Ok, so Moose is not our real name, just a nickname my hubby got at uni, but I like it! There’s a certain sort of ring to the sound of “Mrs Moose”, don’t you think?! 😛
L has been ill with a bad cold and I have been struck badly with my usual complaint … we had a very early wake-up because of an ambulance taking away one of our neighbours … L was feeling so ill he stayed in bed and I went to church … on coming back, I decided we needed to do something fun together in the afternoon … time to enjoy life and each other!
Time for some fun! Wahoo!! 😀
First, we walked into town and got a milkshake from our favourite milkshake cafe – Shakeaway! It is a franchise that has branches all over England … we’re lucky to have one right here in our town!! Yum yum yum! 😛
L broke with tradition!! (Insert appropriate gasps of disbelief …) I’d already told him there was new menu, to which he responded, “well, I won’t be changing my order!” L always has a strawberry cheesecake and Milky Way shake, occasionally slipping a donut and custard one in there for some variety … but no, upon hearing that an addition to the menu was pop shakes, he promptly ordered a coke and ice-cream shake!! Don’t worry, I made sure to tease him about his assurances he wouldn’t be persuaded to change his milkshake!! 😉 To be fair to my hubby, I didn’t on the spur of the moment to throw prudence to the winds and instead of getting my usual frozen yogurt and fruit shake, I had frozen yogurt, Kindo Bourneo and Frerra Rochere (not a clue if the spelling is right!! 😛 )… ooh, pot calling the kettle black or what?! 😛 It was yummy, but it was so sweet I could only drink half of it, so back to fruity goodness for me! 😉
We walked around the outside of the cathedral for a bit, looking at the massive stones and wondering about its history … is it very shocking that I’ve lived within 2 hours of this cathedral my whole life and in the same city for the last 12 years and L has lived in the city for the last 11 years, yet neither of us know anything about the history of our most famous historical building?!? Hmm, maybe just a bit …
We decided to have a look inside and stepped into a peaceful world of high vaulted ceilings, cool stone pillars, beautiful stained glass windows and century upon century of history …
It truly is a beautiful cathedral … and no, of course I’m not biased by my long connection with it …!! 😉
According to a tour leaflet we picked up … which as a matter of complete irrelevancy, was available in at least 17 different languages … the nave of our cathedral is the longest in the world! Wow, I didn’t know that before!!
Isn’t this just the most beautiful window ever?!? I’ve always loved stained glass windows (maybe something to do with the colour?! 😉 ) and this one is especially majestic! It’s called The Great West Window and I can only begin to imagine what a glorious sight it must be when the sun rises and shines through all these intricately patterned pieces of rainbow glass … a little piece of heaven on earth maybe?
This is one panel of a hexagonal stone pulpit. It is called the Martyrs Pulpit and was carved in the 18oos in commemoration to a bishop that was ordained in this cathedral and was martyred in the South Pacific. The detail of the carving was so cool! I mean the details like the muscles on the arms and the expressions on the faces, not details of men being slaughtered!! 😛
We were asked if we wanted to attended the afternoon service and in the end decided we would, as the cathedral was very peaceful, the quire (the inner chapel and the place where the choir sits) is very beautiful and both of us love live choral singing …
… only it turned out that today was a first in the last ten years … the visiting choir that was due to sing that week was unable to attend at the last-minute … disappointment! 😦 The worst, however, is yet to come …
The choir master informed us next that we, the service attendees, would have to do the singing instead … gulp!! But I can’t sing! apparently he didn’t seem to think that this would be an issue for any of us and launched into going through some of the songs, Psalms, sung prayers and responses …
Both L and I felt very sorry for ourselves! 😦 Neither of us feel we can keep to a tune and neither of us are therefore confident singers … unless we’re one of 100 or so people singing loudly or are at home by ourselves with no one to hear us!! After all, one wouldn’t want to inflict a traumatic life experience on some unsuspecting person walking past us on the street … 😛 So here we were, surround by maybe 15-20 other people at most, in one of the best surroundings for acoustics … ahhhhhh!!
Despite moments of intense embarrassment (like when we managed to drop our service sheet on the floor after a scramble to keep hold of it … cringe!) and my hubby nearly reducing me to hysterics when he decided to do an angelic choir boy impression mid-song, it was a peaceful and strangely enjoyable experience! There was something special about being there in this centuries-old building of worship, singing ancient musical arrangements of praise. Next time I would very much like to hear the beauty of a professional choir, but on that Sunday afternoon it felt right; it felt satisfying; it felt unifying.
We came away with a great sense of peace and contentment.
This was not the sunday afternoon adventure that L and I had envisaged when we stepped out of our front door into the sun … it was the best Sunday afternoon I can remember in a long while … and I wouldn’t have it any other way! 🙂
Have you had an afternoon which has turned out completely differently, but much better, than you had imagined?!