Edwardian Farm: Episode 5
I have not, alas, been either too Anglophilic or too Anglican on here, of late! So in partial recompense, here is a link to a lovely episode (#5) of “Edwardian Farm.” The Edwardian age is, in some respects, my favorite period in Britain. America, too, though it wasn’t necessarily called by that name; later generations would call it the closing years of the “Gilded Age.”
In some ways the ultimate “Blighty Boys” era, it was the beginning of the modern period, with airplanes, motorcars, and tractors all putting in an appearance; yet, at the same time, there were more draft horses being used for agriculture than at any other time in history, and in Britain, farmers still wassailed their apple orchards as they had since time immemorial!
A most interesting survey of agricultural (and related) activities during this time in history.
French Senators have stipulated that Notre-Dame cathedral must be restored exactly how it was before the devastating fire that tore through the Paris landmark.
Source: French Senate says Notre-Dame must be restored exactly how it was – The Local
The Senate of France gets it right! Now let’s hope the Assemblée Nationale follows suit:
“On Monday evening, the French Senate approved the government’s Notre-Dame restoration bill – but added a clause that it must be restored to the state it was before the blaze, striking a blow to the government which had launched an international architecture competition to debate ideas on the restoration…
“The Senate has now approved the restoration bill already passed by the French parliament to allow work on the structure to be completed in time for the Paris Olympics in 2024 – but requires that the restoration be faithful to the ‘last known visual state’ of the cathedral, in an attempt to check the government, which has launched an international architectural competition soliciting designs for renovation.”
“Because of the changes imposed, the bill cannot now pass directly in to law, so the Senate and the Assemblée nationale will now attempt to come to an agreement on a version of the bill that will become law.”
Praying that the National Assembly concurs! Dieu sauve la France! Et que Dieu sauve Notre Dame!
They are trying to save the holiest site in Christendom: “We don’t know what we will find.”
Source: Work begins to try to save Christianity’s holiest shrine: Jesus’ tomb – The Washington Post
“The work will finally begin, and it is past time,” said the Rev. Peter Vasko, president of the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land.
“The place is falling apart,” he said.
Vasko recalled the first time he prayed over the covered tomb as a young priest and trembled with the realization, “I am not worthy.”
“This is the real thing,” Vasko said. “It is not a holy place. It is the holy place.”
One of the things which struck me with great force as I toured England and Scotland in 1985, and Ireland, England, and Wales in 1990, was the tremendous antiquity in which the very land was steeped. It was awe-inspiring enough to touch Roman brick (!), for person born and raised in a country that things 300 years is “old,” but the heritage of the British Isles goes so much further back than that… I was particularly taken by the barrow-mounds, to which I had been first introduced in fictional form through the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. To actually be face-to-face with true barrows, in all their reality (though without, so far as I know, barrow-wights), was a remarkable experience.
But familiarity breeds contempt, they say; and it was with great sadness that I learned, later in life, that not all in Britain share this American-of-British-ancestry’s passion, respect, and even reverence for a past which reaches back thousands of years, yet retains a strange and mystic continuity with the present. Just as Americans seem to think nothing turning areas of great natural beauty into strip malls or housing developments, it seems that there are interests in Britain that think nothing of driving roads through, or building car-parks on top of, ancient structures that have stood for millennia… including the tombs of prehistoric kings and chieftains.
In this haunting song, Damh the Bard sings of one such barrow. I do not know whether it is intended to be entirely representative, or whether he had a specific site in mind when he wrote it, but either way, he evokes the feelings of sadness and frustration I myself feel when I hear of antiquities — whether ancient Oaks or ancient Barrows — bulldozed for the sake of what we so glibly call “progress.” In hopes that we may someday, as humans, outgrow our childish lack of respect for those who came before, I give you Damh the Bard’s “The Tomb of the King.”