I really am a disgrace. Living only an hour's drive away, I am a fairly frequent visitor to Salisbury but, mea culpa, I have never bothered to visit the Cathedral until today. To be fair, I am a non-practising Christian, or to be exact, I am a 'fundamentalist agnostic', and thus there is no religious imperative for me to go. Nor has there been a 'tourist' imperative either because I have never heard of Salisbury Cathedral being described as an architectural beauty in the way that, say, York Minster is described.
As a pathetic excuse I must tell you that it was pissing down with 'global warming' today so I had no inclination to go round from the side entrance we had to use in order to inspect the front elevation which, from a quick glance looked rather impressive:
Alas, the side elevations were very plain. Still, it is important to bear in mind that this particular Cathedral was built very early and very quickly! In Early English Gothic they obviously built fast and did not waste too much time on inconsequential decoration. So, as the 'Memsahib' and my friends went off to inspect the flower show - yawn-yawn - I adopted my usual technique for inspecting ancient buildings by simply strolling around with my eyes flickering hither and thither and waiting for a 'fuck me!' moment. But it never happened! The interior detailing was as plain and boring as the exterior (front elevation excepted). Absolutely nothing leapt out at me. Most of their original coloured glass windows have gone although I can understand that replacing them is hideously expensive. Even so they managed to put a piece of contemporary glass-work in the main Chancel window which is so dark and gloomy you can't make out what it's supposed to be!
My growing grumpiness was not improved by several huge banners fixed to the main pillars featuring various soppy Left-wing nostrums which, were I still a smoker, I might have felt tempted to set fire to with my trust 'Zippo'! Then my grumpiness reached danger level when I realised that they had removed all the seating to make for this daft flower show. Hence, I was forced to sit on the very cold, very hard, flagstone which formed part of the base for one of the pillars whilst I waited for the others to finish oohing and aahing over flower arrangements!
Fortunately, praise the Lord, lunch was excellent and thus was my day saved.