One gloriously wintry day last December I revisited an old flame of mine: Lincoln Cathedral. Readers of this blog may remember my words of admiration for this colossus of the Anglican world, back when I licked it in May 2012. At that time I was furiously working my way through the cathedral lick-list, while trying hard to balance work, life and money. It was a stressful but incredibly memorable time, and what made it all the sweeter was getting to visit such beautiful places as this:
I was in the company of my dad once more this time, who is an architect and is not adverse to a bit of ecclesiastical architecture either (from an academic point of view, not a licking one). We revisited the column in the cloister that we chose as the licking spot back in 2012 and sighed with happy memories. Oh Lincoln Cathedral, be mine.
As you know, I licked my final cathedral 2 years ago at St Asaph and therefore won the bet. As soon as that last lick was delivered I was filled with a mixture of elation and sadness. Elation because I had won the challenge and life could return to normal, and sadness because I had grown to love travelling to see these beautiful buildings and learning their stories. On the train back to York, feeling a little glum, I realised that there was no reason to feel down just because the journey was over. I had invested so much time, energy and money in reaching all 64 Anglican cathedrals they would remain with me forever, somehow, like old friends. Hey, parts of them are probably still floating around in me somewhere, so there will always be connection with each and every one of them. So on that journey back I resolved to visit each one again at some point in my life and bask in their glory. Licking them again is optional.