I nearly saw a magnolia today.
They were just bursting their buds.
Bet they’ll be better tomorrow.
Good setting – masonry to die for. All this stone has been hauled a long way and worked by hand. Look how those steps are laid out. I’d like to have been there when they were laying some of these stones – like that key-stone – must weigh at least 2 hundredweight or more. Some of the coping stones on top of the walls looked like they would need at least four strong men to lift ’em. Or perhaps a block and tackle and shearlegs?
Ah, stone, valleys and stone field walls – that’s m’Yorkshire. Pity nearly all the chimneys are capped off. The double ones are particularly perverse.
Some one had a good idea about wooden studs in a door.
Turned out in the long run that it wasn’t so good, even though split-wedged at the back, some fell out. I think we need more tapered drill bits.
I’d like one of these in my garden.
And mebbee a little one of these.
But I would have to move home about ten miles, and it’s higher and colder there. It’s outcrop limestone. Outcrop means it is the stone of the land coming up to the surface – not laid by man.
The cherry was in good heart, “If there’s not enough room on those twigs, I’m just gunner bloom from my trunk.”
Speaking of trunks, you need to watch out that some invader doesn’t choose yours as a good place to grow.
Mistletoe growing on an apple tree.
So much wood, so many uses.
That’ll keep those bloody sheep out. (Not the underwater swimmers mind – Ed.)
PS In case you were wondering:
Sir Perceval of the Round Table marries Arthur’s sister Acheflour, but is killed in a tournament by the Red Knight. Rejecting knightly culture, Acheflour retreats into the forest with their young son, also called Perceval, taking only some goats and a small spear. After fifteen years she explains Christianity to Perceval and, excited by her stories, he searches for God in the forest. He meets Ywain, Gawain and Kay and, seeing their rich clothes, asks which one is God. When Gawain informs him that they are Arthur’s knights, Perceval resolves to be knighted too. He mounts a wild mare, and although his mother is upset, she advises him on courtesy and gives him a ring.
On his way to Arthur’s court, Perceval enters a hall and finds a lady sleeping; he kisses her and exchanges her ring for Acheflour’s. When he arrives, Arthur recognises his uncouth nephew and agrees to knight him, but as they dine the Red Knight bursts into the hall and steals Arthur’s goblet. Perceval promises to retrieve the cup: riding out of the court before Arthur can give him armour, he pursues the Knight and kills him with his spear. The youth takes his horse but, confused by his armour, attempts to burn it off the body. Gawain arrives and helps him put it on, but Perceval decides to seek more adventures. He kills the Red Knight’s mother, a witch, then encounters an old knight and his sons, who are delighted to hear that he has slain their enemy.
A messenger on his way to Arthur’s court informs Perceval that Lady Lufamour of Maydenland is being besieged by a Sultan. He immediately sets off, and Arthur, delighted to learn that Perceval is alive, follows him with three knights. Perceval arrives in Maydenland and defeats the Saracens overnight. He is welcomed by Lufamour, who promises to marry him if he kills the Sultan. The following day he defeats the Saracen reinforcements then rides against Arthur, mistaking him for the Sultan. He jousts with Gawain but they recognise one another and are joyfully reunited. The Sultan arrives, demanding to fight a champion: Arthur knights Perceval who soon beheads his enemy. He and Lufamour are married, while Arthur returns to court.
After a year, Perceval sets out to find his mother. On his way he meets the woman with whom he exchanged rings: her lover, the Black Knight who gave her the ring (a protective charm), has accused her of infidelity. Perceval fights the knight, but spares him when he promises to forgive his lady. Perceval offers to re-exchange rings, but the knight has given Acheflour’s ring to the Sultan’s brother, a ferocious giant. Perceval beheads the giant and retrieves the ring, but learns from a porter that his mother saw the ring and, believing her son to be dead, went mad and fled into the woods. Perceval replaces his armour with goat skins and sets off on foot. He finds Acheflour by a well and carries her back to the castle, where she is cured. They return to Maydenland together and Perceval joins the crusades where he is slain after many victories.
From: Mary Flowers Braswell, Sir Perceval of Galles and Ywain and Gawain. Kalamazoo, Michigan: Medieval Institute Publications, 1995.
Manuscript: Lincoln Cathedral Library, MS 91 (Thornton Manuscript)