Sorry, been away again, this time to Cornwall where my dear friend Alan married his lovely girlfriend, Josie. I have to say, it was lovely to see two people who genuinely wanted to be with one another. After the formalities of the registry office (the legal bit) we were off to St. Nectan’s Glen near Tintagel Castle (of Arthurian fame – beautiful place, btw) for the Handfasting ceremony. Handfasting used to be a way people got married before Christianity came along and nowadays used more by people who have little affinity with the modern church marriage. Two High-Priestessess performed the ceremony near the Glen’s waterfall and and an acoustic guitarist and violinist accompanied the arrival of all the guests. I could hear the music drifting through the trees as we approached and I was reminded of the part in The Hobbit where Bilbo happens upon the Elves in the forests of Mirkwood. It was a magical thing to hear.

The waterfall at St. Nectan’s Glen

Magical also was the Glen itself with it’s very unique waterfall that no photo does justice. Although this ceremony wasn’t held in the usual Christian setting I was later struck by how like a church the Glen was. The trees were the buttresses and the branches were like the splayed ribs of a cathedrals ceiling. As the sun shone brightly in the evening it’s light made of the leaves it’s own beautiful display of green stained-glass and the waterfall was a font all of it’s own. Not a bad place for a Christening, I think. It made me laugh to think it even had it’s own collection box! There was huge tree trunk that had long since fallen into the stream and people had embedded coins into it’s wooden flesh as an offering to the spirit’s that dwelled in the Glen.

Which brings me onto the orb’s. Loads of the things. Are they spirit’s of nature or just water moisture in the air? They were only seen on the photo’s that we looked at later (and then only  when the flash was used, I think). On some it looked like it was snowing!

Orb’s at St. Nectan’s Glen (photo not taken on the day of marriage)

There seem to be patterns within the orbs themselves and in a photo that hung on the wall of the cafe above the Glen the pattern resembled Celtic knotwork. Very strange stuff, but all in all a very wonderful event.

Here’s the card I did in watercolours that I made for Alan and Josie (taken mostly from a single by the Levellers). I’d just like to wish them once again every happiness for the future. God (or should that be Goddess or both?) bless you.

Lastly, while in Cornwall, I was lucky enough to see another John Waterhouse painting. They own two Waterhouse paintings at Falmouth Art Gallery, both of which are sketches: The Lady of Shalott – Study 1894 (which I think is better than the original) and The Bouquet. The former is currently on show in Lincoln at the Tennyson Transformed exhibition but, as much as I would like to see it again, I saw it when in Groningen. It is The Bouquet I got to see but, as it wasn’t on display (which amazed me as they had only a handful of old paintings – everything else was far more modern and seemed more of a local artists exhibition than anything else – I had the feeling they didn’t really know what it what they had in their possession) a curator brought it up especially for me to view: I was pleasantly surprised that they did this to say the least.

As the curator had to hold the painting up for me, I was conscious of time and so didn’t have as long looking at it as I would have liked. Hopefully next time I go it’ll be back on the wall where it belongs along with The Lady of Shalott (which is off to Montreal after Lincoln). Still great to see it and another ticked off the list 😉

Until next time,