Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Nocturnal full moon graveyards celebrate Year of the Dragon

Nothing says ‘Be mine forever’ like a late night ritual/date at Victoria’s oldest graveyard (1814-1850’s). After reading Stoker’s obsession on the subject of sex, I went looking for a gentleman of good breeding who might lock me in a basement with three extremely horny women (Hey, if it worked for Jonathan Harker in Dracula, why not me? I ask, why not ME???). After this last week or so, I can assure you, I am VERY good in bed. Indeed one worker calls me ‘Sleeping Beauty.’

Luckily for me, Victoria thinks we are Victorians or Edwardians, and so giant monoliths of stone means classy in the sort of women with fans and men with silk waistcoats. Sadly for many it means pretentious with a firm stick up the old….er, yes. But, ala Dorothy Sayers, we do have a full circle ring for those into Campanology (Church bell ringing), eight full bells in the tower at Christ Church Cathedral, all made in Whitechapel London (known for Jack the Ripper) in 1936.The design of the bells and tower is based on Westminster Cathedral. See, I told you we, um, live in delusions of the grandiose. The Tower captain and ringers do everything from Grandsire Doubles & Triples to the Cambridge and Oxford rings. I recommend reading The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers if you want to know WAY too much about bell ringing.

Just a few blocks over is the oldest Chinatown in Canada, at 1858, second only in age to San Francisco. And the Chinese in BC only had to wait 101 years until they got the right to vote in BC. Isn’t that lovely? Oh, sorry, drifting off into social justice and Province shame. This New Year (starting Jan 23rd) is the Year of the Dragon. To celebrate, Chinatown has a new statue, at the end of the street, past the alleys (fan tan alley still the best place for folk music, corsets, kink clothes, and other indie artists). The night was clear and Chinatown emtpy. During the day, with the produce from the shops half covering most of the sidewalk, wheeling down in this area is a challenge, but fan tan alley IS wheelchair accessible, if you are nimble, and good with your caster.

Thanks to Linda for these shots, we talked about going out and getting them but after a day advocating for changes in our library system, I was funky to the core. She took the tripod and camera and got the shots, and I did the text, selection and resizing (74 photos - go team Camera Whores!). The pictures I took during the day, should be out in another 48 hours.


Kate J said...

You're right about Dorothy Sayers, the 'Nine Tailors' and campanology. I managed to win a pub quiz final once with a question on bell-ringing, with knowledge derived entirely from this book.
What an interesting post! And only sorry that you didn't manage to get out and take the photos yourself. Hope you're feeling somewhat better and that your heart pain has eased a little.
Hope you had some success with the library!
Love & peace

cheryl g said...

The photos are beautiful. Lots of wonderful atmosphere with the church and moon. Ever since reading Sayers’ “The Nine Tailors” I have been fascinated by bells and bell ringing. That was my favorite of the Dorothy Sayers stories done on public television when I was about 12.

I enjoy wandering Chinatown in both San Francisco and Victoria. Fan Tan Alley has the best music store!

I am sorry the accessibility ignorance of the library staff took your energy. I hope you have recovered.

Raccoon said...

But, does fan Tan Alley have models for all that clothing?

Still touching wood on your behalf.

Lene Andersen said...

Gorgeous photos! I love old piles of stone, especially if they've got bells. Live near St. James Cathedral here in Toronto and in the summer, I like to go to the church park on Monday evenings to hear the bellringers practice.

Neil said...

THANK YOU, Linda for taking such gorgeous photos!

Beth, are you sure you wouldn't rather be locked in a basement by Linda? Or with her? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more?

I especially like the first photo, which *could* be upside down except that it works so well the way it is. And the photos of the dragon make me REALLY want to visit Fan Tan Alley.

My Beloved has read "the Nine Taylors," but if I want bell ringing, I'll talk to an art instructor at work who's also a bell ringer for Know Metropolitan Church here in Regina. That's the church that was damaged in the 1912 cyclone.

Love and zen hugs,

Elizabeth McClung said...

I think, if looking straight up, like lying on the ground, the first picture is what a person would see, and what the camera saw. So it isn't inverted, just on a tripod in order to get the moon.

Raccoon said...

I have a question about the first picture: what church is that at? I ask because it's at an odd but way cool angle.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Christ's Church in Victoria. With the 8 bells.