Friday, 24 February 2012


This afternoon I spent some happy hours at Wormingford on the Suffolk Essex county boundary and by the Stour Valley Path.  The weather was particularly clement for February.  There was a touch of Spring in the air and the snowdrops were out in style.

Snowdrops near the Church of St Andrew, Wormingford

Masses of snowdrops further down the Stour Valley Path at Wormingford

The Reader is also a writer, the famous author, poet and editor Ronald Blythe. I have read his delightful and widely acclaimed book Akenfield and I enjoyed the film it inspired, directed by Sir Peter Hall, though some critics gave this evocative and touching film bad reviews. I'm currently reading Word from Wormingford  and  I bought a copy of John Nash at Wormingford from the church bookstall today.

The Church of St Andrew Wormingford

Church House, Wormingford

The leaning church wall at Wormingford is very distinctive

Lectern at St Andrew's, Wormingford

Lady Chapel and pulpit at St Andrew's, Wormingford

Piscina and sedilia at St Andrew's, Wormingford

Interior of St Andrew's Church, Wormingford

Stained glass window showing Christ with Mary and Martha (Luke's Gospel 10: 38-42) at St Andrew's Church, Wormingford

St Andrew's Church, Wormingford: Christ with the Samaritan woman at the well (John's Gospel  chapter 4)

The delightful bookstall at St Andrew's Wormingford

St Andrew's Wormingford: tower and south porch

     Views across the Stour Valley with Stoke by Nayland church in the background. The church seemed to glow this afternoon in the bright late February sunlight. At times the sun appeared to shine dramatically on the beautiful tower above the distant trees.

Across the fields to Bures

Countryside around Wormingford from the Stour Valley Path.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Marie Colvin the courageous: martyr for the cause of truthful journalism

Many tributes are being made today praising Marie Colvin for her courage, bravery and great journalism.  Marie Colvin faced danger many times and now she has been killed by the brutal Syrian army in Homs.  Marie bore witness to the sickening slaughter of innocent civilians.  She was appalled by the dreadful suffering of the Syrian people and died alongside French photographer Remi Ochlik.

 Marie was a martyr, which comes from the Greek word for witness and became associated with those who died for their faith.  May her death not be in vain. Her blood may be the seed of change in Syria. She profoundly believed that reporting could curtail the excesses of brutal regimes and make the international community take notice. Marie will be remembered for her bravery and her award winning journalism in the tradition of Martha Gellhorn.

It is hoped that humanitarian aid and medical supplies will be allowed into these conflict zones.  It may not be possible for Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik  to be given decent burials.  Their bodies have been recovered in Homs, but it will be very difficult to get them returned.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Castle Hedingham, Essex: a photographic tribute

Over the years I have enjoyed journeys to Castle Hedingham village, particularly visiting the Church of St Nicholas.  I love the misericords, stained glass windows, the Good Shepherd mural and the tapestry showing local buildings.  In 2010 I wrote about a visit in August and posted some photographs.  I have now decided to post some more photographs; they bring me pleasure and joy as I remember a very happy day.

The Church of St Nicholas, Castle Hedingham

Looking towards Church Ponds from Falcon Square

Workmen were converting the Castle Hedingham Youth Hostel into a  private residence.

The former Castle Hedingham Youth Hostel.  The tower and flag of Castle Hedingham can be seen in the distance.

The stained glass window in the church, Castle Hedingham, showing Dorcas, St Nicholas and St Luke.

I love these misericords at Castle Hedingham.  Please see my blog of 10/8/10 for more photographs.

The Old Moot House Restaurant, Castle Hedingham

The Bell Inn, Castle Hedingham

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Bodleian Quad doors, Oxford

The doors around the Bodleian Library are beautiful.  In celebration of their magnificence and splendour I have selected some photographs. I really love the Bodleian Quad (Schools Quad) doors, visiting them and looking at the photographs.  I hope you enjoy them too!

And I thought that photographs of the Divinity School at Oxford are well worth including.

The door from the Divinity School opposite the Sheldonian Theatre.


River Stour