Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Home from Glastonbury.

I've had a lovely few days with our youngest daughter in Glastonbury. We stayed in a tiny studio flat very aptly named 'The Cubbyhole'. It made up for it's lack of space by being so well placed for everything we wanted. In the picture above you can see how the minerals stain the water from the Chalice Well which is said to be fed from beneath the Tor. The water has healing properties and many visitors take a little bottle of it home with them. The gardens which house the well are so tranquil and almost at the foot of the Tor, and I am so pleased I was able to get up to the top and enjoy the amazing 360 degree panorama of Somerset and beyond, spread out beneath us.

We had to make a visit to the Abbey ruins and grounds which I love - they too are so peaceful. I took loads more photos again this year but have posted only a few.

This little well is tucked through an archway in the Undercroft, one level below the railings in the following picture. I missed it last year.

I'm surprised there is any of the Abbey left as it was virtually used as a quarry for about 300 years after the dissolution. It is thought that many old buildings in the town have stone from here somewhere in their construction. The Abbey museum has a few beautiful tiles and shards of glass, but all the precious things were stripped away. It has a stunning model illustrating just how large the Abbey was.

In the space between these two high sections there would have been an arch and reversed arch above it forming an enormous curved letter X and similar to the one in Wells Cathedral. It must have been a breathtaking sight, and was the largest and most richly decorated Abbey in England, in it's time.

I bought this postcard of the Holy Thorn to remind me of how it looked before vandals chopped all it's branches off earlier this year. This tree is a descendant of the original one which grew on the spot on Wearyall Hill where it is thought that Joseph of Arimathea stuck his staff into the ground and it took root. It is interesting that this particular species of hawthorn is found in the Middle East and is not indigenous to Britain. It flowers twice a year - at Easter and Christmas - whereas our native hawthorn flowers only once in Spring.

Sadly, it now looks like this, but the good news is that tiny green shoots are appearing round the base of the tree and from several of the branches. Hundreds of people have been to see it and tied ribbons and messages of goodwill round the metal guard protecting it from the cattle and sheep which graze the field. It won't look the same, but it's definitely alive.

I came home feeling much better and almost free of my cough, only to find that my husband had gone down with the same thing. He has a weak chest so even an ordinary cold is bad for him and has been quite poorly but seems to be improving. Antibiotics are helping the condition but making him very drowsy.


We both still tire easily but Dick mowed the lawns yesterday and I have done quite a lot of tidying up in the front garden and planted out the sweet peas, potted up some herbs and pricked out seedlings which were practically climbing out of their seed tray. All we want now is some rain, and then a bit of sunshine to sit out and admire our handiwork. Too much to ask? Probably.


The Weaver of Grass said...

Lovely photos Heather. Glad you are feeling better but sorry that your husband has it now.

Planting out seedlings? We planted out some runner bean seedlings and the next morning, after a night of cruel winds, there was not a leaf left on them.

My geraniums are now waiting until after the weekend.
As for rain - we wish.

Kat Mortensen said...

Sounds like a very nice visit. What a shame about the Hawthorn tree. Damn those vandals!

You can have some of our rain, Heather. I'll wish it over to you.
Are you affected by the Iceland volcano?


Carol Q said...

great photos Heather. You have been through the wars the past few months. Sorry to hear your husband's suffering as well now. rain..hmm not much chance of that from the sound of it.

Heather said...

What a shame about your runner beans Pat. Can you cheat and buy some plants to replace them?
So far we are safe from the ash cloud Kat, but desperate for rain. It must be a dreadful worry for farmers and growers.
Thanks Carol - we are supposed to be going out tomorrow but I think I will make an executive decision and insist we stay local.

Kayla coo said...

I was very interested to read about the Hawthorn tree and so pleased that there are new shoots.
I have never visited Glastonbury so thank you for sharing your visit.x

Julie said...

Thank you for your encouraging comments on my blog Heather :-) It's interesting to see another side of Glastonbury as it is always connected with the festival. I hope both you and your husband are soon feeling fully fit again.

The hawthorn looks like the Clooty Trees (not sure of the spelling) that they have in Scotland where rags are tied to a tree. I'm glad the hawthorn is recovering.

Robin Mac said...

Lovely photos from Glastonbury Heather, you can never show too many of them for me! I do hope you are both fully recovered soon. What a crazy world we have, you are desperate for rain, we are hoping for a couple of months of dry weather! Cheers.

Val said...

Thanks so much for sharing the beautiful photographs of Glastonbury Heather - such a peaceful place. I do hope you and your husband are soon back to rude health. It's raining her today - hope you get your share!

maggi said...

Glad you are feeling better Heather. Thank you for sharing your photos. What mindless vandalism, is there any other kind? At least it is showing its defiance. Hope your husband is starting to improve.

A Heron's View said...

I am very pleased to read that the Holy Thorn on Wearyall Hill is still alive and throwing out new shoots; it means a lot to me that tree because from where I used to live, it was the first sight that met my eyes every morning.