Gothic pretention, ominous clouds finally forming overhead and drizzling lightly, making Scotland’s green pop brightly in the drizzly downpour. I’m cautious about posting YACIS (yet another cathedral in Scotland) because they are many and they are medieval, and frequently started by hermit monks with practices that make no sense, like total silence. What happens if you get an ouchie? Not even a peep? (thanks, Dave)
The cathedral at Dunkeld is not only the first wholly preserved cathedral we’ve seen–they still observe ceremony there–but it’s got the sarcophagus of the nutjob grandchild of Robert the Bruce; a fella they called the Wolf of Badenoch or the Celtic Atilla for his prodigious craziness in burning cathedrals to the ground and 40 illegitimate offspring by numerous different mothers. What a peach! For that he got a forever tomb in 1405 behind the altar at one of the more beautiful Gothic churches we’ve seen to date. Real true stories!
The Wallace Monument is a glorious 1869 architecture piece perched atop Abbey Craig near Stirling, Scotland, commemorating the life of one William Wallace, he of the blue faced Mel Gibson Braveheart war cries that represent such a fictionalization of what actually happened that our historian bus driver Dave represents the conflicted national pride the locals have of that movie: great for tourism and we love our Will; bummer Mel painted an elaborate deception that confuses the world about what really happened. But hey, it’s the movies!
In the net, it’s a gorgeous monument that works my wide shoulders and legs as I skinny up the turret to the open spire up top, with gorgeous pastoral views to the surrounding area. Who built this crazy stuff anyhow? Why is everyone sweating and breathing like snuffly hogs within the echoey sandstone?
Coming up with clever blogpost taglines that are loosely tied to the subject matter at hand is hard brain work, folks. Ahem…I think a Caesar Salad–hold the croutons–is in order.
Marie Petit–yeah, that’s really her name–is a free spirit born in Normandy, France, grew up traveling Europe and the world, met her then partner now hubbie Bob from the UK, who was her dive instructor. You might recall Bob from an earlier local profile of the Sunday backgammon players. In any case, Marie also became a dive instructor which led her and Bob to Saba seven years ago. After a back injury a couple years back, Marie searched her Gallic soul for something that would fulfill her creative passions (Shes also a first class chef). The signs were there, though, as Marie met and displayed her wares to Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands on a trip to Saba in 2011. This manifested itself into an arts and crafts pursuit that became The Little Green Shop, which opened this past July.
As she had no specific background or training in crafting or jewelry, Marie dived headfirst into the creative abyss; she utilizes seeds, plants, porcelain, driftwood, and other items folks bring her from around the island, an army of makeshift needles, hammers, soldering irons, crimps, and other tools that Bob brings in to whip up her objet d’art du jour. It’s the first time I’ve really seen a crafting/jeweler at work on a daily basis, and it reminds me of my own music and writing process; long sojourns and lots of time down paths that ultimately end up getting discarded because they’re just not quite right. Other ephemeral days are creativity volcanoes; everything that comes out of Marie’s pounding, twisting, stamping, and soldering on such days are gems…sometimes literally 😉
I took longer than usual to create the images that I thought captured the free roaming spirit and clever artistic details of Marie and The Little Green Shop; for such a tiny store in the corner, there’s a lot going on here with this hardworking expat who’s making a stamp in her own way in Saba’s day to day art and culture.