Bench series #35

For the month of August I’m looking for a colourful bench

(This month I want to see photos of a bench that is painted or stained or otherwise coloured in some way. Not the plain wooden variety unless there is some colour detail)

Snowshill Manor
A Wade Blue bench and Astronomical Clock at Snowshill Manor in the Cotswolds, Worcestershire

If you would like to join in with the Bench photo challenge then please take a look at my Bench Series page. No complicated rules, just a bench and a camera required :)

  • Create your own post and title it Bench Series: August
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Add the tag ‘bench series’ so everyone can find the benches easily in the WP Reader
  • Get your post in by the end of the month, as the new bench theme comes out on the first Sunday in September.

This is the last week for your colourful benches, next Sunday we start looking for metal ones.

My Picks of the Week:

Meg has an odd one for us this week, she thinks it is a bench. See what you think. Meanwhile Tgeriatrix has the most unusual and colourful benches I have ever seen! These benches just get better and better. VioletSky has a couple for us this week, some very bright ones and a floating one. And Pauline has a bit of a rude one for us this week.

As always there are so many delightful benches to view, I hope you will check out the other links within the comment section.

An Arts and Crafts Masterpiece

I can’t begin to imagine how many times I have driven past the sign to Watts Chapel along the A3 near Guildford in Surrey. Not knowing that this little gem lay hidden close by in Down Lane, Compton. Jenny of CharactersFromTheKitchen introduced me to this architectural delight a few months ago and I knew I would have to make the journey next time I was down in Surrey.

(Please click images to enlarge – there is an awful lot of detail in these images)

This morning, before the rain arrived again, I made my way to Watts Cemetery Chapel to the bright red brick of this Arts and Crafts masterpiece. Designed and decorated by Mary Seton Watts this example of Art Nouveau was completed in 1904. She dedicated it:

“to the loving memory of all who find rest near its walls, and for the comfort and help of those to whom the sorrow of separation remains”

A steep, slippery cobbled pathway meanders through ancient yew trees

The Exterior: The Sign of Eternity

The Chapel’s shape is reminiscent of  Byzantine architecture, the entrance Celtic-Romanesque with 15 angels forming an inner arch ‘looking up in hope and down in sympathy‘ whilst outer arches depict peacock feathers and heart-shaped crosses. The pillars show people learning from the book of life about resurrection in nature.

The outside of the building is made up of four large friezes which represent in turn Hope, Truth, Love and Light. Symbolic birds are represented by the peacock (Hope), the owl (Truth), the pelican (Love) and the eagle (Light). Surrounding these are attendant spirits depicted as angel heads holding symbolic discs.

Light - Eagle
Light – Eagle

All this before you step inside. Where I promise you will gasp in awe.

The Interior: The Dome of Heaven

The interior is richly decorated with hand-painted gesso, forming an elaborate symbolic scene. The symbol of God is the eternal circle and is at its apex. Radiating from this are the angels closest to God; cherubim with babies heads and seraphim in rich red bless those below. Light and dark or positive and negative are represented and the whole is linked by the tree of life.

A golden terracotta girdle circles the interior with a series of flowers created by the village children. The altar gleaming in the gloom. More than 70 villagers worked alongside Mary Watts to create the tiles to help decorate the Chapel.

Please visit jenny’s site for further information as she has an excellent post about it.

Meanwhile we will have a wander around some of the unusual Art Nouveau headstones in the cemetery, including that of Mary Watts and her husband, artist George Frederick Watts which is actually very simple. Unfortunately it has begun to rain heavily now, so the light is poor. I may have to revisit this unusual place again.

The gravestone of George and Mary Watts. He died in 1904 just as the chapel was completed; Mary died in 1938.
The gravestone of George and Mary Watts. He died in 1904 just as the chapel was completed; Mary died in 1938.

Source: Watts Cemetery Chapel booklet

The Rebellious Rabbit

For those of you who have been reading about my antics I thought I should give MY side of the story. My name is Peanut and I am the brown rabbit with a personality disorder that Heyjude is looking after this week. I don’t really like Humans. How would you feel with a name like Peanut? It was OK when I was a tiny baby bunny, but I grew. And grew. I was supposed to be a dwarf lop-eared rabbit, but I think my mother must have been playing around a bit, because there is no way that I am a dwarf rabbit. I mean, have you seen the size of my feet?

My lovely lop ear

As I am a bit of a boisterous boy who likes to kick off at times, I found myself at the vets. Where they discovered that I am in fact a boy, Not a lady rabbit as was requested. And they decided to chop off my ‘bits’. Would YOU trust Humans if they did that to you? No, I didn’t think so. And there is a rumour in the Rabbit World that some women are known as ‘bunny boilers’. So ladies, stay away from me. Please.

Catch me if you can...
Catch me if you can…

My friend is George. Now that’s a good, strong masculine name. I wish I was called George, but it would become confusing to have two of us. George is the blue-eyed boy. Literally. He’s a bit of a softie and likes to be picked up and stroked. Makes me wince, but he does also like to lick me behind my ears so he’s not a bad friend to have. And we do a few bunny hops together.

Peanut and George
Me and George

So there you are. A real rabbit. With attitude. :)