Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Winchester 14 September 2012

I arranged to meet a couple of friends from Vancouver who were visiting the UK.  They love cathedrals and architecture,  and Winchester was on their list.
I arrived early and wandered around.  It had been damp enough for a waterproof, but soon cleared up.

The view down the main street

Outside the Hampshire county council offices

The cathedral
From the front
We met outside the cathedral and decided to go for a walk round, have a look at the market, and grab a coffee.  By the time we returned there was a notice outside saying that the cathedral was closed  until 3pm, for a school service.  

So we walked around some of the older streets.  

Then along the shopping street.
Parody sign - King Alf raises a glass.
The market in the background - the real King Alf is hidden at he bottom somewhere

We visited the Great Hall with its Round Table, constructed in the mid to late thirteenth century - a bit late for Arthur.  Then outside to Queen Eleanor's Garden - a reconstruction of a medieval garden. 

Infra sunt nomina comitatus militum de com Soton (???)
Please do not sit on the judge's bench!
We had a quick look at the passages (sallie ports and garderobes ?) which, along with the great hall are all that remain of the castle, before returning to the cathedral for another drink, in time for the end of the service.

Unfortunately, the service had overrun, and we agreed to call the cathedral visit off.  
After Mary and Tony had caught the train, I strolled back to the market to buy some bread, cheese and Turkish Delight - always one for a balanced diet.

Silly signs time - no go?
Looking up the main street.
Memo to self - I'll try to home in on some stalls for photos next time!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The walk that wasn't

Ever seen the 1970 film Out of Towners? Jack Lemmon stars as a guy from Ohio going for a job interview in NYC.  His well-laid plans to indulge his wife with a room at the Waldorf and a gourmet meal the night before gang very aglae as fog closes the airport in New York and the plane diverts to Boston. And that's just the start of their woes.

I watched the film on Wednesday night, and felt I was living a, thankfully, tamer version on Friday. 

We were going to walk about 11 miles, starting around 9.30. With luck we'd have a decent walk before the forecast rain began in the afternoon.   Crossed wires - well, misunderstood emails - screwed up our meeting point, but hey this happens, and luckily there was Benjamin Grosvenor playing piano on Radio Three, so I wasn't fretting.    

We eventually met up, and I was driving quite happily along a narrowish country road, when some nameless unknown character drove a little too close to me and with a flamboyant bang destroyed my offside wing mirror.  

Hell - we needed some coffee now, so a change of plan took us into a convenient garden centre café.  No problem and it was past 10 am, so I was up for my caffeine shot.  The lack of a wing mirror was niggling though - it's quite possible to drive without it, but takes some getting used to. 

Second change of plan - we headed to Oakham to see if anyone could fix it. As they couldn't we parked the car, kitted ourselves out in walking gear - boots, backpacks, maps dangling from our necks, the works. You can guess the next thing - the rain turned up on time and settled in for the day.

Here is Hudson's life story as a royal favourite, then as a slave in North Africa, his return to England, and later imprisonment as a Roman Catholic traitor.
So, a mile round Oakham, lunch and a return home.  As we walked back to the car, someone smiled cheerfully and said, "Not much of a day for walking, is it?"  Little did he know.

Oakham's butter cross and stocks

Oakham Castle - Great Hall

Friday, September 21, 2012


swallows on wires
luggage checked in
long flight ahead

Pics taken through window - and I need a steadier hand!