Monday, 13 October 2008

Morning Prayer

An expedition into Norfolk, getting my trousers filthy in Sandringham photographing early morning fungi in oak woods. And so on to the accidental but thrilling discovery of the Perpendicular church of St.John the Evangelist in Oxborough. It was so quiet you could hear a leaf drop onto the grass that now covers the roofless nave. The north aisle remains, as does the Bedingfield Chapel (locked), but a flint wall now provides an entrance to a space for services in the old chancel. As I went through the open door I was suddenly aware of a loud viscious droning that could only be a huge wasps' nest up in the roof spaces. Craning my neck upwards I couldn't see it, but not wanting to be suddenly chased down the road by airborne attackers I tiptoed about taking quick nervous pictures of the exquisite harvest festival decorations on the window sills. I prayed that the noisy congregation wouldn't become aware of the shutter going off and wondered if I should tell a verger or passing churchwarden. I decided just to leave a cowardly note in the visitors' book, and took my leave with long purposeful strides in order to slink away in my car to Stoke Ferry.


Philip Wilkinson said...

Great photographs, as ever.
Re Sandringham, IN TEARING HASTE, the new volume of letters between Patrick Leigh Fermor and Deborah Devonshire contains a telling observation in a letter from the Duchess to Paddy about staying at the royal Norfolk residence:
'My bathroom had three marble basins with letters engraved into them. The first said HEAD & FACE ONLY, the next HANDS, & good heavens the last was blank so what can it have been for.'
Trousers, presumably.

Thud said...

Discretion being etc.

Vinogirl said...

That's a beautiful chapel.

Peter Ashley said...

It is indeed Vinogirl. And it's amazing how October light, and the fact that there isn't a roof over most of it, conspires to achieve such dramatic effects with light and shadow. I'm just glad I turned up at the right time.

Ron Combo said...

You always turn up at the right time you lucky bleeder. Just ask the Intrepid One.