Air of unreality
Copyright Francis 2021
Horror in High House Mexican-born writer Silvia Moreno-Garcia is on the rise. Currently residing in Canada, Moreno-Garcia became a household name when her 2019 novel, Gods of Jade and Shadows became an instant bestseller. It earned several accolades and was even nominated for the 2019 Nebula Award Best Novel category and the 2019 Locus Award, […]Book Review # 210: Mexican Gothic — The Pine-Scented Chronicles
*Find the book here.
It’s the same sounds all round the harbour,
the cries of birds immemorial, echoes
through the cliffs of stacked up buildings, over
masts of twee named boats, men’s bobbing toys.
Your voice is still fresh in my mind, I see
yesterday’s tears in your eyes — that won’t see
me again, our little talks cut off by that corporate
guillotine. It had nothing to do with me.
But didn’t I say you should come here, to Whitby?
Simply to sit, drink it in, watch the gnarled men with sticks
hobble over cobbles, their tight permed wives
with ice creams, moaning, putting worlds to right.
The goths gather here, swarming to darkness,
and the name of Nosferatu, with steampunk dress
codes posing, mingling with transient gulls
strutting their stuff through archaic streets,
owning the place. Enough of my platitudes,
our shared liking for Camembert. You made
your choice, it was the mortgage and the dog,
tethered to the post called debt. It was sad, perhaps
I expected more. So is it sheer folly of me
to hope you read these words? — This tired old man
who just wanted to show you Whitby,
that we might make small talk once more.
Copyright Francis Barker 2020
Peterborough Cathedral is probably one of the most underrated churches in England.
The Gothic fan vaulting at the east end of the cathedral is remarkable.
The cathedral also has three notable shrines to saints. The one above is Saint Oswald’s chapel, an old English saint, whose remains (reputedly an arm) were brought here.
There is also a shrine to Saint Benedict with a beautiful wood carving at the entrance. Peterborough Cathedral is in fact the Abbey church of the former Benedictine Abbey, dissolved by Henry VIII when he became head of the Church of England.
Most interestingly, there is a shrine to three old English (Anglo-Saxon) saints, Kyneburgha, Kyneswitha (spelling varies) and Tibba, unusual but fascinating names of a largely forgotten era.
The spacious choir has some wonderful wood carving.
words and photographs copyright Francis Barker 2019