This weekend a lovely Australian friend came to stay and as it was her first time in Devon we tried to pick some nice spots to take her. First off we hit the city centre, planning to go to the cathedral, remember I posted about it a few weeks ago? A service was about to start so we thought we would come back later. Meanwhile the Cathedral school were holding their summer fete on the green and this is some of what we saw.
We headed through Ship Lane, passing Sir Francis Drakes favourite port of call.
to High street with its carefully restored Tudor buildings
We spent an hour in the welcome air conditioned museum, http://www.rammuseum.org.uk/ recently re-opened after a major refurbishment. At the moment there’s an exhibition of the late James Ravilious, one of my favourite photographers. Coming back to Gandy Street, we were so hot we just had to sit outside Coolings for a half pint of cider!
there were a few cackling witches hanging around the back alley!
Some surviving parts of the castle
Back down the road we watched some street dance
Our day didn’t end there, we went on to the coast, walked on Cockle sands where the tide was out and had fish and chips on the seafront. Finally we pootled around Topsham for an hour, along Hannaford’s quay to the Goat walk. A super day, glorious sunshine and the lovely Australian had a fab time.
As I have included shots of Exeter’s ancient walls and St Catherine’s here is a few lines from the 8th century Exeter book, the poem ‘Ruin’.
Wrætlic is þes wealstan, wyrde gebræcon;
burgstede burston, brosnað enta geweorc.
Hrofas sind gehrorene, hreorge torras,
hrungeat berofen, hrim on lime,
scearde scurbeorge scorene, gedrorene,
ældo undereotone. Eorðgrap hafað
waldend wyrhtan forweorone, geleorene,
heardgripe hrusan, oþ hund cnea
werþeoda gewitan. Oft þæs wag gebad
ræghar ond readfah rice æfter oþrum,
ofstonden under stormum; steap geap gedreas.
Wonað giet se …num geheapen,
or if modern English is more your style,
Wondrous is this wall-stead, wasted by fate.
Battlements broken, giant’s work shattered.
Roofs are in ruin, towers destroyed,
Broken the barred gate, rime on the plaster,
walls gape, torn up, destroyed,
consumed by age. Earth-grip holds
the proud builders, departed, long lost,
and the hard grasp of the grave, until a hundred generations
of people have passed. Often this wall outlasted,
hoary with lichen, red-stained, withstanding the storm,
one reign after another; the high arch has now fallen.
The wall-stone still stands, hacked by weapons,
by grim-ground files.