Friday, April 18, 2008

Another strangely lush adventure

Recaro took the day off work and went to France for the day to play golf with his mates. I don't mind at all.  I might even have to encourage such events.

1. His preparations included tidying up the office so that he could find any stray golf kit.

2. His cleaning frenzy extended to the living room. 

3. He was in a really good mood. It was like Christmas Eve last night he was so excited.

4. He'll be back by 10pm but knew he was going to have so much fun and since I wasn't going to be there, he made me book a facial, so that I had some time to myself that I would enjoy.

Although I usually try and get chores and errands done on Friday, so that we have a good family weekend - I've not done any of that today. We'll shop together instead. 

This means that today could be all about local history, shopping and lunch. You can come too, just guess where we are going first. Here's a clue:

Okay. That wasn't that helpful, but I liked the photo. It's Canterbury - one of the UK's five centres of Christianity. I think the others are places like Iona and Lindisfarne and maybe York (can't remember the last one).

I hope you've noticed this particular gargoyle is a scary female one. It's odd to see aggressive breasts, isn't it? There's a phd thesis on that subject somewhere. 

But before we got to Canterbury, Ellie and I had a tussle over the car keys. I let her drive. Duck navigated.

Which was all a bit hopeless because we ended up at Blean Farm Shop. It was time for me to take over the driving if we were going to stick to the plan.

After parking at the unpronouceable St Radigund's* car park (I love the name), I follow my nose to the Cathedral.

This is the building with the gargoyles. It's next to a very tacky leather jacket shop - I've cropped the photo. I didn't want to show you the things that displease me.

Take a peek in the window at Babylove. A fabulous, if pricey, children's clothes shop. This is great for boys clothes because they don't always involve applique patches of tractors and dinosaurs.

We are nearly at the Cathedral now. Here's the Sun Hotel. Charles Dickens apparently made this hotel famous by either staying here or writing about it. Mind you, he didn't make it that famous. I only read the plaque on the wall about this when I took the photo. 
There's also a shop over the road from here which sells very lovely, very expensive Orla Kiely handbags. I can sometimes be found drooling at the window, but I have not purchased one of these fine items yet. One day, my beauty, you shall be mine

At last, we are at the Cathedral gate. And a very fine gate it is too. Here are lots and lots of foreign students. Today the tourists appeared to be either French and young or Italian and old. The Italians were all dressed as if they'd got lost on their way to the ski slopes. It was a bit cold, but not fur cold. I think they just wanted an excuse to wear their fluffiest hats.
The scaffolding at the back is where the stone is being cleaned up. I didn't take a photo of the clean parts of the Cathedral, because quite frankly, it all looked too new.

And no one goes to Canterbury to see a new cathedral, do they?

Here's the inside. The photo somehow makes it look very narrow, but honestly, it is pretty big.
Here's little lovely. She was very happy to get a run around inside. Because of increased security, I had to take the buggy around with us, but at least there were lots of French students on hand to lift the buggy up and down the numerous stone staircases for me.

I was quite committed to getting around the Cathedral, because I wanted to show you this.

No, not the gate, the altar behind it.

Isn't that a spooky altar.  I'll read up on what that's all about one day. Please don't have nightmares about this altar. 

As soon as we got outside, Ellie wanted to go back in again. But I wasn't in the mood to attempt all the steps and deal with the teenagers again.

Instead we went Ellie-shoe shopping in possibly the most old-fashioned shoe shop left in England. This tiny shop had masses of staff and shoe boxes lined the walls. I had to describe what I wanted and they'd bring back masses of boxes for me to look through. 

They didn't bother to display everything in the window - that would be a new-fangled, marketing-schmarketing thing to do. I don't think they hold with that sort of nonsense in these parts.

Luckily, they had a slide for Ellie to play with, but we didn't buy a thing. All the summer shoes were either ugly or really ugly. 

Next stop was lunch. We met the Style Queen and Bolly-boy. Style Queen had a daughter just three weeks ago but she'd left her at home with her maternity nurse. 

Yes, SQ is posh. I barely know which knife or fork to pick up first. This is why we go to Pizza Express so I can eat with my hands.
Within a minute of taking this photo, Ellie was asleep. Always a sign of a good day.
Have a lovely weekend everyone.

*Because we are all curious people; St Radegund lived from 518-587. She was the daughter of the King of Thuringia, whose assassination was avenged by the Frankish King Clotaire I. Clotaire had the twelve year old Radegund baptised and educated, and eventually married her. However, her ill treatment by the King, and his murder of her brother, compelled Radegund to leave him. She became a nun and went on to found the great nunnery of the Holy Cross at Poitiers, where she spent the last thirty years of her life.


Working mum said...

I guessed it was Canterbury! Honest! Years since I've been there. Looked like a great day out. You know it's been a good one when daughter falls fast asleep on journey home. Aaaaw!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Thanks for the tour - awesome cathedral. And here I was excited about going to Chik Fil A for the day...

Rachel said...

I wish I were there now. I just love the architecture in Europe. We do not have buildings like that here or if we do then they are in New York and it just does not compare to Europe. Thanksfor sharing!!

scrappysue said...

see, this is what i love about england - everything is so OLD! we are such a young country in comparison. i just love the architecture. thanks for the tour!

SaraLynn said...

What a wonderful day!
You have taken beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing them
**cute, letting Ellie drive and the duck navigate :)

Reluctant Housewife said...

I had so much fun hanging out with you! Whee. I didn't guess Canterbury... I guessed it was a pub... snicker. Oops... Do they know how very rock n' roll their skull and bones alter is? Tres cool.

Amanda said...

I love it when you take us on adventures. That cathedral is beautiful. I was a little scared of that creepy altar. I really do think you missed your calling. Real estate, schmeal estate. You should have been Julie McCoy from the Love Boat.

CC said...

Wow! I can't even imagine living in a place with more than 50 years of architectural history! I have an "old" home. It was built in 1942!!!

echoeve said...

I love you tours. I can't get enough. It makes me feel so worldly.