Evensong At St George's Chapel

Windsor Castle And St George's Chapel

When you visit Windsor Castle, a must see is St George's Chapel. As a place of worship, it serves The Royal Family and the local community with church services. It also provides a venue for marriages (Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married here) and funerals as well as ceremonies that include The Order of the Garter.

The beauty of St George's Chapel lies in its Gothic architecture, Perpendicular Gothic style to be exact. Construction started in 1475 and was completed by Henry the VIII in 1528.

Perpendicular Gothic is the “phase of late Gothic architecture in England roughly parallel in time to the French Flamboyant style. The style, concerned with creating rich visual effects through decoration, was characterized by a predominance of vertical lines in stone window tracery, enlargement of windows to great proportions, and conversion of the interior stories into a single unified vertical expanse.
— The Royal Family

The Chapel Of Royals

The Chapel holds in its heart a number of Kings and Queens who have come before. Ten former Sovereigns are buried in St. George’s Chapel, notable among them, Henry VIII, Charles I, George III, Edward VII and George V.

Connected to the Chapel is a Memorial Chapel (built in 1969, the only structural addition since the 1500s). The Memorial Chapel annex contains King George VI (Queen Elizabeth's father) who is interred alongside his beloved wife, the Queen Mother (Queen Elizabeth's mother), and Princess Margaret (Queen Elizabeth's sister). Funerals also take place at St George's Chapel. A list of burials and funerals can be found here.

St. George’s Chapel is a place of worship for The Queen and the Royal Family as well as a church serving the local community, built by kings, shaped by the history of the Royal Family.
— The Royal Family

Worship Service

If you're seeing St George's Chapel during the busy summer months, you will be sharing it with throngs of hot, sweaty tourists rolling through the aisles in never-ending waves of jostling humans. The crowds keep on coming.

As in the State Apartments at Windsor Castle, no photos are allowed inside The Chapel, so you'll find yourself craning your neck, trying to imprint the details into your memory. Eventually, you'll be swept along the waves of tourists. 

To fully appreciate St George's Chapel, I recommend attending a service to get in touch with The Chapel's true purpose and function – a place of worship.

During a service, the crowds are dispersed and the weight of the throngs is lifted. The aisles stand clear and welcoming. The Chapel offers a refuge of healing calm, dignity. The secrets of history beckon.

Evensong

I attended Evensong (Evening Service) at St George's Chapel in July. The welcoming priest pointed to a carved stall that I could claim as my own during the service. A dark pew from hundreds of years ago enfolded me in its smooth, worn wood. I tucked into my seat and surveyed the richness of the Chapel.

Gone were the tourists traipsing around. The Chapel now belonged to us, those who had a purpose there, as worshipper, chorister, or priest.

From the corner of my eye, I could sense the phantoms and wisps of humanity as they paraded through the aisles and settled in the carved stalls.

The molecules of breath of all the people who came before, who also sat in these same seats, swirled around me. Within the breath, we were all held in a co-existance. Inhale, all the forgotten details of our individual lives; exhale, the collective memory of the whole of humanity.

Visiting Choir

The service was blessed with a visiting choir, The Choir of St Mary's, Warwick. Here is their program.

- Preces & Responses:
Richard Shephard Psalm 4

- Canticles:
Orlando Gibbons Short Service

- Anthem:
Charles Villiers Stanford Beati quorum via

Scriptures were read, The Apostles' Creed was recited, resounding tones from the organ filled the Chapel – as it had been done for centuries. 

History unfurled its banner before us.

Attending A Service

For students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®), you can attend a Chapel service whether you consider yourself to be Christian or not. It's possible to participate in your heart as you listen to the words and music. TRT® hands-on placed in your heart allows you to listen, sing and speak from your heart.

Sitting in the Chapel during a service, gives you a chance to drink in all the history. As a student of The Second Degree of TRT®, you can direct radiant energy to people or historical events. You can direct energy to the Chapel and the people in attendance, deepening your participation.

Enjoy your visit to St George's Chapel.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wed at St George's Chapel

 

First photo by Aurelien Guichard 

 

Tips For Visiting Windsor Castle

Windsor, England

Windsor is located south of London, not far from Heathrow International Airport, and provides a lovely respite from the pollution and concrete of the city of London. Although much smaller than London, the town itself is quite lively.

It's easy to walk around Windsor and there's lots of shopping, plenty of restaurants and, of course, the must-see Windsor Castle. It's a second home for the Queen, herself, who has private apartments on the grounds. You don't get to visit those, but there's plenty else to see.

Visiting Windsor Castle Tips

Tip # 1 – Pre-Purchase Your Ticket

The best tip for visiting Windsor Castle is to buy your tickets on-line. This allows you to skip the long queue that circles around and down the road from the castle, especially on a Monday morning. With your pre-purchased ticket, you go to the front of the line. 

There's a bit of a delay getting through the metal detectives and x-ray machines. Once through, you then spill out to the kiosk that offers an audio guide for the grounds. This is highly recommended to help you navigate the property.

St. George's Chapel is closed (except to attend the worship service) and there is no Changing of the Guard on Sunday. You might want to consider that as you plan which day you'll visit.

Make sure you download and print out the attachment of the entrance pass, not just the email they send you. The email, itself, won't get you in and without the actual pass you'll be scrambling to find some way to print it out. (Speaking from experience...)

Tip # 2 – Bring Your Own Earbuds

With the audio guide, the Castle offers big headphones that sit on your head and cover both ears. But you can bring your own earbuds with a connecting cord (not bluetooth earbuds) and you then have the option to have just one ear plugged in while you walk around listening to the guided visit. That way, you can still hear what's going on around you. Plus, it's much less hot and sweaty if you are visiting during high temperature days of summer. And you avoid wearing headphones that thousands of other people have had on their skin and hair.

You can't take any photos (camera or smartphone) inside the State Apartments and there are staff people situated in each room to remind you. With such a large expanse to explore, the audio guide is indispensable. It provides many details as you wander through the various rooms as well as the history of the people in the paintings in the portrait room.

The Changing of the Guard takes place at 11:00 am, but on which days is entirely variable. It's best to check the website link. When the military music band plays, it's an event filled with pomp and circumstance.

Windsor Castle Guard Change Time

The official start time for changing the Windsor Castle Guard is 11:00.

This can change and the Windsor Castle Guard can mount at different times, and on occasions without music or ceremony when the Guards are required for other duties.

The Queen's private apartments are not open to the public, but there is a gate where you can peek in and get a photo. These are the grounds where she meets with Heads of State and where she stays on weekends when she's not in London.

For students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®), you are able to apply TRT® hands-on when visiting tourist sights, for example in the heart center, to deepen your awareness of history. Or, when taking a break on a bench, hands-on in Back Position #3 can be helpful to replenish the adrenals and to reduce stress from a long travel day.

Students of The Second Degree of TRT® can apply TRT® hands-on as well as direct radiant energy to events and people from the past and present. Also to deepen an understanding of history. 

Tip # 3 – Stamp Your Entrance Pass

As you leave Windsor Castle, be sure to stop off with Castle staff collecting your audio guides and ask them to stamp your entrance paper. This allows you to visit the Castle for an entire year without paying again.

Unfortunately, you'll now have to wait in the normal lines, no cutting to the front of the queue like the first time. But, since you've already seen the Castle, you can afford to wait until a bit later in the day to find a moment with a shorter line.

Being able to "pop back to the Castle" means you can visit that one place you'd love to see again or revisit the Royal Collection stores for that item you can't stop thinking about and wished you had purchased. Items from the stores on the Castle grounds can't be found in town.

Enjoy your visit to Windsor Castle.

All photos by Radiant Nursing.

 

Traveling In A Heatwave

Soaring Temperatures

Temperatures have been high for weeks and if you're traveling in Europe this summer, it means toughing it out through a heatwave. Usually with no air conditioning. Few of the mid-range B&B's or hotels have air conditioning and this is also true of most restaurants and stores. 

Even if by some chance you manage to find a hotel with air conditioning, it is of no use when you're in town waiting in tour lines with no shade and with hot concrete rising up to meet the sun beating down on your head and shoulders. Or when you're hauling luggage on to the train, getting packed into a subway or walking across town.

Even places in Europe not accustomed to higher temperatures, like Scotland, saw the mercury climb with unexpected results.

Glasgow, which had been suffering its hottest day on record, came in at 89.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
Glasgow wasn’t built to withstand such heat, and the record-breaking day caused the roof of the city’s science center to “melt” rubbery goo down the sides of the building.
— Mary van Aue from Inverse

It's A Sweaty Time

During long, hot days, we are always losing water through insensible loss – meaning a loss of water from the body in ways that we can't see or measure.

Insensible Water Loss
A loss of body fluid that is not easily measured, e.g., the moisture released in exhalation and perspiration. The amount of fluid typically lost is about 200 mL a day. Insensible fluid losses increase in any disease or condition that increases diffusion of liquid from the skin or the lungs, e.g., in burns, climatic changes, fever, or heavy exercise.

Combine insensible water loss with heavy sweating, soaking through your hair and clothes while on a tour of a castle or hiking in a blazing sun and you're at risk not only for dehydration, but an imbalance and loss of electrolytes. Sweat is basically water, sodium chloride, and potassium – all of which you have to replenish after sweating heavily

This is of particular concern for the elderly, people with heart conditions that depend on well-balanced electrolytes and pregnant women.

We can drink water to offset the dehydration, but plain water doesn't help much to replenish electrolytes in the body. In the United States, you could stop by a corner store and pick up some Gatorade, but that's not easy to come by in a foreign country. And it's not practical to carry it around while traveling.

Nuun To The Rescue

You need to replace the lost electrolytes, but how best to do this when you're traveling? 

Nuun Hydration, Electrolyte Drink Tabs are a great option. A cardiologist I know recommended Nuun as an excellent source to replenish electrolytes. 

Nuun is great for traveling. Just add a small tab to 16 ounces of water, it fizzes a bit like an Alka-Seltzer tablet, and your electrolyte "sports drink" is ready to go. Nuun is lightweight and compact and easy to fit into your luggage.

I traveled in Europe during part of the heatwave and the heat was not much fun. Despite dodging into shady spots whenever possible, some heat-filled days were a water bath of sweat. In the evening, when I got back to my hotel, I pulled out my 16 ounce Klean Kanteen bottle, filled it with water, and popped in a Nuun tab. Voilà!

Electrolytes For The Road

Nuun is a refreshing drink that is not overly sweet. There is a slightly salty taste, but that's just a reminder that the electrolytes are there for your benefit. I've tried several flavors and all of them have tasted fine. 

each electrolyte tablet contains:

sodium: 360 mg
potassium: 100 mg
magnesium: 25 mg
calcium: 13 mg
vitamin c: 38 mg
10 calories
1 g of sugar
other ingredients include:

plant based sweetener monk fruit and a touch of stevia leaf extract to provide a crisp and light sweetness
non-gmo sourced dextrose to increase the speed of absorption and hydrate you faster
avocado oil for clean, plant-based production
— Nuun website
Nuun dissolved in a glass of water.

Nuun is also helpful when you're back at home especially after big workouts or when there is a local heatwave and you have to spend time outdoors with lots of sweating.

You can find Nuun at their website or on Amazon.

PS – I am not affiliated with Nuun nor do I receive any renumeration for mentioning their product. Please always consult your own medical provider if Nuun would be a good choice for you.

 

An Ode To My Chariot

 

A Chariot Of Past Dreams

9 years.

Nine years to the exact month that I had my Volvo.

A 2007 Volvo, S40, 6 speed, T5 AWD. 

Turbo. Loved the turbo, first time for that.

The color was Barents Blue. Did I mention it had a spoiler? Pretty sexy.

Yep, I said it. My car was adorable. 

The Volvo was part of a program that let you build your own car and then pick it up in Europe. I took possession of it in Germany.

For over 4 years, I drove it in Europe, followed by another 4 1/2 years in California. It crossed the merry ocean by container ship to join me in the States. 

I zipped all over Europe in that Volvo: Italy, France, Belgium and Germany. We journeyed to the Passion Play in Oberammergau, Germany and four times to my Number-One-Favorite-French classes in Spa, Belgium.

I hit the road for the first time with a trusty GPS and it opened the world for me.

I laughed and cried in that car. Traveled alone and with others. I had a one-day Volvo safety driving course on a professional track. Took it to work and on vacations. I meditated in it at rest stops on long driving trips. 

Repairs To Break The Bank

I didn't plan to say goodbye. I wanted to keep my Volvo until 130K miles, at least... maybe longer if I could.

Fate, however, declared that we had to say goodbye at 80K. To be more precise, the engine repairs were going to cost more than the car was worth. My initial reaction was, "Fix it!" – then, reason stepped in.

I found myself thrust into a frantic, last minute, you need a car NOW, situation. 

So, off we rushed into a mad dash of researching and test driving new cars.

New cars? I hadn't looked at other cars for 9 years. I was very loyal to my Volvo.

1964 rambler classic, 3 speed on the column

From Manual To Automatic

Over the last 9 years, cars have made a lot of changes and technology has exploded. We now have blind spot assist on side mirrors and back up cameras.

During this time, Volvo stopped making the S-40 model that I was driving. While that was sad enough, an even bigger shock was when I discovered that many car makers don't offer the option for a manual transmission. Volvo doesn't bother to make them anymore.

They. Don't. Even. Make. It.

Face it, I'm a dinosaur. 

I started on a manual many moons ago. My first car was a used "3 on the tree" (3-speed on the column), blue 1964 Rambler Classic. Picture a glued-to-the-earth mini-tank. It's been out of U.S. production since 1969.

Loved that Rambler. The emergency brake was a pedal you stepped on. There was no power steering. AM radio was our one and only music option.

I graduated to a "4 on the floor" sporty, red 1974 Ford Mustang and that was a snazzy ride. I kept that car for many years. The next step up was a vehicle with a 5-speed.

After that, I had a 6-speed manual in my Volvo. I wasn't convinced that I needed a 6th gear, but I made good use of it on the German Autobahn.

photo by tage olsin

German Autobahn

What began as a racing track grew into a sophisticated high-speed road system, linking to almost all the major cities in Germany. The Autobahn boasts super thick road beds, 4% or less grades, wide lanes, and utilizes sophisticated technology.

I shall wax poetic about the German Autobahn for a moment. If you ever get a chance to drive on it, but all means do so. The old adage "fine German engineering" never rang so true as it does on this finely balanced concrete. 

In the early morning, as the fog lifted from the roads, but still hung low in the fields, you could find me swooping down the Autobahn on my way to France for a flea market. With the road to myself during those early hours, the Volvo and I skimmed the pavement at 100 to 110 mph. Even at 100 mph, it was not uncommon for a BMW or Porsche to pass me. Still, my Volvo clung to the road like a champ.

Lest you think I am entirely reckless, there are parts of the Autobahn that do not have speed limits. Your mission is to drive safely. The speed at which you do so is at your discretion. The roads are designed to handle high speeds.

I watched a program about the Autobahn before I left the States. I've included a link here. The wealth of information helped give me the confidence I needed once I started driving on the Autobahn. Even so, when I drove at high speeds, that's all I was doing: driving – focused – two hands on the steering wheel.

In southwest Germany where I lived, the Autobahn heading toward France opened up to higher speeds. The lines in this road sign mean the end of the 130 (kph) zone and a speed limit no longer applies.

Don't be fooled into thinking this "no speed limit" is good other places. When the speed limit is 50 kph in town, you'd best be going that speed because, if not, you will be flashed by a radar camera even if you're only going 52 kph. And there is no arguing. A ticket arrives in your mailbox with a photo of you in your car. Pay up and put your check in the mail. End of discussion.

Bring Light To Your Auto Adventures

For students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®) – making a decision like buying a new car is supported with your use of TRT® hands-on. You can also benefit from your hands-on while you're in the car, such as at a stop light, or stuck in traffic. Placing one hand on your heart or abdomen provides centering, helping to decrease the stress of driving. As mentioned above, when my trips were long, I would do my meditations at a rest stop. 

Time To Buy A New Car

As I watched the sassy spoiler on the back end of my Volvo disappear behind the locked gate at CarMax, wistful strings tugged at my heart.

When CarMax handed me a check, tears filled my eyes as I realized my Volvo was gone forever and with it, an era of my life. All that remained was a colorful snapshot of the past, sweet and dear. 

Baby girl Volvo, you'll always have a place in my heart. 

On to a new chapter. Time to find a new car.

The moment has come to abandon my manual transmission and drive an automatic. It's now the way of cars in the U.S. and automatic transmissions display new dimensions.

Today's sophisticated automatics have three driving modes: economy, sport and manual. In manual mode, you shift with paddles next to the steering wheel and there is no clutch. 

A new learning curve.

As a winding road unfurls like a ribbon in front of me, I take a moment to pause and wonder: what adventures are calling?

Do you have a favorite car story of your own?

 
I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go.
— Langston Hughes
 
 

Time Travel – Get Ready, Get Set, Go

Time Travel And Romance

Meandering about on Twitter, I stumbled across a review of romance time travel novels. Time travel and romance?

Romance time travel writers have an interesting conundrum.

Can someone remain in the past? Is it possible for someone to stay in the future and cope with all the changes?

How do you address the languages? Health practices? Foods?

Not For The Faint Of Heart

Time travel makes for an intriguing read of fiction. I'd love to time travel, romance or not. I'd be content to be a will-of-the-wisp, a ghost-like figure that floated around to witness events. But even more, I'd like to jump back into the thick of things.

World history weaves a colorful time tapestry. European history dances across these intricately woven threads. Patterns emerge of emotions and thoughts, architecture, valor and despair. 

I want to know more, up close and personal.

We read about castles that no longer exist, then we're shown drawings of how we imagine they appeared. But, I want to see and feel them, not imagine them.

I want to experience the bustle of people in the castle courtyards and look up and see guards on the ramparts.

Details Of The Past

I want to...

  • hear the roar of laughter of people in taverns, and the clanking of blacksmiths at the forge,
  • smell the loam of the fields at early dawn, and feel the earthen footpaths beneath my feet,
  • savor freshly-made apple cider, and nibble warm hot-cross buns straight out of brick ovens,
  • feel dancing breezes as they ruffle my hair, and swoon to the fragrant scent of ripening fields,
  • wander in the thick underbrush of wild forests, and listen to howling wolves who thrived long before they were beaten back by modern sprawl.
 

At least, that's what I tell myself.

When we launch into the fourth dimension of time travel and head too far into the past, I crash-land into my suspension of disbelief.

Time Travel Is Fraught With Danger

If we dropped into the medieval period, we would be hard pressed to understand anything the locals said. Europe was a vast, untamed wilderness dotted with small villages, each with their own dialect.

How would we explain where we are from? The definition of a foreigner was anyone not from their own town. Even someone from a nearby village was viewed with great suspicion.

How strange do you think we would sound to them?

So strange, I dare say, that we could easily end up stoned to death as a witch. That could put a damper on the fun.

Vaccines, Sanitation And Medications

When you travel back in time, do your vaccinations from today still protect you? That would be handy in the face of smallpox or polio. My heart aches every time I consider that Louis XV suffered a vile death, all for want of a smallpox vaccine.

Let's say your vaccines protect you – if should you choose to stay in the past, the days of your life would be shortened, realistically, by about 30 years. The average life span in 1900 was age 45.

Our modern lifespans are epxanded due to vaccinations, antibiotics and sanitation.

What if you get hurt and the wound becomes infected? Today, it is easily treated with antibiotics. Back then, it could rapidly transform into a raging systemic infection; time to write your obituary.

The heart attacks and strokes that zipped us off the planet in a hurry are now held at bay with blood pressure medications, stents, and heart valve replacements.

Important note: don't have a baby while time traveling. Women and infants commonly died in childbirth. This was accepted as one of the facts of life, par for the course.

During the time of Louis IX (1200s), an infant was rushed to baptism immediately after birth, even without the mother who was still recovering. Infant mortality rate was so high, they wanted to ensure the child had a place in heaven.

Our Films Depict The Past, They Lie

We have a wealth of movies depicting many time periods. Movie stars, with their flawless skin and perfect sets of teeth, all take turns enacting historical figures. Our movie-camera techniques are advanced enough that even a glaring pimple is artfully erased from a starlet's face.

In the past, we looked nothing like our cinema stars of today.

In the French court, both men and women wore heavy, white, lead makeup with garish red spots for rouge. For sex-appeal today, they are seldom portrayed in the true makeup of the time. (See the movie cover above depicting the French King, Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour without period make-up.)

People didn't bathe often or wash their faces. Many layers of caked makeup accumulated. The lead and mercury in makeup foundations took its toll on everyone's health as it slowly poisoned them.

Health Issues And Smelling The Past

Another thing about our movies – we can't smell the past.

Could our modern day sensibilities handle the chamber pots filled with excrement tossed into the streets each morning?

Could we stomach the bodily odors from people who bathed only twice a year?

Imagine trying to set a broken bone without the benefit of an ultrasound for alignment. Surgical pins placed in bones did not exist and shattered bones may not be set at all, leaving you lame and crippled.

The teeth you were born with were the teeth you got. Crooked? Just be thankful you have them. Without good dental hygiene, teeth rotted, fell out and were never replaced.

Of course, we don't want to watch movies with dirty, toothless actors who are disfigured and crippled. So our main characters act out their roles blemish-free with clean, coiffed hair and gleaming, capped teeth.

The Radiance Technique® And Time Travel

Students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®) are able to connect with history as well as individuals from the past.  Those who have studied The Second Degree of The Radiance Technique® are able to direct universal energy across time and space through a specific technique they are taught in their course. The events of history do not change, but supportive energy is made available.

For students of The First Degree of The Radiance Technique®, apply TRT® hands-on while studying historical events. With TRT® hands-on, you support healing and balancing of your feelings and attitudes regarding historical events. You become more aware of the people and their situations.

I know I don't want to be in any century – past, present or future – without TRT®.

Reality Versus Magic

Oh, reality, you knave. How you destroy my suspension of disbelief.

This messy state of human life, that we call reality, threatens to derail my fanciful flight across time. We talk of the possibility of time travel which, in and of itself, is magical and can surely overcome any complications.

The romance time travel authors are a brave lot. Or foolhardy, some might say.

How many of these details do they skip over? How many do they address? Despite all the challenges, I hope they keep writing as we all benefit from a little magic in our lives.

It's probably obvious that I work in the medical field. Yet, with all my misgivings, I'm ready to time travel.

 
 

Time Travel With A Few Conditions

Okay, let's go!

Back in time!

Um, as long as I can return when I want.

And, I want to be assured that I'll be able to speak and understand the native languages.

And, I'd like to take a few medications with me.

And, well, maybe I could pack a reference book or two to help me out with historical details.

Time Travel Portal

Do you have a preference for which time portal you'd like to use?

A police box whirling through the cosmos? An empty arch waiting on a deserted planet?

When and where would you like to go?