Wednesday, September 02, 2009

While Robert Earle Peacefully Slumbers........

We used to fall down laughing at the idea that "Yanks" who came to visit Ireland and "did" the whole country in five days, actually believed they'd "seen" the country, rather than the inside of a tour bus! If I moved back there and lived to be two hundred, I'd still die with 75 percent of the country "unseen" to my satisfaction! I even envy people who live in parts of Ireland that I'm unfamiliar with, and wonder what being Irish means to them, and if it is a whole different experience than being from my small corner.

The touring Yanks we saw were cliches. The ladies were all slightly stooped, had blue hair, and softly powdered cheeks. The men were gigantically tall, with huge, shiny, wing tip shoes, white socks, gray hair, pendulous lower lips and languid drawls. Both genders wore navy or gray raincoats and carried umbrellas---"Ya gotta remember what they told us about the weather, Wally!"

At least that's how they seemed to the ten or twelve year old me.

Of course that was back in the last century.........Travelers have changed since those far off days, I realize. And my perceptions of things, quite possibly, have changed too. But I stuck with tradition on my five days, give or take a few, in England recently. Traditionally, tourists visit churches.

I visited a church. It was within sight of my lovely trio's front door.

We went for a walk one day, up a nearby hill.

This was the view of the church as we came back down.

Such a solid, square, British looking church! I had to go inside and have a look.

Some lovely stained glass windows.......

.....and several ancient inscriptions to worthies long deceased, such as this one to Robert Earle Esquire.

Times, as noted earlier, have changed. Churches these days are not always used as their builders intended. But those soaring ceilings are not going to waste. At least not in this particular church. After reading about Robert Earle, if you slowly turn a half circle round....

this.... what you'll see.

Since church attendance has fallen off, the building is being used as a climbing center!

I wonder what Robert Earle Esquire and the Yanks of my youth would think of that?


Thimbleanna said...

Eeeek! This Yank thinks that's AWFUL! I know those churches are expensive to maintain, but Yuck!

I've often thought what you just said -- I could live in Great Britian my whole life and not see all there is to see. I'd love to be able to take a trip a year to a different little corner and explore -- oh, if only it could be so!

StitchinByTheLake said...

Oh. My. Goodness. I wonder what God thinks about this. blessings, marlene

Isabelle said...

Hmm. I don't think Mr Earle would be at all amused.

Hope the stings have stopped stinging! Poor Molly.

jkhenson said...

AHH! I am not fond of a church as a climbing wall!!

Warty Mammal said...

Here I go, doing the duck and run again. I saw this when you first wrote it, thought it was wonderful, and promptly didn't comment.

Marvelous photos! You've made me think about the nature of being a tourist. How much of the flavor of a place do we really get when we march from landmark to landmark? I suppose this is part of why people become inveterate travelers, finding that a small taste isn't enough to satisfy the cravings.