Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Cathedral Dog


Dave and I had breakfast at our hotel yesterday, with Olga at our feet -- we couldn't bring her into the dining room, but we were allowed to sit with her in the lounge. As we ate, a sixtyish woman in a sparkly blue beaded top and perfectly coiffed hair came in, sat right down at the next table and began chatting with us.

Or more like chatting at us. Within a few minutes we'd learned all about her husband's CBE and her visits to Buckingham Palace (three of them), and the ills of the National Health Service where she works because it is stretched to the limit by immigrants, and her firm belief that hard work and sacrifice were essential for success. (She and her siblings had inherited a farm in Wales.) She didn't come right out and say she was a Brexiteer and a Trump supporter, but both were strongly implied. My subtle attempts to suggest an alternative viewpoint were ignored.

Dave and I couldn't reveal our thoughts to each other, of course, but after about half an hour of this right-wing haranguing we broke away. "What a repulsive woman!" he exclaimed when we got back to the room. I hope to God we don't see her again.

Speaking of God, we went to the cathedral yesterday. By most everyone's standard it's the main reason to visit Salisbury. We walked over in the misty rain and planned to do our sightseeing in shifts, while one of us stayed outside to mind the dog.


But no! DOGS ARE ALLOWED INSIDE THE CATHEDRAL! I couldn't believe it.


I'm not sure Olga appreciated the religious significance, but she was very interested in the loaf of bread on the autumn harvest display.


The cathedral was built over a 38-year period (quite quickly, really) in the 1200s, with the tall tower and spire added a few hundred years later. It features an original copy of the Magna Carta, beautifully written out by hand and kept in a special octagonal chamber. Nearby, displayed on a table, was the body of a dessicated rat found inside a skull in one of the tombs. Wild!

The photo above shows a medieval screen that used to divide the cathedral, and you can see the large cloisters in the photo at the top.


Afterwards we went outside and threw the Kong on the cathedral grounds, to work off some of Olga's energy.

We explored the town and saw a few of the landmarks that featured in the Novichok case -- the restaurant where the victims ate, the park where they were found on a bench. We also saw...


..."Fudgehenge," which is as close as we're going to get to Stonehenge on this visit. (It's only eight miles away, but we've been there before.) Dave bought some fudge at this shop, so Fudgehenge appears to be an effective marketing gimmick.

We had lunch in town and then made our way back to the room, where Dave took a nap and I finished my book and caught up with life on Facebook (as much as one ever can). We didn't run into Margaret Thatcher again, but there's always this morning!

15 comments:

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Ha-Ha! I love "Fudgehenge"! Well spotted Steve!
I despise people like that woman. They are so well-practised in talking about themselves and show virtually zero interest in their unfortunate listeners. A healthy conversation is like a ping-pong game - from me to you, from you to me.

David said...

Fabulous pictures of the cathedral. When my husband and I are next in the UK (which is about every 2 years or so when we visit relatives), we must make a visit there. I visited Stonehenge when I was a teenager living in the UK with my parents - that Fudgehenge took me back 50 years (or more?).

Vivian Swift said...

I love seeing Olga in the cathedral. How enlightened of them to allow dogs when, really, it should be people who are banned.
I'd say that you and Dave are getting to be very British in your tolerance of bores. I ave a relative who is a Trump fan and when I last saw her at a family get-together and she started in on how it's all Obama's fault I said, Sorry, but life's too short for me to listen to your bullshit. That shut her up, and now I have it in my pocket to pull out any time I get cornered by some right winger. I haven't had to use it yet, but I'm ready.

Sharon Anck said...

It is so great to see Olga walking around inside the cathedral. Sorry about the horrible woman. They are everywhere! Have fun! I'm off to New York this morning.

Colette said...

Yes, inheriting a farm in Wales must be hard work... Her concept of reality is defined by the difference between building Fudgehenge and building Stonehenge. Oh well.

jenny_o said...

That shot of Olga and the archways is fantastic - I love it. She just looks like she BELONGS in that photo. The cathedral is beautiful, but why are there wooden chairs and no pews, I wonder? Or is the main seating area further along?

I'm glad it's not just me who gets stuck listening to people I don't know talk about things I don't want to hear. Sometimes it's harder to escape than other times. lol

Ms. Moon said...

That cathedral is amazing! Which of course is the point of cathedrals. I know it sometimes took over a hundred years to build one and that entire towns were involved. I love how Olga looks so serious when she's standing with Dave, as if she has an idea of the solemnity of the situation.
Annoying people like that can absolutely wreck my day which is one of the reasons I don't go out much. Which is silly. I know.

robin andrea said...

I love that cathedral and that they let dogs inside. Also love "Fudgehenge." Deliciously creative. About that woman who wouldn't shut up, it reminds me of the secret power I always wish I had, "kills with her eyes." But really I can't imagine talking politics with strangers, especially someone I disagree with. Ugh.

Red said...

The bigots are tuned right out. Dave's comment was right on.

Catalyst said...

What a stunningly beautiful cathedral! I'd love to visit it some day. It's a shame you had to run into that "repulsive woman". An experience like that can stick in one's memory and ruin an otherwise wonderful trip. And it's too bad it was so rainy but, then, it is England. Fudgehenge shows the shop owner's marketing genius. Remember your teeth, Dave, and don't binge. :^D

Peace Thyme said...

That building is so amazing! Wow! Most definitely worth the trip. I'll take the top piece of fudge!

Elizabeth said...

I love how Dave described the overbearing conservative -- it sounded so British! Keep having fun and telling us all about it!

The Bug said...

Olga in the cathedral made my day! We used to have animals on Blessing of the Animals Sunday, but otherwise it was only human animals in church. (I should say, they still bless animals at my old church, but I'm no longer there).

37paddington said...

Gorgeous cathedral. And great photos for the portrait book of Olga you should do some day!

claudia said...

Gotta love that Gothic Architecture and especially English Gothic, it is so over the top. Salisbury Cathedral is the quintessential example. I hope that I get to see it one day. Your pictures were great and it looks so empty, no tourists.