and the lazy and rather naughty Orinoco all found their places on the icing. I don’t know where the others have gone. Polar bears also joined the Wombles.
The next day was Christmas Eve and final present wrapping etc. as the excitement increased. Cooking preparations were the order of the day for me - such a stuffing the turkey and preparing as much in advance as possible. Everyone mucked in and the kitchen was abuzz.
I produced a wooden Wentworth jigsaw puzzle; a difficult one of the crop circle called the 2002 Druid’s Knot which remained unfinished despite all combined family efforts. This formation was one of the most energetic I have ever visited and it wreaked havoc not only with a Norwegian TV team’s camera equipment (they said it had never happened to them before) but also wiped clean the hard drive on Dr Roger Taylor’s computer during our Scientific Research Day experiments.
A costly repair, but the diagram below shows the electrical spike that probably caused this disaster.
Shopping on Boxing Day, much to the grandchildren’s delight, and good buys to be had particularly for things that are not available in Thailand and then, joy of joys, we woke up to snow the following morning.
I am keen on instilling a bit of culture, so as I live close to Winchester, a visit to the Cathedral was the obvious choice. The cathedral is magnificent and renowned for its splendid Gothic architecture. The original building dates to 642 and site lies just to the north of the present cathedral. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winchester_Cathedral
This photograph shows the extraordinary ceiling work, almost resembling the skeletal structure of the inside of a whale, running along the whole nave length of the cathedral.
The Crypt is one of my favourite places in the cathedral and contains a beautiful sculpture of a man by Antony Gormley. The Crypt is only open if no services are being held. Often the water laps right up the leg of the man but despite all the recent rain the water table must be currently very low. It is place of immense calm.
We also saw one of the most beautiful illuminated bibles, (kept safely under lock and key in a glass case) that I have ever seen. When one thinks of the cramped and limiting conditions under which the scribes and monks were working in in those days, using candles, the sheer beauty and artwork becomes even more impressive. Dating back to the 12th century, it is one of the oldest surviving English Bibles. We are told that a single scribe worked on the Latin Text but that several monks performed the exquisite artwork. It was clearly a work of great significance and no expense was spared as gold leaf and the costly lapis lazuli were used in its production.
The grandchildren are getting older, and it is such a joy for me to see them eager and interested in soaking up new information and visiting places that might not have held such interest and appeal to them a few years ago. A wonderful day much enjoyed by us all and despite having visited this cathedral many, many times, I am continuously struck by its sense of wondrous peace and welcome.
Sadly, the time went all too fast and Angus and his lovey family departed on the 30th December. After a wonderful New Year’s party to welcome in 2018, I was struck down by one of the many infections that are currently circulating and since then the whole month seems to have disappeared in a haze. Being reduced to having to go to bed is not my thing but sometimes it just has to be. I am normally so fit and well, and I am told that often we are the ones to go down the hardest when hit by something as virulent as mine. Still suffering from extreme tiredness, I wanted to send you a brief message that I am well on my way to full recovery and feeling cheered that the planet Jupiter is in all our astrological houses this coming year. To me it is a planet of expansion, love and opportunities.
A brief mention that my calendar is still available and selling well, and that the dates are my crop circle tours this coming summer are as follows:
Please book early as tickets are limited
Tuesday 24th July Crop Circle Tour
24th July evening Private Entry Visit to Stonehenge
It is a mystically wonderful experience to see the sun set over the stones and feel the magic of this ancient place.
Wednesday 1st August Crop Circle Tour which has an optional extra of flying over the circles
This is an incredible way of seeing circles in all their majesty from the air, together with the surrounding countryside, which depending on where the circles are, might include flying over the famous stone complex at Avebury and the sacred Silbury Hill, the largest man-made hill in Europe.
I also take a few private tours at different dates as requested.