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Beverley Bonanza

Here we are in a new place! This house is enormous, with 5 bedrooms, and multiple other rooms/lounges. The kitchen is expansive and features both a refrigerator and a separate freezer of the same size. The house also boasts 2 bathtubs, 3 showers, 2 dishwashers, 3 microwave ovens, and 3 conventional ovens (beneath an 8-burner stovetop). Robin is over the moon.

I’ve staked out the conservatory as my special place to work… It’s probably a poor choice because the light and temperature fluctuate so dramatically, but I like sunshine and the ability to see outside—there’s so much glorious green here.

Our new charge is adorable! He’s a polite 9-year-old Goldendoodle named Moose who loves belly rubs and lives for his daily walks. (A “Goldendoodle” is a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle.)

The house borders on huge grassy fields and is near the River Hull, so we’ve been meandering with him everyday—more exercise than we’re accustomed to having in recent months. That’s the benefit of minding a dog: you have to give them (and you) a daily constitutional. It’s great that the weather is warming up and flowers are blooming.

But of course the first thing Moose did was sneak off and splash around in a big mud puddle!

Then Robin had the pleasure of hosing him off, which neither of them were too thrilled about.

Luckily they’ve forgiven one another, and now Moose snuggles with him in bed at night or lies on the rug alongside him.

The town of Beverley is still located in the Yorkshire region so we’re not all that distant from where we were in Whitby. I’m already compiling an extensive hit list of where I hope to go sightseeing.

I’m gearing up to visit the glorious Minster (cathedral), but have decided to start small and take in the other glorious church that Beverley features, which is St. Mary’s. It’s rare for one small town to boast two superb historic churches, but we have an embarrassment of riches here.

St. Mary's church was founded in 1120, and while the foundations of an early Norman building can still be seen in places, onlookers are most captivated by its English Gothic style (flying buttresses lurk just around the corners)...

I’ve never seen so much attention paid to interior church ceilings before… The vestry ceiling features a Northern Hemisphere star chart (made with poetic license). The chancel ceiling was designed in 1445 and displays paintings of 40 different legendary British kings (see picture below). And all around the church are found over 600 ceiling “bosses.” Ceiling or roof bosses are carvings made to cover where beams or vaults join in a ceiling. But since they are positioned so high on the ceiling, they are hard to see.

The term “boss” probably derives from the Old French word “boche,” meaning “swelling” or “bump.” These architectural details first appeared in England following the Norman Conquest in 1066 and became increasingly popular from the late 12th century onwards. The vast majority of roof bosses in St. Mary’s are made of wood, with two dozen that are carved from stone, and they all run approximately a foot square in size. The variety of subject matter is astonishing, ranging from religious iconography, over-sized initials, figures of men and women scowling and smiling, angels, demons, moralistic warnings, and beasts both real and mythical.

One of their most popular carvings is the Pilgrim Rabbit of 1325, carved into an arched door surround. It became famous for having been thought to be the inspiration for the illustrations drawn by John Tenniel to represent Lewis Carroll’s “White Rabbit” in Alice in Wonderland.

Amusingly, his satchel depicts a scallop shell, the symbol for pilgrimages that were undertaken to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. He really is a pilgrim.

St. Mary’s features 28 misericords with a variety of scenes, likely carved in 1445 by the Ripon Carvers (who I assume were also responsible for the wonderful misericords in nearby Ripon Cathedral). It was swoonworthy with misericords!

The surrounds on three of the exterior doors also display impressive carvings of various large grotesques, seen all the way up and down. (Robin insisted one monster at the top is a dead ringer for the creature in Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.)

Unfortunately, as happens with so many of these ancient churches, a large percentage of the exterior stone carvings have been worn down by weather and time and become little more than amorphous lumps. So the church is doing something about it! They have planned two programs of sculptures to replace the worn ones: first is a sculpture program modeled on C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series, and a second program is “Women of Influence.” They displayed plaster copies in the church aisle, and I shot a brief video of the Narnia sculptures. It’s silent and runs 2:30. If you’re interested, it may be found here:

Robin got excited when he spotted Ada Lovelace among the “women of influence” and insisted I take a picture of him with her. (Gotta love a guy who swoons for Ada Lovelace!)

Just beyond St. Mary’s outside is an unusual bit of architecture, which is an original medieval gate known as the North Bar. Constructed in 1409, it is the only surviving brick-built town gate in the entire country.

On a more mundane level, Robin took our car in for some servicing and got the air conditioning repaired for less outlay than we were afraid of. It will be great to have if we experience a heat wave that’s anything like last year’s.

On Saturday we went shopping at the community market and I scouted out some skirts and a dress I liked. I hemmed and hawed and finally decided an extra black skirt would be a worthy addition to my wardrobe. But of course when we went to buy it, they had sold out! Grr, I hate that—does it only happen to me? When I buy something in a rush, I’m not happy with it later on; when I take the time to think it over and carefully decide, they sell out and I walk away empty-handed. It happens Every Time. For all the typologists who may be wondering: this is what inferior extraverted sensation looks like. It’s maddening!

Speaking of typology, I’m pulling my proposal together for the upcoming APT conference in Australia.

They announced some time ago they were planning to hold an in-person conference the next time around, and I felt disappointed because I knew it was highly unlikely that we would journey all the way to Australia for it. But hey—luck was on my side! Perhaps the number of submissions was underwhelming, but whatever the reason, they chose to go virtual instead.

Given the new state of affairs, I’ve cooked up something a little bit different to pitch. I’m planning to propose “The Trimorphic Ethoi of Psychological Types.” Does that title pique your interest? I hope so!

Until next time, -Dr. Vicky Jo

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