Tag Archive: Psalm 104

Harvest in Northamptonshire

Just one field in mid-October. We thought the maize was for animal feed but the crop is chopped up into little bits even as it is harvested – stalk, leaves and all. Does all that go in? Alternatively this could go for bio-fuel, we suppose.

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A prayer from “Common Worship”

Creator God, you made the goodness of the land, the riches of the sea and the rhythm of the seasons. As we thank you for the harvest, may we cherish and respect this planet and its peoples, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (for Harvest Thanksgiving)

So the sun actually shone for another Bank Holiday weekend. We pottered around in the garden in the morning – earthing up potatoes and tackling some of the bracken. What to do in the afternoon? Well a local magazine advertised “Festival of County Life – Lamport Hall” so we decided to give it a go; children under 11 admitted free was a bonus.

Basically, what we found was a medium-sized country fair in the grounds of Lamport Hall. There were a variety of displays, entertainment, local food, craft stalls and the like: enough to occupy us for most of the afternoon. Highlights for us included the falconry display, the shire horses, “99” ice cream (that’s an ice cream with a chocolate flake), “bunnies ears” (ice cream with two flakes), the rural life museum and a stall which sold “proper” fudge.

For some people the main attraction was the chance to see various vintage vehicles and steam engines. Among them was a “Green Goddess” – so-called because of its colour. That was the nick-name given to army fire engines including the old one we saw. Meanwhile, in the Rural Life Museum,  they ran some early examples of mechanised farm machinery. These days we tend to cover up moving parts (presumably for health and safety reasons) so it was a novelty to see how they worked.

I don’t usually give machines a second thought but one of my companions remarked on the fact that they required some work and ingenuity to make and to get working. That is a fair point. If we see the end product of someone’s work it is all too easy to take it for granted. This is true of the machines and gadgets we use as well of the food and produce we buy. If you “grow your own” you might get some sense of the time and effort it takes just to grow a few potatoes, for instance; and maybe we’ll spare a thought for the potato farmers next time we buy a bag. I’m a townie so the countryside is a place I visit rather than one that I inhabit. It is as well to remember that “the countryside” is more than a tourist destination but a place where people work hard to produce things we all need and rely on.

Meanwhile, we had a pleasant afternoon and here are a few photos of it:

Thank God for …

… railways. This is not meant as a political statement on the 50th anniversary of the Beeching report into Britain’s railway system. It’s just that I want to do a bit better at counting my blessings. I don’t want to get into a philosophical debate about freewill, divine inspiration etc. I think that one can appreciate the talent of our railway pioneers and thank God for the blessing that railways are. Yes, there is the occasional story like “the wrong kind of snow”, but being able to travel great distances at speed is a boon.

NatHist Museum Feb 2013 (8) NatHist Museum Feb 2013 (7) NatHist Museum Feb 2013 (6) NatHist Museum Feb 2013 (5) NatHist Museum Feb 2013 (4) NatHist Museum Feb 2013 (3) NatHist Museum Feb 2013 (2) NatHist Museum Feb 2013 (1)

These are a few photos from our half term trip. The main reason for going was to see the exhibition of Wildlife photography (which has since finished) and we were impressed by the range and quality of them. I would love to show some of them to you but there is a little matter of copyright, of course.

In the meantime we have learnt that it is counter-productive trying to see absolutely everything in a museum or gallery. That is a hard temptation to resist especially if it is unlikely that you are going to visit that place again. However, in this case we have been before and so apart from the exhibition we chose two favourite places to see. The first was the mammal section and our all-time favourite, the replica of a blue whale. It is big – just compare it to the elephant in the last picture.

We also paid a visit to the insect section. Not many of our photos came out – they had live ants here but the layers of protective glass made focussing difficult. Nonetheless it was fascinating watching them.

The building is worth a mention. It is the same era as the Houses of Parliament and worth a look in its own right.

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