Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Cloudless blue sky today, and really hot. Took the back roads south towards Hereford, through places called things like New Invention (and on the way home, Evenjobb. Wanted to know if there was a twin town called Oddjob). East of Leominster, through Bishop's Frome (saw an oasthouse but no hop bines) and Much Cowarne. Lots of orchards laid out around here, many of them relatively new. Lots of apple blossom blowing in the breeze.

Into Hereford and we headed for the cathedral cloisters coffee shop. Had a nice pot of tea, and I had a slice of strawberry cheescake. Good selection of homemade cakes available. We were sat in the sunny cloisters courtyard polishing these off, when who walks out of the cafe door but someone from work! "And I thought Cornwall was small!" he said.

Looked round the cathedral - walked right into an organ recital, which sounded spectacularly discordant and awful. A piece by John Challenger according to the leaflet thrust into my hand by the little man on the door (who also said "don't worry it's almost finished" heh).

Found the crypt and the tomb of St Thomas Cantilupe, and one of the chapels has new stained glass celebrating the life and works of Thomas Traherne.

Walked round the outside again, vaguely wondering where the chained library was. I hadn't known there was one, but then saw a sign, and now I wanted to find it. While I was surreptitiously staring at the Bishop's Palace gatehouse, eventually spotted a sign pointing to the chained library again, which turns out to be through the cafe and out the other side. £4.90 to look. And they don't even show you any of the books. They did have a copy of the prophecies of Merlin though. It's the biggest one in the country apparently, as the gnome in residence told us proudly (the library, not the prophecies). We also saw some medieval book chests that the bishops travelled around with. Oh, and the Mappa Mundi.

Walked past the Green Dragon Hotel, (that looked a bit too posh to wander into dressed as scruffs) and had a look round the musuem, which was small but free. And had a piece of 14th century human skin that had once been nailed to a church door. Bonus.

Wandered around the shops, found a good cheap second hand bookshop, bought a copy of Superstitions of the Countryside for 80p.

Made our way back to the car, bought monster ice creams - mine was a scoop of summer fruits (blackcurrant & raspberry) and a scoop of elderflower, and Chris had a scoop of blackberry & apple and a scoop of vanilla.

Drove back through Kington and Knighton, along the edge of Radnor Forest. Lots of bluebells up here, not a sign of the white pests littering Cornwall.

It's half past seven as I'm writing this, and it's still bright sunshine and blue skies. Bloody windy this far up the hill though, and our patio bit doesn't get the evening sun which is a shame.

Mouse on toast for supper. Oh alright, smoked salmon mousse then, compliments of the house.



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