Tales of walking, eating, watching and playing. Vintage treasures and simple pleasures ... the things that make her happy.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Stepping off the treadmill ...

... and taking some time out last weekend.  No jobs, no just do's, no mundane tasks. 
Ice on the inside of the bedroom windows.  They needed a fresh air fix.  A dull day with a chilling grip.  Gloves, mufflers, wellies and woolly socks.  To Langport they went.
A little town not far away, sitting on the edge of the River Parrett on the Somerset Levels.
A few pretty shops, nothing pretentious, old buildings down unseen side streets.
At the top of the hill they take in the view across the Levels from the stone seat in the grounds of the now empty and unused All Saints Church.  A wonderful place to sit and reflect come winter or summer.  A landscape flat and often flooded stretches into the distance.
Priests Lane to the side of St Gilda's Convent School for Girls.  Originally an orphanage, set up by the sisters of St Gildas, who fled to langport in 1904 from Brittany, France, to escape religious persecution.
Sign pollution, a pet hate.  Far more tolerable if they were all old cast and enamelled signs like this one.
The Hanging Chapel.  13th century archway with chapel atop.  Has been used as a Town Hall, courthouse, grammar school, museum, armoury and since 1891, as a Masonic hall.
Fresh air fuelled steps take them out of the town to the adjoining Huish Episcopi.  Beautiful church door.
Wanting to peek inside.
Back along the ice edged river.  Passing the time with fishermen catching roach.
Icy puddles have to be broken.
Returning to Langport along the watery path.  A still, steely greyness descending, snowflakes appearing, decorating Mr VJ's whiskery beard.  Past Town Hall and Market Shambles.
The Flaming Star Gas Lamp

The Portcullis, derived from Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII, a medieval owner of the manor, is Langport's badge.  The metal structure above, surrounded by rays of light, consists of small gas pipes with holes along their lengths.

At times of national rejoicing, royal occasions and victories in war, it was attached by a large pipe to the gas main on the front of the town hall.  When the gas was turned on, each hole formed a gas jet, which could be lit, providing a blazing star of celebration.  It was last used at the end of World War II.

Made in the mid 1800s, it ran on coal gas from the Langport Gas Works.  Unable to to be used with North Sea gas it is now sadly redundant.
Across misty flatlands to home.  To cook.  To knead dough and bake pastry. Their friends, Mr & Mrs NZ, coming for supper.  Creamy mozzarella, tomatoes, parma ham and salami topped pizza with a fudgy pecan apple tart.
The following day they set out for more.  They strode out across Corton Ridge with Mr & Mrs HTB, over muddied fields to the Queens Arms.  Pork pies, chutneys and roast potatoes!! 
 Warmed and refreshed they marched on.  Through the prettiness of Corton.
 Legs feeling the miles.
They have watched this tree for many years, in the full cloak of summer and stripped in winter.  Hit by lightning a while ago, it stood on, displaying its scars.  But this time it had toppled. Lying bare and exposed.  All fight had gone.
In the grass, an omen.  Mr picked it up.  He needs some luck. 
Long beaked bird with emerald velveteen coat.

Today came some news Mr has been waiting for.  The news was good.  Perhaps it was the horseshoe!


YeamieWaffles said...

Langport seems such a great little English town to visit, awesome photos Jane. Congratulations on that good news too, great stuff!

Flaming Nora said...

Yay! for good news!
Yay! for long ambling walks in the country side.

Rose H (UK) said...

What a gorgeous place for a walk Marina, just the place to step off the treadmill and get away from it all.
That tree will continue to give a home and food to all sorts of insects and birds, so it is still beautiful and useful.
I'm very glad the horse shoe has bought good luck :o)

Romi and Bob said...

Hello. This looks like a lovely place, sort of higgledy piggledy and story booky. I love your pics, you captured some great little details.
How wonderful the pic of the wee girl is in your previous post. So adorable.
Your blog is fascinating.xxx

Kelly-Marie said...

What a beautiful place! Seeing pictures like these makes my heart melt and makes me home sick. So sad that All Saints Church is unused, it's so pretty. That Gas lamp is amazing, i have never seen anthing like it before. I like to think it was the horseshoe that brought your Mr his luck, he was meant to find it. xx

Anonymous said...


I have the utmost admiration for you! Trudging along on such a cold winters day. When I saw ice on the window, I remembered having a home years ago where that happened. That's how you know it is REALLY cold!

The pizza and fudgy pecan apple tart sounds divine! I love the bird covered in the velveteen moss...gorgeous.

Of course, the horseshoe could only bring good luck and I hope the news was wonderful. Even in the cold, you seemed to have a great time!

Btw: I have heard that all of Europe is having terribly cold weather. Here in the US, our winter has been very mild to most.

Wishing you a wonderful evening. ♥


Dawn M said...

Perfect way to spend the weekend, all for being idle and allowing time to switch off! Also your 'fizzy' comment made me roar with laughter! Dx

Miss Simmonds Says said...

What a lovely looking town. Fantastic walk, fancy finding a horseshoe, bit like me finding that brooch

Jelly Jam said...

Lovely post M. Sounds like the weekend was just what you needed and hope that horseshoe has done its job!!

Anne said...

Sounds like a great time was had.The town was so picturesque and your photos caught the beauty of it perfectly.

Aunt Jane's Attic said...

Love the pics of Langport, we had a holiday in Mulcheney, well 2 actually, we stayed at a farm with self catering and B&B we were visting relations in Taunton, before we came to live here, so perhaps we might have a trip, when its a bit warmer! Fantastic luck finder and lovely ducky. Julie

Lorraine Young Pottery said...

I can feel the cold in the photos!
Honest strong buildings, shoulder to shoulder with each other.

Oh I see the bird! and the moss coat.

:-} HUGS hope you are well my friend.


Alix said...

Loved sharing these walks with you - all very picturesque! What a shame about North Sea gas spoiling the spectacle of the gas jets...Glad Mr VJ had good news!

nilly said...

Mr N and I discovered the beauties of Somerset last year and these lovely photos will help me in my efforts to drag the old curmudgeon back there, very soon!
Thank you, Nilly.

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Marina:
What a beautifully illustrated tour of Langport we have enjoyed with you, and all from the comfort of our own room! Such interesting details you have gathered for us and we are particularly intrigued by the 'Flaming Star Gas Lamp'.Such a pity that it is no longer in use, one might have thought that the Diamond Jubilee would be a suitable occasion for its resurrection!

Vix said...

What a lovely, dreamy post. The perfect country day followed by an evening of good food shared with friends. x

June said...

Never heard of Langport before - lovely photos. Love the velveteen duck! Have become a follower!

Lakota [Faith Hope and Charity Shopping] said...

Great pics - I especially love the mossy goose.