Friday, October 1, 2010

A day-trip to Hereford

It was almost two weeks ago now, but I've been feeling exceptionally lazy recently, and waking night shifts aren't so good for sorting out photos as I thought they would be, my eyes weren't so convinced about staring at a computer screen to evaluate the relative merits of various photos. Particularly when none of them were exceptionally good photos. And I've been reading lots anyway, two and a half books in the last two weeks! Given the amount of free time I have that is pretty good. Of course the reading is in direct relation to the waking night shifts, I got through 3/4 of Isabel Allende's memoir in one shift! I now have a couple more books thanks to the Malvern library, which I have to admit hasn't got the greatest adult fiction section. I also bought the second two of the Girl With a Dragon Tattoo series. Not that I thought the first one was anything particularly special, but she is an interesting female lead, and I want to see where he takes it, she is kinda totally vulnerable, so she could become less of a heroine more of a victim pretty easily. I got the first one in Dubai airport by the way, I felt the need for an a trashy airport book. I'll grant it exceeded expectations in that area, I was not able to read it on the plane at all. Also they were two for the price of one or some other such deal, and the speed I'm getting through books on these waking nights made it seem worthwhile. Also, I think new books are cheaper here. £8 I think they were. I'm sure they would be at least $20 at home, each. On special.

Anyway, Hereford. It was quite a nice town actually, I rather liked it. I strolled about being a tourist mostly, which I don't actually enjoy doing much, I feel ridiculous standing there taking pictures of things that everyone else takes for granted. But I was in the mood for it. Anyway, I had to find out if they had any cows.
This is the cathedral I was told much about. It was very pretty, you can't really make out the detail in this picture as it is too small, but it was quite lovely. They were doing a lot of work around it, not sure exactly what. They also claimed that it cost £4000 per day to keep it running, or something ridiculous like that, which I wasn't entirely inclined to believe. Anyway, they charged for you to take photos inside, so there aren't any photos from inside. It was a bit dark, so my camera probably wouldn't have taken any good pictures anyway, as you'll be able to see from my picture in Ledbury. My camera isn't so good with low-light, I can't figure out how to keep the shutter speed reasonable even when there is low light, that way I might be able to take evening/night pictures more reliably.

I took this picture looking towards what I would generally consider the town square, although it seemed to lack a town hall or any sort of civic buildings, or even a statue. Anyhow, the building hidden behind the tree is every bit as neat as it looks, except for one thing- it appears from three sides to be basically abandoned, although well maintained. From the other side, I found out much too late, it is actually a museum. Obviously. The only entrance is quite small and not
particularly obvious, so I only noticed it when I walked past on my way back to the train station. It had some cute historical story that I've now forgotten on a plaque outside, I'm pretty sure it involved rich men and their daughters getting married, possibly to the wrong people. I can't really remember now, I might just be making it up. I'm pretty sure about the wealthy men part though!
One of the things I really liked in Hereford was all the little alleyways. They were basically impossible to take a good picture of, but I tried, and this one has hanging baskets of flowers, so it got bonus points!

When I eventually tired of Hereford (some hours after having a half-pint of delicious local cider and getting "Dough'ed" by an fascinatingly bigoted old man -bartenders term btw for getting ensnared in conversation with that particular regular...) I moved on to a village called Ledbury, which is between Malvern and Hereford. It was already twilight when I arrived, so I'm only going to put up a picture of the pub I had dinner in (and found another delicious beer from the same brewery as the cider). It was a really pretty village, full of little boutique shops with local arts and such. I will go back another time I think and possibly do some xmas shopping. It was a really sweet little town!

Hidden down a dark alleyway, with the sound of church bells ringing around, I decided to investigate the possibilities of finding some dinner, it looked interesting enough. Inside was an amazing cheerful little country pub. I resisted all impulse to take pictures because I could tell it wouldn't be appreciated by the people who were just having a post-work (on the farm) drink. But I did have a very delicious dinner of faggots with minty mushy peas and chips. I just can't comprehend how the English came to think faggots was a good name for a dish of gigantic meat balls, but there you go. I managed not to giggle, and I had really delicious beer while I admired the many.... whatever you call those labels they put on the front of the beer taps so you know what they have. There were hundreds of them decorating all the walls, it was quite an interesting effect, almost mosaic. Excellent display. Oh, and the dinner was delicious. Made from local cows according to the menu, I didn't ask what specific type of cows... that might've been pushing it!

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