Across to Ely for the first time, where we visited the Cathedral. Perhaps it was the mood I was in, or the glorious weather, but – despite my deep-seated mistrust of religions – I felt profoundly welcome here.
The building is exquisite, particularly the Lady Chapel, where the historical damage (including great windows that would once have featured stained glass and friezes of headless figures) enhanced the effect.
Was moved by the Bomber Command window, with its depiction of the geodesic-framed Vickers Wellington bombers – and, further around and from some 950 years earlier, by the tomb of another long-ago hero, Byrhtnoth.
After the Cathedral, we wondered into Topping & Co’s wonderful bookstore, on three floors. On the top floor, we were offered a tray of coffee and biscuits an, browsing still more seriously, came away with almost more books than we could carry – including a 2-volume Taschen work on Dalí. The previous (Abrams) volume I bought in the 1970s collapsed, probably through over-use.
Given our involvement in the work of the Sustainable Eel Group, I was particularly interested in the celebration of eels in the city – with an eel trail and a sculpture (shown in one of the photos above) and mosaic en route to the River Ouse.
En route back to Oliver Cromwell’s house, we were walking through parkland, with lots of rabbits enjoying the afternoon sun between us and the Cathedral. And then there was a hare. At the time, I was walking backwards up a gentle slope, as I sometimes do, talking to Elaine. The hare seemed transfixed. It stood up to its full height, its ears extended. It seemed to be trying to work out what exactly I was. I sometimes face the same challenge.