Monday, 3 October 2016

Good news travels fast.

Indeed it does.   I can phone a friend in France or in Australia, or in South Africa and get an instant response.   Or I can e mail them and it is almost as fast.   Snail mail as folk are apt to call it, takes a little longer but to me there is something exciting about hearing a letter or two plop onto the vestibule floor.

This speed tends to make us think that in the 'old days' news took a long time to get around.   Well yes it did in relative terms and yet, considering the conditions it was surprisingly quick.

Last night I could not sleep.   I am still suffering with my throat condition and it troubles me more when I lay down.   After an hour of trying - and failing - to drop off (and getting more awake by the second), I got up, made myself a second cup of Horlicks and settled down to read for an hour.   And, as you do, I read about Cimabue and Giotto and Saint Francis.

Giotto was a humble village lad when Cimabue found him scratching drawings on to the rocks with a sharp stone.   Cimabue took him under his wing and taught him to paint (and what a wonderful painter he turned out to be.)

Cimabue sent Giotto to a chapel in Assissi - St Francis died in 1226 and Giotto was born in 1266,
so there would still have been people there who had known St Francis.   There he was to paint pictures - frescoes - on the walls of the chapel.  In particular paintings of St Francis preaching in and around his garden.

In the beautiful little medieval church of Wissington in Suffolk, there are wall paintings of St Francis's sermon to the birds frescoed on the North wall.   And they were painted before Giotto did the painting in Assissi.  Good News does indeed travel fast. How would it get here - well that is anybody's guess.

24 comments:

Derek Faulkner said...

Clearly your wonderdrug Lemsip doesn't appear to be doing the job, can't beat old-fashioned gargling with warm salt water for sore throats.
As for good news travelling fast, I'm in awe of Skype, where almost instantly on your Laptop, you can be visually talking to somebody in Australia, show them round your house and garden, etc.

donna baker said...

And it is said the crow was St. Francis's favorite bird.

Mac n' Janet said...

I love Skype, it keeps me from missing my daughter too much knowing I can see her every week. But I love snail mail too.

Dawn McHugh said...

Yes they say good news travels fast and bad news travels faster, when you think there is a whole generation of young adults you have never know any other way of communicating than the through the internet or phone, I remember having to write thank you letters every christmas now I might get a text saying TX or a message saying TY not even full words
I hope your health picks up soon

Heather said...

I do hope your throat will allow you a good night's sleep tonight, but what a delightful story it gave us by keeping you up last night. Thank you for sharing it.

Wilma said...

Thank you for the story. Now I have some things to look up! I have often used the warm salt water gargle that Derek suggested to ease a sore throat. Not too heavy on the salt, though.

Wilma said...

Thank you for the story. Now I have some things to look up! I have often used the warm salt water gargle that Derek suggested to ease a sore throat. Not too heavy on the salt, though.

angryparsnip said...

I must look up that church it sound wonderful.
St Francis is one of my favorite saints.

cheers, parsnip

Rachel said...

Not to be confused with the temple in Wissington in Norfolk, the largest sugar beet refinery in Europe.

The throat will need some rest to recover and the best way to do that is to keep quiet for 48 hours.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

I miss getting hand written letters!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

In medieval times, in isolated farming communities, even news from nearby towns might have taken a long time to arrive. As for what was happening in London or further afield, weeks could easily have passed by. But what did it matter? Survival and getting through the next winter was pretty much the be all and end all of life.

Sue said...

Paul and I were talking about this a few days ago. How once upon a time isolated communities would have been totally ignorant of what was happening in the world. Maybe that was a good thing. Today we are bombarded with awful events occurring everywhere.

Cro Magnon said...

I used to write, and receive, lots of letters. I loved it, but the delay of around a week between news now seems a bit 'old fashioned'; we want everything instantly.

Gwil W said...

Face Time (Apple) is very fast and easy to use - it's a bit like Skype.

Interesting about the crow family (Donna Barker). I'm totally in agreement. The ravens are my particular favourites. I recently saw a couple of bored ravens in a cage so I exchanged words with them in crow language. Then I found a stick about a foot long and pushed it through the wire into the cage. At first cautiously one of them approached it and pretended to be looking for something else on the ground nearby before giving the stick a light peck and hopping away. Testing to see if was a snake I think. The final scene when I left was two ravens dancing and flying about the cage playing delightful games with their new toy.



Countryside Tales said...

I like receiving letters too. You can't beat a handwritten letter on paper. Hope the throat improves soon.

Jocelyn Thurston said...

What a lovely (and robust) meal you had out with your friend. Sounds delicious. St. Francis is my favourite of those amazing people being an animal and bird lover is why I guess. And pardon my ignorance, but what is Horlicks?

Frances said...

Dear, what a fine use you put to your wakeful hours. The book sounds very interesting. Yes, the speed with which good or bad news travels is quite different nowadays. However, I do think that there is plenty of news that doesn't travel very far at all, secrets we keep and that sort of thing.

Thanks also to Donna and Gwil for there comments about crows and ravens.

I surely do hope your throat improves. I'm also a fan of gargling. xo

Terry and Linda said...

liquid Benedryl works for me...a tablespoon and it coats the throat. YAY!

Linda

Fairtrader said...

Dear Weaver!
I would rather have thought it was that goosefatted potatoes and yorkshirepudding that caused your insomnia!
St Francis is rather a sweet character, I like him! I often say that it is the speed of information and the amount delivered to us in the wink of an eye, that makes us feel under pressure all the time. Some information is however vital to get access to as soon as possible. I think we know far too much for our own good!!! Last night I couldn't sleep because of that stupid shoulder of mine, but I can tell you there was no mind for reading. Please get well now, autumn is approaching and you need to get those germs out of the way!! Have a nice wednesday!!! And what IS indeed and actually and for certain ....yorkshirepudding???? Can anyone enlighten me? I had steakandkidney pie last summer in London, but that pudding??

Librarian said...

On my first trip to Florence (back in 1985), I saw some of Giotto's paintings with my own eyes. That trip left a deep impression on my 17-year-old mind!
I hope you feel better soon. It's that time of year, isn't it, where we catch the first (and hopefully only) cold of the season easily.

@Fairtrader: Yorkshire Pudding is not really a pudding. It is a savoury dish made of a batter similar to what is used to make pancakes, but baked in a special tin in the oven. Normally, it is served along with meat, spuds and other vegetables, and of course LOTS of gravy.
If you feel like hopping over to my blog, just type "Yorkshire Pudding" in the search bar in the top left corner of the page and you'll see my version of them.

baili said...

hope you feel better soon dear throat problem must be taken seriously .take good care dear.

unlike olden days nothing is hidden or slow everything travels fast and getting even faster.
but still beauty of those slow times is fragrance that heals the emptiness of today's busy world actually

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks to everyone for participating. Some interesting comments here too. I didn'tknow that St Francis's favourite birds were the crow family - they are my favourites too.

Derek Faulkner said...

Gawd, so surprised that somebody likes crows, Jackdaws yes, but crows definitely no. Guess it comes from my involvement with a nature reserve and seeing the amount of birds eggs and chicks that they devour each year, hence why we trap and cull the crows.

Fairtrader said...

Hello again!
Just wanted to say thankyou for the interesting description of that amazing dish called Yorkshire Pudding!!! I actually took a good look at that blog, it looks nice but I can't comment on it, no options for the likes of me I'm afraid. As soon as Google or Blogger or CIA or whoever , lets go of me, I'll be glad to chat with yet another nice yorkshire friend!!!
Thanks Weaver for all your nice posts, I really enjoy them!!!!