Tuesday 15 September 2015

Tale of two cities

Erin Mae is a little too long to get up the river(s) to Ripon, so it was bus pass time again. We would have regretted leaving these parts without making a visit to the other cathedral city up the road.

We've valued the Yorkshire buses, with their network names like "Pride of the Dales", and "TLC Bus Company". Today it was the more prosaically named "TransDev" route 142. It was about an hour and twenty-five minutes from York to Ripon, and the rain had stopped by the time we were deposited in the middle of the town. There's an impressive memorial in front of the hall which houses the information centre, and they were very helpful in giving us directions.

The cathedral itself was a bit quirky. Bishop Wilfrid had built a church here at the end of the 7th century. He was the politically astute one who persuaded the English (not quite the right word to describe the tribal mix in the land at the time) to adopt the Roman form of Christianity. The crypt he made still exists down below the present building. This has an odd feature where four arches surround the central space. Early in its life part of that section had collapsed, and when it was re-built, two of the arches were made in Norman rounded style, and the other two in Gothic pointy style. And not symmetrically, because each pair of matching arches are next to each other round the square, rather than facing each other. Some mistakes are set in stone! But for one reason or another we didn't relate to this church and its community quite as easily as we had to those in York.

When we got back to the boat we found that the Met Office have started issuing warnings about the weather here – but can't say exactly what's going to happen, only that it might entail flooding! York is not necessarily the place to be on a boat when floods arrive. So we're going to keep our ears and eyes open, and hope we can make the wisest decisions about our movements as we cruise back to Selby. We went to choral evensong again in the Minster tonight, and they read a passage from the book of Proverbs in the Bible about the value of wisdom, and then another from Luke's gospel where Jesus spoke (metaphorically) about not building your house where the floods can rise and knock it down! So we're going to try and take all that to heart and do the right thing at the right time. Just have to work out what those are…


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