Hello world!

We’ve been away visiting family for the last 10 days, a wonderful week in Dorset bookended by my nephew’s wedding the first weekend and my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary the second. Great fun all round and the chance to catch up with extended family I haven’t seen in years, and get to know our newly expanding family.

I also spent a fun day in Salisbury where I haven’t really spent any time since leaving home over 20 years ago. It has changed but also remains reassuringly familiar.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Salisbury Cathedral and I love wandering around looking at some of the smaller details of the building despite it’s grandeur – I’m a bit of a fan of gargoyles, for example which always make me smile which is a bit ironic given they are supposed to represent evil, unless you’re an arhictect and they have a much more practical funtion…

You can see with this chap how rainwater is directed out through his mouth.

This chap is a little worse for wear…

A schoolfriend’s sister did her stonemasonery apprenticeship at the cathedral so when I see restored areas, like the floral scrollwork above him, I wonder if it’s Sarah’s work.

I was also rather taken with this tomb. despite being a person of note given the tomb and burial site you can see the ancient graffiti carved into his legs – just…

I also rather liked his companion:

I also had to go to the Charter House to have a Look at the Magna Carta; Salisbury Cathedral has one of the four remaining original copies. I’m always struck by how small it is given its significance, and really needed Paolo to be with me for an on hand translation from the original latin. The British Museums copy can be viewed online but there is something amazing about seeing an original, and the one in Salisbury appears in better condition. Whilst a practical solution to a very real polictical and social crisis, and despite attempts to annul it, which the Pope did, it remains strong in the imagination not least for it’s enduring clause that:

No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled . nor will we proceed with force against him . except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land. To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice. 

About the same time a complimentary Charter of the Forest was also agreed which granted ‘free men’ access to the forests for grazing, firewood and turf.

Despite being over 880 years old, these charters seem incredibly relevant to the modern world where civil liberties are under much debate and now plans to let long term leases or privatise forests, depending on your interpretation, threaten the practices of those who continue to act in accordance with  the rights etsablished in the Forest Charter, for example in the Forest of Dean.

The cathedral also has amazing stained glass windows. I’m always uncomfortable using camera flashes in churches and cathedrals where others are finding solace, so I don’t have any good pictures myself, but here’s a link to my favourite of the windows in Trinity Chapel – the colours are just so vibrant and awe inspiring and so different that the rest of the cathedral. They are a new addition to the cathedral dating back to just 1980 and made of antique glass and lead. They’re the work of Gabriel Loire of Chartres and are dedicated to prisoners of conscience of the 20th Century.

Thinking of more modern additions to the Cathredral, the cloisters were hosting a light installation by Bruce Munro. I was there during the day so the lights were not as spectacular as on the cathedrals website, but I still very taken by how effective the columns of water bottles looked and the feeling of walking through them…


This picture perhaps suggests better how the towers create the effect of stained glass windows through the cloisters as they change colours;

And I have to finish up with my visit to the Salisbury Chocolate Bar and Patisserie for a great cup of coffee and the most amazing orange and chocolate ganache tartlet – the most satisfying crackle of shattering dark bitter chocolate…

4 thoughts on “Hello world!

  1. Hi, found your blog through Ravelry. What great pictures – I’ve never been to Salisbury Cathedral, but think there is similar medieval graffiti on a tomb in Durham Cathedral. I saw a copy of the Magna Carta in Lincoln, and like you I was really surprised at how small it is, suppose parchment was so precious in those days you didn’t squander it.

  2. Thanks for posting your new blog in ravelry. 🙂 I love your pics as I also love to takes pictures during my journeys. Have a great time here and out there!
    Love from the continent, ssussanne.

  3. Hi auntie Teresa I go to sals 3 days a week but never been in the cathedral!
    All your knitting,dying and felting and the rest looks fab don’t no how u have the time.
    I cant do any knitting because i cant remember how to cast on! :/
    Chloe xx

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