Passing by, like Lady Godiva
|Some more mystery flowers have sprung up (doiiing!). I think the dark pink flowers belong to the same sort of plant, even though they appear to be trailing and the pale pink ones are more up right. Once again, these appeared in the middle of the grass, which we haven’t got round to cutting yet. There is a mower in the shed, but it is broken, so has gone on the list of things that need fixing, which is already as long as your arm (if you have really very long gangly arms).|
We also have at least two nests of sparrows living in our roof, despite not having had a ceiling at the point they nested their. Noisy little buggers they are too.
Meanwhile, I have been sleeping lots, but we went out today with my folks to Ely. Ely is a pleasant little town in the middle of the very flat part of East Anglia. It is where Hereward the Wake held out against the Normans. Hereward the Wake is one of the characters who the Robin Hood myth may have been based on.
The only story I can remember about Hereward from School was that the Normans at one point hired a witch to curse the Saxons rebels during what had become a little guerilla war going on following the Norman conquest (it may be flat, but Ely was in fact an island at the time - we gradually drained the rivers to make the Fens; I'm not really sure why, but there is in fact a Drainage Museum, if you are interested). Anyhow, this witch performed her rite which cursed the rebels and concluded by turning round and mooning at them. Which provoked the Saxons to shoot her in the bum. There's a moral in that.
Perhaps more interesting was Hereward's mother - or who we suppose was his mother, British history of that period being a little shakey - Lady Godiva. I don't suppose she is that much more interesting, but she gives me an excuse to show you a rather lovely Pre-Raphaelite naked lady.
So the story went, Lady Godiva entreated her husband, a reputedly stingey git, to reduce taxes on the poor people of Coventry. He said, "Not on thine nelly, missus." (which is Old English). Then he said, "Tell thee what, I'll reduce ye olde taxes, if you ride ye olde gee-gee through ye olde streets of Coventry, naked."
So Lady Godiva asked the townspeople not to look and rode through the streets of Coventry in her birthday suit. Nobody looked except for a character called Peeping Tom - the fact his parents had christened their child Peeping suggesting little hope for him from the outset. Peeping Tom drilled a hole through his door, had a butcher's at Godiva and was struck instantly blind. Since then, anyone who drills holes through things to look at naked people is known as a Peeping Tom.
While I'm here, I am tempted to post that other famous John Collier nude, Lilith, who is a bit more womanly. Lilith was of course Adam's first wife, who was his equal. She got fed up and left Eden, thus they had to resort the spare rib arrangement. No, I've never really got to the bottom of what Lilith is about, where the idea of her came from, but as I understand it, it is kind of Jewish folklore (as opposed to Jewish doctrine) and she's kind of this vampire type character.
If anyone wishes to enlighten me, please do so. She was clearly an animal-lover, anyway.
In other news:
Timbo is running Big Blogger 2007, so do check that out.
Following my Guide to Talking About Stuff Without Sounding Like A Racist, JackP at The Pickards (Me vs. Stephen Hawking being a particularly memorable BADD entry) has written about attitudes towards race and then disability in I'm not a racist, but...