July 10, 2010 – Plinky is Here

Welcome to my first Plinky post.  Plinky is a new app that gives you a question everyday that you can answer.  It helps break writer’s block for bloggers.  Not that I don’t have things to write about for my blog—I have all sorts of things I can share—but I’m still so busy writing on my book that I don’t have much time to spare.  Plinky posts are, by the nature of their questions, short (at least by my standards), so it’s something that can keep me writing on my blog (so I don’t lose my audience) without bogging me down in blog writing instead of putting my effort into my books.

I wasn’t that impressed with Westminster Abbey

As far as church architecture goes, Westminster is not especially beautiful or awe-inspiring.  And part of what detracts from its beauty is the fact that it has been such a popular place to be buried since the 1100’s that it’s crammed-full of funerary effigies, busts, brasses and stones.

Individually, many of these monuments are quite nice, and a good secondary source for medieval clothing and armor—not that they will let anyone take pictures (as medieval re-enactors, my husband and I were especially disappointed by that fact). But there are so many of these memorial monuments in the church that you can’t really see them. It’s like trying to look at individual trees in a dense forest. Walkways are so narrow between some of them that you have to turn sideways to slide through. I told my husband it was trying to get through some old person’s attic—only instead of Christmas decorations and old children’s toys and clothes from three decades ago in boxes, it’s piles of stone monuments.

The other thing that was disappointing was the coronation chair. It’s neat that they still have the original coronation chair going back to the early middle ages, but it’s not what you’d think of as a throne at all. It looks like a poorly-made chair that’s been graffitied by a steady stream of school children. It’s not even nice by medieval furniture standards. And it’s quite surprising that no one ever remade/refinished it in all these centuries. People didn’t used to be so particular about preserving historic antiques, and as the middle ages went on, people invested more and more money in the show. Given that I know what some people’s coronation clothing looked like—and how much money it cost—it seems odd that they would be crowned on such a plain, cheap-looking chair.

My husband and I actually much preferred St. Mary’s Church in Warwick. It was a nicely-proportioned church and it had some wonderful effigies—but not too many—and they let us take pictures. Score!

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