Michiel and I went into Ludlow (the nearest town to where Mum lives) yesterday, to spend the afternoon looking around the church, exploring the back alleys and little shops that make up 90% of the shops in Ludlow. Very few chain stores: the only “names” I knew were Timpsons (the shoe heeler/key cutter) and Stead and Simpson, who sell shoes. There were lots of little deli-type shops: selling cheese, meats (two butchers had rabbits and pheasants hanging outside their door which was great to see, and you could buy mixed game, venision.. great!), breads and cakes, all sorts. Lots of charity shops too – we had a good rummage and I came away with some great books for studying. Got some other stuff done too: got my Dad’s watch resized to fit my wrist, my coat dry cleaned, picked up another pair of leggings. But best of all was the food we had at a charming little cafe/restaurant called ‘Aragons’. They don’t have a website or I’d point you towards it, but if you’re inclined towards a meal in Ludlow, and you don’t want to pay through the nose, then you could do a lot worse than to eat here. Michiel had a gorgeous mixed grill, all made with good local meats: Gammon, Steak (a thin one, but expertly cooked), bacon, some of *the* best sausages i’ve tasted in a long time, proper onion rings, fried mushrooms and a decent fried egg. All for the princely sum of £12.75, which is not bad going. oh, with a side of chunky chips. I had scampi and chips. Proper scampi, as in prawns dipped in batter and breadcrumbs and fried, not the stuff that is passed off as scampi in so many bad pubs (reformed “prawns”.. *shudder*), and the chips.. oohhh the chips were gorgeous. chunky cut, fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside.. serious nomable. And then there was pudding. Award winning warm honey cake, served with organic honey and ginger icecream… it was the kind of pudding where, on first bite, your toes curl, your eyes roll back in your head, you close your eyes, and the world just recedes, there’s just you, and the mouthful of food, communing in silent, orgasmic bliss. yes, it was THAT good!!

The Tower of St. Laurence's Church, Ludlow

St. Laurence, over the main entrance to St. Laurence's Church in Ludlow. St. Laurence was a Roman who worked with the poor, orphans n the disabled. When asked by the Emperor Valerian to turn over the treasures of the church, he presented them with the poor, saying that these were the treasures of the church. For this, he was tortured and roasted on a grid iron.

West Window of St. Laurence's Church in Ludlow, a beautiful stained glass window

Detail of the West stained glass window of St. Laurence's Church in Ludlow. Prince Arthur of Wales was the son of Henry VII, who died in Ludlow Castle in 1502, six months after his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. His death set in procession the reformation: his younger brother, Henry, became Prince of Wales instead, and on the death of their father, Henry VIII. He proceeded to marry the Spanish Catherine of Aragon and, 30 years later, ripped apart the church in England, and much of England, in his quest to end his marriage to Catherine, on the basis of that she'd been married to his brother before him (and he wanted a son by another woman.. one Anne Boleyn).

Standing underneath the tower of St. Laurence's, Ludlow, looking up.