Thursday 28 April 2016

Big dreams in the Town of Leapers

Site of dreams

Nearly the weekend.

Every evening this week I return to room 529 and look down on the construction of a €250m project in Leopardstown; office blocks, retail bits and nearly 300 apartments.

Leopardstown in Irish, Baile na Lobhar, meaning Town of the Lepers is a district located at the foot of the Dublin Mountains. Rents are high and prospects are higher, companies scrabbling over themselves to be here.

Leopardstown is a conurbation southeast of Dublin city. It is split by the M50 motorway the sound of whose cars are permanent. A few paces away is Sandyford. Sandyford’s industrial estate burst upon the world in 1977 and is now home to much vacant office buildings.

There is much activity, so little time, hope and emptiness.

Lowlands Churches West Sussex Gems


Nestling in the downland folds,
Built by Saxons or Normans afor 1066,
French builders came to Sussex with their fancy style.

Plain inside Didling and Up Marden,
Nave and Chapel barely separated,
Congregation and Priest are as one.

Cared for now the woodwork glistens,
Rosie the puppy tilts her head to listen,
For a beetle or a mouse,

Who also live in God’s good house.

Tuesday 26 April 2016

A bit of a commotion at Boxgrove in West Sussex

Boxgrove Abbey Church,
Buttresses’ flying in the April rain,
The last church on our list, today.
 I am drawing in the chancel,
Rosie investigates the nave.

All of a sudden barking,
Someone else has entered in,
Rosie sounds the alert,
All a bit of a din.

We make ourselves known to Vicky,
A visitor to the church,
She’s come to make an arrangement,
For her wedding later this year.

Exchange we greetings and details,
For only just in case,
Her planned for Order of Service,

A drawing of mine may grace.

Monday 25 April 2016

The Chiltern Plain - Bledlow, Haddenham and Nether Winchendon

Off we peddle off from ‘Risborough,
Churches on our mind,
Bledlow Church is locked quite shut,
We’re sure they didn’t mean to be unkind,
A bit of a blow it has to be said, as the best bits are inside.

After Bedlow,  westward down an old rail track,
Towards the town of Thame,
Ricardo and I gain ground. 
Across the flat plain landscape,
It all looks near to rain.

Sharp north then to Haddenham village and 
St Mary’s by the pond,
The inside bright and airy,
A place to sing a song.

We discover all the pubs are closed,
A curious Monday thing,
So lunch is had at the Tickety Brew,
A café of some fame.

Finally to St Nicholas in
Nether Winchendon,
That styles itself a ‘1662 Prayer Book Parish’

Hooray! We say and enter in,
Having cycled through the marish.

At the end of this good ride, All is glorious gloom inside.

Sunday 17 April 2016

The Lady of the Stream

The Lady of the Stream
The Grayling is notable from other members of the salmon family by their larger scales; their small mouths their showy, sail-like dorsal fins important for their living in fast flowing water.

Their colouring and fine fins cause them be known as ‘The Lady of the Stream’.

Thymallus is the Latin name for the Grayling which comes from the feint taste of thyme when eaten.