Sunday, June 29, 2014

Historic Rochester

We recently went to Rochester in Kent for the afternoon, travelling around the dreaded M25 to get there. It should have taken us just over an hour but ended up taking nearly two hours due to congestion at the Dartford Crossing - there is a toll at the crossing of £2 per car.

We learnt a very interesting thing during the day - Kentish people can't understand Scottish people! We were looking for a castle and Ken decided to ask some locals for directions with quite amusing (for me) results. The first person was a lady on a fruit and veg stall - my beloved asked where the castle was and she replied with the price of her peaches. Ken then stopped a man walking up the street and again asked where the castle was - the man replied, 'the cancer place?'. It was quite a fascinating phenomenon - as we're off to Kent again in July we'll have to see if it happens again.

When we stopped we thought we were already in Rochester but we were actually just short of it in Strood - still found a lovely church (no graveyard) and a rather interesting statue - Ken thinks it's something to do with shipbuilding.

A very short drive later we were in Rochester - full of ancient buildings and old English quaintness. I loved this weatherboard house with its pretty window boxes.

We walked through the alleyway below - I think these two buildings are having a chat so have to lean towards each other to hear better.

A few more shots from the main street including a waymarker for one of the national cycle routes - we have pictures of a few of these from around the UK.

Rochester cathedral dates from 604 AD - that totally blows my mind to think that the beginnings of this amazing place are 1410 years old!! The current building has bits that are over 900 years old and there are lots of different architectural styles due to various attacks over the years.

As you walk around the cathedral there is a real sense of the history in every nook and cranny - I love touching the stones and imagining the people who have gone before. I also love how within such an ancient spiritual space they have incorporated modern art and sculpture - here are just a few.

This is the Holy Water Stoup made out of spun copper
This beautiful depiction of Mary and Jesus is carved out of Yew
Textile art by Jacqui Parkinson which is touring UK cathedrals

Outside in the cloister are the remains of the priory - very pretty garden with yet more sculptures.

Sunny selfie
Within the cathedral there is so much to look at and I hope these photos give you a sense of what a special place it is. Our only disappointment of the day was that the crypt was closed for repairs.

Beautiful pattern on one of the doors
The high alter which shows gothic architecture
Incredibly beautiful carved doorway

These beautiful panels commemorate people who lost their lives in the war
in Afghanistan in the late 1800's - how sad that nothing has changed
The organ produced an amazing sound - we were lucky enough to catch the end of
a service so got to hear it in all it's glory
These are known as the pilgrim steps where medieval pilgrims would walk
- as you can see the stone steps under the boards are very worn by hundreds
of years of pilgrimage. I got down and put my hands on the stone steps
to absorb the history from them
This modern depiction of baptism was completed in 2004
This chappy was my favourite of the day - I think he's a combination
of the grim reaper and father time
When we were outside admiring the carvings my beloved commented that it looked like there were bats carved on the cathedral - no Ken I think you'll find that they are angels.

It was a lovely place to visit and even though there isn't a picture we did stop in the Cathedral tea rooms for sustenance, and yes we did find the castle.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and take care of you and yours.

Pamela and Ken

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Kiss From A Rottweiler

Today was such a glorious day that I went walking with my beloved. We took Orinoco to Croxley Common Moor - this is an area of historic grassland covering 40 hectares. The river Gade runs through the moor and as it was warm day Ori went and stood in the water to cool off - I was tempted to join him.

Cattle graze on the moor in the summer to help maintain the right environment for the wild flowers to thrive in. Ori was a bit nervous of them so we kept them at a distance.

The wild flowers are beautiful - lots of different colours and sizes. Some of the flowers are tiny and on the opposite end of the scale are the thistles with their lovely big purple flowers.

Tiny butterfly
Red and black flutterbye that wouldn't stay still for me

Wild roses

After Orinoco we went on to meet Ruby the Rottweiler - the reason for today's title. She is such a beautiful girl and so friendly. We went onto Chorleywood Common and once we found a seat I stayed there to read whilst Ken and Ruby went for a walk.

Ruby and my beloved
As we were posing for a picture Ruby decided to turn and give me a kiss
This was the view from the seat I was reading on
Lovely trees
Cottage straight out of a fairy tale
Now the final sequence of photos show what happens when you try and take a selfie with a Rottweiler - do you think celebrities ever have these problems. The first one Ruby decides to steal the limelight, the second she decided to give my cheek a lick, and the third I think is a winner.

That was our day out in the sun - hopefully the weekend will be just as glorious.

Until next time be happy, stay safe, and hug an animal.

Pamela and Ken