Tag Archives: durham cathedral

NABLOPOMO – Farmer vs Artist

Sometimes Dad drops sketches onto my desk. These are usually delivered with interesting comments like, "the one on the right is thinking about the Sanctuary Knocker."

Sometimes Dad drops sketches onto my desk. These are usually delivered with interesting comments like, “the one on the right is thinking about the Sanctuary Knocker.”

So while I’m being all practical and thinking about turkey sales and recipes, Dad is busy in his studio being all artistic…  He has been doing a series of sketches and watercolours of turkeys in various stages of development. The two birds in the image above are what we call teen turkeys – young birds not quite big enough to be heading for freezer camp (you can tell they aren’t very old because their snoods are of modest proportions…).

When Dad mentioned that the one on the right was thinking about what he would do with a 37-day stay of execution I confess I returned a blank stare.

“Look it up online,” was Dad’s reply.

I know Dad is a tad obsessed with the Sanctuary Knocker at Durham Cathedral. One of his paintings featuring the knocker graces the dining room:

Dad's painting of the Sanctuary Knocker at Durham Cathedral.

Dad’s painting of the Sanctuary Knocker at Durham Cathedral.

After our little turkey-inspired exchange I looked up the details and discovered that someone in grave trouble (usually self-inflicted trouble, like, say the person had stabbed someone else…) was allowed to thump on the cathedral door with the Sanctuary Knocker and, after being admitted, could seek sanctuary inside for 37 days. According to the Durham World Heritage Site website (which is quite excellent) the perpetrator could either reconcile with his or her enemies or plan an escape.

Good thing we don’t let the turkeys into the house or they’d be lining up to peck at the painting. Not a good thing for various reasons, but if the plotters above were successful in getting that cathedral door to swing open, 37 days from now would be much too late for Christmas dinner…

For more information about the cathedral, visit the official website.

For more information about Dad (who does have an actual name – E. Colin Williams) – visit the artist’s website.