October 24 – A multi around Bath and a visit to Holburne Museum

St Marys church, Bathwick

Hello from 1066 – A Medieval Mosaic

Today we decided to do a multi that required us to walk in a circular movement from the house and back again picking up a church micro, a traditional and a visit to Holburne Museum finishing with a walk through Sydney Gardens. We also picked up a couple of travel bugs.

The multi, called ‘Roaming Bath #1, took us back over the Avon to the weir, then to Sally Lunn’s house which occupies the same site as a Roman mansion c.200AD and a Medieval Abbey Kitchen c.1150AD. In 1680, Sally Lunn came here from France. Working in the bakehouse she created one of Bath’s renowned delicacies, the Sally Lunn Bun, which is still baked there today. Then to a structure which overlooks the Parade Gardens and Orange Grove that has long been a famous landmark used during and after the 2nd World War by the Admiralty as offices. Then back to Pulteney Bridge and down Great Pulteney St, to Jane Austen’s house where she lived from 1801-1805 and finally into Sydney Gardens for the final.

On the way, we detoured to visit St John the Baptist church where we enjoyed a novel way of collecting the numbers needed from around the churchyard. The coordinates were a bit out and it took a while to find but then Mike found it some distance from where I was looking. It was a real pity that the church was not open. At the end of a substantial ‘chest tomb’ (about six feet long, 3 feet high and 3 feet wide) are the words ‘This grave is full – May 1866’. Even in the graveyard, there was overcrowding.

We also visited Holbourne Museum where there were displays of paintings, sculptures, pottery and other artefacts. The stumpwork was quite interesting and apparently, the flowing nature of the fabric gives the illusion of movement. There were some impressive Thomas Gainsborough works. He preferred painting landscapes but there was more money in portraiture so he joined the two so that his portraits had a landscape background to them. But the biggest highlight for me was the ‘Visit to a Farmhouse’ and ‘Wedding Dance in the Open Air’ by Pieter Brueghel the Younger, who is one of my favourite artists. I spent ages looking at them. I have a print of one of his works at home and Barb had done a tapestry of one.

I have to tell you about an ‘echo dot’. We discovered one at the Airbnb in Southampton and this house sit has one too. It connects with Google and is able, at a voice command to give you answers to questions, like weather, traffic, or just a general google query but it also connects to Spotify. So my first request as I was cooking tea was ‘play music by Bread’ and it did. ‘Volume up’, ‘volume down’. I was in heaven! I have seen them advertised on TV but had not come across one before. There is no training to understand your voice as we used to do in the early days of the internet.