Yesterday I was able to spend some lovely moments with my painter. We will call him ‘Ocean’ for now; only because he has a smile as large as the ocean.
We took a trip down to a small Coventry town which we discovered only by accident. It was a narrow street with cobbled roads perimetered by a row of 14th C to 17th C old houses. We saw a crack on one of the walls and the Ocean showed me the constituents that made up the walls of these houses; a mix of cement and straw. For most of the houses, the 2nd and 3rd storeys normally jut out into the air. This was because land was taxed then so the old English-men would build their first floor on little land but extend their 2nd and 3rd floors outwards into the air. Back then, there was also a tax on windows and so some of the houses had to board up their windows to avoid being taxed! (hypothecated tax).
Later we visited two beautiful Churches. There were restoration efforts being conducted. Soot from burning candles blackened wall-paintings depicting Jesus and his teachings. The soot had to be removed using a solvent that would dissolve the soot but not the paint itself. Both Churches in Coventry were exceptionally beautiful & grand. Having Ocean as a travel companion helps; his general knowledge is my audio guide. He is also very observant and points little details out to me.
The following pictures were taken in December 2007 in Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s birth-place & home.