Last weekend, the weather here on the Isles finally also took a turn for the better, and I took advantage of that and decided to escape the city for the day. Together with my friend [a], I took an early-morning train from London Victoria and headed south, towards Eastbourne:

Eastbourne

Eastbourne

Eastbourne

After exploring the beautiful Victorian pier and enjoying a nice morning stroll along the still empty beach, we headed up the hill to spend the rest of the day walking on a particularly  spectacular bit of the famous South Downs Way:

Beachy Head

Beachy Head

Seven Sisters

I honestly cannot imagine a sunny Sunday better spent than this, and am already busy making plans for my next outing…

Last weekend I was in Carinthia, to do what art historians generally do, i.e. look at paintings and other old stuff in churches. Ok, not all art historians generally do things like that, but for those of us specialising in the Middle Ages it is pretty common…

One of the churches on my list for the weekend was the parish church in the small town of Althofen (pictured above). However, I got there on Sunday morning, and that is always a bad time to visit churches. It’s that time, you know, when stubborn priests and parishioners will often insist on actually using the church for mass and worship rather than leaving it to roaming art historians. How dare they!?

Thankfully, though, in the course of the last couple of weeks, winter has finally given way to summer in our parts (while spring seems to have taken a sabbatical this year). This meant that waiting outside the church for mass to be over was actually quite nice. It was warm and sunny, and as an added bonus there were some lovely flowers to look at. Behold, yellow poppies:

And for quite a while, a bee, a poppy and a zoom lens was all it took to keep me entertained:

And, in case you’re wondering, I did finally make it into that church. Which was quite cool and well worth the wait:

In some respects, though, the parish church at Althofen is also slightly weird. While it is essentially a late medieval structure, extensive “restoration” work has been carried out at the beginning of the 20th century, and it seems that they didn’t quite manage to put all the pieces back in their original places. But the weirdest bit was probably this:

I mean, installing modern lamps in a gothic vault can sometimes be unavoidable, but seriously, what were those people thinking?