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I think the vicar sleeps in it

An old chest in a church we visited today. No idea what they use it for or how old it is, though this is an old, old one. Parts of this church are apparently Anglo Saxon — the parish was mentioned in the time of Alfred the Great (848-900) — but most of it was merely Norman. Ha!

It’s a three-day weekend here in Limeyland, so today continued our rounds of the Summer festivities. In addition to village fêtes, there’s also a tradition of church flower festivals, and some villages may have both a fête and a flower festival as separate events. Today we went to a flower festival.

This is an odd one. The church picks a theme — the one we saw today was “nursery rhymes” — and the ladies (presumably) make little tableaux and flower arrangements on the topic all around the inside of the church.

You’re handed a program explaining what’s what and by whom, and you walk around the church eyeballing stuff. Then you sit in the pews and drink tea and eat cake.

The cat and the fiddle on the high altar and fruitcake on somebody’s grave.

The English are weird.


Comment from Scott Jacobs
Time: August 30, 2010, 11:54 pm

Every single time I hear or read the word “Vicar”, I can only think of this video.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 31, 2010, 12:04 am

Scott, that is amazing – thank you!

I do keep expecting to meet him one of these days. ‘Internet assembled philosophy….’ Yes, oh yes!

Comment from Deborah
Time: August 31, 2010, 12:26 am

And I’ve been pondering what a Stoatie nursery rhyme might look like!

Comment from Monotone The Elderish
Time: August 31, 2010, 12:31 am

I read once that in ye old days (like say 1776) there wasn’t any difference in accents, but that trademark “british” accent only recently came into existence and that back then everyone talked all “americany” your right stoaty, the british ARE wierd.

Comment from jw
Time: August 31, 2010, 1:11 am

A fruitcake on somebody’s grave? I mean, is that even right? A fruitcake gets passed around and re-gifted for centuries only to end up back upon Great-Great-Great-Great..(so forth and so on)..Aunt Matilde’s grave? Holy shit, I need to bury this fruitcake or for sure it will end up back on my grave.

Comment from Monotone The Elderish
Time: August 31, 2010, 1:39 am

yeah, i mean who goes around thinking, “oh what a bright, sunny day, lets go get a fruitcake and put it on someone grave!” ….strange…. just …. strange….

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: August 31, 2010, 1:53 am

The Church of England has almost totally turned from an actual religious institution into an old cultural heritage society for England. They don’t care so much about the Cross of Christ but tradition and English kitsch heck yeah.

Comment from Can\’t hark my cry
Time: August 31, 2010, 1:56 am

And I’ve been pondering what a Stoatie nursery rhyme might look like!

“All around the carpenter’s bench
The monkey chased the weasel,
The monkey thought ’twas all in fun
Pop! Goes the weasel.

A penny for a spool of thread
A penny for a needle,
That’s the way the money goes,
Pop! Goes the weasel.

A half a pound of tupenny rice,
A half a pound of treacle.
Mix it up and make it nice,
Pop! Goes the weasel.

Up and down the London road,
In and out of the Eagle,
That’s the way the money goes,
Pop! Goes the weasel.

I’ve no time to plead and pine,
I’ve no time to wheedle,
Kiss me quick and then I’m gone
Pop! Goes the weasel.”

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: August 31, 2010, 2:04 am

And I always think of the award-winning dirty vicar sketch when I hear “vicar”

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: August 31, 2010, 2:44 am

Looking at that cassket makes me think of this:


Comment from scubafreak
Time: August 31, 2010, 4:39 am

Hmm. Maybe if contains the remains of the plundered treasure of the Leper ship Elizabeth Dane….

Y’all might have heard of it, and the place it made famous, Antonio Bay…… 😉


Comment from Frit
Time: August 31, 2010, 5:15 am

Humm, I don’t know about weasel specific nursery rhymes, but I do recall the slightly twisted ones I heard as a bratling….

– There was an old lady who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children she didn’t know what to do. OBVIOUSLY!

– Jack and Jill went up the hill,
each with a buck and a quarter.
Jill came down with two and a half,
they didn’t go up for water!

– Georgie Porgy Pudding and Pie,
Kissed the girls and made them cry.
And when the boys came out to play,
He kissed them too ’cause he was gay.

– There was a little girl who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good, she was very, very good.
But when she was bad……..
She got a fur coat, jewels, a waterfront condo, and a sports car.

– Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells…
And one great big stinkin’ Onion!

– Mary had a little lamb,
It’s fleece was black as soot.
And every where that Mary went,
A sooty foot he put!

– Mary had a little watch
she swallowed it one day
and so she took some Epsom salts
to pass the time away
But though she tried, and tried, and tried
she couldn’t make time pass
So if you want to know the time
just look up Mary’s…
…uncle in the Yellow Pages. He sells watches.

– Old King Cole was a merry old soul
And a merry old soul was he
He called for his pipe and he called for his bowl
And now I guess we know about Old King Cole!

– Hickory dickory dock,
Three mice ran up the clock
the clock struck one,
and the others got away with minor injuries.

– Jack be nimble, Jack be quick,
Jack tripped over the candle stick
Well, goodness gracious, great balls of fire!

I’m sure there are more, but I can’t recall them at the moment.
I hope I’ve given you reason to grin! 🙂

Comment from Scott Jacobs
Time: August 31, 2010, 5:37 am


It’s how I imagine Stoaty’s first visit to the local religious establishment going… 🙂

“And we all thought you were a bitch…”


Almost every line is quotable…

Comment from Arlette
Time: August 31, 2010, 6:10 am

I would really like to find treasure )

Comment from lizardbrain
Time: August 31, 2010, 8:29 am

Stoaty, a quick technical question: how was that shot of the chest lit? Looks like a big, hard source high at camera right, with some fill from directly overhead. Okay, two questions, then: was it ambient, or did you strobe it?

In any event, a cool shot.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 31, 2010, 10:45 am

Big, dark church with dim overhead lights and a window to the right, LB. And thanks, but it was desperately unsharp and had to be ‘shopped within an inch of its life. All my pictures from inside the church were unsharp. I mean…yes, it was dark, but I usually do better than that hand-held.

Comment from lizardbrain
Time: August 31, 2010, 12:44 pm

I envy your ‘shopping skills (quite different from my 3rd ex-wife’s shopping skills). I hafta keep the post-processing to a minimum because I suck so badly at it.

I don’t care what you had to do to it, I still like it; it exudes an aura of ancientness. (Wow, Worpdress thinks ‘ancientness’ is a word!)

Comment from Monotone The Elderish
Time: August 31, 2010, 2:06 pm

lol frit, thats really great, lol

Comment from Mark
Time: August 31, 2010, 2:07 pm

Hey, like it’s obvious what that chest holds just by looking at it. WHERE ELSE do you think the French would store their deodorant?

Comment from Carl
Time: August 31, 2010, 8:14 pm

“An old chest in a church we visited today. No idea what they use it for or how old it is, though this is an old, old one.”

The parish chest was the church safe. It was used to hold the parish records and valuables (e.g. the church silver) securely. Many of the chests are very old – 13th century and earlier and some are very primitive – even just made from a hollowed-out tree trunk.

In 1538 Thomas Cromwell (Henry VIII’s First Minister) decreed that every church should have a secure parish chest. They usually had three locks, with the priest and the two churchwardens each holding a single key, so that all three had to be present for the chest to be opened.

These days the chest often holds old hymn books and the like.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: August 31, 2010, 8:29 pm

Carl: So, no large cast gold crosses being sought after by ghostly apparitions in the fog.

Interesting from a historical standpoint, but not so much from an overworked movie and trivia buff with a thing for Adrien Barbeau…… 😉

(as I recall, she also had a rather nice chest…)

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: August 31, 2010, 9:21 pm

damn. noone seems to get my humor these days……

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 31, 2010, 9:27 pm

Aw, I got it, Scoob. I may not have LOL’ed, but I snorted.

Thanks for the info, Carl. That’s undoubtedly what this was.

Comment from Frit
Time: September 1, 2010, 3:43 am

@Monotone The Elderish:

*offers an elaborate bow, flourishing imaginary cape whilst sweeping floor with equally imaginary plumed hat*

Thou’rt too kind! It pleases me that my humble talents have managed to bring mirth and merriment to some few special people in the world.

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