Tuesday, July 21, 2015

London - The Hardy Tree - Where's Kay?




Richard and I like to watch our British TV shows.  Quite often, there will be a mention of some historical landmark and we find it quite interesting.  On an episode of "New Tricks",  we were shown a train station in London and very close to it, a church with the gravestones stacked against an ash tree in the church graveyard.  It is called "The Hardy Tree" because the gravestones were placed there by Thomas Hardy. (Yes, the famous author of "Far From The Madding Crowd").  Before he became a writer, Thomas Hardy studied architecture in London and it was his job to supervise the removal of bodies and tombstones from the church graveyard of St. Pancras Church in order to build a railway station there. 

When I looked at more photos of this, the black fencing in the churchyard grounds at St. Pancras looked very familiar to me.  The Beatles were photographed there on July 28, 1968 to promote the single "Hey Jude" and the White Album. (It was really their album entitled "The Beatles" but since it had a solid white cover, everyone called it "The White Album"!)  Does anyone else remember the photo that I am talking about?  You would only know this if you studied all the albums from that decade!  Note: After looking at our Beatles albums, we found the photograph inside the red album
The Beatles/1962-1966 and the blue album The Beatles/1967-1970.

Perhaps the photos were taken at the time the White Album was released but they are in the albums I just told you about!  

Okay then, back to Thomas Hardy before the famous four lads from Liverpool came into the picture.  I have always found the writings of Thomas Hardy to be a bit melancholy. Perhaps this is due to the fact that he never recovered from his first wife's death.  It was his wish that he would be buried in the same grave with his first wife.  (He later re-married his much younger secretary.)  His family and friends wished to fulfill his wishes but his executor wanted him buried in Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey.  They compromised and his heart was buried with his wife, Emma in Dorset but his ashes are in Poet's Corner. 

If you are ever in London, you must see Westminster Abbey! You know those "Where's Waldo" books?  (In England, they are called "Where's Wally"!)  See if you can spot me in the photo below!

See, I told you I loved the Beatles and children's books...I almost always think of one or the other!

Once again, my friends, I have been very busy at work and have been typing so much that I am thinking of wearing my arm in a sling...no kidding!  Take care, everyone and hope you are all well and enjoying the season wherever you are. 




42 comments:

  1. That's fascinating about the Hardy Tree! I've read a couple of his novels and they were pretty melancholic alright. I enjoyed the movie that was just made of "Far from the Madding Crowd" although it was sloooooooow. And yes, I've been to Westminster Abbey -- didn't have enough time there to look at everything in the detail I wanted to but I hope to get there again someday!

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    1. Hey Debra!
      Isn't the Hardy tree interesting? I suppose he thought it was better to stack the gravestones around rather than just disposing of them!
      I also hope to get back to Westminster Abbey again!

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  2. I have a good exercise for your arm given to me by a doctor. Stretch you arm straight out in front of you. Take your other hand and pull your hand up and back as your arm remains outstretched to a count of 20. Then pull the hand down and back to a count of 20. You should do both arms. I usually cheat and do two counts of 10 rather than one of 20. I found you right off in the crowd.

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    1. Thanks for the exercise. Maybe I am doing it wrong, that hurts my hand! LOL! (Of course, both my hands hurt from typing anyway!)

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  3. That was easy - you are the only person looking directly at the camera :-)

    The White Album was Steve's favourite...

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    1. Yes, I asked Richard to take my photo in front of Westminster Abbey and when we looked at this later, it looked funny to see all the people around me in the photo!
      I always think of Steve when I write a post about the Beatles. I know he would know the photo that I am talking about, with the Beatles behind the black wrought iron fence with children around them.

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  4. I see you too! :- )
    I've been watching a bunch of British movies from Foyle's War to Poldark to Crimson Field.

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    1. For some reason, I can't get into "Poldark".
      I LOVE Foyle's War, it is one of my favorites!

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  5. Reading Thomas Hardy increases the suicide rate.

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    1. Yes, I call it "jumping out the window" kind of literature. There is music like that too. You might guess that kind is not my cup of tea!

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  6. I'm told the aching arm is caused by drinking too much....

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    1. Yorkshire tea, that is the only drink that I make sure I have at least once a day, sometimes twice!

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  7. You must keep your arm in good condition for blogging!

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    1. I know, John! I don't know what the world is expecting of me! My REAL job is my blog and it is my joy! xx

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  8. I love the pieces of history that you share with us and am thankful that you got to see London, so that I can see it too. Take care !

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    1. Glad you like this too. I didn't get to see as much of London as I would have liked, there is so much!! You can bet I study every single scene that is shown on any of the British TV shows, and very often, will have to go back and hear the dialogue since I might only be looking at the scenery behind the actors! What a nutcase I am about England! xx

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  9. Oh, Kay, take care of yourself! Don't injure your arm!
    The Hardy tree is fascinating. What a job.........

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    1. Now, Kristi, YOU are the one who needs to take care. Hope you are feeling better now!

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  10. Wow, that is the most fascinating tree. I don't think I've ever seen anything like it. Take care of yourself, Kay! And you know, I spent an entire day in London many years ago between flights. I saw many, many sights in that one day and I loved the area. But it wasn't enough time. I hope to visit again one day.

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    1. Yes, Martha! You need to train your photographic skills on London! It would be perfect for you!

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  11. Hope your arm soon improves. I liked Hardy's novels when I was at school, but I tried to re-read one recently, and I just couldn't get through it. His style seemed so wordy, and of its time. His poetry seems easier, but yes, all very melancholy! I must look out for that tree next time I pass through London.

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    1. Yes, Joanne! The next time you are in London, if you can, take a photo of it and to a post about it!
      My arm hurts from typing this week, but hey...here I am TYPING! HA!

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  12. I visited Westminster Abbey in November 1969 and loved the architecture.

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    1. London was the first big city that I ever saw, which was in 1981.
      It is so different now, parts of it are very modern. Some of the new architecture I could do without to be honest!

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  13. We went to Westminster Abbey when we were in London for our honeymoon! Now i'm going to have to show the tree picture to my Sweetie and see if he recognizes it, he is a huge Beatles fan.

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    1. You went to London for your honeymoon? Lucky you!!!
      Your sweetie should remember a photo of the Beatles behind a black iron gate, there were children with them and I remember thinking how lucky the children were to pose with the Beatles!

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  14. Always a fascinating read when I come to your blog! I learned a lot here today and found it really interesting too, thank you for telling us! I hope that work goes a little better soon and that you can rest your arm! xx

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    1. Thank you, Amy! Not only do I need my arm for typing at work and typing on my blog, but I also need it for my crochet work! I have a sunflower garland I want to make! :-)

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  15. I see you there. That is a wonderful tree! Thank you for sharing - I'd love to see that.

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    1. Hey, Lynn! Thank YOU for your comment! Happy to have you as a new follower, if I forgot to say! :-)

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  16. That's news to me. I still have the white album in my vinyl collection.

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    1. I find bits and bobs like that kind of interesting.

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  17. Loved reading your blog, and had to become one of your followers because I married my penpal, except we were epals.. We met after a year of emails and married one year later. Best part of my life!

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    1. Thank you, Chris! And thanks for becoming a new follower, you have made my day! EPALS, I love that! I hope you will read the book that I did a post about of another couple who married after writing to each other...the book is Dear Stephanie, Dear Paul...YOU MUST READ IT!!

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  18. We recently saw the remake of Far From the Maddening Crowd and enjoyed it very much. We have been to Westminster Abby and yes, I see you there. We love the British shows. Only complaint is sometimes we can't catch all they are saying.

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    1. That's funny, that sometimes you can't catch all they are saying in a British TV show! Good think I am married to a Brit, very often I will have to ask him what they say, sometimes it is Cockney rhyming slang...."have a butcher's"....means have a "Look"...butcher's hook = look.

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    2. I like kerfuffle. :-) We keep captioning on our TV for the Masterpiece Theater, Call the Midwife, Poldark, etc.

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    3. We sometimes have to use the captioning, especially if there is a Scottish accent. I mean no offense to the people of Scotland but that is hard for me to understand! :-)

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  19. I still have the White Album somewhere here. It'll be in a carton will all the other LPs of various artists.

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  20. I see you! What a great shot. We have been to Westminster Abbey, and thoroughly enjoyed our tour, a real walk through history. The Hardy tree is fascinating, and something I have never heard of. I recently enjoyed the new Madding Crowd movie - so much so, I am re-reading the book on Kindle. Whatever happened to my old 60s copy, I wonder?

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