A cup of tea in the garden was how I started and ended this last full day here. A neighbour’s homing pigeon’s do regular circuits of the row of houses which made for an interesting difference to my usual start.
These gardens are delightful and very jigsaw in how they fit together. The one directly down from my window is the neighbour’s on the right. A wee path leads down to where this house’s one opens up. The neighbour on left walks down a narrow channel to the back where her portion opens up behind the successive neighbour’s garden. It gives an impression of interlocked community and other gardens overlap into each other.
Glyn and I set off to go to Hereford, our goal the Mappa Mundi, a medieval map of the known world, printed on vellum and housed at Hereford Cathedral.
The cathedral was huge – always larger than anticipated when viewed from inside looking up. Lots of sleeping stone effigies in various states of recline. One fine marble example had the indignity of a pile of plastic folding chairs and noticeboard stacked up against his left leg. His hands were lovely:
The stained glass windows were from many periods, it seemed.
And these gates:
Here’s a bird’s eye view:
And on to the real reason we’d come- the Mappa Mundi!
- You can just make out England in bottom left corner. I searched in vain for New Zealand.
The real map – when we came to it – was beautiful! In the centre is Jerusalem, at the top is heaven, and the known world scattered around the edges. It was kept behind wooden doors in a frame for centuries. A sort of spiritual guide of the world.
Just past this you walk through doors into an ancient chained library. THIS was how books were studied and kept in very early times. This library, including the shelving, was original and contained an amazing range of ancient books.
Out in the light again, Glyn and I had tea (and I had cake) and recovered. Then we set off to visit her daughter’s family. They live not far away in a rambling farmhouse, with chickens, dogs, caravans and a thriving vegie garden. Son-in-law is making a caravan work studio for his wife to make her amazing range of linen apron and apron dresses from. The two grandson’s have a gloriously varied garden and environ to play in.
It was the closest to The Darling Buds of May I have yet seen.
Onwards we went to see the oldest site in Herefordshire: the Neolithic Arthur’s Stone. This is an ancient burial mound of five thousand years ago!!! Still barely excavated!
The view of the valley rolling away in a patchwork haze from our vantage point was glorious.
Back to the narrow leafy lanes and home:
A brief rest upstairs and then four of us had a delicious salad and sea bass al fresco dinner outside. Grandson no. 1 who is 14 is staying and it was good to meet him today as well.
Topping dinner off was blackberry crumble made by Chris out of the fruit dangling along the fence beside us. Perfick!