Sunday, 26 May 2013

MIL & FIL part 2

In keeping up with two themes - (1) MIL and FIL's visit, and (2) sightseeing, part 2 of MIL and FIL's visit is all about Salisbury Cathedral.

First, lunch at Wagamama. If you've never been to a Wagamama you must! Great fresh Asian inspired food.

Another Cathedral, full of wonderful history and incredible architecture.

The sky was that blue today too!

The current Cathedral is the 3rd (previous two were built at Sarum) and last one built in Salisbury, and has a few unique features according to our guide.
  • there is no partition between the nave and the choir
  • it was built as we see it today (there has been no alterations to architectural style, or additions made)
  • it took 38 years consecutive years to build (as compared to other cathedrals when building stopped and started due to wars, politics, or money)
My favourite part is the Cloisters - they are so pretty and peaceful. Photographers would have a wonderful time here as there are so many varied angles and the way the light moves between the arches is quite magical. These aren't our photos (our camera's being charged, sorry)

While we were in the choral area of the Cathedral a lovely guide spotted Mia and asked her if she'd seen the Monkey and with that we were taken on a private tour of several hidden spots within the Cathedral. It was delightful! MissM kept asking questions, and our new private guide chatted away.

We learned the Cathedral is built on only 4 metres of foundation, ontop of 27 metres of gravel which needs to be kept wet to keep it stable. The guide asked if we'd seen the dipping stick ...... MissM said no, so off we went.

That's MIL in the red top watching

THIS much water is there at the moment

Whenever we're in a Cathedral I can't help but think back to Ken Follet's Pillars of the Earth. What a novel! Nowhere is the book more alive than at Salisbury Cathedral. How clever were those builders, centuries ago with no computers, no CAD programs to create such incredible structures that last! Think about the buildings of today, which ones do you think will, or indeed should, last centuries to show people how we lived? 

If you've not read the book, please do, especially if you love Cathedrals and grand buildings. The movie was very good, but it missed so many intricate story lines. Read the book, then see the move. 

The other reason Salisbury Cathedral is a MUST VISIT is to see the Magna Carta. It's the most surreal feeling looking at something like this - to think it was written in 1215, in Latin and is the basis of all manner of Constitutions and Civil Rights documents the world over. There are 4 originals, one of which is housed here. 

I was so inspired this visit that I bought a book on the Magna Carta - figure MissM might have to do a project on it at some stage.

MissM's been loving having MIL and FIL here. G and I have become obsolete in many ways. They put her to bed, read with her, play with her, she's even eating FRUIT for breakfast cos that's their choice to start the day.

During the week, they attended a Grandparents and Friends afternoon tea at MissM's school. Afterwards, MissM took them to afternoon tea to celebrate and they walked home. On Wednesday they kindly stayed home and waited for a tradesman to come while I had a tooth extracted (YUK), and on Thursday they caught the bus into Southampton and explored the city. They really enjoyed the Titanic Exhibition (which is good as I'd recommended it) and historical walk. Friday they collected their hire car and spent a few hours driving around to get used to the motorways. 

It's always interesting how adding guests, especially family and those who stay for a long time to our quiet three-some affects us. Even tho G's THERE Monday - Friday (oops, almost wrote where, quick delete button) it's certainly affected the home coming. Rather than hanging around the house letting him catch up on zzzzzz's, we've been out'n'about.

Dinner time is also different with 5 of us around the table. It's easier for me to cook as it's my kitchen and well, i know where everything is and I like to cook and no one else has offered to cook. FIL is the best kitchen cleaner-uper there is. The sink shines like a star!

FIL asks LOTS of questions, and I mean LOTS - what's the red light for near the stove? what's that light switch for? when was the last time the water filters were changed? who pays for the light bulbs to be replaced? when was the last time you serviced the car? how often do you check under the bonnet? 

MIL is also inquisitive - is Salisbury north or east of home? If we go via Stonehenge how much longer does it add to the trip? The green landscape here is different to Ireland, which was greener, wonder why? 

Simple questions like please show me how the washing machine works, or where does the spatula go are much easier to cope with and answer.

They are taking MissM to Isle of Wight tomorrow for a few days while we go to Barcelona. MissM's only just realizing we won't be in England ..... she's so-so about it.

Not sure yet if I'll take the laptop and bash out a few chats, or leave you in peace for a few days.

Either way, the next few days will be fun for all of us for different reasons.

Hope you have a good mid term if you are on holidays, 
With friendship


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