Friday, April 23, 2010

ST. GEORGE'S DAY - ENGLAND..... Celebrate! Fly the Flag! for today is our National Day.

Today in England flags will be flown from public buildings and many folk will proudly wear some sign or symbol.... such as a rose or a badge to show their loyalty to the land where they were born.

Although I live in Wales now and I can lay claim to inheriting a quarter Welshness from my Welsh Grandmother, I am very proud of my English heritage..... so today we wear our rose and celebrate with pride .

This statue of St. George and the Dragon forms part of the War Memorial to the men of Stanway, it stands at the junction of Stanway village on the main road that goes on to Stow-on-the-Wold. When I lived in Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, this was a neighbouring village.
St. George slaying the dragon symbolises the ultimate triumph of good over evil.


April is a busy month, everything is bursting into life and so much needs attention in the garden. Lawns are being mowed, seeds are being sown and the greenhouse is full of the new growth. It is the season of warm sunshine, showers, hope and promise.

Our home and garden sits in a slightly elevated position, a small river runs alongside our land and from our garden there is such a pretty view as we look down the bank to the river below.

A few steps from our gate takes us onto the ‘The Common’, this is a stretch of common ground where years ago villagers would keep their livestock, a few pigs, a flock of sheep perhaps, but today, it is more a playground for village children..... how fortunate they are in this day and age to have the freedom to run and enjoy such beauty, away from busy built up streets of towns and cities.....

A walk on the Common reveals many wild flowers..... here a clump of wild violets nestles amongst the grass

The delicate white flower of the wood anemone nods gently in the breeze. On a warm sunny day the flowers open their little faces to the sun, but when it is cloudy or when evening falls, they droop their little heads shyly and gracefully.

Although the daffodil is found more often in the garden.... there are quite large patches of them growing on the Common.

The fluffy catkins of the Sallow Willow look so beautiful against the blue sky.... as a child we would called them 'pussy willows'.... as the light fine hair resembles the fur of a kitten.

I think that the lovely golden flower of the dandelion is greatly overlooked and under valued..... and more often than not thought of as just a common weed They do have many uses, used in herbal remedies and of course children have great fun by 'telling the time' when the flowers have turned to fluff balls of seeds.

I hope you all had a Blessed Easter. It was a very busy time at our church with a number of moving and emotional services taking place on the days coming up to Good Friday......

On Good Friday we followed the 'Way of the Cross' in rather a unique way. A journey was organised for members from the different churches in the town to travel on the narrow gauge steam railway... and stopping at the stations along the track, we followed the Stations of the Cross in a very special way. At each of the 14 Stations the train stopped, passengers alighted and gathered for a short reading and meditation that marked the last journey of Christ from his trial to his burial. So 'Stations @ Stations' was a very appropriate journey for us to take.
The Steam Railway has a fine museum which houses much memorabilia.... there were many fine old steam engines all with interesting names. The one below is named Dot.....

This is Rough Pup....

....and this one 'George & Henry' I particularly liked...... George being the name of our cat and Henry being the name of the dear cat we had before George.

The railway line runs along the hillside and just below the track runs this pretty mountain stream.

This wonderful narrow gauge railway was to become the world's first preserved railway and it even has connections with the much loved and famous story books 'Thomas the Tank'.

Stopping at one of the 'Stations' a magnificent double rainbow appeared.

On Easter Monday our Church held a coffee morning... there were the usual stalls selling craft work and cakes. I made a few Easter chicks, each little check contained a Cadbury Cream Egg.

Here are a few little decorative hearts I made.

We enjoyed Easter in so many way. I hope that you did too. After the weekend, John and I went away for a few days.... I'll write about that in my next post.

Have a great weekend everyone. At last we are enjoying glorious weather. I hope the sun shines on you too.


PG said...

I thought I recognised that statue! We often pass it on the bike when we are out and about. Isn't it lovely to have spring at last - such a perfect day for St George's.

Betty said...

Dear Friend Marion,

I am flying your flag today! Just for you....

What a very interesting and informative post...thank you.

What adorable chicks! Did you crochet them?

Your pictures are very good. Much better than the ones I take.

Love to you and John,

Willow said...

Happy Easter and also St. George's Day to you. As I was reading through your paragraphs about the narrow gauge railway, I was thinking about Thomas the Tank Engine to whom I've recently been introduced. My 2 yo grandson ADORES Thomas!

Spring is lovely this year, isn't it?

Mountain Mama said...

I hope you had a wonderful St. George's celebration.
Triumph over evil is always something to celebrate!
Your spring pictures are wonderful!! I haven't seen wood anemones before and love your description.
The little chicks you made are really cute. I made some like it several years ago and filled them with jelly beans. The little ones loved them.
Thanks for sharing.

Beth said...

Hi Marion, this is another lovely post. So informative and such beautiful photos! I love the view from your home - the river and the commons with the flowers - so beautiful! The chicks and the hearts you made show how talented you are - great job! Thanks for sharing more about your Easter and the lovely picture of your church. Have a blessed week!
Hugs, Beth

Betsy said...

Hi Marion,
I enjoyed reading about your Easter, and the little chickens with the cadbury eggs, are so adorable. Great Idea, I sent this one to my sister to see, I like the little chicks. I especially enjoyed reading about your journey of the Stations of the Cross, and history of the railroad. I live in a railroad town here and we have a little train shop on the tracks.
The doulbe rainbow at one of your stops - Beautiful.
You always have nice stories posted with your pictures.
Thank You for your visit today to my blog and I always enjoy reading your comments.
Also I was wondering if you have any history on the Sheldonian Theatre?
Best Wishes for a Beautiful Day!

Bernie said...

Thanks for dropping by my Mosaic Monday - In The Kitchen post. I appreciated your kind comments.

It's given me a great reason to visit your last post. Your spring photos are beautiful ... what a beautiful spot you live in. Loved that double rainbow photo!

Barbara said...

Such a beautiful area you live in Marion and I love the stream at the bottom of your garden.

Isn't it great that at last people are starting to remember St. Georges Day. Used to go to school in my Girl Guide uniform in 'the old days'.

I shudder at the wild woodland violets as they are taking over my garden and almost impossible to get rid of. Beautiful in the woods but not my borders.

Hope you are having a good week.

Pearl said...

Wonderful photos. Thank you so very much for sharing.
Hope you are doing well.


Alice said...

Hello, Marian....sorry it's been so long since I 'visited' your blog; even longer since we visited your lovely home last year, but we think of you often.

I loved all the photos in this post, and also your description of the novel Stations of the Cross. What a lovely atmosphere must have been created by stopping at each station for a little part of the service.

You have been busy with your cute little knitted egg cosies and hearts.

I'm off now to catch up on more of your posts.

I hope you and John are enjoying beautiful Spring weather at last. We are enjoying our Autumn too.

Alice said...

I meant to say in my comment that Stow-on-the-Wold was the very first village we called at during our year in England in 1993. Michelle picked us up at Heathrow and drove us to Bristol, stopping at Stow-on-the-Wold (what does the name mean?) for lunch at the Kings Head pub. There was a roaring log fire there - very welcome in the frosty chill, especially as we had just arrived from an Australian Summer and four days in tropical Singapore.