Sunday, May 19, 2013
To the South Country, and then east...
The collection of late Gothic windows along the south aisle of St George's, Brede, proclaims this part of the church to date to the 15th century, though the rest of the building is earlier. It seemed to me to be typical not only of its period but also of its place – the combination of grey stone walls and rich red tiled roof is redolent of Sussex. This happy marriage of building and setting is enhanced further by the fact that the church, set just off the main village street, overlooks a beautiful, broad valley, with views far into the distance. Having this place revealed to me – and by a friend who knows this part of the South Country well – was a great pleasure.
I wanted to share this picture, with its associations of both architecture and place, because it sums up one of my main preoccupations. And a summing-up is appropriate because I want to signal a change, temporary I hope, in my postings. Regular readers will have noticed allusions in my posts to the Resident Wise Woman, who sometimes accompanies me on my trips of exploration, frequently shares her knowledge of history with me, and sometimes comments from the sidelines during her periods of non-residence – for her work, and indeed her predilections, regularly take her far away from the territory of English Buildings to the heart of the European mainland.
It was on one of these trips recently that she was taken seriously ill. After an emergency operation and a stay in hospital, she is now steadily recovering in our half-restored farmhouse in the Czech Republic, and I am there helping her to get better and waiting on her hand and foot. With few new English buildings to share, and precious little time to write about them, I plan to reprise a few of my favourite earlier posts. I expect I will find it difficult to refrain from making additional comments on these recycled posts, but if these comments are sparse, or if my online appearances are less regular than usual, you know the reason. Here's to good health.