Several years ago we went to Arrezzo, specifically to see the wonderful wall paintings of Piero della Francesca. They were, of course, stunning.
Today, we heard the week's weather forecast, which is for terribly cold weather coming in from Northern Europe - in other words a big freeze. Poor birds, we thought, no berries left, ground all frozen solid, nothing to eat. So we decided to go to a local warehouse to stock up. While there we bought coconut shells filled with fat and seeds, dried meal worms, extra feeders for seed and sunflower hearts so that now we have a good stock.
But on the way back we did a slight detour (all this well within ten miles of home) to have a walk around the thirteenth century Easby Abbey - an abbey built by and occupied by the Premonstratension 'white canons' on the banks of the River Swale. We also chanced to go into the adjoining St Agatha's church, parts of which date back to 1100, and which still holds services today.
And there they were on the wall of the chancel - exquisite wall paintings dating back to the 13th century - one the story of the crucifixion from Christ on the cross through to rising from the tomb and opposite it one depicting the fall - Adam and Eve, the serpent, the apple tree - and all as clear and colourful as if they had been painted yesterday.
Food for the birds, food for the soul, a health-giving walk after days of hardly daring to set foot outside because of the ice and all within a short distance of home.