Sunday, 7 April 2013

Today it's been a mixture of here and there

G’s back to work tomorrow BOOOOOOOO

The sun’s shining today YEAHHHHHH

We decided to go for a drive to Titchfield and check out Titchfield Abbey and have lunch, then see how the rest of the day panned out.

Very impressive 

Love a story board

While we were at Westminster Abbey during the week (I still have to chat about our few days in London) I asked the Virger what the difference was, if any, between a Cathedral, Abbey and Church. I also asked what a Virger was.

The principal church of a bishop's diocese, containing the episcopal throne. Cathedrals tend to be rather large in stature and grand.

A monastery supervised by an abbot.
A convent supervised by an abbess.
A church that is or once was part of a monastery or convent.

Churches support the local community. Many churches make up a diocese, which at it’s head is a Cathedral (or Abbey)
Some Abbey’s are now called Cathedrals as there are no monks living there.

A Verger is usually a layperson who assists in the ordering of religious services. The Verger who escorted us around Westminster Abbey assisted in the wedding of William and Kate. He got to see their faces the entire ceremony as he was on the pulpit while the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family only saw their backs.

So, Titchfield Abbey was founded in 1222 for Premonstratensian canons, an austere order of priests. The abbey was a minor house of its order, and became neither wealthy nor influential during its three centuries of monastic life; the inhabitants were devoted to scholarship, as shown by their very impressive library.

MissM was full of interesting facts about monks and Henry VIII, as she’s been watching Horrible Histories. She tells us things in such a definite tone, and throws in dates and names that we nod in agreement.

As I often do, I posted a pic to my FB page to let the world know where we are and what we are doing just in case they were wondering. Of course I’m being funny, but I do wonder what posses me, and others to do this when we’re out’n’about. Mind you, I simply LOVE seeing what my friends are doing, so without being too egotistical I hope they enjoy seeing what we’re up to.

Here's a few pictures for you to enjoy.

The windows looked rather modern

Curious to see how it might have looked.
There's certainly evidence of this design.

The grand front door.

MissM reading up on what room we're in.

Close your eyes and IMAGINE

just me being creative

Rear of the building

G spotted the outline of a staircase.

Interior looking at front door and up thru the 3 floors

Love a bit of old grafitti - 1811
Another interpretation of the design. We could see how this might have been
as there are still footings to see thru the grass. 

The red bricks and modern chimneys were interesting.

When I posted my pics, I noticed that a few friends were posting theirs. BOY were we having a different cultural experience! While we’re having fun climbing over ruins and learning a bit more about English history, they were attending the annual Shinto Kanamara Matsuri "Festival of the Steel Phallus"  at the Kanayama shrine in Kawasaki, Japan. The penis, as the central theme of the event, is reflected in illustrations, candy, carved vegetables, decorations, and a mikoshi parade.

Their photos on FB are fabulously different to anything we’ve seen before. People licking on penis shaped ice blocks while walking along the street, signs that read Penis and Pussy sticks Y600, there’s a man in a dress up of a penis (as opposed to Mickey Mouse, or a dinasour) as MsN wrote ‘yeah, yeah we all know what we could caption this one, but we won’t’

There are children in the crowd, dressed in their Sunday best, holding hands with their parents; there are ladies in Kimonoe, after all it is a festival. There are parades, and drums and prayers at the Shrine.

G just smiled when I showed him the pics and said 'what the?' and then Googled the festival. With a twinkle in his eye he asked me why I hadn't gone while we were there. I explained that I knew about it, a group of us had talked about going but nothing after that. Shame, cos I doubt there's anything else like it in the world. 

We had a love pub lunch, then drove around Gosport and drove around the foreshore of the bay before returning home. 
Famous seaside huts

Talk about a LOW TIDE!

As Australians, we still can't believe the pebbles on the beach.

G has gone to test drive a few cars on the list of company cars offered to him while I’m chatting with you and MissM’s engrossed in a new computer game.

So, having had a very enjoyable few hours out with G and MissM, there’s a small part of me that’s wishing I was back in Japan at the Kanamara Matsuri participating in something so incredibly unique it makes being an expat the adventure that it is.

I'm not sure if I'm being rude to my adoptive home, or if I'm just really missing being part of something so culturally different?

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