Winchester CathedralTuesday, July 10, 2007
On of my favourite books is David Macaulay's 1973 Cathedral. The beautifully illustrated book on the construction of the imaginary cathedral of the imaginary French town of Chutreaux fills me with a sense of wonder on the power of man. We don't need aliens to help us build pyramids. We only need masons.
All this came to mind this morning when I walked in the garden and noticed that one of the opening flowers of the English Rose R. 'Winchester Cathedral' had that little but still perfect flaw of colour on what is usually an all white rose. I wrote about it here Leda.
It is difficult not to be awed by the tall vaults of cathedrals and the ceilings of Victorian train stations. I am particularly attracted to the smells of decaying stone mixed with the humanity of centuries. I could smell just that when I walked on the roof of Notre Dame in Paris.
Coincidentally I have begun Candace Robb's The Cross-Legged Knight which is a murder mystery set in York in 1371 and one of the principal protagonists (who thinks someone is out to kill him) is William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester and former Lord Chancellor of England who in real life struggled with King Edward III by supporting his son the Duke of Lancaster (John of Gaunt).
Again that the sight of a beautiful rose in my garden can diverge my thoughts to all the above is but my proof on the merits of that good garden plant.