It’s so nice to do normal… I know that probably isn’t grammatically correct but you know what I mean. The other day we got in the car and set off, heading east leaving our village and the town. We didn’t drive very far, just followed the Mendips for a few miles more than twenty, and arrived at the city of Wells. Despite it being quite a small place, with less than 15,000 inhabitants it is a city because of its beautiful cathedral. If you don’t count the City of London, it is the smallest English city. It’s pretty obvious why it is called Wells, there are three wells; the Romans who were very busy in Somerset settled there, and later King Ine founded a church which became the cathedral. It’s a small place but charming with lots of interesting features, and a favourite place for us to visit.
And so the other day, off we went to Wells. We had a pleasant and uneventful journey through the countryside via Cheddar, Draycott, Rodney Stoke, and Westbury-sub-Mendip and parked in our usual place. We walked into the town, past St Cuthbert’s Church which you will know if you have watched the film ‘Hot Fuzz’ (RIP Tim Messenger) We wandered up the High Street which has little conduits on either side of the road carrying water from the fountain in the square where the market is still held. We wandered along, and wandered round the Bishop’s Palace and looked at the moat, and then wandered back to look at the cathedral. It was somewhat chilly with a very sharp wind so we found a nice place to have coffee, sitting outside of course.
We sat outside because at the moment bars, pubs, cafés and restaurants can’t serve people inside, so we all have to sit outside, our tables far apart from each other. It was very good coffee, and having enjoyed it, we strolled back up the High Street (or down, depending on which way you look at it. We went into a couple of shops, masks on of course, the hardware shop, the charity bookshop, and then we headed back to the car.
On our way home we diverted into Cheddar, not to the Gorge, but to a pub we know and sitting outside we enjoyed a beer and a ploughman’s lunch. Just in case you don’t know, a ploughman’s lunch is bread cheese and a pickled onion or two, and sometimes an apple. These days it’s unlikely to be as simple as that as was the case with ours; we had salad and relish as well as Somerset blue chees and Cheddar of course. Lunch consumed we headed home after a very simple day out, we didn’t go far, we didn’t do much, but we had a lovely time. It was an especially lovely time because we haven’t been able to do anything like this since last summer. It was quite strange to be doing things which we used to do without a thought, to be away from home, ad away from our village, beyond a ten mile limit, to have a coffee not made by ourselves or a takeaway, to go in a couple of shops, to sit in a pub garden, yes it was quite strange, very strange… but so joyous.