"Allison's Wonderland..." allikat's Profile

Tales from a relocated pommy chick....

Watchful Pelican

I'm pretty low-key on VT lately although I still drop by most days, have a browse of the forums and reply to any emails. I will definitely be back in a more active capacity at some point but for now I am concentrating on our new home in New Zealand's stunning South Island and growing a brand new baby Kiwi, due in August 2009.

My name is Allison, and I was born in a grimy part of East London, within the sound of Bow Bells if you got everyone to be quiet and you listened very hard. In 2002 I travelled across the world to New Zealand to spend 2 weeks with an old school friend. I had every intention of going back home and carrying on where I left off, but while I was there I met this great Kiwi guy and decided that life was short and I didn't want to find myself a wrinkly old lady wondering 'what if'. 5 weeks after landing at Heathrow airport I was back here and settling into my new life.

Strange Epitaphs....

One thing I have always been fascinated by is old churches and churchyards. England is littered with so many wonderful old churches, with amazing history, and churchyards filled with stone angels, doves, crosses and slabs, some of which have some thought provoking or even humorous inscriptions.

In a typical English churchyard, the earliest tombstones you will see will date from the early 17th century, with a few exceptions (such as the 12th century crusaders stone at Greenstead Juxta Ongar), with the older graves found on the South side of the church. The Devil was supposed to lurk in the shadows of the North side, so that side was only used once the South side could take no more.

Which leads us to an interesting fact:

A parish church, in use for about 800 years, with an average of 6 burials per year, will have some 4,800 bodies stacked around it ~ this is what accounts for the 'moated' effect you see around many old churches.

This is a picture of St Andrews in Greenstead-juxta-Ongar in England, where I used to attend. Reputedly the oldest timber church in Europe, the walls are of split oak trunks that still bear the marks of the Saxon adze that cut them.

I also love the ruined abbeys you find in many parts of England and Wales, crumbling remnants of Henry the Eighths Reformation, in particular Fountains Abbey, Rievaulx, (both Yorkshire) and the lesser known Egglestone Abbey in County Durham and Netley Abbey near Southampton.

By Alfred Lord Tennyson

If I were loved, as I desire to be,
what is there in the great sphere of the earth,
and range of evil between death and birth
that I should fear ~ if I were loved by thee?
All the inner, all the outer world of pain
clear love would peirce and cleave if thou wert mine,
as I have heard that, somewhere in the main,
fresh~water springs come up through bitter brine.
'Twere joy, not fear, claspt hand in hand with thee,
to wait for death ~ mute ~ careless of all ills,
apart on a mountain, tho' the surge
of some new deluge from a thousand hills
flung leagues of roaring foam into the gorge
below us, as far as eye could see

  • Intro Updated Apr 4, 2009
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Comments (416)

  • Parisforless's Profile Photo
    Jan 22, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    London and Paris VT MEETVT
    MEET IN PARIS 21st and 22nd June 2012
    Combine London VT meet with Paris – it’s only 2h20min by Eurostar, and join me in Paris.
    You’ll have time to visit major sights as well, and join our VT meet on the 21st June (the longest day of the year) for the Fete de la Musique.
    This FREE event is not to be missed and you should expect music, dance, local food and many drinks along the way all night long.
    Join me also on Friday 22nd June, to continue in the same rhythm – picnic and dancing along the river.
    Time and place for both meets TBA.

    Svetlana Bellon (parisforless)

  • chocolatecake's Profile Photo
    Dec 23, 2011 at 3:34 AM

    Hi, Allison & Family an early wishes for A Merry X'mas and A Happy New Year. x<<<<<<--XD
    Baa...Baa...Baa....from AsiaBarney.

  • Kakapo2's Profile Photo
    Feb 26, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    Thanks, Allison, for your thoughts. We have been much luckier than many others despite the damage to the house and its contents. In the past hours we even got water back, so we can cope rather well. You take care, too. Sissi

  • unaS's Profile Photo
    Feb 22, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    Thanks for checking in. We have all been worried about our South Island members.

  • leffe3's Profile Photo
    Feb 22, 2011 at 12:16 AM

    Hope all is OK with you - just heard the news which is tragic...

  • kiwi's Profile Photo
    Feb 12, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    hello :-))))

  • Swades's Profile Photo
    Jan 2, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    happy new year!! wish your dream come true.. smile..Vivek

  • Tugboatguy's Profile Photo
    Dec 31, 2010 at 11:57 PM

    Allison, Have a Happy 2011 New Year and a wonderful time with your family. Doug

  • Dymphna1's Profile Photo
    Nov 15, 2010 at 8:32 AM

    What do you have planned for your birthday?

  • adelaidean's Profile Photo
    Nov 14, 2010 at 10:19 PM

    who is nearly the birthday girl!

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