elenahpowell

Today I declared my love for a tree

In Books, Days, Edinburgh, Leicester on May 16, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Which is entirely appropriate, given that it’s love a tree day, I haven’t completely lost the plot. I hope it appreciated it. Today is also wear purple for peace day, which I did as best as I could. I hope my purple DMs, and one sock will inspire peace… But here’s the lucky tree anyway.

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I will not admit to dancing like a chicken for the 14th (dance like a chicken day), but I did manage to sell a straw hat on straw hat day (yesterday). Saturday will be easy enough – whisky day.

Mostly drawings, and then some fun history stuff about Leicester and dead people and heretics. I went for a wander, I was only meant to be going to find a tree but got distracted drawing and reading, which isn’t so bad really seeing as it didn’t really rain today (I got so soaked yesterday walking home). Starting with the bench I always sit on at the top of the canal. I’ve given up on reality, well drawing it anyway. I can’t do accurate (at all, ever, for anything), so it may as well be deliberately un-real. Easier to do lines all over the place (and tends to look better than if I try for real-ish).

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For reasons unknown – people. Well, no. Not unknown. When I was in the shop on Saturday afternoon there was three of us in, all students, talking about our degrees when it got quiet. I think I won for best degree ever – no exams (so much love for that at the moment) and I can get away with drawing stick people (compared to maths – lots of exams – and chemistry – even more exams and lab time). Except I realised I haven’t drawn stick people. So I did some stick people. Really really quick, just as they were walking past me. Except some were running, so they got drawn sort of in two positions, so if you could tell one from another they’d look pretty mutant.

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And then onto the Meadows in search of a tree to love.

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And then the main library, because I happened to be walking that way and was lacking anywhere else to go. No library-ing though, just coffee and reading history books. I can’t find anything in that library at all and I’ve got more than enough to be reading at the moment. Some less stick-like people too. It’s hard to draw people without looking like you’re obviously drawing people.

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More words too, I had to wait for ages to get much for the canal or the meadows.

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I’ve come up with a sort-of map to help with the history bits, because I don’t know street names in Leicester, except obvious ones like where the house is. And High St. And it’s unbelievably hard trying to get my map of Leicester in my head to fit with an actual map, I’m not sure I could get round Leicester with a map, I’ve never done that, whereas I know my way round Edinburgh from maps, at least I know how things join up here. I’ve got no idea in Leicester, I just appear in places having walked there somehow. The purple dot is where the space is (roughly), the red line is the high street. St Peter’s Square is the kind of open bit between a lot of buildings, it’s where the Christmas tree goes, or one of them – is there still one by the clock tower? I don’t know… The colour coding should make sense in a sec.

map

 

I’ve not finished the book yet, so there’s probably more to come back and add another time, and the book is from the excavations in the 80s, so possibly out of date. But it’ll do for now. Focusing on St Peter’s church for now, because that’s interesting.

The first direct reference to St Peter’s Church was round abouts 1200 (as the parish between All Saints and St Martin’s), although it was probably one of the six parishes recorded in the 1086 Domesday Survey of Leicester. They’ve only seem to have found one wall of the church, which is around St Peter’s Lane (name might give it away…). It’s possible the cemetery was near Freeschool Lane (yellow), seeing as that used to be Dead Lane. Most of this bit of the city seems to have been gardens and orchards for several centuries, in 1804 the area around St Peter’s Lane (green) and East Bond St (blue) was described as having a bowling green and tea gardens anyway. It’s guessed the church fell into decay at some point during the sixteenth century – in 1587 High St and E. Bond St were ‘in decay’ and a particularly bad plague epidemic of 1593 meant Leicester was sealed off. In 1599 the Mayor wrote that in over 2000 years Leicester was ‘never as poor as today’.

Stone from the church was used to build a number of things, including the old grammar school on High Cross St (pink). In 1892 a portion of the west wall and lower part of a tower were exposed along St Peter’s Lane and E. Bond St, in 1920 a font (or rather pieces of) was supposedly recovered, although it’s not entirely clear where from. Jumping back a bit…on Christmas Eve 1306 a clerk (‘Simon the Welshman’) was stabbed in the head by the vicar for being late to come ring the bells, he lived for two days, and throughout the 14th century there seems to have been a fair few heretics, one (either Matilda or Maud, no one seems quite sure) lived in the churchyard. I think that’ll do (meaning I’ve run out of interesting notes). Apart from the Earl of Huntingdon lodged Mary Queen of Scots (amongst others) in his town house on the high street (or what was once the swine market).

Not many stories to add either.

13.5.13

“Bringing your boyfriends into the shop now, are you?”

 

I apparently still hate music. Which is entirely justified given that he decided to play a truly terrible selection of the ‘best dance music ever’ (CD 6). I have to turn it off once this comes on. I go for the safe option of Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash.

 

“Aren’t you a bit young to be having hot flushes?” Everyone else is permanently cold and insist on having the heater on. It’s not cold in there!

 

15.5.13

I get a snazzy t-shirt to wear for a photo on Friday. Lothian buses are coming to take pictures of us, because we get all their lost property. Lots of umbrellas.

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