this was one of my favorite places.  i think it was the copious amounts of shopping all crammed together in lopsided fashion.  marc and i squeezed into a store as big as our laundry room, with 6 other people, two shop attendants, and twenty pairs of wellingtons.  it was not exactly your typical walmart experience.  (all that acreage and the place still makes me claustrophobic.)

notice the mirror on the corner?  we didn’t realize what it was for until we got to the corner and had the sneaking suspicion we were all going to die from an imminent collision.  those brits are clever.  and so safe.

a dreamy window display.  it seems obvious to me now that i should have bought that dress.

in the center of town is some righteous gazebo.

it kind of marks the entrance to the church green and the abbey.

or what’s left of it.

here is a drawing of what it would have looked like in the 14th century, before it fell over.  which, frankly, sounds rather dangerous.  whose idea was it to stack rocks that high in the first place?

a volunteer at the abbey was telling us how all the carvings would have originally been painted in bright colors, making the place the epitome of stunning.  i didn’t believe him.  then he told us about the “church of the holy innocents” in highnam, which still retains all of it’s interior paintings.  you know, if i ever wanted to see it for myself, ye of little faith.  i googled it instead.  and what do you know, jesus decorates like i do!  and you all thought i wasn’t classy.  ha!  i guess it was the trend with a lot of the medieval cathedrals.  they limed them up and then went all vegas on them.  here is a link to amiens cathedral where they have rigged up a complicated lighting system to project the colors onto the facade.  if you thought christianity was somber, think again.

a display of flowers in the alcove.  the abbey was probably the most hospitable place we visited and also the warmest.  i don’t know how they heated that whole place, but it was quite divine.

the interior.  i like to think of it all done up in pinks, teals, and oranges.  now that he’s got me going, i won’t know when to stop.

i have no idea what the little room was up there, but it is rather irresistible.  i want up.

tomb of king athelstan.

stained glass window.  i’m just amazed that after they had a storm that knocked over half the building that they still have stained glass windows to show for themselves.

and you know what, i bet all that woodwork was painted too.  cuz it’s not a sin, see.  and i can paint all the antique, carved, boring, dark wood furniture i want to.  mother. ♥

my favorite; the nursery.

it’s like a little cell for children.  darling.

on the way out we were shown the tombstone of hannah twynnoy.  a barmaid who was ate up by a tiger and then eulogized?

it really was the cutest little town.  albeit a little crowded, but i think that was because it was a bank holiday.  this is one of the places i would go back to.  much more authentic than london, which was more like visiting india.  even though we did love the food.  mmm…indian food.

i’m still amazed my husband got us out alive.  try driving on the wrong side of the road in a rabbit warren of alleys at 40 miles an hour.

(sorry mom, when we move i don’t know if you’ll be able to visit us without having a panic attack.  i couldn’t help but think of you.  in fact, i can just see you gripping your office chair as you watched the video.  totally called it, didn’t i?)


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