Friday morning in Gloucester didn't promise much more than an enjoyable chat with a friend and colleague over a coffee as we sorted out some training we're working on and caught up with one or two other work-related issues. It was one of those fine Spring mornings, not exactly warm but fresh and light and there was a definite scent of blossom on the air as I found myself arriving early with ten minutes to spare. As I often do, I dropped into to cathedral where a couple of familiar faces were there working on the flowers - a chat was the first unexpected bonus of the day. The morning sunshine lit one of the tombs and I pulled out my camera for my photo of the day - it's Robert Curthose, son of William the Conqueror and Matilda. There are interesting stories about dear Robert Short-Stockings and I can't be the first (or last) person to find the pose of his effigy a little curious! (see my update on this at the foot of this blog post)
Having finished my meeting, I walked back to the car park in pretty good spirits, doing a double-take as I passed the steps down to the entrance to St Nicholas Church in Westgate Street
Well, have you ever seen a papier-mache Gloucester Old Spot on castors before?
I needed to take a closer look inside, of course, and in doing so I found that for years, I've been walking past a treasure and have never really noticed. I took up the steward's suggestion to take advantage of a short guide to the church, cleverly put together for people like me with no more than ten or so minutes to spare.
What a fun way to spend a few minutes - I found all of the "Big Seven" (or should that have been the Pig Seven?)
The change from Norman to Gothic shape of the arches in the main aisle.
The "leaning tower" and quite remarkable geometry of the west end of the church
Poor Alice Walton's eternal wrinkles (or perhaps they are laughter lines? - no, probably not)
The coat of arms above the entrance
an amazing two-headed door knocker
and the lantern tower, outside. To think I've never stepped inside this church before or paid it any special attention whatsoever.
I really should take the time to be a tourist in my own area more often!
One last unexpected delight. Whilst dropping into Tesco the other morning, I spotted a surprisingly good wine in their "3 for a tenner" deal and put half a dozen bottles in my trolley. Thinking back on the deal, I wished I'd bought more, for this was (almost) too good a deal to be true. But I returned to (a different) Tesco this morning in the hope that others hadn't spotted the deal and beat me to it. Fortunately, they hadn't and another twelve bottles are now in our "cellar"
Don't think I could argue with that calculation, do you?
I was chatting to friends about the tomb of Robert Curthose today and discovered that it's customary for the effigy on the tomb of a Crusader to be portrayed with legs crossed. Googling that fact to add a link to this follow-on to my original entry, I found this . Isn't the internet a wonderful resource?