Friday, 23 May 2014

Museums, Squirrels, Evensong and more madness.

 Well it finally happened - rain.  We aren't complaining after so many good weeks and it was on and off and hasn't stopped us doing anything planned, though the picnickers have vacated the lawns.
First stop the York Museum which includes quite a large dinosaur collection so I threw this one in for the kids. A very scary sea dinosaur.
I also learned more about squirrels. I knew the grey squirrel had caused a problem for the red squirrel, but hadn't realised it was a virus or that some idiot imported them to the UK in the late 1800s. Apparently there is also now a black squirrel appearing more often.  The nearest we've come to red and black is in the museum
We are entertained daily by the grey squirrels in the park and a couple of old timers come daily to hand feed them.
The history in the museum is simply amazing and here are a couple of examples.
So after a good dose of history we needed sustenance and so off we went to Betty's as we realized we had yet to try the famous afternoon tea (thankfully it was just past 12 noon!)
Tiny sandwiches, a scone and tiny cakes adorned the tray. We were asked if we would like chutney with the sandwiches and Garrie said yes.
Possibly hard to tell but the mound of chutney was bigger than any of the sandwiches!  It seriously is like something from the TV show "The paradise.".  The staff are dressed closely to that era and are similarly attentive. I tried their hot chocolate which proved far superior to the version from the chocolate place yesterday.
Off to window shop and a brief break at home and then to the highlight of the day, York Minster.  You've seen the outside so here is a little of the inside.  Here is the rose window repaired after the 1980s fire.
We took a free guided tour and again learned much that we would have otherwise missed.  Our guide explained the meanings in some of the windows and also about the sense off humour of the craftsmen who often added their own bits and pieces. This one shows a deer chasing a dog.
In this we find the original tom and jerry
In this a statue has two right feet. The story goes that the master craftsman had his apprentice make the first foot. When the apprentice showed his master the original, the master said "well done, now make me another just the same"
We also saw the markings left by companies. Thompsons make a lot of church furniture and are known as "mousy" Thompsons due to the calling card they always leave somewhere
The stained glass windows are removed, cleaned, repaired and re-leaded about every 80 years and this process is being undertaken on the large east window.  Displays show you renovated sections, what they mean, what they looked like before and where they fit.
This one is 11h
There is also an amazing astrological clock that keeps perfect time, including when the sun comes up and goes down as long as there are no power cuts. It was created in 1955 and they continue to add modern pieces to the building.
In the under croft there are displays of the roman fortress found under the minster and also the original Norman minster. It is incredibly hard to get your head around the dates involved.
Yes these bricks are over 1700 years old!
Today's highlight, eithout doubt was attending the Choral Evensong in this area which I photographed earlier in the afternoon.  We had just the boys choir so the sound was heavenly and I've added some links if you'd like to know or hear more.  We were seated in the back row behind the choir in the seats used by important visiting clergy who thankfully were not there!

And so we needed some food, where to go? Our other favourite spot "The House of the Trembling Madness"!  They had a plate of stew on special for £5 and you could not jump over it.
So it's raining again outside but we are home and snug and heading for bed. 'Night all. X x x