Friday, September 21, 2007


Cube, originally uploaded by Colonel Blink.

Sometimes I wonder if I am over stating my case when I describe Norwich Castle as the ugliest building in Norwich and then I look at it and realise that I am, if anything, being generous. Even THAT hotel down Duke Street or the wonder that is Anglia Square are beautiful when set against Old Norwich Prison.

Mind you the art galleries inside the Castle work better for me than the sterile oppressive interior of the Sainsbury Centre with its ever present, almost subsonic hum of air conditioning and its strange grey light. Gosh oh golly. Two sacred cows in one posting.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Learning new skulls.

Both spotted in St Andrew's Church Norwich: this last one for those who prefer a skull rather than cream on their fruit salad....

St Andrew Norwich

Sunday, September 16, 2007

St Andrew Norwich - Green Man

Seen in the Parish Church of St Andrews in Norwich. A tiny Green Man on the Victorian Stone reredos which is a surprise to say the least. I cannot think of any other Green Man within the Sanctuary area of any church anywhere else.

Forget contemporary new age drivel about Green Men. In medieval symbolism the Green Man was not a man but a beast without a soul, a creature who was wholly subservient to every gross need and drive. He is completely without intellect, compassion or guilt. He is a monster that takes what he wants, when he wants it.

The oak leaf strewn face was a popular design with both Gothic revival and Arts and Crafts designers but they knew exactly what the symbolism meant. Christianity is heavily dependent on symbols (the Cross, The Dove, etc. ) and they fill our churches -so why did the Victorian mason decide to put this one by the altar?

It is tiny, being only a few inches tall. All the other panels in line have the oak leaves but not the face. If you do not know it is there you will not find it. (If you do go in search of it: you will find it immediately behind the cross and to the left.)

Hidden or not. Every Sunday the congregation kneel in prayer before the Cross and a tiny stone carving of a rapist. Which is weird

Friday, September 07, 2007

More than a junk store

St Mary The Less, Norwich, originally uploaded by Colonel Blink.

Daily Mail and Daily Express readers look away now.

The state of the interior of St Mary The Less almost makes me believe in the conspiracy theory of history. This particular church is a solid representation of one of the most glorious revolutions in Norwich's history and is also a beacon of hope for the future of our whole country. I do not understand how we can allow a building like this which should be a place of secular pilgrimage to be treated in this manner.

This church was given to The Strangers, Dutch refugees from religious persecution to be used as their own. If you look at the parish records for the church you find they start off being written in their own language but after a hundred years or so they continue in English. But this was not the subsumation of a smaller culture into a greater one; The Dutch Strangers changed forever the politics, the culture and the economics of the whole of Norfolk.

It was not without it's stresses as can be read here but the history of St Mary The Less proves that multiculturalism works. It has all happened before. Actually the present wave of economic migrants is as nothing when you think that at one point one quarter of the population of Norwich was Dutch and Walloon.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Death Of Language

Uh what? What the hell is contemporary dining and drinking?

Scene: The Bull public house in Ambridge. Sid Perks, the landlord, is behind the bar polishing glasses, his wife Jolene is out of sight in the kitchen. Occasionally the sound of her humming "Stand By Your Man" wafts through the whole pub.

Sid Perks: Would you like a drink gentlemen?
Doctor Who (for it is he): I am trying to work out if I want a pint of contemporary Stella Artois or whether I want to get in the Tardis and go back in time to 1982 and redrink the non contemporary but very historical Harvey Wallbanger I drank then.
Doctor Sam Beckett: Oh boy. Not again. It was bad enough the first time. Besides if you go back in time that Harvey Wallbanger then becomes contemporary.
etc. etc