Well here at the start of 2012 it seems like a good time to be looking back at the last year and, jings!, what a busy one it's been (again). Parts of the year have been well documented here, my trips to Amsterdam and The Hague and later in the year to Krakow. This years music seems amply covered and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park gets a couple of mentions. But on the whole when I look at this years files of photos (there are 10771 pictures in total), I'm quite amazed by what there is still to mention. So hopefully in the next few days I'll get a chance to post a few of the year's missing sights.
When I got the car back in Spring, one of the first things I did was to organise a little tour down south to visit friends that I hadn't seen for a long time. I went punting on the Cam if you remember, but I didn't catch a bus to Cambridge to make do with a half hour tour up and down the river. For a great many of these pictures, I'm not terribly sure of the exact building you can see but I hope they give an idea of some of the wonderfully ornate architecture of the town.
Many of the colleges have these impressive gates.
When I was there it was exam time and most of the colleges were closed to visitors. I did manage to snaffle this picture of the courtyard of one of them.
The cafe in the Michaelhouse centre gets top marks for multitasking - in front of the glass screen they seemed to have a service going on and a toddler group of some description and behind the screen they had a great wee cafe going.
The glass screen in the middle of the church produced a strange effect of reflecting the stained glass from one end of the church while being able to see the stained glass at the other through it.
Public toilets don't often make appearances on this blog but when they have ancient painted pillars in them, they're certainly worth a look.
This clock tower was spotted through a locked gate.
Zooming in a bit you can see that the face is made of mosaic.
An ornate plaster ceiling in Little St Mary's
Much of my afternoon was spent in the Fitzwilliam museum and art gallery - I zoomed round with shameful haste and could easily have spent an entire day, probably more, in there. This dome is somewhere up above you as you enter.
I would liked to have taken lots of pictures in the Fitzwilliam but it wasn't allowed. That's not to say I didn't manage a few. Most sculptures by Jacob Epstein I've seen have been a bit creepy, to be perfectly honest, you really wouldn't want to wake up to one, but his bust of Einstein has a distinctly kindly look about it.
This statue is outside the Scott Polar Research Institutue. Considering this, he's a touch under equipped.
Here's Captain Scott himself
Of course, when travelling around the country, refueling stops are essential.
When I was talking about modern stained glass in Chester cathedral here, I mentioned that I would be coming back to the subject of St Oswald again and until now, I haven't. I shall rectify that now. Here in an older window in Chester cathedral is St Cuthbert pictured with an otter. This is because, an old story tells us, that St Cuthbert went into the sea to pray and two otters came to warm his feet.
St Oswald came to a rather sticky end at the Battle of Maserfield and he ended up in bits. His head is buried in the same box as St Cuthbert at Durham Cathedral. His arms ended up in Bamburgh Abbey but the right one was stolen by monks from Peterborough Abbey (now a cathedral). Four other places in Europe also claim to have his head. On the coat of arms of Kirkcudbright (most often claimed to mean the church of Cuthbert and his body spent a short wile in the town) St Cuthbert can be seen on a boat holding the head of St Oswald, as in this lamp which is just a stones throw from my house.
Back in Chester Cathedral, in the stained glass around the cloisters, is this delightful little bee.
In the middle of the cloisters is this statue called The Water of Life by Stephen Broadbent.
A very Happy new year to you all