Friday, June 30, 2017

Canny be blown out.

It's a perfect day. Sunny with a slight breeze. The convoy of Senegalese melon pickers, the young garagiste on his motor bike, two farmers in old Peugeot vans and the late running school secretary wave as dogs and master head along the lane. While Sophie hunts in the donkey field Bob and Angus sit and discuss the news that The House of Commons has decided that male members of parliament can attend debates without wearing a tie.  

We didn't bring many things from Scotland with us when we embarked on our odyssey to Europe. One thing we did bring was an old picture found by 'The Font' under layers of dust in the attic of the family home. It must have been there for centuries. Four years of restoration work by an enthusiastic curator at the National Gallery brought it back to life. These pictures of Protestant reformers were churned out and smuggled into Scottish ports in the 1530's and 40's wrapped in bundles of cloth. They provided moral support at a tumultuous time when burnings and hangings for dissidence were commonplace. Across the bottom of the picture are Luther's words  in old Scots : The candle is lighted it canny be blown out .

A German museum wants to borrow it for a 'paintings you could have died for owning' exhibition. The curator is charming but vague about how we'd  get it packed , shipped, insured and cleared for customs. Angus muses on the fact that political uncertainty is something families have coped with for a long time. Some people say that PONs first arrived in Scotland in the 16th century on boats from the continent. A nice link with the painting.

Pending some practical advice we decide to prevaricate and leave the painting , for the time being, hanging in a dark spot in the hall.

Sophie goes on a lengthy walk round the village. By lengthy I don't mean to suggest it's a long walk. Rather, it's a short walk taken very, very slowly. Every flower is sniffed. every puddle tasted. The garrulous frogs glared at.

Bob rediscovers an old friend that's been buried , paw sticking out of the ground, in the rose border.

The bark now peeling off the trees in ever larger sheets.

All those little things too unimportant for a diary but which fill our days.

The choirs hand movements are intriguing. Thomas Selle a little known composer. The minute following the 1.15 mark is heaven:

For dog owners :


WFT Nobby said...

What a fascinating story behind your old painting. But those Protestant reformers don't exactly look a bunch of laughs do they? And this feminist cannot look at such pictures without contemplating how for so long church hierarchy was so male dominated! I am wondering about the age of your family house and how long the family had been living there?
PS That wee senior Chihuahua is so sweet.

Taste of France said...

That painting is wonderful. It's much bigger than I'd imagined from the closeup. Those faces! Congratulations for having had it lovingly restored.

Emm said...

What they both said. ^^
Love the first picture, Bob surveying his domain.

rottrover said...

What a post! Thanks, as always, ANGUS.

Unknown said...

Grand picture of the reformers: those faces. I'm much cheered by the faces of Bob and Sophie and the little senior fellow. Simple goodness.

Bella Roxy & Macdui said...

Dangerous paintings...who'd a thought! Love the 'intent' on the singers' faces.

Beau and Mom said...

Simple Goodness is always the best. Cheers to you.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

The painting's a treasure.

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

That is an absolutely gorgeous painting!

Jane said...

I just added your painting to the others I collected for a short article about these - many of these paintings apparently hung in schools originally (probably to help students remember the faces of all the reformers). Interesting inscription!,_We_Cannot_Blow_Out