Saturday, 17 September 2011

The Hand of Glory & other Obscurities

Here are a few pictures of weird and wonderful things from last weekend.

It all started last Friday, when I found the last giant puffball at work, that hadn't turned brown yet. It wasn't quite as big as the ones I saw before I went on holiday, but it was still quite impressive in size. When you looked at it from certain angles it actually resembled a freaky looking skull. I sliced the huge mushroom and dried it in my food dehydrator - one of my latest kitchen gadgets. I could only fit half a skull mushroom in at the time, as it was that big, so I ended up with two tightly packed jars of dried mushroom, which will probably last me a lifetime.

I think someone must have kept their fingers crossed following my last post, as the weather was splendid for us last weekend. We went to Whitby museum, which amongst other things exhibits the only alleged "Hand of Glory" known to survive. 

"A Hand of Glory was supposedly the carefully prepared and "pickled" right hand of a felon, cut off while the body still hung from the gallows and used by burglars to send sleepers in a house into a coma from which they were unable to wake. In one version the clenched hand is used as a candle holder for a candle incorporating human fat, but in another (consistent with the Whitby hand) the outstretched hand has its own fingers lit. In this case should one of the fingers refuse to light it is a sign that someone in the household remains awake. In either case the light cannot be extinguished by water or pinching but only by blood or "blue" (skimmed) milk - the usual method in the tales." 

... freaky or what?

After the museum and a walk around Whitby, we went to Sandsend, but as the tide was in we went for a walk in the woods above the cliffs, where 

... I had a bramble feast,

... climbed some spooky old trees,

which had eyes (!).

Then we discovered a "Money Tree", that amongst some recent coins, also contained some really old ones. The tree had almost completely swallowed some of the older coins. I tried to add a coin myself, but as I didn't have any tools to hammer it in, I'm not sure how long it will stay there.

We then met a rather friendly, but also rather small toad - probably a familiar of a local witch, spying on us.

On our way back we enjoyed some beautiful views,

... including Whitby Abbey at dusk.

A few days after this and the aftermath of hurricane Katia hitting the UK, we went for a moonlit walk on Hornsea beach.

PS: For those of you checking back here for some craft related posts, I promise there will be an update soon, well at least a little on.

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