Thought you might like to see what has been happening at the Virgin of the Ridge since last we were there. I can’t believe the change in the place since we wrote about it in The Initiate and Heart of Albion!
As I pulled up by the hedge in our usual parking spot, the first thing I saw was a red kite wheeling round the tower! I probably didn’t even need to go in after seeing that… and half expected it to be locked. Nevertheless, we got out and I pushed the chair up that dratted hill to the porch. The kite had vanished… as they do. The tree stump with the nails is nowhere to be seen now.
The outer door was shut and I had little hope, but lo and behold, it was unlocked. Of course, I glanced across at the postcards… I couldn’t not really, could I? The dark image has been replaced by a picture of a rainbow over the church! Much more appropriate… especially after the bit in the intro to Heart of Albion!
“And there are colours now…
As I come out…
A Red-Kite flies
Left to right across the graveyard…”
Once inside, you could see why. Nothing has changed, of course… it looks exactly the same as every other time we have been there. But now, the whole place feels right… feels as it should for a Templar church and the heart of a village for 800 years.
I showed Nick around the place… the Saxon font, the medieval and reformation wall paintings with the Tree of Life over the arch… the lovely little window of Mary in niche in the bell tower…you know, that tiny one in the south wall. Odd, her hair is unbound, though she holds the crown… I wonder which Mary it really is supposed to be? Of course, Nick wanted a shot up the bell ropes, so muggins was laid out flat on the red tiles, pointing the camera… freezing, I have to say, in spite of the sunshine outside.
The Bible on the lectern was interestingly open at Acts 1…. the bit about the Upper Room… In the chancel I finally had a good look at the 13th century piscina… it is unusual and there are feathers on the plaque in front of it. I managed some good shots of the windows and the medieval paintings in the embrasures too for once.
Do you remember seeing the consecration crosses on the chancel arch there? Two, opposite each other on the pillars. I got a couple of shots as they look almost identical to some of the sacred geometry you’ve been working on for the new book, Doomsday. I’m busy with editing the story so far for that one and can’t wait to see what else you’ve done with it!
As soon as we came out of the church we heard the kite, looked up, and there it was… flying as low as you could wish against the sun. Two cameras zoomed skywards, but it was in no hurry and treated us to fifteen minutes of sheer delight! Nick, of course, will undoubtedly have the best pictures… he outguns me by quite a margin… but I did get some half decent ones amongst the hundreds of dark silhouettes. I’ll show you when you are here next week.
Looking forward to Glastonbury next Thursday… it should be fun! And seeing what Morgana has done to create the new Glastonbury Sanctuary! The pictures look wonderful!
Oh, I nearly forgot… as we were getting back into the car, something fell at my feet… yes, another feather… but as we had just been watching its owner, I couldn’t resist!
P.S. Anu has the tennis balls at the ready….
Don and Wen are protagonists in the Triad of Albion and Doomsday series of books by Stuart France and Sue Vincent.