About Me

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Bristol , United Kingdom
I'm co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Friday 11 October 2013

A Windy Day at Glastonbury

The best laid plans gang aft agley when it's a beautiful October day and your friend is headed to Glastonbury to deliver a consignment of Christmas cards to Gothic Image on the High Street.  

Fare thee well, housework! 

Later, we would be heading for what remains of St Michael's on top of the Tor.  For now, this painting opposite St John's on the High Street had to do.

We decided to climb the three hills associated with the town.  First stop, Wearyall Hill, which is actually a lot less demanding to climb than the Tor.

On its brow is the holy thorn, a descendant of the one alleged to have been planted by Joseph of Arimathea, which allegedly blossoms each Christmas.  Or what remains of it, since it had all its branches cut off in 2010.

There is a historic precedent for this: the 'original' Glastonbury thorn was cut down and burned as a relic of superstition during the Civil War.  It's a shame that some fundamentalists don't appear to have developed at all since then.

After this act of vandalism, in 2012, a new sapling grafted from the tree in the Abbey grounds was planted but this too was irreparably damaged a fortnight later.  I wonder what right people believe they have to do this?  As Dru remarked, it's enough to make you hope they meet the god they believe in.  

The Tor with the town at its feet was looking good, however ... 

... as were these (thankfully placid) Highland cattle.

We left the hill via this stone stile ... 

... and strolled up the River Brue, so altered and engineered as to resemble a large rhyne, which it is in effect. 

This is a photo of a heron (on the bank) and a cormorant. 

Beyond Cow Bridge we headed back into town ... 

... and made our way into the Rifleman's Arms for leek and lentil soup and cheesy chips. 

After stopping to sup at the Chalice Well, we climbed over Chalice Hill to tackle the Tor from the back route. 

At the top it was very very blowy. (Photo by Dru Marland.)
Hats had to be held onto.  

But the views were fabulous, this looking over towards Wells.

The tower of St Michael afforded some shelter ... 

... while we watched the play of sunlight over the Levels.

The Tor is pretty steep - best appreciated on the way down rather than when toiling to the top. Each time I do it, I promise my knees I shall never put them through it again ... 

A quick pumping up of the Moggy's tyre and we were homeward bound, via Hornblotton so that Dru could take some photos of the church we visited a fortnight ago with her tripod ...

... while Ted waited patiently on a pew.  

It's no good, Ted ... 

... you can't hurry beauty.  


  1. looks like a lovely day, but you didn't call in for a cuppa.

    1. Sadly, Rachael, it was a business trip, as you can see. :-)