Friday, February 25, 2011

One for Sorrow, Two for Joy

Just down river from Ironbridge, Shropshire, is the little village of Jackfield. We were there only one night, but enjoyed our short stay very much. At our B&B, we met another couple who were from the Manchester area. We had a fun visit with them, and after breakfast the woman and I were standing next to the window talking, when all of the sudden she said, 'Quick! Kiss your hand!'


'Quick! Kiss your hand! It's for good luck!' and she pointed out the magpie perched in the tree outside the window.

 Then she began,

    'One for Sorrow
    Two for Joy
    Three for a Girl
    Four for a Boy
    Five for Silver
    Six for Gold
    Seven for a tale never to be told
    Eight you Live
    Nine you Die
    Ten you eat a bogey pie!'

which, of course, being from Wisconsin, I'd never heard before. Or since. But I obeyed her. I have no idea why. Maybe it was the 'When in Rome' thing. Good thing she didn't tell me to jump out the window, huh!

Her husband then asked me if I was familiar with the song, 'On Ilkla Moor Baht'at' and was very surprised to learn that yes, indeed, I was!  I hadn't watched all those episodes of All Creatures Great and Small for nothing! We enjoyed our visit and pouring over the tourist guide maps together. It's experiences like this that make me a firm believer in staying at B&Bs, rather than a chain hotel.

 Church of St. Mary the Virgin

St. Mary's Church - Jackfield. The tile church. There is a tile manufacturer in the town along with a tile museum which was closed when we were there. Still we got to see the church, and while we were standing and looking at the exterior, the vicar happened by and invited us inside. It was dark and dank, but the reception by the vicar was warm and friendly. He gave us a personal tour of the church. We found that type of reception everywhere we went.

From www.

'The village church at Jackfield can claim to be, architecturally, one of the most distinguished buildings in the Severn gorge.  It was designed by the prominent Victorian Architect Sir Arthur William Blomfield (1829-1899) architect of Selwyn College Cambridge, the Royal College of Music London and St Mary's Portsea (Portsmouth Cathedral).  It is in the French Gothic style and makes extensive use of local materials.  In its use of layers of differing colours of brick it has a passing resemblance to the Norman Shaw Buildings on the Embankment and Butterfield's Keble College. The reredos is a remarkable triptych displaying local tiles painted at the Craven Dunhill factory behind the Church and reputedly first shown at the Paris Exhibition of 1862.  Unusually for a parish church there is a large rose window in the west wall.'


 I was fascinated by the colorful tiles!

 from Ironbridge Guide

Just down the street was the Black Swan Pub, which served the best fish and chips! What's the deal with fish and chips? It's one of the cheapest meals and usually delicious, as long as mushy peas aren't touching the fish and can be avoided. The ambience at The Black Swan was great - It was friendly enough and we met nice people and three great Border Collies there. I always miss my dogs when we travel, so I always enjoy seeing other dogs.  It's also a great way to strike up a conversation. Dog people like talking about their dogs. :-)

I hope you all have a great weekend. Wouldn't it be fun to have dinner at the Black Swan tonight!



Unknown said...

Love the pictures of the church! We used to sing that rhyme when I was kid!! lol Can't believe you have not heard that before :)

Michelle said...

This is simply lovely and charming. I've never stayed at a B&B and have been looking into them when we travel unfortunately they seem more geared towards romantic getaways and not so much for family getaways. This is what we’re taking these days.

Robin said...

St. Marys church is so pretty. That's nice that you got to meet the vicar. One year when we was in Wells Cathedral a vicar (we thought) was in there and talked to us a long time and I have a picture taken with him. Well, he wasn't the vicar he was the Bishop of Bath and Wells Cathedral, Rev.George Carey, who then became the Archbishop of Canterbury. One of the pictures that I took inside the cathedral was so pretty that I sent it to him. I received a personal letter back from him, saying how much he liked the picture and inviting me to tea at the Palace (next to Wells Cathedral), but sadly to say I didn't get back to England before he became the Archbishop, so I didn't get to have tea with him.

Oh, what time to you want to meet at the Black Swan for dinner tonight :).

Cranberry Morning said...

B&Bs in England are a lot different (and less expensive) than those in the States - at least those I've seen. We always stayed at budget B&Bs because all we cared about was a place to sleep and getting an opportunity to visit with 'the natives.' We've found it the cheapest of accommodations. Just someone's comfortable home, not a big fancy deal.

Robin, you could always e-mail the Archbishop of Canterbury and ask him if the offer still stands. LOL As soon as I scrounge up the airfare, I can meet you at the Black Swan! :-)

Empty Nester said...

Beautiful pictures! And, yes, let's have dinner at the Black Swan! What time?

Kimberley said...

Love visiting your blog, it's like a mini vacation for me lol Thanks for sharing

Judy S. said...

What a different and beautiful arch on that church! We ate at a Black Swan pub in London; I wonder if it's a common name or a chain?

J_on_tour said...

This is a nice and warm variety tourist post with lots of good information that you give us and plenty to talk about.... sorry.
At first, with the magpie photo and the rhyme , I didn't quite know what I was going to read next ( a journey within a post ... masterful ). Although it is revered in my area as the symbol of my local football team, my personal dealings with the bird are a little different as there are several residing in the neighbourhood and I have had to deal with the remnants of bird battles.... moving swiftly on...
I am another great promoter of the B&B. It depresses me to hear that friends and work colleagues fancy a weekend away in a scenic location and decide to opt for a chain Hotel or Travel Lodge in a nearby town or city. In fact I know of one couple that stayed in a Scottish chain Hotel and never left the building as they wanted to make use of the facilities... how sad and what a waste of petrol as there was a similar one locally, I think they must have enjoyed the drive there !!! B&B's are unique, usually interesting, colourful and always friendly in the countryside. One of these days I might write a book about about my B&B experiences... for the moment, it's trip advisor though !!
Where I come from, I am meant to like mushy peas but I share your view that they have to be separated from everything else on the plate ! I see it as a little like Black Pudding, something to sample to see if it tastes like the last time you remember it and if it's not too bad, maybe call a halt at the third forkful !!
Lastly, it is pure enjoyment to watch dogs relaxing by the fire in country pubs.

Rachel said...

Your posts always make me want to go travel NOW (oh, to only have the money- and time off work!) :) I love the idea of staying in B&B. I am going to keep that in mind whenever I finally get over there!

Have a great weekend!


Heide said...

I love B&Bs!!! I have only been in a few, but still they are so much better then a hotel! Not sterile and cold. Always interesting building or decore. And Breakfast!! Another good resaon to stay at a B&B. So hard to get a good breakfast when you are traveling. Who wants to go to McDonald's? Yick!

The Black Swan looks delightful!
Is there anything else served at those lovely English Pubs? For non fish lovers??

Debra Hawkins said...

I love the pictures of the church. Beautiful and in my experience pubs have the best food. :)

Tiffanee said...

Beautiful post! Thanks for taking me along with you on your way cool vacation!!

George The Lad said...

Well I know the first bit of the rhyme, but didn't know about the kissing the back of the hand that's new to me!
I've not been to the church at Jackfield so thanks for showing us.
Now I find things like this strange, we are working our way though a book of walks, I have the next one to put up tomorrow hopefully when I get around to finshing it!!
But had the book out last night to pick a walk to go on today if the rain goes away. We didn't want to go to far this time in the car to get there.
So after I have finshed blog reading we will be on our way to a walk that goes past The Black Swan!!, will post about it soon, I would love to put a link to this post when I do it, if that ok with you.
B&B are the best places to stay in if you visit, because of the added information you can get from the owners, but be warned it can be hit and miss if you get a good one.
Yes having George with us always strikes up a conversation, just because theres not that many about, but the usual first words are "Oh look an Airedale!!"
Got to go
Have a good weekend
Jan, George sends his love xxx

Under Her Wings said...

Oh, that looks like such fun! I do miss seeing Europe. Haven't been since our trip to Scotland about 10 years ago.

Thanks for the encouragement. I love encouragement! Isn't God good to give us friends that we haven't even met? I'm thankful for you, Judy. It's always good to hear what you have to say, to have a sister whose counsel is through the Word.

partialemptynester said...

Oh, my parents only stayed at B&B or pensions during my childhood...I consider myself spoiled, lol! I love those colored tiles, as well!

Becky said...

I love that story about the magpie and kissing yor hand! What fun to meet new people with different folklore. I hope you can share more of those.


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