I have loved Dan Gibson’s Solitudes series of albums – I originally had a few of them on cassette tape, back in the day! – of nature sounds, with or without music, for a very long time (as the above would suggest).
And I am, after all, “The Anglophilic Anglican” – my love for England, the English countryside, and English country gardens, should go without saying! But despite listening to my first Dan Gibson albums back in the early 1980s, I had not until this very day realized that he had one devoted to “The English Country Garden.” Very cool!
I recognize a few of the bird calls – most poignantly, for me, the cuckoo, which I was delighted to discover really does sound exactly like its name – from my time living and studying in Ireland, in 1990. So lovely to hear it again!
“Far from what we imagine today, schools were available to many children in medieval England, as long as the family could spare their labour. Apart from monastic schools, there were free standing private grammar schools in many parishes. Here is the medievalist Nicholas Orme…”
Far from what we imagine today, schools were available to many children in medieval England, as long as the family could spare their labour. Apart from monastic schools, there were free standing private grammar schools in many parishes. Here is the medievalist Nicholas Orme: pic.twitter.com/weqNlzUn4J
“So much for the ‘Dark Ages’… Modern education in England (and indeed the world) has the early medieval schools to thank for almost every aspect of what we today take for granted…”
As an academically-trained, as well as avocational, medievalist (my B.A. is in medieval studies, and my Master of Theological Studies was focused primarily on early and medieval Christianity), “so much for the Dark Ages” is a pretty good condensation of my own conclusions! The “Dark Ages” were not nearly as “dark” as most people think; there was a good deal of scholarship, and quite a lot of creative thought, going on in them, and while some elements of the knowledge of late Hellenistic antiquity were lost to the West until the Renaissance, thanks to both monasteries and cathedral schools, much survived.
What I had not fully realized was the extent to which that knowledge was available outside of the cloister and the University. I should have! I was aware of private tutors, as well as the vast number of “clerks in minor orders” who were not, properly speaking, clergy, but who were the recipients of academic training in the aforementioned monastic and cathedral schools, and later the Universities, and passed that knowledge on – for a fee! – outside the walls.
What I hadn’t realized, but should have, was that then as now, education began young: for how could older youth be beneficiaries of knowledge without the seeds of learning being sown in their younger years? Latin is not learned overnight, nor is philosophy, nor yet the trivium and quadrivium. The existence of parish grammar schools is not something I had thought much about, one way or the other, but it is certainly not surprising.
Most interesting, though. Most interesting indeed!
A young English girl posts, as she says, “A Very Short Intro to Churches” – medieval English parish churches, specifically. This is by no means a professionally-done video; it’s a bit choppy, and the sound is often hard to hear. But it is – in my opinion – precisely its “amateur” (remember, the word means “one who loves”) nature that gives it its charm. It is a short video shot by a young, local girl who is trying to introduce others to something which is of great value to her, and lead them to love it, too: the tradition of medieval English parish church architecture.
In her words:
Here’s my video on Medieval churches. Apologies for the low production quality and the fact that I glossed over a whole load of info, but it was for the sake of brevity. Now find your local historic church, think of the countless generations who built it and worshipped there, and do the damn best you can to preserve it.
It is one thing – an essential thing – to bring attention to assaults against the West, and to oppose them by one’s words. It is another to remind ourselves, each other, and those who may not know much about the West why it’s worth defending!
Here is my first entry in “Glories of the West,” an occasional series of (primarily) videos which puts the lie to the oft-repeated contemporary bromide that “white people have no culture.” On the contrary, we do indeed – and a glorious and magnificent heritage of culture, at that! Architectural, musical, political, philosophical, artistic, and in many other realms as well.
Even the ruins of European structures – such as cathedrals, castles, and abbeys – are glorious, calling to mind what they must have been like in their prime. Part of our vocation, we who are defenders of the West, is to strive, to the best of our abilities and by the grace God gives us, to protect, preserve, and (where possible) restore our patrimony, for our own sakes but more importantly, for our descendants.
“If kids never step out of their comfort zone, how are they going to learn resilience?”
— Mike Fairclough, Headmaster, West Rise Junior School (Eastbourne, UK)
Not sure if I shared this last year, when it first appeared – if not, I should have! If I did, it’s worth a re-share. As I wrote at the time:
What, you mean there’s a school that’s actually teaching children where real food actually comes from – as opposed to magically appearing, wrapped in styrofoam and plastic, at the supermarket? Good heavens! In fact, the whole program sounds absolutely brilliant.
This amazing state school in the UK teaches children from “a varied demographic” – most of whose families are on various forms of social assistance – how to shoot, hunt, dress and cook the game they take, make bows, build fires, and otherwise function effectively in the outdoors.
The video shows them gutting squirrels, plucking pigeons, splitting wood for the fire with a mallet and fro, and cooking and eating the proceeds.
“The most dangerous thing you can do to a child is to not expose them to an element of risk and danger,” says Mike Fairclough, Headmaster, West Rise Junior School, who adds that “if children are excited about coming to school, if they’re being inspired and enthused by being outside, then that has an impact back in the classroom.”
The school gets the best exam results in the area, and won the 2015 T.E.S. Best School of the Year award, according to the video. “Teaching the children to shoot is controversial,” the video notes. “But the school argues it teaches discipline and responsibility.”
“The cotton-wool culture of Britain has got a little bit out of control,” Fairclough comments, referring to the modern desire on the part of many – schools, parents, media, etc. – to wrap children up and insulate them from many of the realities of life. “It’s only really peoples own sort of limiting beliefs, and a few media myths that people have invested in, which have stopped children from having these sorts of activities.”
Also called Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Sheer Thursday and Thursday of Mysteries, Maundy Thursday marks the beginning of the three day celebration of Easter, an important time in the Christian calendar.
The day comes before Good Friday, and this year it has fallen on March 29.
It commemorates the last supper of Jesus Christ, when Christians believe he shared bread and wine with his disciples.
According to the Bible, Jesus also washed the feet of his followers and commanded them to love each other.
The word Maundy comes from the Latin word ‘mandatum’, meaning command.
How is Maundy Thursday marked in the UK?
The Queen will mark Maundy Thursday by distributing alms as part of a tradition dating back to the 13th century.
She will be accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh for the service at Leicester Cathedral where the Maundy Money will be distributed to 91 men and 91 women – representing each of her 91 years.
The 182 recipients of the Maundy money are senior citizens who will be given the gifts in recognition of the service they have given to the church and their local area.
Wishing all of my Christian readers – English or not! – a holy and blessed Maundy Thursday, and remainder of this Sacred Triduum.