The long and the short of it is that I have to lick every Anglican cathedral in the United Kingdom for a bet. Back in January 2011 when the challenge was made I had a whole 5 years in which to complete this Herculean task, although to make things more interesting Adam (my friend, flatmate and challenger) reduced the time limit to June 16th 2012.
In the beginning I naively believed that there were no Anglican cathedrals in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – how wrong I was! There are 42 in England and 20 more the rest of the U.K., something I discovered to my horror at a later stage. Consequently, Adam very graciously (or stupidly) agreed to give me a 6 month extension to do the other 20, providing that I lick all the ones in England before the original deadline of June 16th 2012. This, I am very pleased to say, was successfully completed on June 15th at my home cathedral of York Minster !
So far I have traveled over 5000 miles on this quest, spending stupid amounts of money and having some of the weirdest experiences of my life. At times it has been a total pain in the arse; a crippling burden that robs me of sleep and peace of mind. But there have also been numerous positives: namely being able to visit and admire some of the most stunning buildings in the World. Cathedral history and architecture is great interest of mine and this has been a pilgrimage of sorts for me. It’s not all about the licking.
I must stress that disrespect towards these cathedrals, plus the Anglican Church and its followers, is in no way intended through my actions. Although not a Christian myself I do respect other people’s beliefs and places of worship and would never dream of trying to offend anyone. Hopefully this blog will help to promote the outstanding cathedrals we have in this country, many of which are currently suffering financially and need thousands of pounds a day just to keep their doors open. The thought of cathedrals such as Ely, Lincoln and Wells closing almost brings tears to the eyes.
Now that the English leg of the bet is complete I need to start planning how on earth I am going to lick another 20 cathedrals before December 16th! Some of them are in far-flung reaches of the country and others I’ve never even heard of. Adam was appalled that I managed to lick all of the English ones but finds solace in places such as Clogher and the Isle of Cumbrae, just two of the cathedral locations I must somehow reach and press my tongue against.
My travels, experiences and taste reviews will all be kept on this blog. Any help is greatly appreciated!