We went through the Victoria Pleasure Gardens opposite, down to a river. Not a river, an off-shoot of the Avon, made by the Benedictine monks for their mill. We could see the marks of the floodwater on the walls which bounded the gardens. This is what it looked like at the beginning of the year;
If you think of the Abbey as being at the centre of a clock, the Victoria Gardens are at about 9. The blobs are the trees we walked beside, and the building completely surrounded by water at 10 is the mill. Perhaps I should reassure you that the water is all back where it belongs now so our feet were quite dry.
Once at the mill, we walked up towards the town, peering along the hundred of little alleys that run between the buildings back down to the river. Just about every building has to be listed as grade something-or-other, especially the house that is only 8 feet wide...
I didn't take any photographs, exect this one; a rather fine angel carved onto a door.
He said I should have waited until the angel had emerged from the shadows but I couldn't hang around that long. Why not? Well, did I mention the weather? As well as the sun and the clouds and the rain and the drizzle, there was a continuous ICY WIND that made his ears tingle and kept my hands firmly in their pocketses. April? It's January in there here parts! SO BRACING - like the Skegness of the railway posters.
We walked up the length of the High Street and it started to rain. So we dived into an excellent cafe where we thawed out with hot chocolates (mine was a "baby choc", his was the "eggstravaganza" involving whipped cream and crushed mini-eggs). And immediately, the rain stopped and the sun came out. That was the kind of weather it was.
Excitement was provided by someone's car catching fire in the main street - one fire engine and one police car and all sorted.
By now we really were too cold, so we made our way back to warmth and shelter.
On the way, we looked in at estate agent windows - we could sell our 1950s surburban heap of bricks and afford a four-bedroom sweetly pretty roses round the door cottage and have money over for cheese (we know people who really like cheese)
But if it is always going to be freezing or flooded here, we might think again....
Spent the afternoon back in the Abbey, having another look at the beautiful stone tracery, the stained glass, the ceiling bosses, the misericords (can't pass up a good misericord). They have a splendid selection here; I liked this hen and cockerel.
Back at base camp - less of the base, more of the mid-altitude camp, we played with fire, and finally won
At least, for a brief hour or so. It has now reverted to a pile of embers.
Oh well, "and so to bed" as Pepys said.