Weight and Stuff Report – 27 June 2010

Down again today. Though that is an “after a bit of a walk on a warm day” weight, so it may be artificially low. We shall see…

I decided that it was time I got back into getting out and about on Sundays. I started this last year, then sort of let it drop for the usual reasons of tuitness and motivationlessness.[1] I looked at various options – Hartlepool was nearly the target, but the trains are a wee bit naff on Sundays, so that will have to wait for another day. Then I thought of York – I haven’t been for a while, and it would have been a good day to wave my wide angle lens at the Minster. But in the end, I decided that as it was a rather warm day, I’d prefer a shorter train journey. So I settled on Durham, which is always a good choice. I had to wait about half an hour for a train from Newcastle, but had no wait at all coming back, so that wasn’t so bad.

I had a good wander, took loads of pictures, stopped for a cold fruity ice drink thingy and some shortbread in Caffè Nero[2], then wandered some more and took some more pictures before heading to the station, arriving just in time for a train.

I’ll be posting some pictures over the next couple of days, but here’s one to be going on with:

Sanctuary!

Sanctuary!

Detail of the Sanctuary Knocker at Durham Cathedral.

This slightly scary looking thing is the sanctuary knocker[3] on the door of Durham Cathedral. In what the descriptive sign vaguely describes as “medieval times”, anyone who had committed a serious crime could claim sanctuary at the Cathedral by knocking on the door. Once admitted, they had thirty seven days[4] to sort out their affairs, then could choose to either stand trial[5] or leave the country by the nearest port. Note: this facility is no longer offered.

[1] If that’s not a proper word, it should be, so there.
[2] Just for once, I didn’t have their excellent espresso: I was that hot!
[3] Pedant point: it’s actually a replica of the original
[4] Why thirty seven? Seems oddly specific
[5] Not a popular option, what with hanging, not to mention drawing and quartering being part of the “tough on crime” principles of the time…