Saturday, July 23, 2005
Kate Malone is an artist that Joy greatly admires, and she proved to be a wonderful host as well. She was very kind during our stay in Cotignac and continues to mentor Joy through the internet.
The house we stayed in was over three hundred years old, but it somehow reminded me of the houses in the first Star Wars movie with it's white smooth curving walls.
Cotignag was one of Joy's favorite places. Located in Southern France, an amazing thing about this place is the natural caves. You can see the buildings in the cliff wall, there are actually caves in the wall that go under the town. They were used as hiding places during the resistance.
Fun was to be had for all at this former Augustiniun Monestery. The Augustiniuns were the ones that brewed the beer if the giant barrel and mug didn't give it away!
There really are holes in the Royal Albert Hall. I wonder if they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall...I'd love to turn you on!
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Our lodging was just like The Prancing Pony in the Lord of the Rings. Tavern on the bottom floor, rooms on the top. If you look hard you can see me peeking out our bedroom window. Even the sign waving out front reminds me of Tolkien's Middle Earth.
All that is left of this pre-dissolution building is the tower. Like all of Glastonbury it has a surreal feel about it. It seems like a strange place to build considering the effort it takes to get to it, it is always windy and chilly, and it's just kind of spooky. The last Abbot was hung here, but I don't think that is the only cause for the imposing feel of the place.
This tower is called the Tor. It is the ruins of an old church, high up on the tallest hill in the area. It was a strenuous, and windy walk up.
Drinking from the Lions Mouth is supposed to be very healing. The water tasted rich in iron to me, that may explain a few things. Then again, maybe not!
The water from the spring stains it's bed red, adding to the myth of the Grail (the blood of Christ).
One of the most beautiful places in Glastonbury is the Chalise Well. It is at the head of a constantly flowing spring that is mythically the resting place of the Holy Grail.
I think this little family will give you an idea of the "alternative" types Glastonbury is full of. I bet these are a couple of the coolest parents in the world!
Glastonbury often reminded me of midieval stories such as Ivanhoe and the Lord of the Rings. This type of architecture was everywhere.
The Glastonbury Thorn is supposedly found only here and in the Holy Land. The story is that Joseph of Arimathea visited here on a merchant voyage. He supposedly stuck his staff in the ground where it sprouted into a tree. He took this as a sign and built a church here from mud and willow branches. This tree like all Glastonbury Thorns is said to be descended from the original.
I was told while strolling the grounds that I would make an excellent "King Arthur" for reinactments if I needed a summer job!
Joy sat on the "Eggstone" behind the Abbot's kitchen. Her mother had read about it somewhere and insisted she sit on it. It is supposed to have "positive feminine energies," I think it's part of her devious plot to have grandchildren soon!
It is difficult to know the true facts in distant history, but it is interesting to know that the inhabitants of this place believed they had found King Arthur's grave.
Glastonbury is believed to be the original site of the first Christian presence in England. There is a belief that this place is a powerfully spiritual place, they claim it has something to do with the crossing of "lay lines" whatever that means. This is part of the ruins of an abby that was destroyed during the dissolution of the Catholic Church in England.
We went to Glastonbury for Joy's birthday. To say the least this is an interestingly alternative place. It has a huge "alternative" population. While we were there, some people were celebrating Beltain (a pagan holiday), another group was instating a new "Arch-druid", and as we were sitting in a tavern we witnessed other residents smoking marijuana openly.
We were traveling from town to town in the English country-side when we visited Stonehinge. It was inconvenient, but worth it to see this magical place.
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
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