Lady of the House and I were at York over Easter weekend. We had not been there since the mid-eighties, when the Minster had been damaged by fire. This was a different visit as we did not have the children this time!
Snow and a biting wind did not stop us wandering through the narrow streets, and visiting the Castle Museum. We also found a wonderful country pub with excellent food.
Easter being an important Festival, a visit to the Minster was one of the reasons we went to York. The 10am service saw the largest congregation I have ever seen outwith Rome’s St Peter’s Square. We went to Sung Mattins. and then I went on a hunt for a photo of an angel. There were loads of Bishops, Apostles, cherubs, and wonderful Madonnas, but no angels, or Seraphims.
We even went to Beverley Minster, but again no angels! maybe some can explain why!
Travelling south on Friday, on a miserably wet and snowy journey through Gateshead, on the way to York, Young Lady and I suddenly spotted through the gloom, the Angel of the North. I have given the Angel the benefit of capital initials as she is now very famous following 10 years of life on a wind-swept hill. On first glimpse, it looks a bit like a glider which has reversed in flight and landed with its tail embedded in the hillside, and nose pointing skyward!
We were not able to stop to have a closer look, as the inexorable traffic drove is on, and we could see no exit signs to let us go closer. I’ve read about it (on blogs and elsewhere)and seen the photos but was still not prepared for the size. I must be honest that on such a day I did not find it beautiful, but it is certainly startling, and perhaps the fact that it is not possible for a through-traveller to see it in detail is important. It is obviously very strong, but in some ways it is ephemoral, as it fades into the distance. The image of the outstretched arms was also not lost on me on Good Friday…was this intentional?
You can check it out on the gateshead website… www.gateshead.gov.uk …then follow the link, for a three-dimensional view. Maybe next time we will be able to get out and have a closer look.