This is the third post in my 30 for 30/30 series where I am publishing a new post each day for the next 30 days within a 30-minute window without much of a plan. You can read about why I’m doing this by clicking this link.
The dog at my feet
As I stand here at my desk (#TheReadyDesk) in my bedroom writing this post, Sir Buddy, Lord Protector of the Realm pictured above, is at my feet. My son Jay is in his room and for now, Sir Buddy is taking a rest from his continual effort to herd us into the same room.
We live in Irvine in a ground floor single story two bedroom condo with bedrooms at either end of the space. Sir Buddy likes it when Jay and I are in the same room. But that rarely happens since we have only a recliner chair in the living room and we don’t have a dining room table in the dining room.
Having said that, you’ll understand how Jay and I mostly live; it reminds me of the title from my favorite Elton John concert album, Here and There. When we talk together we’re either in the small kitchen or in my room since it’s much roomier.
Either way, Sir Buddy lives for those moments. I think it’s the only time he can actually relax apart from when he’s asleep on my yoga mat or in Jay’s bed.
Brass rubbing outside of London
In 1976 I lived in England for a while and on my way out of the country, I stayed for a few weeks with some relatives of a friend, an American family in West Byfleet, a suburb of London. My extended residency of three weeks longer than anticipated was partially due to having an acute ear infection that prevented me from flying.
Nelda, the missus of the household, took me to visit an old church in Oxely, a quaint, damp village out in the country where she’d completed some brass rubbings. I’d admired the framed pieces in their home and so she took that as an expression of interest and willingness to participate.
Brass rubbings are created by taping thick black rolled art-quality paper over the brass effigies that were placed in the stone floor of the church where a 17th Century couple was interred. Using a specialized tracing crayon, brassy-gold in color, the rubbing was produced much like you’d imagine, using the crayon to create the image that the effigy impressed on the paper from underneath
I remember that the day was cold and inside the church, it was even colder. I did my best to produce a rubbing of the man, John of Oxley as I recall, and Nelda worker her magic on his wife, Mary. The resulting rubbings were packed in my suitcase and given to my parents when I returned. They had them framed and later gave them to me decades later.
Dogs and brass rubbings?
What I didn’t mention above was that at the feet of both John and Mary laid dogs, whippets or greyhounds perhaps. The idea was that the dog was keeping the feet of the deceased warm.
This, of course, begs the question as to whether or not pets were killed and buried with their masters. I’ve never researched it and since I’m coming up on my self-imposed 30-minute limit for this post, I’ll leave you to search out this information and leave me a comment below regarding what you learned.