Winchester Cathedral – Paul Gillett’s photo
Finola and I spent a few days this week in the vicinity of Winchester in England. At one stage in history, Winchester was a more important city than London and had a bigger population. Alfred the Great is buried there. The cathedral dates from 1079  and  is the longest  cathedral in Europe The  bishops palace is where Queen Mary stayed prior to her marriage in the  cathedral to King Philip of Spain.
Finola visited the house of the famous author, Jane Austen, which is preserved exactly as it was when she lived there in the nineteenth century. It has a beautiful garden.
I visited the racing stables of Jamie Osborne at Lambourn.   Jamie is a former National Hunt jockey, who is now a very successful trainer of horses for flat racing. I met Jamie once before, when he rode the late Charles Haughey’s horse ,Flashing Steel to victory in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse. I was Taoiseach and had the task of presenting the trophy to the winning owner
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