Archive | April, 2014

Chedworth Roman Villa, part two

28 Apr

We’ve been here long enough that I really do have my favorite spots.  The Shakespeare Houses.  Blenheim Palace.  Bourton-on-the-Water.  Places I visit and re-visit, and after a point it seems silly to keep re-posting journeys made in the same place.  So do check out my first Chedworth visit for more of a description of the place … then hop back here for more views around the place on a sunny day.  On a sunny Mothering Day, in fact, or as we described it at Chedworth: Matronalia.  (Come on groovy Romans, let’s dance!)  My family knows exactly what I like by now!


The Helix Pomatia are still hanging around, two thousand years after the Romans brought them over — hibernating at this time of year.IMG_2806ed

The entry area of the formal baths have a looping rhythm.IMG_2809ed

An example of the curatorial work ongoing here at Chedworth.IMG_2811ed

Visitors get to have a go with their own tesserae.IMG_2816ed

Volunteers discus daily living — and FOOD!IMG_2817ed

The changing room.

On this visit, I was particularly struck by the small designs on this floor.  You could be forgiven for thinking these are hearts, but these shapes signify ivy.IMG_2827edAnd I do like the color and shape of this sweet bird.


Check out that hypocaust!  Sexy.IMG_2828ed

More baths, outside the larger, more formal bath house.IMG_2836ed

Religious artifacts in the museum on site — last time I showed you some of the Roman glass.IMG_2840ed

And one of my favorite things — yes really — the latrines.  May your spongia be ever fresh.


And after a rummage through latrines and hot tubs, what better than a full Sunday Roast, sat in a beer garden?  Best tradition ever, England!



And, as we made our way home, we found the cherry tree in our neighborhood fully, finally, in bloom.

Elkstone Church

19 Apr

We’ve been here before, when I was working as a pusher of antiquity on my family.  Elkstone Village, and the Church of St John the Evangelist.  So, this time, come view the church in various impressions of sunlight, shadow, and secret doorways…


Or secret spring visitors to the flowers in the graveyard.IMG_2665ed

Exotic growths on trees in the churchyard.


The snowdrops give their last gasp, behind a chummy pair of grave markers.IMG_2673ed

Oh, right, there’s the church, still and peaceful in the sunshine.IMG_2684ed

My newer camera has a decent zoom!  Check out the waterspout at the top of the bell tower.IMG_2692ed

See the contrast between the older-style wooden roof and the newer bell tower arches.  You are stepping right across history.

Reflections bounce through the small space.  See how the altar looks like it is glowing?  That’s natural sunlight.IMG_2704ed

I find this memorial rather magnificent.  I’m not sure if it is more or less spooky in clear daylight.IMG_2707ed

The … crocodile?  wolf?  dragon? at the end of the zig-zag Norman arch.IMG_2712ed

A clearer image of St. John.  The Green Dragon in his cup represents the poison he drank … and gives name to the snug pub just down the road.  (Our drinks there were perfectly poison-free.)IMG_2715ed

The light in this corner still fascinates me.IMG_2719ed

Today, the spiral staircase to the dovecote was open!IMG_2725ed

No doves to be found, only more quiet and peace.


Perhaps an unusual view, of the return to the church from the dovecote.  I enjoy more rarely-viewed perspectives like these, they make me feel more homey in a place.IMG_2735ed

The beautiful stained glass over the altar.  (1929 Virgin and Child by Henry Payne of Amberley) Such a better image than I was able to capture previously.

IMG_2733edAn almost delicate winged dragon? lion? holds up one end of the larger norman arch around the altar window.

IMG_2776edAnd more fascinating quiet corners in the churchyard.

Snapshot: CrossFit

11 Apr

Another quick peek into the CrossFit images which are becoming imprinted on my brain.  It is possible that the time I used to spend working on the blog I now spend on CrossFit.  Oh, dear.  I did get one nice post out of it, previously.  This one is going to be much shorter, so if you’re waiting around for more old churches or ancient stones, just be a little more patient.  I’m getting there.IMG_2442ed

I love my box, did I mention that?


I’ve never actually used that hammer, but boy I can imagine it.  I would surely start singing about John Henry.

Nanos are the shoes of CrossFit.  I don’t have any.  It’s my last hold-out to pretend that I’m not totally subsumed into all things CrossFit.  They look so ridiculous, those shoes.  I love ridiculous shoes.  It’s just a matter of time.IMG_2471ed

More Nanos.  And hand care.  It’s one of my CrossFit peeves, if such a thing exists, when people gleefully rip their palms.  Maybe it’s the mom in me; I think that’s nothing more than foolishness.  Also: ew.
IMG_2505edCrossFit is so colorful, so contrasting, so bright!

I recently competed in the CrossFit Open.  I didn’t set the world on fire, but I surprised myself.  So, I sort of set myself on fire, which is cool.  Even though I’m still relatively awful at everything, I’ve gotten relatively enormously better at everything, too.   Who would have thought.