So I didn't post for three weeks or so and then four weeks. And when it got about eight weeks I started feeling that was far too long a time to be away. And now, it's getting on for five months, and, well, I'm not sure I remember what blogging feels like any more! But of course the best way to re-start blogging is to just do it. So I won't even try to catch up with my life since my last post in May, and I'll tell you instead about a trip we took out into Surrey a few days ago.
Surrey's a county just south of London, and parts of it still feel surprisingly rural, even though it's incredibly different to how it was 100 years ago. Or 115 years, to be precise..... because, on a visit to Hungerford, Berkshire, we visited my favourite second hand bookshop, which is in The Hungerford Arcade. There, I picked up a book written in 1906, simply titled "SURREY."
Waverley Abbey was a surprisingly large selection of ruins and fragments to our left.
The building shown in the old watercolour is visible towards the right, and we found that it led into a large vaulted hall which mostly still survives. We found that it had lost its apex since 1905, and the right hand top window had broken still more - so that creeper had obviously done its wicked work.
We noticed that a system of fortifications had been built at the edges of the abbey site, one of a whole chain across the South of England in anticipation of a Nazi invasion in 1941. They are now swallowed in vegetation, with the tank tank traps (below) now attractively covered in green moss,
A great big gun banging away in their direction would have been the end of the abbey ruins, for sure, but luckily, as we know, that invasion never happened.
Founded in the 12th century, Waverley Abbey was every bit as imposing as the largest of cathedrals. However, in around 1540, the king of England decided that neither Waverley, nor any other English abbeys, were OK with him. He didn't see why others should be controlling all that cash when he could have it. He was also sure the people of England wanted an English religion. By happy coincidence that would also allow him to divorce his wife, who he was very fed up with, since he had his eye on another one.
But then I found the Jack of Spades, and decided the cards must be German, because the Jack (or Knave) is called the Bube.