Search and discover

The weekend was all about search and discover.  Oh, and “cracky” eggs and chocolate eggs.  Obviously.

Good Friday found us on an east coast beach hunting for seashells.  After collecting half a bucketful, splish splashing in the waves for a bit in our boots, and building a line of sandcastles, we went in search of fish and chips and hot drinks to warm us up.

On Saturday, after enjoying a family lunch, three generations of us took to the outdoors for an Easter egg hunt.  Alfie the spaniel won the prize for the keenest nose; he had to be physically removed from the game.

In search of spring down on the farm on Easter Sunday we were rewarded with adorable baby animals and their protective mothers, and tiny day old chicks hopping around under a heat lamp. An absolute delight to witness.

Dreadful weather on Easter Monday forced us to stay indoors all morning, so once we’d had our cracky eggs and soldiers, we trawled through a box of Lego to find the tiny pieces to make an impressive-looking tractor. And before the last raindrops had finished dripping, we were off to source a set of stabilisers suitable for an apprentice giraffe’s new bicycle.  Once they were fitted, it was away to the woods for a trial run, careering through puddles, hoping that the mudguards would save the good blue coat and the little red plait.

A wonderful search and discover weekend it’s been.

All images © 2016 Suzy Barker – photographs may not be used elsewhere

It was the devil that did it

I am a product of a village church school, where faith was indoctrinated on automatic; it’s all I knew.  I loved those bible stories, and the power of the words painting pictures that flowed from the mouth of our local Anglican Reverend.  I adored sitting in church, listening and learning, singing my childish heart out.  I was a sponge.  It wasn’t hard; I learned really quickly to be dutiful, good and kind.

The old vestiges of that C of E upbringing still tend to rant at me from the back rooms of my consciousness.  These days though I find it hard to believe in there being a God of any kind.  Mostly I am a faithful follower of Darwin. It’s the only “religion” I can begin to believe in.  The alternatives seem make-believe alongside.  In fact, I may benefit more if I was to be part of some pagan following, hugging trees, dancing around bonfires, shouting and letting off steam.  That would be more my style I reckon.

And I’m thankful that yesterday and today I have no strong religious faith nor do I belong to any particular denomination, because if I did, I would be feeling extremely pissed off.  I would be feeling utterly let down right now.

As it is I’m feeling angry.  No, “angry” doesn’t even get near to what I’m feeling. I want to scream and shout.  I want to reach out to heads of nations, to world politicians, to military leaders, to give them a serious shake and tell them to get over themselves.  To get their heads out of the lovely soft clouds they float about in, to put their feet back on the floor with the rest of us mere mortals, and to be good and kind and dutiful.  To find common sense solutions to situations.  To put the interests of others before their own.  And to do the right thing.  Quickly.  For all of mankind.

I want to grab hold of every “religious” leader in this whole sorry world and collectively bang their heads together good and hard.  And shame them into forming a compulsory group hug, to be repeated every single day until they get their “dutiful, goodness and kindness” sorted out between them.

Because it is all of these conniving, manipulative, clever dickies that have got us into the hideously awful mess we are now in.

Until the powers that be make these changes, there will definitely be no God of any sort willing to peacefully lay to rest their self-serving souls on their day of reckoning.  There will just be the red hot hole of Hell to welcome them.  And that’s coming from a mere mortal with no religious affiliation whatsoever.  I read somewhere that it wasn’t God that put mankind on the earth, it was the Devil.  Today I can almost believe that to be true.

Another One Bites the Dust

Market Stainton is a typical small medieval Lincolnshire village, with a crescent shaped village green and a few houses spaced around it, the dwellings varying in type and size. The village has a superb Hall as well as farm cottages and a few new build properties too.  It really is a delightful little hamlet, although it has no amenities at all for its residents.

Even the church is a goner.  This is an isolated Lincolnshire Wolds community and it seems that there is little support for this once beautiful medieval church.  The building dates back to the 13th century and the Anglican parish register dates from 1689 for baptisms and burials, 1690 for marriages.  It has been much repaired and altered over the centuries, and is now in a state of considerable disrepair; it’s a good number of years since it was last used for worship.  St Michael’s church is officially redundant and up for sale, with only limited possible uses owing to its Grade II listed status and the type of planning permission likely to be granted.  It cannot be made into a home.

The door was unlocked on Sunday so I crept in with my camera.  I did actually tiptoe, as the roof is quite literally coming down.  The early nineteenth century ceiling in the nave has been breached in numerous places, plaster is coming off the walls and the delicate plaster vault in the chancel is collapsing.  There are chunks of debris covering the floor and the pews and I did consider that any undue noise may well result in further falling of masonry.  The whole place is wet through and crumbling from the weather.

As fascinated as I was by the obvious original simplicity of the interior and the history of this once lovely country church, I felt a haunting sense of sadness too.  It will only be a short matter of time before it is lost forever as unfortunately, in 2016, there is no official money for its upkeep and the local villagers have no way of raising the funds necessary to save it. This is it –

All images © 2016 Suzy Barker – photographs may not be used elsewhere

Who Lives Here?

I walked right by this creepy old house a couple of days ago, on a lonely leg of the Viking Way.  A tight little path hemmed in by barbed wire took me along the rear of its uncared for walls.  It was impossible to see this timeworn building from any other viewpoint because of the overgrown bushes and trees; I could only guess from its dilapidated windows and doors that it was deserted.

Until I came across the white sliced bread.

Someone had launched several slices over the high wall; they had landed on the pathway and the birds were noisily enjoying a late breakfast of them.  I wonder who lives here …