Posts Tagged ‘Winchester Cathedral’

Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market

December 9, 2021

I did not know if the Christmas Market was taking place, no signs in the city centre.

A pale shadow of previous years, few visitors due to the rain, no ice skating rink which was the central attraction. Where the ice rink would have been now occupied by junk food stalls.

Half way round, my paper bag carrying goodies from General Store and Coffee Lab Academy disintegrated. I am very grateful for a stall holder who came to my rescue.

Bean-to-bar chocolate maker, Salcombe Dairy. Award winning? Worthless Great Taste Award. Most of the chocolate adulterated with additives. Was not aware of a bean-to-bar chocolate maker in Winchester, Winchester Cocoa Company, on sale in General Store. Tried to bullshit me Fairtrade anything more than a scam.

A chat with a stallholder. I said I did not wish to buy anything. He said that was OK, he had had no one to talk to for the last half an hour and was glad to have someone to talk to. He said few stalls because only at the last minute had it been decided to hold the market, stall holders could not buy stock in time. He did not think the ice rink would come back, He said although fewer visitors he was seeing sales up by 30%, his best year of trading He put it down to fewer visitors meant people had time to stop at his stall, and could actually get to his stall. He said with the ice rink people did not buy anything as wished to go skating and were not able to carry anything. He also said his sales may be up due to no Christmas market last year.

Infantile behaviour by local council, no signs permitted for the Christmas market, not their market.

Winchester Christmas Market puts to shame the Lincoln Christmas Market, tat and junk food.

Cold afternoon in Winchester

December 12, 2018

The day started off cold and misty. Mist went but it remained very cold.

Nightmare getting down to Winchester.

Train to Alton running late. I miss the bus at Alton. I then miss the next bus sitting itn the Alton Staion Cafe. I almost miss the following bus, stopping off at Alton Books,

I pass by Coffee Cherry, note it is empty. I cannot see it surviving.

Bus gets into Winchester late.

I finally arrives in Winchester at a quarter to four.

Too cold for street food, too late to eat anywhere, I have a pizza in the street.

Chat with cheesemonger, buy some cheese.

Head off down to Flat Whites. Too late for a coffee. I stay and chat in the warm whilst closing. Then someone calls in and has a V60. I too get a V60.

Guest coffee this month Assembly. They won coffee roasting campionship this year for UK. I have tried their excellent coffee before at Kiosk in York.

I head to City Square. They are closing earlier and earlier. I did not know they were closing at eight. It is now six. Though six is reasonable for winter. Hopefully they will stay open later in the summer when it is pleasant to sit outside.

They have a reusable coffee cup Polū I have never heard of. Sustainable bamboo, or claimed to be, clone of ecoffee cup. Maybe ecoffee cup under a different name, or maybe, as this is the second copy I have come across, the other in Robert Dyas, one manufacturer different branding.

I wander to the Christmas Market. No one about, apart from the ice skating rink.

I have a chat with the guy with Comte cheese. He offers me a slice for £3-00. Er, no. I will buy from King’s Cross.

Next shed fake Cheddar encased on wax. No thanks.

Christmas market packing up at 6030. I have time to catch 1850 bus. I arrive to see it leaving at 1845. I check timetable. Throughout the day, xx20 and xx50. Showing 1845, next bus 1930.

I decide to go for a walk along the river and around the back streets, back through now deserted Christmas market. Very dark.

I catch the bus. I ask driver when did timetable change? He says early in the year. I am baffled when he says bus should have left at 1920, and I was lucky to catch, only leaving late because a kid has wrong ticket.

I go and check timetable. I had been looking at wrong timetable, but the reason I thought correct, shows bus leaving at 1845. Thus bus left as I originally thought, five minutes early.

What has changed, where late bus used to leave hourly at xx50, now hourly at xx20.

Something going very wrong.

Old bus, double-decker no wifi, no usb charging ports. Usually late bus new single-decker with wifi and usb charging ports. I assume they use these new buses as more fuel efficient.

At Alton, not train until 2044.

I pop in Waitrose. Even by the low standards of Waitrose shocking the amount of rotting bananas on the shelves. And no excuses as someone had stuck pitiful reductions on the rotting bananas.

I raise with two members of staff. Greeted by total indifference.

The fresh produce only reduced by pence. Store about to close. Will then be thrown away.

When I alight from train, fifteen minutes wait for a bus.

I finally arrive home a little before ten.

Afternoon in Winchester

August 10, 2018

A cold wet day.

Before I set off heavy rain.

I miss train to Alton. Trains are switched platforms. If there was an announcement, I did not hear. I board wrong train and head off in the wrong direction.

At Alton, torrential rain. Bus fails to stop at bus shelter, stops further down the road. Passengers get soaked running to the bus, then cannot board the bus, bus driver has not opened the door whilst he is having a drink.

Torrential rain all the way down to Winchester.

I stay on the bus into the centre of Winchester.

I make Coffee Lab as closing. A girl who knows what she is doing. I raise they are overcharging for the Hundred House Coffee guest coffee, She says yes, ten pounds correct price, but shocked when she learns retails at six pounds. Says she will raise it. She realises Coffee Lab are not doing their reputation any good ripping people off.

A wood-fired pizza off the pizza van. Not as good as on Wednesday. Not long enough in the oven.

Today Friday market day in Winchester. Rows of stalls selling complete and utter crap. More food stalls than when street food market, but the extra stalls not what would wish to eat from.

The few quality stalls, wood-fired pizzas, Flat Whites coffee, bread stall, cheesemonger.

No surprise the market not busy, especially if compare with the vastly superior street market in Guildford on a Friday and Saturday.

Cappuccino and chocolate brownie in The Square. Tables not cleared, tables dirty. Coffee Lab once again not doing their reputation a lot of good.

Evensong in Winchester Cathedral.

Find grave of Jane Austen on leaving.

One of the ushers on leaving on locking up, shows the key for the main door.

Then just sufficient time to walk around the back streets.

Passed by the house where Jane Austen spent her last few days on earth and the bookshop where she bought her books.

Catch the 1920 bus from Winchester. A marked contrast to the journey down, a lovely sunny evening.

— to be continued —

Afternoon in Winchester

November 22, 2017

Mild when I set off, in Winchester very cold.

Almost missed the train.

Dysfunctional Stagecoach,  bus driver refused to allow an elderly lady to board the bus, even though she had a valid bus pass, holding up the bus for several minutes when all he had to do was issue a paper ticket.

At Aldershot Station, no ticket office open, man manning the barrier refuses to open barrier as have no ticket.

Does public transport employ people based upon their level of stupidity?

Wifi live on No 64 bus to Winchester, but not connecting to Internet.

Tried charging power bank from usb charging point.

Last week, power bank showed full, but kept charging through journey until fully charged.

Monday, power bank used to charge Samsung Galaxy A3 from around 20% to 50% whilst in use.  Power bank showed 75% charged.  As charging, shows 75% charged.

I would normally walk down the hill into Winchester, but stay on the bus.

No 64 bus now arrives and departs from the street. It saves time going around the back streets to the bus station.

Bus Station has been refurbished. It is now worse than before. One big open space, nowhere for passengers to shelter from the rain.

I inform bus driver wifi live bus does not connect to Internet. Driver not interested.

It has turned very cold

Pasta off the Sicilian stall. Only thing worth having from the street food market.

Too cold for street food.

A wander around Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market. The ice skating rink puts to shame the one at The Village in Guildford.

Hot chestnuts off a  stall very poor quality compared with the hot chestnuts off the stalls in Athens. Very misleading stall, chopped wood, but fired by a hidden gas cylinder. And why use Italian chestnuts when there are English chestnuts?

Look in Coffee Lab. Do not stay as too cold with door open. Explains why empty.

Coffee Lab Academy busy, but again no Dhan.

Coffee Lab Academy closes at five, but they do not chase people out. I am there until gone 5-30.

Walking to catch the bus, passing Bus Station I notice in darkness. It would also help to have lights by the bus stands in the street.

I ask the driver why is the Bus Station in darkness.

The refurbishment failed to install lights.

Wifi live and connecting to Internet.

I again charge power bank for entire journey. Still charging, but is now showing fully charged when I remove from usb point.

As last week, woman, not same woman, with dirty boots on a seat. This is a new bus fleet that only officially came into service on Sunday.

Tonight no dinner at Alton Station Cafe. I learnt on way down, Bikes Night tonight cancelled.

Nearly twenty five minutes wait for a  train. I possibly just missed one.

It would have helped if new timetable tied in with the trains, though bus did leave five minutes late.

Pop in Waitrose.  I notice Union coffee beans, at least the ones I check, Yayu Forest, one month old, in Waitrose Farnham two months old, which is not doing Union any favours.

Cold afternoon in Winchester

December 19, 2014

Once again a ruined afternoon trip to Winchester thanks to dysfunctional public transport.

I make the train to Alton with five minutes to spare. It is running two minutes late, miss bus from Alton as it is timed to leave at the same time as train arrives, so miss the bus, next bus fails to turn up, bus after that 5-10 minutes late. Over an hour wait in the freezing cold. Unable to see out of the bus as the windows are filthy. Bus is freezing cold, no heating. Arrive in Winchester well over an hour later than planned, now very cold.

Whilst waiting for the bus, I have a chat with the charming girl who works in the Station Cafe. I see Tuesday, they had a Christmas dinner. It was probably good, as their food is good. I give her a signed copy of Monsters as an early Christmas present. She is over the moon.

I was looking forward to a burger off New Forest Steak Burger stall. He has sold out and is packing up.

I am cold and hungry, chilled to the bone, so cold I am shivering with cold.

candle lit lunch by Jimmy Bean

candle lit lunch by Jimmy Bean

Candle lit lunch by Jimmy Bean, hotted up sausage roll, tomato and basil soup, followed by a cappuccino.

Jimmy Bean serves the soup in a recyclable, compostable paper cup with a lid. If he can do it, why not everyone? And not even from special suppliers, easily obtainable from catering suppliers. He said cup product of Compost Me.

Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral

High Street packed. Loads of people heading towards Winchester Cathedral.

Jimmy Beans says Christmas market well worth a visit.

I head that way.

Christmas market

Christmas market

He is right, large sheds, lots of variety, and mainly not tat. And an ice ring.

A festival atmosphere. A cross between carnival in Puerto de la Cruz and a street market.

A pop up cafe. I have a hot dog. It is not a hot dog so why call it a hot dog? It is a sausage in a roll with onions. The sausage is disgusting, the onions disgusting.

I just make six o’clock bus. Windows filthy, impossible to see out. As going down, a new bus. Or should I say a newer new bus, as they are new double-deckers on this route, not the clapped-out, fit-for-scrapyard double-deckers Stagecoach run elsewhere. The main difference, is two seats at the front replacing the luggage rack. Luggage rack now a tiny space behind the two seats. Totally inadequate for a fold up buggy, if space has to be vacated for a wheelchair. The other difference is the lighting. Far too bright.

I deicide to read This Changes Everything on Nexus 7, but not ideal, feel travel sick. I find there is wifi, only does not connect to anything. This is common on Stagecoach buses with wifi. Does not connect to anything. Nothing to say bus has wifi.

At Aldershot, no bus, twenty minutes wait in the cold for the next bus.

Autumn afternoon in Winchester

October 15, 2012

dusk inside Winchester Cathedral

dusk inside Winchester Cathedral

A cold day, a cold north wind, occasional heavy showers. Did I really wish to spend an afternoon in Winchester?

Bus, train to Alton, then bus to Winchester.

Dysfunctional public transport. Time of arrival of train at Alton is same time as the bus departs. As the train pulls in and comes to a stop, the doors open, I leap off the train, run out of the station, leap on the bus and catch it as it is about to pull out. As the bus pulls away, I observe people leaving the station who have just alighted from the train.

The sun is shining as I reach Winchester, and it is warmer than when I set out. I am feeling rough from the bus journey and go for a walk.

Lunch at The Bridge Patisserie, which was something of a disappointment. I can see why they are getting bad reviews on TripAdvisor.

Calamity strikes. I do something wrong on my camera, over a thousand pictures deleted, gone in a blinking of an eye.

I walk along the river. Now cold, no sun.

I look in the bookshop in the back streets behind Winchester Cathedral. A real bookshop. I ask when is Manuscript Found in Accra due out. Something Waterstone’s unable to answer. I assumed some time soon as been coming out all over Europe this week. But no, not until April 2013!

I wonder into Winchester Cathedral Not quite dusk, but soon will be. Dusk is the time to see a mediaeval cathedral at its best.

I light candles for Canon Andrew White, Paulo Coelho, my lovely Russian friend Lena.

Evensong is about to begin.

The choir emerge and sing in the South Transept. It is a song of welcome. The acoustics are amazing. I sit at the foot of a shrine or tomb. I am the only one there.

I follow the choir and sit in the choir stalls for Evensong. It is sung evensong or choral evensong cf spoken evensong.

I had not intended to stay. I do, and as a consequence I miss two buses.

Walking to the High Street I spot a little alley I had not noticed before that leads to a coffee shop.

As I walk down the High Street, I spot a little alley I had not seen before that leads to a pub hidden in the alley.

I catch the last bus.

I once again experience dysfunctional public transport. Train departs Alton ten minutes early Bus arrives as train departs.

Forty minutes wait. I go to Waitrose.

At Aldershot, train arrives two minutes after bus departs. Almost 30 minute to wait for the next bus. I visit a local shop and chat to Nepalese girl serving in the shop.

From leaving Winchester Cathedral, almost three hours until I reach home!

The Sixteen – Winchester Cathedral – Choral Pilgrimage 2012

April 13, 2012

The Sixteen - Winchester Cathedral - Choral Pilgrimage 2012

The Sixteen - Winchester Cathedral - Choral Pilgrimage 2012

Winchester Cathedral was the first date for The Sixteen on their 25th Choral Pilgrimage, music by Josquin, Brumel, Lassus.

The evening was sold out!

I was seated towards the rear of the nave, in what was classed as restricted view. Diminutive view would have been a better description, as the performers were too far away. I have though only myself to blame as I did not try to get a ticket until a few days before the concert and all the decent seats had long gone.

I have to admit the concert was a disappointment. Whether this was the venue or the music I do not know. The music was heard from afar.

I would not say I did not enjoy the concert, as I did, but not as much as when I saw The Sixteen last October in Guildford Cathedral performing the music of Victoria.

Hail, Mother of the Redeemer

There was a pre-concert talk, but this was rendered unintelligible by a very poor cathedral sound system, made far worse by a constant flow of late arrivals. Very bad organisation on the part of the cathedral stewards that these late arrivals were not made to wait until the speaker had finished.

The music for the tour is available as The Earth Resounds. I bought two copies, one to give to a friend. I had hoped to get them signed and was very disappointed that there was no sign of The Sixteen after the concert. I had even brought along my Montegrappa pen for the signing!

The Earth Resounds is also available as a digital download in various formats from low quality mp3 to studio master as FLAC. [see mp3 v FLAC]

I have downloaded the studio quality FLAC, the download site is a pain to use, but have not yet found the time to listen to, then decided I would wait until after the concert.

To play FLAC, download and install VLC Media Player.

The Sixteen need to establish a presence on bandcamp. Far easier download than their own site, plus one can listen on-line, and they can give details of their Choral Pilgrimage.

Yes, you can listen on their own site, but a few seconds of lofi does not do justice to either their performance or the music.

Why therefore are they not there?

One reason is they have to pay if you listen to the music!

But did the composers not die centuries ago?

Yes they did, but when someone dusts off some old archive and publishes their finding, they claim the rights.

It is an absolutely crazy system where payment is being demanded for people listening!

It is people like The Sixteen who are bringing this music to life. Were it not for them, the music would be notes on a page. It is their interpretation, their performance.

But this is sadly yet another example of greed and the rotten nature of the music business.

Were The Sixteen to put The Earth Resounds on bandcamp, they would as the system stands in essence be signing a blank cheque as they would have to pay every time anyone listened. Not downloaded, not ordered an album, but simply listened.

The net result is everyone loses. We lose who may wish to listen. The Sixteen lose as we cannot listen. Even the fools who are imposing this on us lose as less music is sold.

Ideally not only would the albums be there to listen to, but at least one track would be available for free download. instead all you get is a few seconds of lofi to listen to on-line.

Most people, myself included, would assume the works of Josquin, Brumel, Lassus is in the public domain, part of our common cultural heritage, but apparently not.

We are seeing widespread copyright abuse. Copyright claimed for an image of a London red bus. Copyright claimed for an image of furniture.

Copyright abuse over who owns the image of a London red bus
Photographing your furniture may be a breach of copyright!

For their next recording, The Sixteen are using crowd sourcing to raise the money. An excellent idea, slow music, community supported music in action.

Why therefore no mention at their concert?

If there was a mention I saw none. There was nothing on the stall selling their CDs. Possibly there was a mention in the programme. I do not know, as I neglected to pick up a programme.

If all the venues are sold out, then it should be relatively easy to raise the money, but not if you do not tell anyone.

The music of the composers, Josquin, Brumel, Lassus, covers a period of about a hundred years. They travelled all over Europe. Quite amazing when you consider no Eurostar, no airlines, we take travel within Europe for granted. I was recently in Bassano del Grappa in Italy, and hour by train to the airport, an hour and a half flight to Venice, followed by bus to train station, followed by a train journey of a little over an hour.

Josquin des Prez (c. 1450/1455 – 1521), usually known as Josquin, French composer, regarded as a master of the high Renaissance style of polyphonic vocal music.

Antoine Brumel (c. 1460 – 1512 or 1513), French Renaissance, and like Josquin des Prez, seen as one of the most influential composers of his generation.

Orlande de Lassus (c 1530-1532 – 1594), Franco-Flemish composer of the late Renaissance.

The Sixteen are a small early music choral group founded by Harry Christopher with associated orchestra.

Why The Sixteen? I counted twenty. I do know the answer but my lips are sealed to retain the mystery.

The Sixteen are performing in Croydon Minster in a week’s time, Friday 20 April 2012. I may go, curious what difference the venue makes, and hopefully I will not be so far away.

Top Story in The Vevomtv Daily (Saturday 14 April 2012).

A lovely spring day in Winchester

April 13, 2012

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.

%d bloggers like this: