Friday, 19 December 2014

Friday 19th December - Winter

We really are in the home-straight now, aren't we?  Gosh, today I finish work until next year and the Christmas-ness starts in earnest!  I have marzipan to acquire (should make my own but I don't have time), crackers to assemble and I need to sew up the Baby Jesus.  I just can't bring myself to stick a needle in him.  Surely it would have sort of implications vis-à-vis Christmas presents?  Ho hum, he's part of my father's knitted nativity so the stuffing of the Lord Jesus will have to take place. I'll start with Joseph and work my way up the chain of command.

Anyway, our picture for today is this...

Winter Charles Eamer Kempe
Nothing says 'Christmas' like a chap in leggings with a big stick.  Better known for his stained glass, Charles Eamer Kempe (the 'e' on the end of Kemp was an addition, possibly to distance himself from his famous, political relatives) also decorated furniture, like this panel from a settle which shows personifications of the seasons...

Rather lovely settle with seasons, Winter to Autumn, across the back
Interesting that Winter and Autumn on the settle are male, while Spring and Summer are women.  The men neatly bookend the series and Kempe runs the seasons chronologically, if you consider the majority of Winter occurs in the start of a year.

The panel also appears in stained glass...

Minus the big stick, but still playing the pipes, the figures are very similar. The figure of Winter in both is different from the other seasons, who are delighted in nature.  Both Spring and Summer dance with flowers while Autumn carries the bounty of a harvest.  Winter is without any natural ornament and entertains himself with music.  It seems to say that in Winter we are on our own as nature has nothing to offer us.  There is a sense of facing the challenge with cheer and our own beauty, in the form of music, until nature awakens once more.

It's Friday and therefore Wombat Friday, naturally. Much silliness and merriment occurs every Friday on Facebook and Twitter under the hashtag #WombatFriday.  If you were to purchase your very own wombat, you would be most welcome to be as silly as we are....

Walker Wombats, from left to right: Kelmscott, Fat Alice, Bad Em, Top and Fanny

 As Rossetti would say, a wombat is 'a Joy, a Triumph, a Delight, a Madness!'.  I now have several, each one with a story behind it: Fanny came from Ebay, all the way from Australia (does that make Ebay an equivalent to Jamrach's animal emporium?), Top came from the Red House, Bad Em came from Munich Zoo, Fat Alice came from the World Wildlife Fund when we sponsored a wombat, and Kelmscott was made by my own fair hands from a teatowel from Kelmscott Manor.  However you acquire your wombat, they are very good and loyal companions and will cheer up even the coldest of winter evenings.

See you tomorrow....

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