Tanka: We

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Photo: Pixabay  http://www.pexels.com

When the earth was young
We were put in a garden
We had abundance
We messed it all up big time
We still live the aftermath

copyright Francis Barker 2019

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Poem: The Garth

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The accolades like garlands
all around you,
each flower of the palette
in your soul

I saw suns glint in violet eyes,
such rare colour,
your rose petal smiles
on dew laden sward 

You drew me pastel people,
tore them to pieces,
casting high like confetti
in a lavender breeze

Your delicate hand would
demand I take it,
frog march me around
your patchwork garth 

We’d sit in white stillness 
at Indian summer’s end,
our toes dangling in pools
of murky green

And when the grey winds came
soughing demons around us,
you closed that rickety gate
toward Michaelmastide.

copyright Francis Barker 2019

The Proms: An Extraordinary British Tradition

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Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

The Proms begin today, July 19, perhaps the quintessential British cultural event, held each year in several venues in London between July and September, though most notably at The Royal Albert Hall.

The word proms is in fact a shortening of the term Promenade Concerts, a cultural phenomena which had its origins in 18th century London, which took place in pleasure gardens where the spectators were allowed to move around the orchestras. The word promenade is a borrowing from the French language, meaning to walk.

Music for the masses

In the 19th century this style of concert moved indoors as well, leading eventually to the establishment of ‘The Proms’ on August 10 1895 at the Queens Hall, Langham Place by the well known impresario, Robert Newman.

The idea was to offer the experience of classical music to the general public, with lower ticket prices in an informal setting. It has to be said that the idea worked, with a comprehensive schedule of performances spanning over two months.

Too English?

However, the Proms do have their detractors. For instance, I have heard it said more than once that they are too English. Whilst there is certainly a great deal of flag waving, a cursory look at the famous ‘Last Night of the Proms’, will reveal flags from all over the world.

What is more, much time and energy has been put in to diversifying the content, with the inclusion of world music, as well as folk music from all over Great Britain and Ireland.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

 

Spalding’s Unique Ayscoughfee Hall

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Ayscoughfee Hall in Spalding Lincolnshire is simply an architectural gem.

However, I don’t believe it’s known for sure how it got its name (it’s pronounced ‘Ascoffey’ folks).

Nevertheless, recent archaeology has discovered much that was once hidden; stairs, passageways, tiles… all of which are included in the comprehensive museum illustrating the history, not only of Spalding, but of the whole South Holland region and its wonderful agricultural heritage.

Leofwine Tanner 2019

World War 2 Memorial, Ayscoughfee Hall

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Recently a new memorial to Spalding’s WWII dead was unveiled.

It is a masterful, yet understated and fitting tribute to those who gave their lives in the most devastating conflict yet known to mankind.

It is also a fine complement to Edwin Lutyens’ earlier, more classically styled WW1 memorial, just a few yards away.

Topiary at Ayscoughfee Hall, Spalding

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The art of topiary has been practised at Ayscoughfee Hall, Spalding, Lincolnshire, for many decades.

One of the joys of a walk around Ayscoughfee Hall grounds is to witness the topiary, done in a fairly unique, almost avant-garde fashion.

Or is it prehistoric?