11 September, 2007

From Norwich it's the quiz of the week

Ignoring what NORWICH means at the foot of a letter* I had a day in Norwich today.

The title of this post refers to the Sale of the Century, a weekly 1970s quizfest from Anglia Television starring Nicholas Parsons and one of the few things they actually produced. Perhaps that's why the are still in business and other ITV stations like Southern and Meridian have folded.

I visited Norwich on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center [sic] and the Pentagon. Funnily enough six years ago I was in another Cathedral city, Salisbury, when the first news of these despicable acts by muslims came through.

Like Peterborough, Norwich Cathedral (the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity) is Romanesque but has some Gothic bits. One way to access the cathedral is through the Erpingham gate, which reminded me of Joe Orton's play 'The Erpingham Camp' concerning a holiday camp that's more like a prison camp.

The cathedral guide is more of a directed meditation than a guide book and doesn't give a lot away. There is a copper font, which was once a vessel used for making chocolate, now it gives new birth to Christians. The Bishop's throne (cathedra) in Norwich is behind the main holy table, where it would have been since the middle ages. It is a modern throne in oak and is set above what would have been a reliquary in pre reformation days, so that the influence of the relic would permeate the bishop. This is the sort of superstition the reformers had to contend with, and if they were a little over zealous at times, for example Thomas Cromwell's staff smashing stained Glass windows, the sentiments were good.

Edith Cavell seems to be following me around this week. She is buried in Norwich, and there is a sculpture of her near the Cathedral.

I went to find the Stranger's Hall, but this was surrounded by scaffolding so I couldn't take a picture. It was also shut. I didn't go into any museum or cultural attraction with the exception of the library. Many of Norwich's 52 churches were closed, but I went into one that had a Transport and General Workers Union banner for Norwich Busmen. Not sure whose church this was.

I didn't see the cell of Julian of Norwich. Julian of Norwich was a female anchorite who wrote of Jesus as 'she'. An early feminist.

This next picture shows Norwich market

After some aimless wandering round Norwich, including the bits they don't show the tourists, I went to Evensong in the cathedral. One of the psalms was 59, 'Deliver me from my enemies O my G*d,
Defend me from them who rise up against me'. This is quite a hard hitting psalm and seemed rather incongrous being warbled by a men and girls choir - Would have been better as a football chant.

*Nickers off ready when I come home. (Since you ask.)

No comments: