Further Advent-ures In Christmas Preparations

Worcester Cathedral, England

OK, so this might be a bit confusing – bear with me.

If you were being very inquisitive, you might have noticed on the side bar, a link to My Creative Blog. You’re probably much too well brought up to even go there, but if you did, you’d find the blog which deals more exclusively with my various attempts at being creative – mainly sewing needlepoint – which is why it’s not included here. I appreciate that reading some strange woman, prattling on about crewel wool, is not the height of entertainment for everyone…

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, I posted over there, about how Advent winds me up. I had intended to update that with an account of what happened yesterday, but that mainly consisted of a visit to Worcester Cathedral, so I thought I’d post that here, where I usually put visit posts (are you following any of this? If you are, I am very impressed).

The curse I suppose of trying to put life into categories.., well there’s a topic if ever there was one.

So, just in case anyone is still reading this far, I’ve decided to put the Advent-ures posts here instead. If, by any chance you’ve made it here from Dreaming In StitchesHello, and welcome to the other me – a mostly motley mix of all the stuff that isn’t art, craft or needlepoint related.

OK, so if we’re all absolutely clear about that, I’ll tell you about yesterday…

A pre-Christmas Day Out

I have a brilliant friend who teaches music, but this year, she has one day off every week, on Tuesdays. So, a while ago, we decided that this week, we’d have a day out in the ancient cathedral city of Worcester.

It wasn’t really a random choice. Ever since my parents died, I’ve carried on the tradition which my mother had, of taking holly wreaths to the family graves in the Worcestershire village where her family were buried (and indeed where she and my dad were married) at Christmastime.

It’s a bit funny really. I remember my mum often saying that she wanted to be cremated so that I wouldn’t have the hassle of doing her grave. But since she died, I’ve really enjoyed carrying on that tradition. So far, I’ve managed to visit twice a year, once in July to commemorate my nan’s birthday and then at Christmas. It gives me great pleasure. I’m so lucky to have had a warm and loving family, that goes back at least four generations – me, my mum, her mum, and her mum.

Worcester isn’t far from there, so we decided to combine visits to both.

Worcester is the city I knew best when I was growing up, and it’s still a place where I feel very ‘at home’. Of course things do change, but somehow, the important things stay the same. My friend had never been there, so it made a great day out, and to be able to show her around was a lovely experience.

Worcester Cathedral, England.

We started off at the cathedral.

I simply love Worcester Cathedral. I must have spent hours in there over the years. I don’t think as a child, we ever went on a shopping trip to Worcester, without popping in to the Cathedral for a few minutes – mainly to say hello to King John.

It’s not every cathedral that can boast of having a king buried there – OK, so maybe King John wouldn’t be everyone’s favourite king, but he gave Bromsgrove its market charter, so he tends to go down a bit better around there.

English: Effigy of King John on his monument i...

You have to say that his tomb is quite elegant too. Dark grey, Purbeck marble, smooth and shiny from years of people touching it I suppose. Maybe a bit smaller than you’d imagine? But nevertheless, very nicely done. I didn’t take my own photo’s yesterday, so this is the best image I could find online – of course you don’t actually see the tomb at this angle – well not unless you’re quite some contortionist.

The other notable tomb in the Cathedral, is that of Prince Arthur – he who would have been king instead of Henry VIII, had he not died in Ludlow, shortly after marrying Catherine of Aragon, in 1502.

This one is far more elaborate, quite lovely. The step up into the little chapel is worn down in the middle from use, which is poignant don’t you think.

Actually, I was rather smitten by the Beauchamp tomb, (it’s the picture at the top of the post), but I don’t know much yet about them, (I can feel a research distraction coming on), other than that he was something big with Richard II, and didn’t fare well as a result – is it something to do with Worcester do you think?

We had a very acceptable soup lunch in the Cathedral cafe, and watched a group of school children rehearsing for a performance. There was also a Christmas Tree festival in the Cloisters – they’re everywhere at the moment, but it was a very good setting.

After the cathedral, we headed into the city for a wander around. Not a major sight-seeing trip – it was too cold – more of a stroll about.

Big disappointment of the day – the cafe has gone from the Guildhall. I’ve always loved that place. Having coffee and cake surrounded by huge paintings of kings and queens – always seemed to be a suitable trade-off. But now you just get to walk around – it was definitely better as a cafe – somebody should have a re-think on that decision.

Consolation of the day – finding Elgar’s restaurant/cafe. Very good indeed – although no portraits of Georgian kings. It’s in Reindeer Court, should you be interested – also worth a browse around the little shops there.

After tea, we decided we’d had our fill and made our way home. It had been an excellent day out, good company, good weather (if a bit on the brass monkey scale), and good food.

It didn’t put me one step nearer to getting my Christmas preparations done, but it certainly helped a lot to keep me sane and happy – a little mid-winter treat.

Serenity score: 8/10

 

 

 

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