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Friday January 25th 2019Tim Candler9

 

     After a little pacing around, a few sleepless nights and after long internal dialogue your N Scale modeler has determined that of the eight Gormenghast Bridges one will be named after Saint Winifred and another will be named after Saint Chad. And on the off chance that something like fake news interrupts the progress of this very important decision these two names have been given an absoluteness, and no slicky boy lawyer is going to be permitted to raise this or that obscure point such as a few remaining doubts about Saint Chad or reference the sort of chaotic Brexit Referendum meandering that resulted in an incredibly expensive research ship being given the name Boaty McBoatface.  Yes we're talking bridge names that are written in stone, forever and ever amen kind of thing. And yet there could be a problem! Not so much with the Saint Chad, who according to the Roman propagandist Bead, had a deep and abiding loyalty to the band of monks who accompanied him on his mission to preach the Beatitudes to the Mercian Host. A fine quality, particularly when a more vivid imagination can conjure a Mohawk Tonsure for each of Chad's indomitable monks, and which in my view suggests that Saint Chad wouldn't be all that picky about how his memory might be recorded in the form of a railway bridge.

 

Past

      Saint Winifred however, is a whole different jar of wax. Let's put it this way, there's a reason her suitor Caradog cut off Winifred's head when she basically told him she'd rather enter a nunnery than have anything to do with him. Certainly boys of all ages react often very poorly to rejection but the extreme reaction of chopping off someone's head has hinted to many that Winifred was more winsome than shall we say sturdy. Some images of her do suggest elegance of the flowing robes kind. Already I can hear two arguments against this position. The first is a downright dismissal along the lines of they had no television in those days so how could you possibly know. The second concerns the issue of you're a boy so how can you even begin to know what it's like being a girl around boys. And this point of view would demand I visit a battered woman's shelter so I realize how idiotic I sound with this winsome nonsense. But the defining debating point could be this, I don't think I'm actually capable of making an elegant bridge that might do justice to a winsome Saint Winifred. Such a bridge would need graceful curves and perfectly carved stone, all of them joining to make a "that bridge looks like a flowing robe type bridge" statement. In the end I guess it's this sort of conundrum that resulted in the Ancient Egyptians settling on a pyramid.

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