Norwich

4E1B9AE5-5D76-449A-B4DA-5EE07972B33CCA5F61AD-DD3A-4188-9BBF-FC437EB0A8DE

After coming across the Cathedrals and Churches of Britain feed a few weeks previously, I was spurred on to finally get across to Norwich and the cathedral that I’d been wanting to see for some time.

F1F7A773-048A-41F0-854B-4388229B8E2E033E3F02-41F3-459C-87F3-B8716786305A7A706544-C629-4238-9081-9B6349D481F30FE9C390-DD69-4CFD-BDD7-066AAD35B66A

I went in on one those crisp, sunny, blue-sky winter days that are surely the perfect weather. The Close was looking like the most perfect Trollope/Elizabeth Goudge/ Catherine Fox literary fantasy, and the yew tree outside the cathedral was a rare corner of shade.

 

The cloisters – possibly my favourite part of any cathedral, as I tend to make a beeline for them – were beautiful.

7C473B82-8A24-4238-A465-C49607AE4A412852E7B9-69DE-4B40-B3BB-E2F7D7C64F5EF4CF711E-1152-452E-B1EC-F03F12582976

I wasn’t expecting Norwich Cathedral to be such an old foundation

161FBBE1-90B7-4B5E-8118-9F146E28729849FFEA1A-B08D-496E-B470-13F5673A6B96D47A51E7-02F3-437D-AA5D-73F18CB3E142

(there’s some wonderfully sturdy Norman columns underneath the lacy ceiling)

97B1E8BC-0764-4BE4-A6B4-F2FAD66154C4064C9C5C-7902-4179-BEAE-6BCE2DBE5EE877637F33-A9CD-4D45-B276-6977F1A09B255407FD35-FDFA-443B-9F5C-F94F8F918084014AD4B8-7262-4273-B1E0-825A04F438D3

and the cathedral was still in Christmas mood, looking extremely welcoming in the sunlight.

6799D0C1-334C-4359-9D5B-19F825B7D8D183011FB4-62C1-4095-8657-61AC5070BA190D3E790C-B6AC-47F5-AFAA-2197B8CB1344

In the side chapels was a mix of old stained glass (the Agincourt window) and more modern pieces.

I rather liked these two former bishops as well. Those were the days…

 

Afterwards I set off into the city, which was peppered with more churches, including this one on the main square with an excellent flying roof (so called because of the carved angels on the beams)

C599365F-62CE-4A34-A5EA-6784A6C47B23D099FE40-8F28-49B2-90B2-2FECD3C1DF683D2F8B6F-1C94-43DA-825D-84FF17706510

London dispatches

The run up to Christmas is always a great time for some overhears on the street/Tube/canal paths of London. Every word is true and unadulterated…

“So when he turned up he was just palpitating”

“…Because we need time to prepare. Some of them need to go and put on clothes.”

“So I’m going to Montenegro.”

“You know there’s a wardrobe falling down the stairs?” “Yeah”

(Two coppers to each other) “I got her a sword to go with her two daggers. She’s so not girly.”

“But I did pay him for the drugs.”

“You can’t really drink one bottle at a time, because that would be a twenty year project”

“It’s like a cheese-filled condom”

“And then he said he’d been in a car crash but he’d bought me tickets for the gig too anyway and did I want to go. But it’s bollocks because he was never in a car crash anyway.”

“No I can’t unzip them, it’s my bunions.”

“It’s alright when she lies down, so it must be her neck, don’t you think?” “But it’s also ok when she talks.”

“Do you know anyone who know someone anything about the stock exchange?” “Well they seem to.”

Catnip

72D7E4C4-D14B-4574-B258-C8B98D9BDE4B18CFA8FA-9599-4897-9873-E40DA9C6D3D899459F77-B8CF-402C-B24F-9C8ECC523A615064AC7C-E78C-4BD8-BFD5-D576934533A4

The Instagram feed @churchescathedralsofbritain could have been drawn up just for me. After a childhood of summer holidays involving a hefty amount of church crawling, I really believe these are some of great most beautiful overlooked buildings in the U.K. All photos from the feed.

Reading

B436504A-D107-4A15-9AE3-344B2CB05945206409A2-D3BF-4C44-81B4-7308A915B487

Or rather devouring both these Christmas books. I must have cooked 5 different recipes from the Anna Jones within the first week of having it, and the Emily Wilson translation completes my triumvirate of Bettany Hughes and Mary Beard on my shelves.

Feed of the week

1FADDCC8-2BD4-47A8-9D17-77A8F46BA18D0BEE66DD-7FE2-458A-A826-A95C513B275859B71ED8-FE53-4673-884C-BD49B0525E4BC623E982-EFE1-4E0C-A7A0-2B9EE753B1FF

The Instagram feed of @susan_holloway_scott_author has such lovely paintings on it. I don’t know where she finds them all, but I especially love her ability to run a theme (women having tea; sewing; blue dresses; sisters) across a real variety of pieces. She must have a wonderful visual memory for finding ideas, and her feed really inspires me. Here’s a selection from her “sisters” series.

3E11A1EF-0AFC-48A1-BF4B-DDC446BD86EA634F53A0-DDC1-4CC6-9A57-E07FA0C54D8A0F2A0AAB-7C91-4991-A9A3-E21C30673487

From top to bottom:

The three daughters of John Julius von Vieth and Gossenau by Anton Graff

Sargent – the Acheson sisters

The sisters – William McGregor Paxton

Bella and Hanna, eldest daughters of M L Nathanson by Cristoffer Eckersberg

My granddaughters – Edmund Charles Tarbell

Sisters – William Gabriel de Glehn

Sargent – the Misses Hill

 

Nesting again

06A3A04F-0014-4D89-BE4F-C43B19727F99

Rather like these projects by Neil Dusheiko architects; they look very livable, and have a good use of light and space. He uses some interesting materials too, like charred wood, which is naturally rain and fire resistant.

2E83CC21-AE27-4874-99DD-1594E0C2A091

Windows to the past

55C25795-C5F9-4C4A-8005-DF6B7FFF654A

It’s a joke on the Backlisted podcast that if you praise an author on Twitter, a kind of intellectual race to the bottom begins, with fans crawling out of the woodwork to ask if you’ve read variously the short stories / letters / journals yet. But it is true that letters are wonderful things to find – full of jokes, turns of phrase and bizarre incidents. Dora Carrington telling an inamorato that she loved him as much as raspberries and cream is one favourite; Sydney Smith recommending warm fires, cheering books and a pleasant bedroom for seeing our depression is another, and Dicke s was renowned for firing off rockets by every post.

So I think Letters Live, which has actors reading aloud a series of letters from the past – a kind of brought to life Letters of Note website – sounds just right for a night out at this time of year.