Chitterne Now and Then
Blog Archive - November 2010

Sunday 28th November - Snow Surprise

Saturday morning we awoke to snow, the garden was white but the roads were clear so we set off to London as planned in a car fairly thickly coated in snow. But there was something odd going on. None of the vehicles coming towards us had snow coats and sure enough, just the other side of Shrewton, there was no snow to be seen anywhere. On returning last night it was the same in reverse, as if we were entering a parallel snowy universe just around Chitterne.

I thought there may have been more more snow to the south and west of us but on climbing towards Clay Pit Hill this morning the Wylye valley looked as snow-free as the valley towards Maddington seen here. Very odd.

Friday 26th November 2010 - Kneeler 4

Today I finished the top of my kneeler! Just the sides to do now.

Comment: Wow that is impressive. gg

Tuesday 23rd November 2010 - Kneeler Project 3

There was a good turnout for the Kneeler Project meeting in the hall last Friday. Again we spent the wole day stitching with a break for lunch. We decided names are needed for each element of the altar rail design and perhaps for each kneeler design too. Otherwise we speak of "squiggly bit" and "cross" when there are quite a few squiggly bits and several crosses. A heraldry book provided "cross moline" - the cross with squiggly ends; "cross ordinary" - the plain cross with plain ends, and "mascle" - the diamond outline shape to be filled in, but that's as far as it goes. I guess the leaves are just "leaves". As for the kneelers, well one design has already been labelled "spatchcock" because it reminded one stitcher of a boned and flattened bird ready to roast, and that's the kind of label that's going to stick unless we think of a more appropriate one.

On Monday, yesterday, a couple more hours stitching at Manor Farm and the unfinished leaf nearest the camera was done. Are we completing a foot a month that the designer calculated is needed to finish in time? Impossible to say with areas of stitching dotted about the length of canvas.

Comment: Good pics, great to see it all developing. An inspiring community project. gg

Saturday 13th November 2010 - Arch Exposed

Work has started to renew the bridge, once known as The Arch, at Townsend; it is expected to take seven weeks.

There are traffic lights, cabins, barricades, the works. How much will it cost? It seems an expensive way to deter large lorries with sat navs from using the route!

there's more...

JG wrote me about his experience of being removed from the streets of South London to rural Wiltshire in 1940 at age 11. It had a profound effect on him. He has considered himself a Wiltshireman ever since. I was so impressed (and flattered that he was inspired by my efforts) that I have added his words to the history pages on but you can read them here

Saturday 6th November 2010 - Kneeler Project 2

The project to make new kneelers for the church in time for its 150th anniversary on 4th November 2012 continues. 24 individual kneelers are being made. The stitchers have been meeting roughly every fortnight at the Village Hall to check progress and iron out problems. Now, with less than two years to go, we have started on the first of the two nine foot long altar rail kneelers and the fortnightly meetings have been extended from two hours to five hours, including a stop for lunch. With the hinged wooden frame supported on trestles several of us are able to stitch the long kneeler side by side, maintaining a tradition that stretches back a long time. It feels good.

Monday 1st November 2010 - New Wheels

D is mending and getting more active by the day. A couple of weeks ago he cycled for the first time since the accident; I accompanied him to Middle Barn on my old bike with the basket on the front, in case...but there was no problem, in fact D declared cycling was easier than walking. I enjoyed the experience too, except for my bike - such hard work to ride. We followed up a few days later with a ride to Codford and back, D on his road bike and me on his mountain bike with the saddle as low as it would go. The difference was amazing. I whizzed along and made a decision to get a new bike. Hence the picture; this is me on my new bike. Pensioner-powered wheels! I think the salesman in the bike shop at Bath, a very nice and helpful young man, was everso slightly taken aback by the sight of a greyhaired woman pedalling up and down Walcot Street trying out the various speedy machines he had on offer.

(What DO you call the female equivalent of a greybeard?)

Anyway, I am in training for a threatened try-out on a tandem! watch this space...

Comment: A Hell's Granny? RR

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