Wednesday, 22 January 2014
A Perfect January Day
This morning though, I am feeling really uplifted, I am in yet another new place, a place I've been keen to visit for some time now, a place I keep seeing sign posted from the M3 every time we take Rose to and from university. I've promised myself I will keep finding new places to explore, to enjoy and learn about and that I will get out and see all there is to see of life, nature and history in all its shapes and forms.
Next we wander up through the busy, vibrant, main high street, there is a wealth and mismatch of interesting architecure. Modern shopping - juxtaposed amongst ancient and interesting looking buildings, some dating back centuries. There is a cosmopolitan and lively ambience with buskers adding to the sense of vitality and joviality. There are many usual high street shops, old shops, quirky shops, independent shops. Add to that the bakers shops, the tea shops, restaurants and coffee shops, with their pavement cafes and varied aromas. It is only January and people are sitting outside enjoying the early sunshine and soaking up the atmosphere.
We wander on and come upon the cathedral in all its grandeur, towering majestically amongst its grounds and walls, but somehow managing to hide quietly behind the high street, tucked away from the river by other surrounding historic buildings. It looks as though it is just waiting secretly to be discovered and wanting to be explored. We go for an explore inside and it is magnificent with its huge stained glass window above the entrance, the bright sun of the day, streaming through and lighting it up both ethereally and naturally. There are bright yellow pageants adorning the main aisle, adding to the sense of light, warmth and welcome. The cathedral dates back to 1079 and is enriched with many features of architecture from the 11th to 16th centuries. I discover that Jane Austen, one of my favourite authors is buried here too.
Our little wander continues back to the river, passing many more buildings of significance and interest: Cheyney Court, a mid fifteenth century building; Jane Austen's House; Wolvesey Castle and Palace, dating back to 1110 and the College, with origins from 1387. All these beautiful buildings are against a backdrop of blue sky and light and seem to stand out at their best in the day's sunshine.
Winter time in Winchester. What a worthwhile wander around and special day out in the warm, January sunshine. We have not been disappointed, it was well worth the wait!
We have walked a circuit of at least three miles, stopping for coffee and lunch and now it's time for another rest before home, we visit another cafe for tea. I've enjoyed today wandering about aimlessly, just mooching like any other person. I like it here. When I first started getting out and about after my transplant, I felt like I wanted to shout out to everyone, 'I've just had a heart and double lung transplant!' In those early days it all felt so strange and surreal. Today, I've got more used to things; more settled. I like it here, that no-one knows anything about my transplant; I like it that I've been able to walk around; I like it that I've walked so far and much further than I ever could for many years; I like it to feel ordinary again; ordinary is where I want to be, nothing else, just back to me again!