CENTURIES OF CHANGE

CENTURIES OF CHANGE

greatbigtomorrowJust about the only constant in our world is change. In 2010, by the one-hundredth birthday of my hubby’s mother, she had seen changes no one would have thought possible—  Two world wars, nuclear power, personal computer, antibiotics, television, jet planes, a walk on the moon, the Internet. Change is happening faster and faster.

ASK app

ASK app

Even museums are changing! According to the recent issue of Art in America, mobile apps will keep museum visitors thinking about art even when looking at their phones. For example, the ASK app at the Brooklyn Museum offers a live team, the Audience Engagement Team, with advanced art history degrees, available to answer visitor inquiries. They can answer any questions about the museum collection, and they work in plain sight, so you can see they are live in their open office to the side of the lobby.

General Electric carousel of the future at Disney

Disney’s Tomorrow: General Electric carousel 

storkdeliverbabyLet’s take a stroll in history, when life seemed simpler, and for some relief from the constant changes surrounding us, the so-called technology of progress.

Wheel of Progress Wagon

Wheel of Progress Wagon

For a taste of New England’s beginning, why not visit historic Branford, Connecticut’s cemetery? Walk the grounds of history. Did you know you could still buy a plot?

Pieces of history in Branford, CT

Places and pieces of history in Branford, CT

Entrance

Entrance

branford-lkstaltonstall2Founded in 1645, it’s beautiful, well kept, and at the far end is lovely Lake Stalltonstall. It’s strange to me that there are so many vacancies after 371 years. It’s easier to buy a place in this cemetery than a place in New York City. tombstoneSome of the tombstone relics have almost legible inscriptions that are fun to read. Some date back to the 1700s, maybe earlier if you look around. I was not able to find the tombstone of Richard Harrison Senior, who was a founder of Branford. My hubby’s descendants, the Harrison family had come here from England on one of the early ships after the Mayflower. They first settled in New Haven circa 1635 then founded Branford in 1644.

Back to 2016, although human-like robots are on the agenda of the hot wheel of progress, we can still call ourselves human, but honestly, are we in the same hemisphere as these folks were?

Here’s a little mystic music to soothe your soul.

http://www.metmuseum.org/metmedia/video/collections/mi/ah-marie-bob-grillo

Enjoy music from the met museum while you read my excerpt from my novel:

Indigo Sky

If you like romance, and you like rip-roaring adventure, Indigo Sky is for you! Shopping at Tiffany’s, getting caught up in the New York Draft Riot, the Civil War, and the wilds of the Great Plains. Here’s an excerpt from my book that will curl your toes.

Available in eBook, free audiobook and paperback. Want that audiobook? It’s free, email me for access: gailingisclaus@gmail.com.

Excerpt

Dawn finally broke, and Leila sat listlessly on the pallet. Would today be the day she was raped? Death was preferable.

Little Star peeked through the doorway and crooked her finger. “Come.”

Leila crawled out and blinked against the strong light. Rising stiffly, she stretched, enjoying the sun on her face. She smiled at children laughing and playing between the tipis.

A group of women waited for her. “You bathe.”

Bathe? Leila almost laughed with relief.

The women led her silently to a copse of trees. A stream gurgled over rocks. They stripped her clothes off, urged her into a deep pool and washed her with a chunk of herb scented soap.

She reveled in the cold water until an elder hustled her out, drying her with scraps of soft hide.

Stony faced, the elder worried her gums and mumbled something rubbing herb oils on Leila’s body. Deep crevices on her face sagged in a perpetual expression of discontent. The elder peered over Leila, her small black eyes glittered with malice. She rattled off in an angry tirade.

One of the young women giggled behind slim fingers.

Leila glanced from one to the other. “What did she say?”

Little Star arrived with a hide garment over her arm and handed it to the elder. “She say you white like chicken fat, and don’t know why Red Arrow want you.”

The truth dawned on Leila. This was the moment she’d dreaded. She backed away holding up her palms. “N—no!”

Snarling, the elder grabbed Leila and issued brief instructions. The other women hastily pulled the buckskin dress over her head. Beads and feathers decorated the soft garment. Had circumstances been different, the dress would have delighted Leila. The women took her arms and led her back to the lodge.

Red Arrow stood in the center of a clearing between the tipis, hands behind his back, black eyes impassive.

Leila’s heart pounded and she hung back. The women shoved her and she fell to her knees at the warrior’s feet. “I—I will not be your woman—your whore.” She took his callused hand. “Please, I have a husband.”

He shook her off. “You obey.”

“I can’t—won’t!”

Red Arrow looked at Hook Nose. The leader nodded at a group of warriors. They stepped forward and hauled Leila up, dragging her from the clearing.

She twisted around. “What are they going to do to me?” She cried.

For you viewing pleasure, here’s the Indigo Sky trailer:

Indigo Sky_07_11_15 – Small

Follow Gail:

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1K4GVQA

Amazon Buy Link: http://amzn.to/29NYE5w

Artist Page:      https://artist.gailingis.com/blog/

CRAPPER HISTORY

CRAPPER HISTORY

THIS Day in History: January 30, 1863

toiletFor my historic book, Indigo Sky, in 1863, I looked up if the word ‘crap’ was used in 1863. This article came up. Wanted to share . . .

It’s almost too perfect. A man named Thomas Crapper invents the world’s first indoor one-piece flushing toilet on this day in history, and the world rejoices. The problem is, it’s not true, particularly that “first” part. Crapper was instrumental in drawing the public’s attention to the product in his London store, which was the world’s first sink, toilet and bath showroom–but his role was more as a salesman, not inventor in this case. An article in “Plumbing and Mechanical Magazine” said Crapper “should best be remembered as a merchant of plumbing products, a terrific salesman and advertising genius.”

It probably didn’t hurt that Mr. Crapper was the official plumber of a few prominent members of the royal family. For instance, he handled all the plumbing and fixtures at Sandringham house, one of the Royal residences, and received Royal warrants from Edward VII and George V.

That said, Crapper did improve the functionality of the toilet. He was a plumber himself, and invented many doo-dads that improved efficiency and sanitation, such as the ballcock, which is the float-triggered flushing mechanism in your toilet.

Primitive indoor toilets had been in existence sine Roman times, but the first “modern” flushing toilet in Britain was invented by Sir John Harington in 1596, who installed the first working prototype in the home of his godmother, Elizabeth I. Further, the first patent for a flushing water closet was issued in 1775 to a man named Alexander Cummings – sixty years before the birth of Thomas Crapper.

It’s also been commonly believed that the slang term “crap” is derived from Mr.Crapper’s name, because of the obvious association with toilet-related bodily functions.

Time to shatter another illusion: the word “crap” is of Middle English origin, and had nothing to do with poop back in the day. While the exact etymology isn’t known, it’s thought that it likely comes from the Dutch word krappen: to cut or pluck off, and the Old French word crappe: waste or junk. In English, people used the word to refer to weeds or garbage, but it had fallen out of popular usage in the UK by the time Mr. Crapper came along.

The term “crap,” meaning “refuse”, stuck around in America though, coming over pre-16th century from England.   According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it wasn’t used to mean doo-doo until 1846.

That said, “The Crapper” as a name for the toilet was partially inspired by Thomas Crapper thanks to WWI. The toilets in England at the time were predominately made by the company “Thomas Crapper & Co Ltd”, with the company’s name stamped on them.  American soldiers with their still actively used “crap” word, took to calling these toilets “The Crapper” and brought that slang term for the toilet back with them to the United States after the war.

For you history buffs, haven’t you ever wondered about how our language evolved?

Kathy Padden Daily Knowledge Newsletter

PURITAN JOURNEY THEN AND NOW

PURITAN JOURNEY THEN AND NOW

Puritan's ships

Puritan’s ships

According to history, about one thousand people embarked for their new home during the year 1630, the first of the eleven years of the “great Puritan migration.” During the time that Charles I attempted to govern England without parliament, nearly twenty thousand men, women, and children were transported to the shores of New England. They went with the idea of establishing churches in which they might worship in the way they preferred.

West Kirby, England the beach

West Kirby, England the beach

When Richard Harrison Sr. was told he could not worship as he pleased, he pondered, planned and paid a tidy sum to remove himself and his family from a land of prejudice. He packed their minimum and walked away from where he, his wife, Sarah Yorke, and his five children were all born, the town of West Kirby, England.

West Kirby, England storm on the coast

West Kirby, England storm on the coast

They would take one of the ships of the Puritans, on 22 June 1635 to the new world. The Harrison children were Richard Jr. born 1620, Thomas, born 1626, John, Samuel, Mary. It was not  long on the ship before the playful children distracted travelers from the difficulties of crowding, unsanitary conditions and unpalatable food.

Maplewood, New Jersey cemetery

Maplewood, New Jersey cemetery

The Harrisons came to New Haven, Connecticut, and then made their way to Branford, Connecticut, where they founded the town in 1644. The original house is gone, but the one built in the eighteenth century still stands on Main Street as a museum. There is a library in the house with the history of the family written by a Captain Thomas Harrison, who fought in the Civil War. At the end of his writing, he wrote that he hoped someone would continue recording the history of the Harrisons. That is what Gertrude Harrison Claus, born 1910, has done. At the age of one hundred and one, she was remarkable–still healthy, happy, and sharp. She went home to her maker in 2011. She was Mom to me and to her children. Everyone else called her Trudi, short for Gertrude. Trudi was my role model, a liberated, Christian woman. I miss her smile, her love, and her interest in our lives.

Plume House, Broad Street, Newark, NJ typical 1725-1730

Typical house of the era in Newark, NJ  1725-1730

One of the brothers, Richard Harrison Jr. and possibly, his sister Mary, left CT for New Jersey. Richard founded Neworke, now Newark, New Jersey. Richard married Sarah Hubbard, had 8 children and became one of 11 founders of Newark, NJ in 1667 and a patentee in 1675. In 1668, he was
one of 6 Newark agents who negotiated its boundary with Elizabeth, NJ. He also was an original town committee member and town surveyor. Newark was founded after 6 years of communication with Peter Stuyvesant of New Amsterdam. There is a plaque in the center of town with Richard Harrison’s name as the founder. I saw the plaque. Richard’s children with his wife Sarah Hubbard had six children, Joseph, born1649, Samuel, born 1652, Benjamin, born 1655, George, born 1658, Daniel, born 1661, and Mary, born 1664.

Skagway Presbyterian Church, Alaska. Founded by Norman B. Harrison c. 1896

Skagway Presbyterian Church, Alaska. Founded by Norman B. Harrison c. 1898

There is more about the family. Tom’s grandfather, Norman B. Harrison, took his organ, his wife and his children to Skagway, Alaska, in 1898 and founded the Presbyterian Church there. Mom Trudi and our friends Jean and El visited a some years ago and verified they saw his name on a plaque. Later, he came back to the homeland to the state of Washington and founded the

University Presbyterian Church, Seattle, WA Founded by Norman B. Harrison

University Presbyterian Church, Seattle, WA Founded by Norman B. Harrison

University Presbyterian Church in Seattle. The church is still there. Norman’s writings were about different books of the Bible. I treasure the “The End. Re-Thinking the Revelation”, signed by him to his daughter Gertrude Harrison Claus, on December 15, 1954.

Trudi’s brother, Everett Harrison, was one of the founders of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He too wrote books about the Bible and like his father Norman, was a scholar.  For anyone that knows Princeton Theological Seminary, Norman B. Harrison’s name is on the cornerstone.

Thomas Harrison Claus

Thomas Harrison Claus

Trudi Harrison Claus and her son Thomas Harrison Claus, both direct decedents of Richard Harrison Jr. and Mary Harrison, scoured cemeteries in New Jersey. Tom said they found ancestors in a cemetery in West Caldwell, NJ. We never looked in Connecticut. I would like to do that, amidst the beautiful fall foliage.

Another bit of information—Thomas Harrison Claus’s father, Wilbur Claus, a biochemist, discovered Cheerio’s for General Mills, and Tom, also a biochemist, discovered a drug for type 2 diabetes, but it never got to the market.

Tom has three brothers, diluting the Harrison name with Claus, and so it goes. We lose all the Harrisons’ in marriages and births. It becomes almost impossible to find all the linkages. But Mom Trudi said the early Harrisons’ married Smiths, Baldwins, Pearsons’ and others. And by the way, we were told that this end of the Harrison’s are connected to William and his nephew Benjamin Harrison, America’s past presidents.

Should anyone be interested in touching base with me about the Harrison Heritage, just leave a comment with your contact info, and I will get back to you.

First Presbyterian Church of Skagway is the home of God’s disciples who

Skagway, Alaska

Skagway, Alaska

are called to follow Christ in this unique Alaska setting by living out their mission statement: “As children of God we embrace our call to share the Good News of the Gospel through worship, fellowship and open doors providing a nurturing environment as we grow in Christ and minister to our greater community.”

African Children's Choir performance at Skagway Presbyterian Church

African Children’s Choir performance at Skagway Presbyterian Church

African Children’s choir: The choir performed three times in Skagway during this past Labor Day weekend -. at the First Presbyterian Church, at the Skagway School. All concerts are free admission. There are CDs available. The African Children’s Choir™ is made up of some of the neediest and most vulnerable children in their countries. Many have lost one or both parents to poverty or disease. The African Children’s Choir™ helps these children break away from the everyday cycle of poverty and hopelessness. Before being selected to join the Choir, children, generally aged between 7 and 11 attend Music for Life camps. These camps are fun and stimulating environments that provide a break from the daily hardships the young children face at home. Children selected to tour will spend approximately five months at the Choir Training Academy in Kampala, Uganda. Here the children learn the songs and dances, attend school, play and attend Sunday School at a local church. Check out their website: http://www.africanchildrenschoir.com/ for more information.

So, Captain Thomas Harrison, who wrote in that Branford book was an ancestor and related to my husband Thomas Harrison Claus.

Any Harrison’s around that are direct descendents of the Richard Harrison Jr. of Newark, NJ?

HUNG, DRAWN AND QUARTERED

HUNG, DRAWN AND QUARTERED

Last week’s blog talked about the Harrisons arrival to America on one of those small wooden boats, carrying Puritans. (Not Pilgrims, who came on the first ship). That part of the Harrison saga to be continued. Here below is one of the characters in my story.

Major-General_Thomas_Harrison_(General)_in_Cromwell's_ArmyThe name Thomas Harrison has been duplicated throughout the centuries. The first one I know of was Major-General Thomas Harrison (1606 – 13 October 1660), henchman to Oliver Cromwell. He fought in Cromwell’s army to help save the people in England from a corrupt King. In 1649 he signed the death warrant of Charles I and in 1660, shortly after the Restoration, he was found guilty of regicide. Harrison was the first of the Regicides to be executed by being hanged, drawn and quartered on 13 October 1660. Harrison, who had pleaded not guilty, after being hanged for several minutes and then cut open, was reported to have leaned across and hit his executioner—resulting in the swift removal of his head. His entrails were thrown onto a nearby fire.

After the discovery of the Harrison family in Branford, Connecticut, we hoofed, well, flew in 1995, over to England, back to the city the Harrison’s originated, West Kirby. West Kirby is a town on the north-west corner of the coast of the Wirral Peninsula, in the county of Merseyside, England, at the mouth of the River Dee across from the Point of Ayr in Flintshire, Wales, in relative close proximity to Liverpool.map west kirby & liverpoolPopulation: 24506
Area Size (ha): 758
District: Wirral
Easting: 323487 Northing: 386182
Latitude: 53.37 Longitude: -3.15
= West Kirby

We visited town halls to explore ancestry records between West Kirby and London. We climbed up to the top of the Tower of London to experience the doom of Harrison in his small stone space. It was at the Museum of London that we discovered the birthplace of this Harrison. And although he was someone of great importance, and a prig—we discovered he was NOT part of the Harrison’s we were researching. He was born in Oxford. No way could a Harrison born in Oxford be related to the Harrisons from West Kirby, the distance is 185 miles. I breathed a sigh of relief, but was disappointed at the infamous connection the Harrisons could have had. The Harrisons from West Kirby were not related. But, we didn’t despair, there are Harrisons related to the West Kirby folks that are quite interesting–

Seems there have been lots of Thomas Harrisons, and even a couple of Captain Thomas Harrisons. So how do you find out who the latest is in this twenty-first century?

Come back for more next week.

ROMANCING A CASTLE

ROMANCING A CASTLE

Durham Castle

Durham Castle

Romancing a castle, or is it romance in a castle? We are fascinated with the idea of a castle. Kids create sand castles, sculptors carve ice castles and street artists paint 3-D images of castles onto sidewalks. Castles were built for the Crusaders as protection–designed for strength, not beauty. Yet their massiveness and skillful masonry convey a sense of grandeur and of style. There is no mistaking the character of a Norman Keep at the top of a castle.

Durham Castle Keep exterior

Durham Castle Keep exterior

Castles were designed to deal with weapons and tactics which changed  slowly, and the availability of materials, manpower and skills was also influential. The shortage of timber in Palestine, for example, encouraged the use of more stone than in Europe.

For some centuries, the security of life in towns depended upon their fortifications, and the constricting girdle of walls and towers did much to shape the architecture of cities. As with the island of Manhattan, they encouraged high rather than wide building. Castles were fortified villages, sheltering people of every level of society and providing a store for grain against famine as well as imminent siege.

Durham Keep Terrace

Durham Keep Terrace

Durham Castle is a Norman castle in the city of Durham, England. In 1837, the castle was donated to the newly-formed University of Durham by Bishop Edward Maltby as accommodation for students. It was named University College. Architect Anthony Salvin rebuilt the dilapidated Keep from the original plans. Opened in 1840, the castle still houses over 100 students, most of whom are in the Keep.

Castle Keep details (Dover Castle)

Castle Keep details (Dover Castle)

Click the Keep above for the details.

The castle stands on top of a hill above the River Wear on Durham’s peninsula, opposite Durham Cathedral.The castle was originally built in the 11th century as a projection of the Norman king’s power in the north of England, as the population of England in the north remained “wild and fickle” following the disruption of the Norman Conquest in 1066. It is an example of the early motte and bailey castles favored by the Normans. The holder of the office of the Bishop of Durham was a appointed by the King to exercise royal authority on his behalf, the castle was his seat.

Castle Bodiam moat

Castle Bodiam moat

The design of castles has always been a subject worthy of princes. Château Gaillard is a ruined medieval castle, located 90 meters above the commune of Les Andelys overlooking the River Seine in the Upper Normandy region of northern France, one of the most original designs, was the personal achievement of Richard I of England. The owners of most castles played a large part in their design.

Chateau Gaillard, France

Chateau Gaillard, France

The evidence is scanty, but we can reasonably surmise  there was a close working relationship between the princes and the peers who designed the castles and their usually anonymous master masons, who signed their work with their individual marks.

chest 12th century

English: 12th century oak chest iron wrapped. Original purpose-to store alms from sinners seeking remission

The styles of this period are known as Romanesque and Norman (800-1150). After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, the new king, William the Conqueror granted protection and repose to the conquered Saxon Thanes. Medieval homes were sparsely furnished by modern standards. The most common items were chests. They came in a variety of shapes and sizes. Besides serving as easily transportable storage containers, the chest also served as tables and for seating. Wood of the day was oak, or whatever local woods were available. A visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, will give you a first hand look at this type of work.

chest-Tudor type (wood-oak)

Oak chest-iron wrapped

The seven Crusades that occurred between the years 1096 and 1270 were of great political, economic and artistic importance. The Crusades did not accomplish any lasting good so far as their original purpose was concerned. They brought, however, a great change in the thought and in the manner of living of the people of Europe that was first noticeable in the Gothic period. They awakened interest at home in the ancient civilizations of Greece, Asia Minor, and the highly developed culture of the Eastern Empire, and they developed a doubt concerning some of the doctrines of the established Roman church, that later formed the roots of the Renaissance.

Durham Castle is jointly designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, a short distance across Palace Green.

Would you like to live in a castle? Hmm, well, experience living in one for a day, a week, a year?

 

 

NORMAN STYLE

NORMAN STYLE

Durham Castle note crenelation on top of structure

Durham Castle–later a Cathedral (note crenelation on top edges, typical of fortified structures)

Durham Castle, seen here with its crenelated top edge was fortification.The Normans, upon conquering England, fortifications came first, they provided shelter and protection. But churches were also built, small and grand. Medieval churches were often hurried affairs in a wood design, replaced later with rusticated stone. The churches eventually grew into cathedrals, larger than life structures. Since religion was the dominant interest of Europe, architecture consisted primarily of church construction.

Bracewell in Lanchashire church

Bracewell in Lancashire church

Bracewell is a small village just northwest of Barnoldswick, Lancashire. The church of St Michael’s is a lovely old Norman building, dating to around the year 1100. It was not established as a parish church, but as a private chapel for the Tempest family.

 

church PC GreenstedGlassSt Michael stained-glass can be seen from inside the church.

Greensted Church north wall - wood

Greensted Church north wall – wood

Greensted Church

Greensted Church

It has been told that Greensted Church, in the small village of Greensted-juxta-Ongar, near Chipping Ongar in Essex, England, is the oldest wooden church in the world and probably the oldest wooden building in Europe still standing, albeit only in part, since few sections of its original wooden structure remain. The oak walls are often classified as remnants of a palisade church or a kind of early stave church, dated either to the mid-9th or mid-11th century. Its full title is The Church of St Andrew, Greensted-juxta-Ongar. It is, however, commonly known simply as Greensted Church. Greensted is still a functioning church and holds services every week. The most interesting feature is probably the south doorway, which is typically Norman, the chancel arch, also Norman, and the tower arch, which dates to the 14th century and an early example of the soon to come Pointed Gothic style. Very little of the original medieval glass remains, but there are fragments of 14th century glass depicting coats of arms of local gentry. The nave pews are by the famed Kilburn woodworker, Rober Thompson, aka ‘The Mouseman’, and show Thompson’s favoured mouse motif. The church was featured on a British postage stamp issued in 1972.

800px-Durham_Cathedral_from_the_south-2This is the Cathedral side of the ‘castle’ seen above in the first image. Durham Cathedral replaced the 10th century “White Church”, built as part of a monastic foundation to house the Shrine of Saint Cuthbert of Lindisfarne. The Chapter Library contains one of the most complete sets of early printed books in England, the pre-Dissolution monastic accounts, and three copies of the Magna Carta. Durham Cathedral occupies a strategic position on a promontory high above the River Wear. From 1080 until the 19th century the bishopric enjoyed the powers of a Bishop Palatine, having military as well as religious leadership and power. It was built as the residence for the Bishop of Durham. Initially, a very simple temporary structure was built from local timber to house the relics of Cuthbert. The shrine was then transferred to a sturdier, probably wooden, building known as the White Church, later replaced by a stone building by the same name. The flow of money from pilgrims of power embodied in the church ensure that a town formed around the cathedral, establishing the early core of the modern city.

Durham interior zigzag and diamond patterns on columns

Durham interior zigzag and diamond patterns incised on columns and arches. Ceiling ribs have the patterns incised as well.

Norman

The current Cathedral was designed and built under William of Calais, who was appointed as the first prince-bishop by William the Conqueror in 1080. Since then, major additions and reconstruction has been prevalent. But, the greater part of the structure remains true to the Norman Design. This is a term related to the styles of Romanesque architecture by the Normans in lands under their influence in the 11th and 12th centuries.

There were other structures as well, all characterized by the usual Romanesque rounded arches particularly over windows and doorways.

Norman Arch

Norman Arch

The buildings show massive proportions in simple geometries, the masonry with small bands of sculpture, perhaps as blind arcading, and concentrated spaces of capitals and round doorways and in the tympanum under an arch. The “Norman arch” is the round arch and sometimes slightly pointed as in the Durham interior ceiling here above. Norman mouldings are carved or incised with geometric ornament, such as chevron patterns, frequently termed “zig-zag mouldings”. The cruciform churches often had deep chancels and a square crossing tower which has remained a feature of English ecclesiastical architecture. Hundreds of parish churches were built and the great English cathedrals were founded from 1083.  As Gothic with its pointed arches became more popular, Norman eventually became a modest style of provincial building.

Do you have a favorite ecclesiastical architecture, past or present?

Look for more next week…

 

ARCHITECTURAL MYSTERY

ARCHITECTURAL MYSTERY

Stonehenge arrangement 1200pxIf you could time travel, would you? Where would you go? Writers write about mysterious places like StonehengeWiltshire, United Kingdom,  one of the world’s best known megalithic structures. Was it a house, a hiding place, a temple? No one knows for sure. Some think the bluestones were brought there by rollers and by water on a raft. Others think they were a relic of the Ice Age, deposited on the Salisbury Plain thousands of years earlier by glaciation.There is no natural stone nearby; the only known source for the huge bluestones is South Wales. The puzzle is unlikely to be solved, though it is generally accepted that Stonehenge was a place of worship.

According to D.M. Field’s book “The World’s Greatest Architecture-Past and Present,” Archaeologists distinguish three main periods of construction. Period I, Neolithic workmen using picks made from antlers dug a circular ditch nearly 327ft in diameter, backed by a

Stonehenge: the slighly controversial reconstruction has made it appear less of a ruin than it once was.

Stonehenge: the slightly controversial reconstruction has made it appear less of a ruin than it once was.

circular wall. Two large stones, one still surviving, marked the entrance. Period II, about 2100 BC, two concentric circles of 80 bluestone pillars weighing up to four tonnes each were erected in the center, but its significance remains a mystery. Also, the construction of Period II is aligned with the rising sun at the summer solstice. Period III, 100 years later, saw the erection of the circle of sarsen uprights capped by sarsen lintels, fashioned with stone hammers, which largely form the monument as it is today. Sarsen stones are sandstone blocks found in quantity in the United Kingdom on Salisbury Plain.

If you were a writer,  would you have your characters time travel to or from Stonehenge? What are your thoughts about time travel from Stonehenge today into the future?

 

 

STORAGE STORIES

STORAGE STORIES

From the beginning storage has been sought after.  We accrue, amass, and accumulate.  No matter how much space, we fill it, and need a place for more.

Dining room cabinet in the wall

Cabinets in walls, cubbies in stalls, cubicles in closets.  Did you ever think of a cabinet inside a wall?  It is done with medicine cabinets all the time.  But how about a larger cabinet to store stuff?  Like in the dining room. Instead of a buffet cabinet sitting in the room on the floor, how about putting a cabinet in a wall?  It can have a serving area, as it is here in the middle of the cabinet, as well as storage. All your dishes, crystal, silver, serving pieces. everything.  Everything is away, and still convenient.  This one is a contemporary version, but it can be any design of your preference.

Take a wall out, making two rooms into one.  One large one, and build cabinets around the supporting columns.

Cabinets (open) hiding columns

Cabinets (closed) built around supporting columns

Now you have a party room, with two cabinets housing all your party stuff, right there where you need it. I designed these based on the clients requests so that beverages and refreshments could be served while mingling with guests.

The cabinets are made in wood, olive ash burl, with a special gloss polyurethane finish that is indestructible.

Here’s some back-story.  Let’s call it history.  In the 17th century, William of the Netherlands married Mary of England.  They had their own style for storage.

William & Mary cabinet

These amazing works of art served them well, to store and to view.  Cabinet veneered with burr maple.  English, c. 1690.  The trumpet-legs, typical of the style, are restored. The floral marquetry panels show the Dutch influence.  This period of William and Mary is most characteristically known in English cabinetmaking history as the “Age of Walnut.” See this in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

What about my writer friends.  Do you have a desk?  Where do you keep all your papers?

Here’s one for you.  The writing section can be pulled down, and look at all that drawer space in the walnut-veneer

William & Mary Secretaire-cabinet c.1700

secretaire-cabinet, with bun feet and teardrop hardware, typical of the William and Mary style, with panels of arabesque marquetry and a central panel of flowers in etched and stained woods. Perhaps made in England by an immigrant Dutch craftsman, c. 1700.  Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Where do you keep all those papers?  Would you have enough space for a secretary like this one, or would a smaller one work?

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