High spirits

Today’s picture is of Glastonbury Tor.  It was not taken by me.


It was another breathtakingly hot day today.  After breakfast, we walked up the three quarters of a mile of very steep hill into the village to buy a newspaper and stretch our legs.  The old part of the village seemed to have been built on the steepest part of the hill.  We enjoyed this old Sunday School built in 1843.

sunday school coleford

On our way back home, this fine goat caught our eye.

Note the large duck or goose in the pen on the right. It will reappear.

As you can see from the pictures, the light was very bright and the heat matched it so we spent a lazy morning reading the paper and drinking coffee.  Finally, after a sandwich for lunch, we set out in the car to be tourists.  There are a maze of tiny roads round Coleford and navigating them requires expert map reading and even the skills of Mrs Tootlepedal couldn’t keep us entirely on our chosen route but we arrived at the cathedral city of Wells without serious delay.

The town was busy with locals and visitors shopping at the market in the town centre and looking at the famous cathedral.  We knew we were in a tourist hot spot when we saw a shop which reminded us of home.

In spite of its name, the company is based in Langholm.

The cathedral was very imposing from the outside.

Wells cathedral

It has an amazing number of carvings all over the facade.

carvings Wells cathedral

Inside, it was surprisingly light and airy.

ceiling Wells cathedral

East end Wells cathedral

The chapter house has a very fine roof with many ribs.

chapter house roof

We took advantage of a nice cafe attached to the cathedral to have the cup of tea and toasted teacake without which no day out is complete and then admired a bit more of the extensive carvings…

Wells cathedral

…before walking round to look at the bishop’s house.  He turns out to live in a castle surrounded by a moat.

bishop's palace
Nice work if you can get it.

I enjoyed the building which is elegant inside and impressive outside but in my small minded way I see these things as extravagances which the powerful have always either in time or money taxed the powerless to build.  This feeling was encouraged by frequent notices saying the the place costs £4000 a day to maintain and exhorting us to give as much money as we could afford.   I would allow it to descend to romantic ruination and build a more affordable home for its functions, remembering the proposition that the meek are blessed.

We returned to the car, buying some cherries and asparagus as we went, and set off to look at Glastonbury Tor which was not far away, with a view to a possible stroll to the summit.  In the end, the heat of the day and the distance of the car park from the Tor made us decide to pass it by without stopping.   Hence someone else’s picture at the top of the blog.  We might try again later in the week when the weather is set to get a bit cooler.

On arrival at the cottage, I spent some time looking for birds.  Although we are deep in the country and the owner has two bird feeders out, there was very little traffic.

I saw a passing swallow.


And a wagtail visited for a moment.


But the most interesting things to see where the two young pygmy goats which have just arrived on the farm.



Otherwise I had to make do with the charm of the surroundings…

The mill stream gurgles past our windows.

…and the occasional sparrow.


In the evening, we drove over to the pub to which we cycled yesterday and enjoyed an excellent meal.  For once the size of the portions exactly matched our appetites.  Usually these days, they give you far too much on the plate.

When we got home, I couldn’t resist a shot of the moon as darkness fell.


The chaffinch of the day was that large red faced duck or goose which we saw earlier in the day, creeping shiftily on tiptoe across the meadow in front of the house in the gloaming.

bird creeping

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

8 thoughts on “High spirits

  1. Lots of great shots. The architecture is amazing, but I too can’t help but wince at the labor and gifts of the poor to create such ornate facilities. As beautiful as it is, I don’t think God requires such elaborate digs for worship to ensue. It is interesting art and history.

  2. The cathedral is spectacular. I took a quick look at the website and read a bit about the restorations. I have always had mixed feelings about such edifices but overall I am glad they exist. You have so many excellent ones in your part of the world that it must take a good deal of resources to maintain them.

    1. I like to look at them but when you have our wonderful scenery to look at I don’t feel my life would be much impoverished if they weren’t there.

  3. The shot of the moon was excellent and I loved the pictures of Wells. Does the bishop still live in the palace or is it given over to other uses I wonder? Glad your surroundings are so pretty and that the pub meal was satisfactory. I agree with you about the size of the portions these days, no wonder so much food is thrown away.

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