Tag Archives: alfred lord tennyson

A Visit To St Bega’s Church

During my recent visit to the lakes, I visited St Bega’s Church in Bassenthwaite Cumbria, (http://www.visitcumbria.com/cm/bassenthwaite-st-begas-church/). The building is pre-Norman and it was amazing to touch the ancient arch, constructed out of rough hewn stone and know that it had been built prior to the Norman conquest of 1066.

As explained by the above link, the church inspired one of Tennyson’s greatest poems,

“Lord Alfred Tennyson stayed at Mirehouse in 1835 while he was writing his poem ‘Morte D’Arthur’ and St Bega’s Church inspired the opening lines:


‘…to a chapel nigh the field,


A broken chancel with a broken cross,


That stood on a dark straight of barren land,’.

A small distance along the shore you will find a simple open-air theatre erected by the Tennyson Society at the place where it is thought he composed much

of the poem”.

Joy Unbounded Or The Daily London Commute

Those who have visited London will have experienced the delights of crowded public transport. There is, surely nothing more pleasant than having one’s nostrils tantalised by the sweet scent of one’s fellow commuter’s perspiring bodies on a baking hot summer’s day.

I can also highly recommend the sardine game. This entails packing as many human beings into a tube or mainline train as is humanly possible then adding a few more for good measure. Oh the delights of being clobbered by heavy baggage as one’s fellow passenger’s show their pleasure at visiting this great capital city by swinging their luggage with gay abandon.

Another fun aspect of the daily commute is the manner in which it enables one to make new friends. The train or other mode of transport jolts and one finds a total stranger sitting on one’s lap (that is if you have been fortunate enough to obtain that rarest of comodities, a seat)!

Talking of seats or the lack thereof, I have hit upon a sure fire way of obtaining one when travelling in this great city of London. I proclaim at the top of my voice,

“Half a league, half a league,

Half a league onward,

All in the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.

“Forward, the Light Brigade!

Charge for the guns!” he said.

Into the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.”

My fellow commuters are so moved by the power of Tennyson that they rise in unison and vacate the carriage leaving me to my declaiming. They are no doubt deeply touched by the majesty of the poem and rather than show emotion in front of me choose rather to express it elsewhere.

To all of my fellow commuters, happy commuting!