Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Hallowe'en, Guy Fawkes, All Souls and ...


... St Jude, the patron saint of desperate cases and lost causes, seems rather a good name for my recent antics ...
St Jude by van Dyck  (1619/1621)


I don’t fall into the lost causes group ... but life has sort of thrown a few wobblies, nothing serious luckily ... just stupidity!


The St Jude storm struck us ten days ago ... trees were downed, sadly some people died ... power lines were felled, transport was disrupted ... however it was not nearly as bad as many had predicted.


It was around this time that I realised I was going to East Anglia to see a friend – but 24 hours earlier than I was expecting – my brain had atrophied!


Sycamore tree down - but the one
to the right could be susceptible too
- at least I get more light in, now the
sun is lower in the sky
It was Linda’s birthday up at the Nursing Centre and I knew I wouldn’t be there, but had thought at least I’d see her the day before ... I’d organised a flower card for her, so knew that was coming and I dropped off a birthday card for her to open on the day ...


... then I’d emailed Lenny and asked if he could write her a birthday email ... which I knew she would love ... and which I was able to put in an envelope for her to open on her birthday: making it special.  Lenny has been a ray of sunshine for her ...


The storms did come through – we had a tree down ... it was rotten, but thankfully wasn’t tall enough to crash into the building – the tree next to it probably would do some damage and would crush my car as I don’t have access to the garage (I rent).  I didn’t hear it crash down ... 5.00 am is my time for sleeping soundly apparently ...


Abbeygate, Bury St Edmunds
I went away by train and just took my time in case there were residual travel delays - thankfully not.  No storms were due, so I leave my car at the back.


I had a lovely time up in Bury St Edmunds ... a walk round the town, off to see Lavenham and Long Melford ... all three very interesting historical sites.  Suffolk, or East Anglia, are areas I don’t know much about ... so I’m looking forward to going back and having a good look round.


Bury St Edmunds may well date from Roman times, but was one of the royal towns of the Saxons.  Sigebert, King of the East Angles, founded a monastery here about 633 AD, which in 903 became the burial place of King Edmund, who was slain by the Danes in 869, and owed most of its early celebrity to the reputed miracles performed at the shrine of the martyr king.

 
Crooked House, Lavenham
King Edmund freed the town from all secular services, while Canute then freed it from Episcopal control.  The abbot was made lord of the franchise by Edward the Confessor.


So you can see from the historical names ... Bury St Edmunds has lots to offer ... as has Lavenham, which in the medieval period was, due to its wool and trade, among the 20 wealthiest settlements in England.


Love Lavenham!  seems to be its brand name ... it is as they say one of the finest and more beautiful medieval villages in England.  Once again ... history abounds ...


c/o Lavenham village website
I’d arranged tickets to go back to Houghton Hall, Norfolk and see The Hermitage paintings, on loan from St Petersburg and Washington, part of Sir Robert Walpole’s great picture collection (Britain’s first de facto Prime Minister).

This painting was stolen from
Houghton Hall in 1990 -
"The White Duck" by
Jean Baptiste Oudry (1753)

Some of these had been sold by Sir Robert’s grandson to Catherine the Great of Russia to pay off some of the estates, accumulated debt.  The others that came from Washington and private owners ... had similarly been sold on by the Russians in the 1920s and 1930s.


Somewhere around this time we had Hallowe’en ... nothing untoward happened in East Anglia ... Sussex had that in store!    

But generally in this the 21st century Hallowe'en now dominates our landscape ... I have to say I prefer it when we reflect our different cultures ... and don't become one homogenized cultural morass ... so we remember our historical roots ...



... Bury St Edmunds was the setting for the witch trials between 1599 and 1694 ... and today has a witchcraft exhibition at Moyse’s Hall Museum.


Now we’re into November ... good luck all you NANOWRIMO participants ... happy writing ...


... right into All Soul’s Day ... the remains of a mummified cat were discovered in a Lavenham roof ... it would have been placed there to protect the building’s owner from evil spirits!


iphone photo from guide book ...
showing the devil watching
St Michael weighing his souls:
part of the panel
"The Wenhaston Doom"



While in another local village The Wenhaston Doom, a 16th C (pre-Reformation) panel painting depicting the Last Day of Judgement in which St Michael can be seen weighing the souls of the dead, while the Devil looks on is a wonderful historical treasure.


Somewhere around this time I get home to find Lenny has sent Linda a beautiful bunch of carnations, with some chocolates and a tiny birthday cake ... what a surprise – she was delighted and I was so happy she'd been made to feel special ... what an amazing kid.



Carnations from Lenny

All Soul’s Day arrives as do more storms over the weekend ... so I decide to leave my car at the front – then at 8.00 pm the alarm goes off ... frustratingly it is sensitive and tends to go off in the wind and the rain ... so I need to go out to switch it off ...


... on returning I keel over ... I think ‘oh bother’ and then bounce ... well I realise my face isn’t in too good a shape, everything else seems ok, and after being patched up I wait out the night.


Revellers in Lewes, East Sussex
with their tar torches
I have to say to my staggered amazement I have one or two minor, hardly apparent, other bruises or dents – while my face isn’t that bad either.  I have a cut between the eyes, above my lip but below my nose it’s graunched ... and obviously I have two wonderful very puffy red and yellow eyes ... much the same colour as this Lewes photo!


I’m on anti-biotics for the graunch ... but can see, can breathe, have my teeth, no headache, no bruising ... in fact I’m just counting my blessings rather quietly ...


Colourful fireworks
The staff at the Nursing Centre and Linda took one look at me and went AARGH ... Lenny’s favourite word! ... and burst out laughing into fits of giggles ... I’m not sure at the beginning whether they thought I’d got made-up for a Halloween scare ... well that will provide much amusement and that’s what life is about, and Linda has ‘news’ to tell Gilbert, another of her visitors.

Catrinas - one of the most popular
figures in the Day of the Dead
celebrations in Mexico
Now we’re onto November the 5th .... the day we celebrate the failure of the Gunpowder plot ... when the Catholics were foiled in their desire to blow up the Houses of Parliament ...


So tonight we’ll be having lots more snap, crackle and pops, with some rather loud explosions to make us jump, but thankfully I still have a head I can hold up and eyes still clear to watch the strontium-red, calcium-orange, copper-blue, barium-green, titanium-white powders as they colour the sky ...


Here’s to a more peaceful end of October/November – Hallowe’en – All Soul’s Day – Guy Fawkes’ sorry night of failure ... next year!


An iphone photo from the Guide
Book of the mummified cat
Once again ... good luck to all NaNoWriMo entrants ... as I admit I’m grateful to St Jude looking after this lost cause ... how do you fall flat, bounce and come away with ... not a lot to show for it?!  Lucky me ..


I wrote quite a good post last year on Hallowe’en, Guy Fawkes with cross references to Christian and Pagan festivals ... but didn’t refer to the Spanish Dia de Muertos ... which is celebrated in Mexico – but I know other bloggers mentioned it.  eg Tasha at Of Shoes and Ships and Sealing Wax (always hooks me this blog title!) ... 


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

62 comments:

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Those Mexican dolls are the creepiest thing ever! Even for Halloween. I think it's so funny to have a saint for Lost Souls. Isn't that all of us at one time or another? Glad you bounced back!

Munir said...

Halloween is one of my favourite holidays. It is not an official holiday here in the US but still it is one of the very few non- denominational holidays and I like looking at different costumes and giving out candies.
Hilary how are you? Your blogs are in detail. I read them carefully, but by the time I come to the end of the posting I tend to forget the beginning and am not able to keep the connection. My mind is working differently now, specially with fiction and therefore I urge people to read while they are young. I postponed pleasure reading to raise my kids and now I long to read and it takes me forever to finish a book even.
Please take care of yourself.
Cheers !

rosaria williams said...

I have so little knowledge of English history that I come out from reading your stories with great delight and insight. Thank you!
p.s. glad your fall was not incapacitating.

Suzanne Furness said...

Oh no, Hilary glad you're fall wasn't more serious. The storms were not as bad as predicated here. We tied down the fence and had torches handy but thankfully all was fine. I feel so sorry for those who were affected though. It can be very scary the wind. It's damp and more than a little windy down here again tonight so not sure how the fireworks will fare. Think I will watch from the bedroom window.
Take care :)

Julie Flanders said...

I agree with you about the blending of traditions, I think it's fun for countries to keep their own. Makes things more interesting!
I'm so sorry you took a fall, hope you will heal quickly and will have no more mishaps for Guy Fawkes. What a crazy week you've had.

Take care, Hilary!

Karen Walker said...

Oh, Hilary, poor baby. Glad your fall wasn't more serious. I, too, love your historical posts and now I want to go to the medieval town. Guess I have to plan a return trip to England to see more than London, Stonehenge and Salisbury.

TALON said...

November came in here, too, with storms and torrential rain. Now the temps have dipped and we've a couple of hard frosts. Not sure I'm ready to embrace the colder weather yet, but what can you do? :)

Kittie Howard said...

First, Hillary, I'm sorry you keeled over but am relieved the injuries weren't more severe. Hope you continue to heal quickly! Pretty much the same thing happened to a British friend in Portsmough. Mariann shrugged it off to stress. They were in the throes of going on a long-haul winter holiday. But a few months later, I keeled over on a rather boring day and ended up in the emergency room. Tests said I was dehydrated!

Thanks for these super glimpses into your deep history. Perhaps the ghoulish witch burning practice came over with the Puritans as they did that for quite a while. The dates coincide. Anyway, I really enjoy these posts, especially since we hope to re-visit England.

D.G. Hudson said...

Balance can be tricky, it's that darn middle ear at fault most of the time. Glad to hear you're recovering. Falling like that is dangerous, since we're down before we know what happened.

Take care. Funny that the nurses laughed, probably trying to distract you. I worked in the admission part of a hospital before I came to Canada.

I liked that movie, V for Vendetta which concerned Guy Fawkes day too. Have you seen that?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sorry you smacked your face! You'll heal.
Glad the tree didn't come down on your car.

L.G. Smith said...

Oh my goodness. So sorry to hear you fell. That is a long way to go for a scary Halloween look, Hilary. :P

And I do love all the history you provide in your posts. I couldn't help but look at the photo of the crooked house and wonder if we, meaning U.S., wouldn't just tear that down and build something new. Different cultures indeed. To our loss quite often.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Karen - I thought the Mexican dolls looked creepy .. but the Day of the Dead is a celebration ...

The storm came in on St Jude's day .. hence my take on lost cases/causes, or souls as it could well be ...

I am very happy I bounced - somehow!

@ Munir - how lovely to see you and thanks for visiting. This post is particularly convoluted, so I can understand you'd have got lost reading it - sorry!

Just glad to see that you're relaxing and enjoying reading some novels ... I really should stop and read some too - I will this Christmas. Thanks for the thought - I'll be fine ..

@ Rosaria - I didn't know too much about my history either, so I live and learn all the time at the moment - and am delighted if you're learning from my posts - that's great to know.

I'm so grateful I'm up and running without any major disaster happening - thanks!

@ Suzanne - well I'm surprised, but mighty grateful.

We've had odd trees down round and about Eastbourne, and up in East Anglia I saw quite a few down.

Now like you .. we have damp, some squally showers and more wind - at least it's warm still and not freezing cold yet. I get to see the fireworks out of my windows too .. enjoy!

@ Julie - I know .. it would be lovely if we could maintain our individualities tradition-wise and it does make things more interesting ...

Luckily I seem to heal quickly .. so I'll be as pretty as ever shortly!!

@ Karen - somehow I'm fine .. just a sight for sore eyes.

Well I hope you can get back over here .. as it would be lovely to meet up and also show you round some parts. East Anglia has so much to offer .. yet we do too down here ...

@ Talon - thankfully our temperatures are down, but not freezing yet. There's more rain and wind on the way ... a big storm out in the Atlantic ... as you say we can't do anything about the weather!

@ Kittie - gosh thanks for coming over and I was so pleased to see you'd published your book - congratulations .. I love the word 'lagniappe' and am looking forward to reading your Louisiana chronicles ...

I don't think mine is stress or dehydration - it was just stupidity and frustrating that the alarm goes off ...

I hope Mariann is recovered and stressless now, while drink my girl drink! Thankfully I didn't need the A&E ... though why I came out of it so easily I've no idea!

So pleased you're enjoying our history .. it is difficult to unravel at times - I learn as I go along.

I sincerely hope we can meet up if and when you come over .. it'll be great to share some of England with you ...

@ DG - I honestly think it was sheer stupidity, or bad luck - perhaps good luck in my case as I came away so lightly.

I was laughing at their faces, so the nursing staff and care workers just joined in with me ... I'm sure they wouldn't do it in a normal situation - they know me too well ... and I wasn't in any pain - then or now. Amazingly lucky.

I haven't seen Vendetta .. I'll check it out and have noted it ..

@ Alex - yup my colours are changing all the time .. and I just hope the other tree doesn't come down on my car or me!!

@ Luanna - actually they nearly did tear these buildings down at some stage - but thankfully they were saved for us ... they are quite incredible aren't they ...

We used to tear buildings down - now they're realising there might be some value in keeping some of them and have done so .

Thanks - it would have been a labour of love to make my face up .. the way it looks now .. each day it changes!

Cheers to you all - appreciate the care and concern ... Hilary

Clarissa Draper said...

Fascinating, beautiful and scary. Very educational as always. Thank you.

Janie Junebug said...

I'm so sorry you were injured. I don't believe I care to have a mummified cat in the attic. I don't care if it would keep away evil spirits.

Love,
Janie

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Here's hoping you feel much better very quickly. Love the photos, the town looks so charming. The dolls are very spooky.

loverofwords said...

Heal quickly, Hilary. We need your positive thoughts and sunny outlook!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

So sorry about the fall and the end results. Hope that all heals quickly and you will soon be back to normal. Take care Diane

Jo said...

Would you believe I actually forgot about Guy Fawkes this year, probably for the first time since I got here 38 years ago. What interesting travels you do have Hilary. I was at school in Diss, Norfolk, for a number of years so kind of know the area.

Those Mexican dolls for the Day of the Dead are rather ghoulish. Al Diaz wrote about celebrating in his dragon cave.

Sorry to hear about your fall, glad it was only bruising and nothing more serious. As we get older, we need to take more care.

Do kids do Hallowe'en in the UK nowadays, they didn't when we left?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Clarissa - yes this post encompassed all those things .. thanks.

@ Janie - all's well thankfully. I too agree with you re a mummified cat in the attic is a little much ..

@ Joylene - I feel fine .. I guess a little tired and it takes me a while for the eyes to de-puff! Those dolls are spooky ... but the ceremony interested me ...

@ Tasha - thanks so much .. I haven't lost the positive or cheerful touch ... everyone thinks it's very funny -as I do!!!

@ Diane - sheer stupidity .. and what happened I've no idea ... but I'm healing up quite well .. thanks.

@ Jo - well you've got a lot of the day ahead of you .. our Fireworks are just ending.

I see Diss is on the Norfolk/Suffolk borders ... an area I don't know at all. Next time perhaps!

I know a few bloggers wrote about the Day of the Dead and I'll check out the Dragon's Cave!

I'm just very lucky ... I'm not sure I was rushing particularly - it wasn't raining ... just very windy ...

Hallowe'en is definitely a part of the scene now .. in fact a number of people were off sick, as their kids had eaten too many sweets!!! But it was half-term ..

The other post I give the link to is quite comprehensive re all the feasts being celebrated and how they've changed over time ...

Cheers and thanks so much for your thoughts ... each day there's improvement ... Hilary

A Lady's Life said...

Oh gosh glad you are ok. Sometimes these falls could be awful.

We live on an incline and my husband cracked his head and face three times already.Broke his glasses.
Winter is slippery. I tell him now to wear a helmet lol

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,

And luckily, the storm did not reach us up north. Halloween and beyond to Guy Fawkes night. A nightmare of fireworks for the vulnerable creatures. Why more people don't go to safe, public fireworks displays is beyond me.

Hope the antibiotics do the trick, Hilary. Trick then treat, so to speak. AARGH....

In kindness and stay warm,

Gary

Old Kitty said...

Oh Hilary!! :-( I hope your recuperation is going well! Hope you enjoy a safe and fun Guy Fawkes night tonight. Oh dear!

Wasn't it a blowy past few days?! My trains didn't run all day on the Monday and 2 of my plant pots toppled over but that was it! :-)

Now for a quiet Christmas please! Take care
x

Julia Hones said...

I enjoyed all the paintings and architecture.
I'm sorry about the fall.
I hope you will get better soon, Hilary.
Lovely post.

Chatty Crone said...

Very interesting today.

I love learning about All Saints Day - Soul day.

Andy is studying the Revolutionary War - and is studying as we speak. Ever heard of the Liberty Tree?

How do the British feel about the USA and that?

Sandie

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Lenny is such an amazing kid! I love him to pieces!

And England has such a fascinating array of names for towns -- like Bury St. Edmonds.

We have good old Indian/Native American names here ... mixed with interesting Dutch/Swedish influences: Toughkenamon, Schuykill, Mauch Chunk, and then there's the good old Murderkill River. (Don't ask.)

But your names have us beat!

Susanne Drazic said...

Hilary, so sorry to hear about your fall. Take care!

Lenny is such a sweetie. Those carnations are so pretty. : )

Donna Hole said...

wow, that was a lot of frustration, interesting tidbits and, oweee. Glad you survived the fall, and hope you and Linda are feeling much better. That was sweet of Lenny.

......dhole

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ A Lady's Life .. I'm just grateful the fall wasn't worse - I know it could have been much more so.

@ Gary - yes all vulnerable creatures really suffer as our explosions get louder and last longer .. I enjoy them, but totally appreciate animals don't. Public firework displays are fantastic aren't they .. and as you say usually safer.

The face seems to be healing .. and was better on waking this a.m. - oh I know .. AAARGH all round ..

@ Old Kitty - things are improving I'm pleased to say .. I watched from a distance, ie at home!

I know the train services were affected, as too the roads .. sorry about your potplants .. the pots may be damaged, but the plants should be ok?!

Quiet, cold at Christmas would be lovely .. but without the major snow disruptions .. I see Durham has been hit with a snowfall already!! and they're threatening more ...

@ Julia - glad you enjoyed the photos .. it is fascinating part of the world ...

Thankfully I'm fine now - just look awful!

@ Sandie .. well full of facts and mini disasters .. glad you enjoyed it.

Good for your grandson .. I couldn't have told you about the Liberty Tree - but must have heard about it when I visited Boston decades ago ... oddly there was another Liberty Tree I heard of recently too ... not sure where.

Us and you .. well there's a question!! Both countries have lots to offer ...

@ Dianne - isn't Lenny amazing.

Names are fascinating as they tell us so much of their origins and often what the lie of the land was like two or three thousand years ago ...

A mix of Dutch/Swedish influence over Indian/Native names .. I'm sure there's a similarity in the naming of the settlements .. then as we have the Angle/Viking influence .. and French, Norman, Dutch .. et al into our names too ...

If I didn't have an inkling of Afrikaans .. I'd be beat with those names!! Murderkill River is rather good .. but I expect that's from a war? rather than a straight murder ... just guessing!

Names are fun ...

@ Susanne - all's getting better now, talk about luck. Lenny's carnations are giving Linda much pleasure .. she loves her flowers ..

@ Donna - it was, as you say, a nuisance, but surprisingly little oweee ... just nuisance! We're both fine .. and are able to enjoy Lenny's thoughtfulness!

Thanks everyone .. my eyes were much better this a.m. ... not so much puff! It's very soggy here .. cheers Hilary

Nick Wilford said...

Glad you're OK after your fall. Yeah, the storms weren't too bad, as someone who was in the 1987 "hurricane" (had to sit in my primary school hall all day).

Been to the fireworks at Lewes a couple of times, definitely an eventful night out!

That mummified cat is pretty creepy. I'd expect it in ancient Egypt, but not a quaint English village!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Sorry about the downed trees..and your fall! That must have scared you to death...I'm a frequent 'faller' and it's the most horrible sensation...

Loved seeing the pictures from the village. Hope you're better soon.

mail4rosey said...

I think culturally celebrations should be richly unique too!! I'm glad you said that. :)

I'm sorry you had a tree come down. When I moved to Florida many years ago, I slept through a hurricane, lol. Silly girl. These days I wouldn't. :)

Lynn said...

Oh my - I'm so sorry you had a mishap like that! Isn't falling down the worst? I had something like that happen to me in downtown Atlanta a few years ago and I had much explaining to do as I walked about with my battered face.

Lenny is just a love, sounds like. Much has going on with you!

Nicki Elson said...

hehe, well, yes, I guess if one has to fall on one's face and get all bruised up, Halloween is a good time to do it. Take care & heal up fast!

I love Day of the Dead! My kids have learned a lot about it in Spanish class and it has us all enthralled.

River Fairchild said...

AARGH! I'm glad you're not too damaged. :)
You and Lenny both are such sweet people, so kind and helpful to others.
A mummified cat...yuck...
Those are the prettiest Catrinas I've ever seen. I've seen some scary ones!
I wish I had a year or two to wander around England. I love the little villages and medieval architecture, the small pubs and the like.

Karen Lange said...

Glad you are okay! I remember my Mom talking about Guy Fawkes Day when I was young, but I don't recall many details. Thanks for sharing!

Have a great rest of the week! :)

Lisa said...

So sorry to hear of your fall. So glad you weren't seriously injured. Great images all through this blog. I've really enjoyed the romp through history with you Hilary, thanks! Thought it was time to catch up a bit with you. I'm doing NaNoWriMo for the first time, and visiting other blogs is my carrot! So, now that I'm visited a few, and made half my word count today, I have to get back to business. Hope you heal quickly and with no lasting effects.

Friko said...

Ooops!
I won’t add insult to injury by grinning at your misfortune. No, I am very sorry that you fell flat and then bounced . . . .
Oops, was that a giggle escaping me?

I hope that you are more yourself again and that no lasting damage has been done.

I love the Lavenham/Long Melford area. When we lived in Herts we used to go there quite a lot for antique hunting. There are some really gorgeous villages there. And some excellent pubs too!

Not keen on 5th November fireworks, Millie is terrified and the mere thought of seeing her shake and tremble is enough to beak my heart. Good, it’s all over again.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I always wondered about the notion of having a saint for lost causes. I mean, if it's REALLY a "lost cause", why waste a perfectly good saint on it?

So sorry to hear about your fall. Sounds painful, but thank goodness, it wasn't any worse.

Thanks for all the historical tidbits you include in your posts. I don't know why, but I didn't realize you had witch trials there, too.

Cheers, and Happy Fall... Oops! I mean, Happy Autumn. No more falls for you!

Gattina said...

I still was in France when the storm was the strongest and saw it on TV. My friends in Eastbourne didn't have any damaged, I had called them immediately. I wish I could see your Halloween face, you were lucky that you didn't hurt yourself more.
Halloween had never been celebrated very much in Belgium, but in the last two years there was really nothing not even in the stores !

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Nick - I was in South Africa for the 87 storm ... how frightening to sit in your primary school hall with the storm raging around you. Lewes fireworks are a pretty thronging site .. I've been once: I think that was enough, unless I can get a ringside seat sometime!!!

The mummified cat was a little oddity, I thought ...

@ Elizabeth - thankfully neither serious .. just an interesting addition to life. I don't usually fall - but don't remember doing so .. the odd trip, yes ...

Your falling must be a little worrying and I can imagine it's a horrible sensation ..

Thanks getting better now - and the Suffolk towns are amazing ...

@ Rosey - I do hate everything and all of us being exactly the same, we're not and never will be - but glad you agree with me.

We can sleep through odd things though .. a hurricane is a bit much ... but with children I see you wouldn't.

@ Lynn - well I was more irritated about the dirt til I hit the deck the 2nd time, then I thought about my nose - but incredibly nothing serious! Yes I just start laughing and advise everyone to not look - but I've stayed away mostly .. the easiest as it improves.

Isn't Lenny just lovely .. I keep busy!

@ Nicki - thanks for being here .. well at least we can all laugh - and I'm pleased to say I'm healing fast ...

The Day of the Dead does sound an interesting tradition - and how lucky you've been able to learn more via your kids.

We've been taking Chinese seriously here in schools, it's interesting to read about your children learning Spanish.

@ River - good to see you .. and Lenny and I have fun emails together ... the mummified cat was a fun snippet to find out about!!!

I've never seen the Catrinas before - and I guess you get all sorts .. do they reflect what you thought of your grandparents?!

Well when you find your year or two to spend over here .. looking forward to showing you around our many historical or drinking sites!!

@ Karen - I wrote about Guy Fawkes in my earlier posts .. but that must be fun remembering your mother and the tales from her English days ...

@ Lisa - I know you've been very busy .. and have vaguely kept up with you. I'm glad the fall wasn't worse - very lucky!

Good luck with NaNoWriMo - well done ... we're now carrots are we - I'll have to remember that!

@ Friko - it was a little Ooops! Everyone's laughing .. so no worries there and thank goodness I'm not in pain and no lasting damage is done!!

I thought about you both and your time in Herts and expected you might have had some days out in the area ... and I'd agree with you on both counts - can't wait to go back!!!

I know poor dogs - I imagine Millie would be scared to death .. I was jumping with the explosions here, and they don't understand. Just glad Millie had you both around to curl up with, til the explosions had abated ...

@ Susan - well he rescues idiots like me!! Keeps me from further damage I guess .. though not everyone escaped sadly. Too true - why waste a perfectly good saint indeed!!!

All's well that's slowly healing ...

Witch trials were rife in the English and Celtic kingdoms of old .. really horrid times for the poor women ...

I'll try not to fall over again - luckily (touch wood) I'm not prone to do it ... thanks for the thoughts and Happy autumn time .. our leaves are still green!!!

@ Gattina - I had a call from South Africa ... but all's well and it wasn't as serious as it might have been ... travelling as I did there were branches and trees down spasmodically around the counties. My face is a cause of amusement - yes ...

Lucky you in Belgium if you've avoided Halloween ... but I didn't see much, though it was going on ..

Cheers to you all .. I'm healing up quite well .. well turning yellow from rugged blue, red and green!!! Hilary

Patsy said...

Sorry to hear about your accident, Hilary. Glad you weren't too badly hurt and hope the bruises are fading fast.

Glynis said...

Wishing you well, Hilary. Lavenham! I lived above the Pharmacy as a new bride, it is opposite the crooked house. My son was christened in the magnificent church. I know the area very well. I had the children at Bury st Edmunds. All very pretty. Glad you had a good time.

cleemckenziebooks said...

Sorry about that terrible fall and glad you're up and about. You have some great holidays. So colorful and exciting.

Not wild about those Catrinas. They always send shivers up my bones. :-)

Jen Forbes said...

I love storms as long as they are followed by sunshine and don't cause damage. And I love those dolls, they're creepy cute.

M Pax said...

That crooked house is neat. The only things we have from 633 are rocks. :)

Glad you didn't badly hurt yourself in your fall, and I hope Linda had a wonderful birthday.

River Fairchild said...

I don't really know the tradition of the Catrinas although I grew up seeing many items belonging to All Souls Day. I grew up in San Diego, California, right along the border between the US and Mexico so the city has many Hispanic traditions. Yours are more colorful than the ones I've seen - mostly black and white, which makes them look spookier. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Patsy - many thanks .. I'm healing up quite nicely ..

@ Glynis - I'll be over to wish you happy birthday - belated!

Did you really grow up above the pharmacy in Lavenham .. how fascinating to learn, and that it is opposite the crooked house ...

The two churches I saw - Lavenham and Long Melford - were amazing ... with lots of history. I bet the Bury hospital has changed loads .. but it still has an A&E I hear ...

It is lovely - what a great place to start married life!

@ Lee - it was a nice splat, but thankfully I've been very fortunate.

The break was lovely .. and makes a nice change.

I can't quite decide re the Catrinas .. if it's in celebration of the dead, then I think it's rather a good idea ...

@ Jen - how lovely to see you .. yes storms as you describe are the best! We're still having lots of rain and wind as it whips up the Channel. The Catrinas .. creepy and cute = sounds good to me.

@ Mary - well I can't tell you that can I?! Lots of rocks too - but interesting rocks as well!!

Linda was thoroughly cheered by her birthday and amused she had tales to tell re my fall!

@ River - I've been to San Diego, and would like to go back for a real visit ... and then I can check out this festival a little more. It's a beautiful area ..

.. if the Catrinas were mainly black and white - they would look spookier wouldn't they ..

Cheers everyone - have lovely weekends .. Hilary

Stephen Tremp said...

Another fascinating and historically and culturally educating post.

Glad to hear you're okay and on the mend. Scary episode but these things do happen in life.

I never liked those Catrinas. Now that's scary!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Sorry to hear you fell. Praying you have a quick recovery and no lasting aches and pains.

Sherry Ellis said...

Hope you recover quickly! I don't think a mummified cat would last long at my house. Our dog would eat it!

M. J. Joachim said...

Such an interesting post, Hilary. We get a bit of influence from Day of the Dead here where I live, in conjunction with Halloween. Close to Mexico's border, so that and Cinco de Mayo spill over into American culture quite frequently here. I've always found it fascinating.

Empty Nest Insider said...

I'm so sorry that you had a bad fall Hilary. Thank goodness that you didn't break anything. Hope that your wounds are healing. A friend of mine goes to a Day of the Dead party every year with other men, and women who have also lost their spouses. She says that it is a wonderful event, I love hearing about Lenny's good deeds. Feel better Hilary!

Julie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Stephen - thanks, well on the mend now .. from the little I've seen the Day of the Dead is a thoughtful time of togetherness remembering those who have gone before .. not sure about the Catrinas though!

@ Susan - I seem to have got away very lightly thankfully .. and it's well on the way to healing.

@ Sherry - thanks so much .. recovering quickly I'm pleased to say ..

Your poor dog - don't you feed it?! I'm not sure the mummified cat has much use, other than as a curiosity!

@ MJ - interesting about the influence spreading across the borders .. I see the Cinco de Mayo is in May. Like you I enjoy learning about the different cultures ..

@ Julie - I am very lucky .. we all can't quite believe that I've escaped so easily ..

Interesting to read about the Day of the Dead party your friend goes to - now that makes a lot of sense ... comforting too.

Isn't Lenny great .. thanks ..

Cheers to you all - happy weekends .. Hilary

Rena George said...

Oh Hilary, poor you, that fall sounded horrible. You've made light of it, but I'm sure it must have been quite traumatic, not too mention painful.
Thank you for posting all these wonderful photos and images, and for your insight into such interesting history. Your blog posts are always a pleasure. Rx

Robyn Campbell said...

Hil, I am so glad that you weren't hurt worse. OUCHIE! You are going to have to be more careful, my friend. YaY for St Jude. Those dolls are spooktacular. And very creepy to boot! Ha. Lenny is the best. What a great teen!

Mark Koopmans said...

Hi Hilary,

So glad to hear you have an astoundingly strong noggin, and I'm glad that you won't look like an extra from the Rocky movies :)

Hugs and hope you have a *quiet*, relaxing week this week :)

Jannie Funster said...

Sorry to hear you had some bumps and bruises, dear girl. Glad you are okay. Bit of a fright at first, tho, I would imagine.

I too love when we share our cultures, rather than getting so homogenized.

Loved reading about the East Angles area, would be a fun old village to visit and eat swine washed down with ale in.

Take care and big big hugs from all the Funster Gang.

xooxoxoxoxoxoxo

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Rena - many thanks .. and to my surprise it was just a nuisance, once I'd realised I really hadn't done any damage! So glad you enjoyed the posting ..

@ Robyn - hardly anything .. but I'm so lucky. St Jude was kind to this old soul! There are so many festivities and religious connotations around the end of October beginning of November - it is difficult to keep up.

Lenny is very special ..

@ Mark - very strong noggin I'm happy to report .. and everyone thought I'd be 'damaged' for ages .. it'll be gone next week ..

.. and I will try and have a quiet week, not sure about the relaxing bit!

@ Jannie - just got away very lightly (somehow) .. and thankfully no shock: just the realisation it was going to curtail life for a day or two ..

Homogenization isn't good .. but our history tells us so much ..

Ah - we can have ale and swine down here too! Saxon style! East Anglia is definitely a place to visit though ...

Thanks for the Funster gang's thoughts ...

Cheers to you all .. it is wonderfully sunny on this Remembrance SunDay 2013 - Hilary

Juliet Batten said...

Hilary, you have certainly had a stormy time on all fronts, but there are also some sweet events in here. Do hope you are recovering well.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Juliet - almost back to normal now .. I've just been very lucky - people can't believe I've healed so quickly. Still I have good memories of before the stormy event! East Anglia was lovely .. cheers Hilary

Tina said...

I'm just so glad that you're OK. It could have been much worse. How lovely of Lenny to make Linda feel so special - and you for arranging it all. At least one good thing came of your poor bruised eyes - the amusement of Linda ;-) Do take care, and keep up your wonderful, positive, encouraging spirit. It's an inspiration to me.
Tina @ Life is Good

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. it could have been awful - but now you really wouldn't know anything had happened.

Lenny is just great and Linda does love the interaction with him (and me!) ...

Thanks - it's good to be light hearted and encouraging .. cheers Hilary