A lovely spring day in Winchester

Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral

The last time I went to Winchester I caught a bus, a train, a bus. That was last September. This time I caught a direct, fast train.

It was a lovely sunny day. In the sun pleasant, but the air temperature was not very warm and in the shade it was cold.

Arriiving in Winchester, I walked down into the town from the station.

I passed a frew shops which were very individualistic, which makes a pleasant change from clone town, all the same shops in every town.

Once in the centre of Winchester, it is more clone town, but not as bad as most towns, there still does seem to be a number of independent retailers.

I walked into the cathedral grounds, and had a wander around.

I then rested on a seat which I shared with an attractive female who I disturbed reading her book.

As we were sat talking, the most heavenly, divine music came drifting out of the Cathedral. It was The Sixteen rehearsing for this evening’s concert, the reason why I was in Winchester. I was surprsed we were were able to hear them.

The Sixteen – Winchester Cathedral – Choral Pilgrimage 2012

By now I was very hungry. I was feeling sick as I had not eaten since breakfast.

I had my eye on The Eclipse Inn. I had intended to get there before 3pm, as from past experence, kitchen closed past that time.

I headed to The Eclipse Inn, but first dropped off a DVD to Winchester Cathedral of a talk Canon Andrew White gave in Guildford last year. It was most gratefully received. Would he be interested in giving a talk, I was asked. Yes, I replied.

On arrival at The Eclipse Inn, my fears were well founded. I got there sometime after 4pm, for a very late lunch. Sorry, kitchen closed for the day.

To the side of The Eclipse Inn is an alley which leads into the High Street. In the alley is a door, easily missed, which leads into St Lawrence Church, a lovely little church. St Lawrence stands on the site of the Chapelle Royale of William The Conqueror. On leaving my eye was caught by a display of endangered Christians and information on the work Canon Andrew White is doing in Iraq.

I wandered to the end if the High Street, I walked into The Bishop on the Bridge. Looked ok from the outside, inside noisy and gutted. I walked out.

I settled on the Crown and Anchor. The food was pretty awful. Do I really want widescreen TV?

We spend money on promoting tourism, probably jobs for the boys and girls, but do nothing to support tourism. Yes, there are places to see and visit, like Winchester, but nowhere to eat.

It is easy to see why sandwich bars and bakeries do so well. There is nowhere else to eat.

I could have eaten from one of these takeaway eateries, but I wanted to eat in one of the old pubs. Apart from The Eclipse Inn, they were a shell, the innards gutted.

I then wandered along the river.

The River Itchen used to flow through the centre of the city, through where the cathedral is located. The Romans diverted the river to form a defensive barrier. That is the course the river follows today.

I passed through one of the city gates. Above the gate, is St Swithun-upon-Kingsgate. A lovely little church, but sadly not open. St Swithun-upon-Kingsgate is linked to St Lawrence.

I had hoped to go to evensong in the cathedral, but was now too late.

I was a lttle too early for the concert. As it was getting cold, I wandered off and came back.

I thought, drop off at St Lawrence, leave by their display, a DVD of the talk Canon Andrew White gave in Guildford, but it too, was now closed.

I had a seat at the rear. Too far away and it spoilt the concert. I was hearing the music in the distance. There was a pre-concert talk but that was unintelligble due to the very poor sound system in the cathedral, compounded by a constant flow of people to their seats.

Before the concert started I took the opportunity to have a wander around the cathedral. I lit a candle for Canon Andrew White (who has been very poorly but I am pleased he is now on the mend), for Paulo Coelho (for a wonderful St Joseph’s Day party last month) and for the lovely Mio Baba (for a wonderful time we had together in Bassano del Grappa).

As I passed through the alley, I slipped under the door of St Lawrence the DVD of the talk Canon Andrew White gave at Guildford last year.

Walk to the station and train home.

very, very tired.

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