However, just as he thinks he is about to get everything he ever wanted, Pon begins to learn that his lot in life is even bleaker than he realised. Pon learns secrets about the true nature of his place in dwarf society, which he could be killed for knowing.
For the first time in his life, he finds himself caring about something more than his freedom, which he would go to any lengths to protect. More Books by S. Magill See All. The Werechicken. As salt is an excellent preservative, the original equipment, hoists and ropes are still extant and on display. The network of caverns and tunnels is massive.
Everything is built of salt, except for some wooden support beams in some of the tunnels. The floors, walls and ceiling are all made of salt. So are the dozens of sculptures, both old and new, located in the caverns. And yes, the salt is edible.
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You can even lick the walls…if you so fancy. Throughout the mines are 20 chambers and 4 chapels.
Miners were underground for extended periods of time, while the aforementioned horses had a one-way trip. They were lowered into the mines down a shaft on a harness, where they would spend the rest of their lives operating the hoists. The Chapel of St. It is the city in which my dear grandmother lives and where I have spent a good deal of my life on holidays and breaks away from London. When younger, idyllic summers were spent in the peacefulness of Verulamium Park site of the old Roman town of the same name , in the very shadow of the Abbey, little knowing that one day I would be forced to lick that mighty Norman building.
During those innocent days the historical significance of the Abbey and indeed St. Albans as a whole was largely lost on me; it is no exaggeration to say that it is one of the most important historical and religious sites in these islands.
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To this day my family and I will often struggle up the thigh-bursting hill on which the abbey cathedral sits, and delve into the gloom of this mighty structure to light a candle at the shrine of St. Given my obvious connections with St. Albans, it was with some trepidation that I approached this very personal cathedral-lick. A walk through the park and up to the abbey has always been a sacred tradition of ours, and one that I felt would be sullied by my selfish licking needs.
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Several trips had been made there since the beginning of the bet and I had not summoned up enough courage to ask her to be my accomplice and photographer, so It was a painful experience seeing the walls and great Norman tower crying out to be licked, but all the while knowing that I risked family ostracization by heading its call. It was though, I realised grimly, a risk that would have to be taken.
Another opportunity presented itself quite unexpectedly one Sunday morning, when a panicked phone call had me on the very next train to Hertfordshire. What at first had sounded like news of a break-in or a nasty fall turned out to be a shocking announcement that my Grandmother had baked a cake and could find no one to eat it. To my grandmother, everyone is on the verge of starvation and should be fed copiously, preferably until they are half dead, at which point they should be fed more to revive them. During my university years in London her concern for my welfare was a constant worry, and she routinely rang to announce great tidings of a leg of lamb or a sponge cake, as if in fear that the big, bad city had turned me to cannibalism.
Shortly after waking up from the latest food-coma, the question was raised of how best to spend the rest of the day together. I felt both ecstatic and sick at this idea, knowing that there was a shot at getting my tenth cathedral licked, although potentially at a great cost. Not only was this pilgrimage a treat for my grandma, but the Abbey is a treasured place for her.
This could all go very badly. My nervous nausea continued during the short car journey, with a constant worry of how best to evade my poor grandma to get this damned licking job done and finally set my mind at rest. These troubled musings continued upon reaching Verulamium Park, where we made our way past sleeping ducks and herons in the gentle river Ver, and up the familiar winding path up to the Abbey. For those new to these parts, this route is by far the most appealing route into the city, as almost everything beyond the abbey and market square is intensely grey, dull and best avoided.
Queen Boudicca once famously put the old Roman city to the torch, and walking the streets of modern St. Small reminders of the small medieval city do remain in a few streets of gorgeous timber-framed houses and peaceful, semi-rural lanes. A famously villainous victim of the first battle of , the Earl of Somerset, lies buried in the Abbey today.
He met his end in fierce combat outside a long since vanished inn named The Castle, something a soothsayer had once warned him to avoid. Half way up the cruel hill a welcome rest-stop is found at the Old Fighting Cocks, a charming pub of low ceilings and many a crooked beam. Even the drunks are charming. Resisting the strong temptation of a drink by a warm fire, we continued to climb the hill, smiling and pretending that we really were having a nice time.
Licking Walls in the Dark
It was a bitterly cold and misty November afternoon and the great Norman tower was all we could see of the cathedral, which was almost entirely wrapped up in thick fog. Austere it certainly is, and a bit rough-looking in comparison with such stunners as Wells, Salisbury and Ely, the true pin-ups of the cathedral world.
Sadly St. Albans will never adorn the locker door of any cathedral enthusiast. This is due to a serious the lack of decent local stone to beautify it with, something that forced its Norman builders to raid the decaying Roman ghost town at the bottom of the hill. This recycled stone was troublesome to carve into any attractive shape and instead was used solely to beef-up the walls of the great brick monster seen today.
Many of these Roman bricks found their way to the gigantic, castle-like tower. As we approached the southern entrance I was already checking out for good lick-spots. With nine cathedrals already under my belt I felt I had got this licking lark sussed, but now the fog was likely to complicate matters. It was so thick that from a distance it appeared as if the abbey was swallowing people up whole. This would not make for an especially clear photo and would not be approved by Adam under the terms of the bet.
Even if a suitable location were to be found and a decent picture taken, there was still the difficulty of explaining the deed to my Grandmother.
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I quietly hoped to snare some passerby, ask them to take the photo and then disappear back into the fog before they could ask any further questions. Inside was little better, with no signs anywhere proving the location and a positive throng of potential cathedral-licking condemners, mainly in the form of nice old ladies. It was like Rochester all over again, except without the legions of priests and Dutch people. They were everywhere! In the nave, in the refectory, up by the altar and causing a general hubbub in the gift shop.
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Not all were visitors, with a healthy number of those volunteer do-gooder types making up a vast army of knitted cardigans that stood in my way of getting the lick done. What made it worse was that my Grandma was now one of them. Recognising some friends from her Bridge group, she walked over and introduced me to them. The question had me in a sweat, and fearful that they should discover the awful truth I awkwardly sang the praises of building, its long history and fascinating architecture, anything to divert them away from the true purpose of my visit.
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Although these sentiments were indeed genuine, I still felt like some sort of devilish beast come to despoil the place. While Grandma gossiped with her friends I took the opportunity to sneak off to find a good spot of cathedral wall to lick.
Something drew me straight to the shrine of St. Alban, though I knew that this would not be the most advisable place to do the job. Here was and still is, to some degree the heart and focus of the cathedral. With this in mind I decided to do the same, but given the fact that my greatest affliction was a bad knee partly the fault of Adam , the process of kneeling on hard, cold stone only made the pain worse, and I was forced to my feet once more.