According to the Holy And One True Lectionary of the DIOCESE OF WENCHOSTER, today is the feast of Saint Bianca the Bubbly, the patron saint of inebriated women of a certain age.

Whilst I was in Norfolk at the beginning of last December, sorting out my in-laws affairs prior to their move up to County Durham to be near us, I visited the the tiny village of Great Bishop Gosyp which is half way between Walsingham and Wells-Next-The-Sea. When I'm down that way I always make a point of popping into a shop in the village, the famous (in certain church circles) Gay Cossack Icon Emporium which is run by nuns from the nearby convent of Our Lady With The Attitude. On this particular visit I struck lucky because Sister Griselda OPMS was behind the counter. As she knows I have an abiding interest in the rarely seen she always has something interesting hidden under her habit which she keeps hidden from everybody else so that I can get to see it first. Imagine my surprise when she whipped out an extremely rare icon of Saint Bianca painted by the nineteenth century, Orthodox monk, Brother Vladimir Pistov. Of course, I bought it on the spot (I won't tell you how much I paid, but it was a lot even for an icon of dubious provenance that had evidently arrived at the good sister's convent hidden in a crate of tins of sauerkraut). Hopefully the KGB, which I understand Putin has reintroduced to Russia, do not read my blog because, for my old friend, Saintly Ramblings, and all fans of the esoteric, here it is in all its glory.



  1. As a connoissseur of icons myself, I believe Brother Pistov to be a master writer. You are indeed fortunate to possess this example of his consummate skill.

    Seriously, thanks for the laugh, and I need to clean the coffee spew off my screen now.

  2. I especially love the way the good brother has illuminated her inspiring pair o’ Magnums. They make me feel rather bubbly myself! ;-p

  3. Dear Mad One,
    I am amazed that this blessed icon has come into your posession. For many years it hung in the Dining Hall of the Convent of Holy Peculiars, Great Gusset, here in Wenchostershire, but disappeared in the purge of October 9th, 1938, when Father Lingnum OHHSV descended upon the nuns and stripped them of all superfluous and questionable nick-nacks. The icon was thought to have been lost when Father Lingnum’s Presbytery was bombed in an air raid in 1942, and I am overjoyed that it survived.
    Whilst there is no doubt that the small Sister House of the old convent, the House of Bethany at Monk’s Gate, would like to see it restored to them, I am not going to ask you to return it. Please enjoy the image in the comfort of your own home, but if in the future you ever decide to dispose of it, please keep the needs of the sisters in mind.

    With my best wishes,
    Rupert Henry Philpott-Thrashington
    Dean of Wenchoster.

    • Dearest Dean Philpott-Thrashington,

      Thank you for keeping us ever mindful of “the needs of the sisters”.

      I would like to bring to your attention my offer to (personally) attend to the sisters needs, in any position that may occur to them (I might even suggest a few myself).

      Ever faithfully,

    • Dear JCF,
      I will pass your kind and self-sacrificial offer on to Mother St.Fandango and leave it up to her what response and suggestions she makes in your general direction. However, please be advised that the average age of the Sisters is 72, and only one is entirely physically fit and able to geneflect without the aid of a walking frame.
      R H P-T
      (Dictated by the Dean and sent in his absence)