Tag Archives: York

2011 Project365 (days204-206)

25th July:

25th July 2011

The dark hat was one of my presents for HD’s birthday yesterday. Apparently the one in front is too smart (which I gather means that the dark one can be squashed, sat on etc) (presumably not when he’s wearing it though). He does look good in a hat (though I am prepared to concede I may be a little biased).

24th July:

24th July 2011

We spent the weekend in York, staying with friends – this is a most welcome splash of colour from their garden.

23rd July:

23rd July 2011

This is our favourite restaurant in York.


We went to York last weekend for the baptism of some dear friends’ baby, and had a lovely time staying with some other friends. I even managed to write nearly all of my conference talk (I’m off on that in a couple of weeks) and am reasonably pleased with it, so that’s all good 🙂

One of the things we did on Sunday morning was stop by at the National Railway Museum to satisfy HD’s nerdy train leanings. It’s a great museum, and even though I can’t say I’m particularly enthusiastic about trains I wasn’t bored, and was happy to spend an hour or so there. We had a look round the storage area (where they have exhibits which aren’t on proper show but you can walk round and look anyway) and I enjoyed looking at all the various signs salvaged from stations over the years. These were some of my favourites, reminiscent of such a different world and time:






IMG_2508This one didn’t exactly fill us with confidence!!

In other news, my supervisor has agreed with me on my analysis of the Chapter of Doom, and also with my proposed solution. It’s kind of amusing, this close to submission, to be happy and relieved that someone else thinks the chapter is rubbish! (because if she hadn’t agreed it would have meant I would have had to rewrite it AGAIN, the thought of which was not very conducive to my stress levels). Writing a PhD thesis is such a bizarre thing to do.

Easter 09

IMGP6711We’ve had a very lovely Easter this year. Like last year we went to York, where we pretty much ate our way through the Bank Holidays. On the way we stopped at a cafe on the A66 which has llamas, where we inadvertently broke our dairy fast – the soup of the day was advertised as tomato, so we both ordered that, and when our soup arrived it turned out to be stilton and broccoli. What can you do?

As well as llamas, they also had some parrots and a couple of rabbits, who did try to do what rabbits do, but we were very amused by their ineptness at this – they got the one on top of the other bit OK, but weren’t particularly discerning about which was the business end!

Once we got to York we managed to get to the church where we got married (where they were doing a labyrinth) just in time to find them locking up, so we went to the pub instead. Whoops, perhaps not the most devotional of Good Fridays. In the evening we had a meal at our friends’ place where we were staying, and then we had a rather longer lie-in than originally planned on Saturday.

IMGP6716Saturday afternoon saw us shopping and visiting the Stanley Spencer exhibition at York Art Gallery (well worth a visit if you’re around) – I’d seen several of the paintings before (they are on loan from the Tate), but hadn’t taken in his landscapes before, which I really liked. In the evening we met up with the outlaws, who are holidaying in Yorkshire at the moment, and had a meal at the hotel where our wedding reception was – it was quite strange being back, it felt so familiar but it wasn’t our big day any more. After that we caught the end of the Easter Saturday vigil service at York Minster – this photo is from that.

IMGP6717Sunday morning meant of course Easter Sunday with all the celebrations that entailed. Which in my case meant Easter eggs for breakfast – what a civilised thing that is (my goodness it was beautiful!!). Then we met up again with HD’s parents for the Easter Sunday service at York Minster, which was really lovely – here’s a photo of Archbishop John Sentamu on the steps of the Minster after the service.

We had a few hours to recover from our weekend of eating and celebrating, before returning to St C’s for a Visions bring and share meal, with communion. We got to see lots of friends we’ve not seen for a while, and catch up with people, and eat even even more. I’m still pretty full, 2 days later!

IMGP6720We rounded off the day wandering round some of Via Luminosa (check out the Visions link for more details). Visions have been involved in staging a number of multi-media art installations at various places around the city centre, telling the Easter story. It is on this week as well as last week, and again is well worth a look. We weren’t able to see all of the installations – a couple of them were having technical issues, and a couple of them were in shop windows but as the shops were shut on Sunday they weren’t able to use them. But here are a few pictures from the installations we did see:


IMGP6734Yesterday we enjoyed a coffee with the outlaws followed by a leisurely walk along the river and a picnic with the friends we were staying with. I was really happy to see lots of signs of new life, including some very very very fluffy goslings!

We got back last night, it’s good to be home, but I’m very grateful for a lovely weekend away 🙂

New Year

IMGP6379 We had a really lovely new year which we spent with some friends in York. After an amazing meal cooked by one friend we walked up to York Minster with a bottle of champagne and saw in the New Year with several thousand drunk people! One of our friends there is a bell ringer who has rung before at the Minster for New Year, so she was really looking forward to hearing the bells, but once the first “Bong” of midnight sounded the cheering and whatnot was so loud you couldn’t hear a thing!


A couple of days later we headed further south, firstly to see my parents and then to see HD’s parents and pick up the last of our stuff. My mum is recovering really well from her op – she showed me her war wounds and they are healing really nicely. We got back to Glasgow yesterday, and today the early alarm so that I could get a good amount of work done at work was a bit of a shock to the system, though not as bad as it could have been I guess (I’m expecting it to get cumulatively worse as the week progresses.  Groan). One of my New Year’s resolutions is to try to do at least a 9-5 day Monday to Friday at work as I really need to get my act together for a much more important resolution, which is to finish the thesis in 2009! I arrived at work at exactly the same time as the guy who shares my office (well, I suppose I should say I share his office as he was there before me!), it turns out that we have exactly the same resolution! (the 9-5 one anyway, he’s still got 3 years of his PhD to go). He reckons he’ll last till Wednesday, I’m at least giving myself till the end of the week!

Talking of resolutions, my various ones this year are (in no particular order):

* Finish and submit my thesis in 2009.
* 9-5 Monday to Friday working (at least) in order to achieve that.
* Lose weight. Having weighed myself this morning I am the heaviest I have ever been in my whole life, and I want to lose 24kg. Which is mathematically rather handy, as that makes 2kg a month (or about a pound a week in old money). I intend to do this through not snacking between meals, not buying chocolate (though I’m not going to be precious and if anyone gives me chocolate I’m not going to refuse it or make a big deal of it), having smaller portions and no seconds, and only having a glass of wine with a meal (usually if we have wine I tend to have 2 glasses). I reckon that will at least arrest the upward (and outward!) direction of the weight, and if I have to do more then it won’t be too difficult. I’ll also try to go to the gym a couple of times a week.
* Read the Bible daily. I don’t think there’s any point saying “Have a daily quiet time” as that just won’t happen, but having gone through (still am there really) a really dry patch I think that daily reading will at least be a step in the right direction.
* Try to reduce my overdraft and not spend money frivolously.

We’ll see. I think most of these are reasonably manageable.

Anyway – happy new year everyone!

Wiblog entry for 28/04/2008

So, HD has a new (contract, till the end of the year) job. Hooray. Except that it’s in a not-very-interesting southern town (which he describes as “like Milton Keynes but without the architecture”) (so Kerensa, in answer to the inevitable question, no it’s not the job in the Ancient Roman City, sorry about that), which is going to make life a bit more complicated (though not impossible). He starts next week, so we need to find him somewhere to live, where I can work from home too – as I’ve finished teaching I can spend the summer dividing my time between there and here.

A good thing though is that my godson lives in not-very-interesting southern town, and I’m not entirely convinced he’d recognise me from Adam, so hopefully we’ll get to catch up a bit and I can be a bit less of an absentee godmother (which reminds me, I think it’s his birthday soon. If I remember this then I will have managed 50% of the godchildren’s birthdays, which probably isn’t very impressive. But better than 0%).

The job was the one that he didn’t catch either train for last Monday. The interview was rearranged so we drove down (having decided that perhaps getting the train wasn’t meant to be) and stayed overnight at my mum and dad’s place – it’s the first time we’ve seen them since the wedding so was good to catch up. And then this weekend we’ve been in York where we ate lots and went to the pictures (we saw Persepolis, an animated film based on the true life story of the graphic artist Marjan Satrapi. It’s very good – worth seeing). We also went to a shipmeet and did a bit of shopping, saw lots of friends and generally had a fab time as usual.

I think that’s me up to date. Hopefully my blogging will be a bit more interesting next month. Yay’s not the only one lacking a bit of the X factor.

Easter weekend

Yes I know it was two weeks ago, but I’ve only just now got round to downloading some photos. However, I’ve just noticed that flickr doesn’t seem to do the “view different sizes” thing that I usually use to get the code to put photos up, so can’t quite figure out how to put photos here. What’s all that about? Anyway, in the absence of individual photos, here’s the set on flickr for the whole weekend, hopefully suitably captioned.

We stayed in York, housesitting for some friends. On Good Friday we went to York Minster, where we saw the final hour of the Riding Lights performance (they do a dramatic retelling of the Good Friday story, interspersed with prayers, reflections and hymns, over 3 hours, but we didn’t go to all 3 hours), which was really good.

On Easter Saturday we went to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. HD had been before, on a friend’s stag do, but I hadn’t and was really keen to see it, and I have to say it didn’t disappoint, it was fabulous. It was the first time I’d seen any Andy Goldsworthy sculptures “in the flesh”, so to speak, and there was also an Antony Gormley which I spotted from a fair way away, amongst lots of other interesting sculptures. The day started off sunny but by the end we got caught in a snowstorm. I’d definitely recommend a visit to anyone who’s in the area (it’s near Barnsley), I thought it was great.

On Easter Sunday we went back to the Minster for the Easter morning service. Archbishop John Sentamu preached – the sermon was pretty straight-down-the-line evangelical victory-snatched-from-the-jaws-of-defeat type Easter message, but nothing wrong with that. I thought he was lovely, and I must admit that as he processed in I felt like I was in the presence of someone really special (well obviously I was, Jesus was there, but you know what I mean!). Apparently David Cameron was in the congregation as well, but I didn’t see him (can’t say I’m too disappointed about that!). After the service we went to have lunch with a friend (HD’s best man and his wife, and a few others), and then off to Visions for their early service (once a month they meet in the afternoon rather than the evenings so that parents with small kids can make it). It was great to see people again, and we also ate even more – after my Easter egg breakfast and vast lunch, I was really full, but lots of people had baked cakes for after the service, so it would have been rude not to have any 🙂

Next bit of the week will follow when I’ve put photos up.


I had what I had hoped would be my final physio appointment this morning. Unfortunately since my appointment on Monday my knee had really flared up and has been really painful (it even woke me up this morning, which hasn’t happened for several weeks), and we weren’t really able to do much exercise today as it hurt too much and the physio didn’t want to aggravate the flare-up. So I’m back again next week. I’m a bit fed up about it – I know that ligaments take ages to heal, as the blood supply to them isn’t as good as it is to bones (when I tore my shoulder ligaments a few years ago it took about a year for me to get the full range of movement back) but even so, I’m fed up of pain and stiffness and that constant aching (when it’s not twingeing). Moan, whinge.

Still, I am off to York tomorrow for the weekend and so is HD (hooray!), coming up from down south while I go down there from UpNorth. It’s just like old times.


I’m sorry I’ve been so rubbish at blogging – this month has been really manic. Obviously with the honeymoon at the start of it, and then since we got back last week it feels like we’ve not stopped – having the boiler put in, trying to sort out the dead car, marking essays, trying to make the flat less of a tip, etc etc – I’ve wanted to blog, but just haven’t been able to. I am going to put up some photos from the wedding today though.

Before the day, lots of people were asking if I was nervous, what I was doing about flowers or this or that or the next thing, and it was starting to get embarrassing that I wasn’t particularly nervous, and most of the details I was gloriously clueless about (but that was fine, I wasn’t worried!). A few days before we had a bit of an “aaaaargh it’s really happening” kind of moment, but not in a bad way, just in a “this is going to change things for ever” kind of a way, which I think merits the occasional “aaaaargh” to be honest.

We drove down to York a couple of days before the wedding, and stayed that night with a couple of friends who had got married last summer. It was the perfect place to relax, it was very laid back and I didn’t feel under any pressure to talk constant wedding-talk or anything like that! What was a pain though (literally) was just before I was going to bed I was cutting my toenails and managed to cut a chunk out of one of my toes, which was a bit silly, but I suppose it took my mind of any thoughts of nervousness, should they have appeared.

The next day we met up with the photographer to sort out final details, picked up the cake from the best man who had been cake-sitting to take it to the hotel, and then I checked my stuff into the hotel and we went shopping. We’d bought a few of our thank-you presents, but not all of them, but managed to sort everything out (just forgetting about the wedding favours but I wasn’t that bothered about them so forgetting to do them wasn’t a trauma). When I got back to the hotel I met up with my bridesmaid and various family members, and in the evening we met up in the hotel bar to exchange late Christmas presents with family we’d not seen before Christmas, and HD and I had a meal with his family, plus the bridesmaid and best man (my family having eaten already). Once that was over and L (bridesmaid) and I were in our room, we had a quick makeup rehearsal (we’re talking 2 minutes here) and had a bit of a think about what I might do with my hair (yes that really is the level of lack of organisation we’re talking about), then went to bed. Unfortunately neither of us slept a wink. Not because of nerves, but because there was what sounded like a generator just outside our window which was whirring ALL NIGHT. Obviously, in the morning we got up and looked gorgeous.

Breakfast was a great big fry-up (lovely!), and then once we were back in our room L brought out our second breakfast:


We relaxed a bit (the wedding wasn’t until 2), I chatted with family (and discovered that my niece had been puking and pooing all night and so was being taken off to the NHS drop-in centre – just as well I’d decided not to have any kiddie bridesmaids!), and then I did my face and hair (differently to how we’d thought the night before) and then the flowers were delivered. I’d been so disorganised about the flowers, I got together with the florist only 2 or 3 weeks before the wedding, and hadn’t really known what I wanted so just left it to her and she did a brilliant job. I don’t have a good photo of the bouquet yet, but basically it had dark red roses, a few big blue thistles, a couple of types of berry and some holly, and it was gorgeous. It would never have occurred to me to have thistles in a bouquet, but they all worked so well together, I was really pleased.

Eventually I got into the dress (with some help from L and from me taking a massive deep breath in!). I’d left it as late as possible because I knew that once I was in it I wouldn’t be able to take another deep breath for the rest of the day! The photographer had arranged to come at 12.45 to photograph our final preparations, he was right on time but was really surprised that we were a. totally ready and b. really relaxed (I didn’t tell him about the gin!). But as I said to him, I’m marrying the right guy, I’m happy with everything that’s happening, I’m surrounded by people I like – what’s to get stressed about?

When L and I got into the (rather small) lift down to the hall we did have a bit of a comedy moment. Totally spontaneously, we looked at each other and both went “Aaaaaaaaargh!” simultaneously (think the moment in “Home Alone” where the mum realises she’s left Kevin behind) and then cracked up laughing. Neither of us really felt “aaaaargh”, it just felt like the obvious comedy thing to do. Which meant that we were still smiling and laughing when we got to the church.

My father-in-law drove us (me and L) to the church, as the friend who was going to do it was ill and wasn’t able to come to the wedding. I was quite happy to go in a normal car – one thing I’ve never been able to get excited about is wedding cars, it all feels too fussy for me, I was quite happy just arriving in a normal car with no ribbons or frills. I’d also decided that I didn’t want to be given away or to have a formal walking-up-the-aisle thing, so it felt totally natural for HD to meet me as I got out of the car and we walked into church together (the photographer told us this was the first wedding he’d ever done where the bride had been met by the groom before the service had even started). To start with, as it was still 10 minutes before the service was to start, and people were still arriving, we just sat together on the sofa at the back of the church and chatted with the various people who were hanging around there, and then we walked to the front of the church together. This was one of the most special moments for me – we honestly hadn’t planned how I/we would get to the front of the church, but basically as soon as we appeared everyone stood up and cheered and clapped, and it was lovely – really informal and happy and fun.

Of course, once we got to the front of the church, we still weren’t ready to start, so we stood there like lemons for what felt like forever until the best man rescued us with an announcement that the service wasn’t ready to start for a minute or so so everyone could sit down again!

At this point, I really must recommend our priest. She used to be HD’s landlady, and has been friends with him for years, and this was her first solo wedding (she’d done one before in conjunction with her training vicar, but we were the first one just with her presiding). It was brilliant having a friend take the service, she was so relaxed and informal, and also so funny, so put us right at our ease. A few weeks earlier she’d asked us what we wanted her to wear, although once she’d given us the choices (a. cassock and surplice ie overgrown choirboy, b. plain clericals, or c. gold shiny chasuble that makes her look like Liberace) there wasn’t really much of a choice – Liberace it was, and she looked fabulous!


The Liberace chasuble had the advantage of comedy value – when I arrived at the church and saw her I just laughed out loud, which dispelled any nerves I may have had, and when I said “OK now I don’t feel quite so over-dressed” she laughed out loud, which hopefully dispelled any of her nerves too!

The service was a full-on Visions alt.worship service. We used the Common Worship marriage service pretty much word for word, but with the video and image projection and clubby backing tracks it made for a very unique wedding service. At the start of the service we had lots of incense, which made it even more atmospheric (I did wonder what some of my madchurch friends would make of it, but one told me she’d loved it, especially as it had really calmed the kids down!!!!), and I really loved the explanation given of why we were having incense, in preparation to worship and as a sign of our prayers to God. Here are some of the pictures of the service:

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Some of the images used were of the Brancusi sculptures that we’d seen in Romania last year, it meant a lot to me that we were able to use those, and meant that it was even more of a personal touch.

After the service we started taking pictures outside the church, but unfortunately it started to rain (not heavily, but enough to be a pain) and the light got much darker, so we had to finish the official formal photos at the hotel. Not that we had very many official formal photos, mostly the photographer just wandered round snapping, which was exactly what we wanted. I’m looking forward to seeing his pictures, though I’m not sure when they’ll be ready. Here are a few from outside the church before it started to rain (these are the ones I linked to originally):

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Here are a few pictures from the reception, which was at the hotel where I was staying the previous night and which was pretty much just round the corner from the church. I enjoyed that too, the hotel were pretty laid back as well and weren’t too bossy or anything which was good. And the pudding was great (check out the photo of the chocolate cake!):

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and the foodie bits:

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After the food and speeches (which included a joke about chocolate at my expense which everybody thought was hilarious for some reason, can’t think why) we all trooped out to the reception and bar and milled around while the tables were cleared away. This also gave us time to set up the laptop with the card reader (an idea shamelessly nicked from aj and emma of Bob the Blog) so that people could download their photos for us (this is where all of these photos, apart from the gin ones, have come from). As entertainment we had our brand new mp3 player plugged into a stereo and put on shuffle, which worked absolutely fine (apart from some of HD’s choices which cleared the dance-floor!!!). We did have a first dance – I hadn’t ever really thought I wanted one, and was quite surprised that HD really did want to do it, but he chose a great track which was rather unusual (I bet not many people do their first dance to a song called ‘Miserere’!) but which was perfect for us (I should explain that despite the title it’s basically an anthem celebrating life – it builds up to a really affirming chorus of “Long live living, if living can be this” which is just gorgeous. It’s by an (I think) Australian group called The Cat Empire if anyone wants to look it up). I honestly wouldn’t have been able to dance to anything cringey like Whitney Houston, but even I could manage this, and despite the blurriness I love this picture of us having that first dance:


This was also the point that we were confettied – it was only later that I discovered that the confetti (which was shiny stars and circles) had a dye in them which meant that, as if discovering them *everywhere* wasn’t bad enough, they had left imprints on my skin – I had a very attractive line of pink stars on my boobs for a couple of days, very classy! I haven’t seen a picture of that, I hope someone managed to capture the moment (the confetti-ing, not my boobs, I hasten to add!).

What was great was that we were staying in the hotel that night too, so we didn’t have the hassle of getting somewhere else. We had a lovely room, and they’d provided us with champagne, and it was all very lovely. Though I’m not going to blog about that (you’ll be relieved to know!). Suffice to say, all in all it was a perfect day, and lots of people have told us how much they especially loved the service, including family members who wouldn’t normally go anywhere near church. I’m very happy 🙂

I’ll blog about the honeymoon soon, we had a few adventures there too which I want to record so I don’t forget. But I think this is enough for now (thanks to the one reader who’s managed to make it to the end!).


Thank you for all the prayers and good vibes. HD was offered the job, but has an interview tomorrow for a job we think he’d prefer. So keep praying and vibing, it appears to work 🙂

A good weekend – we went down to the City Where We’re Getting Married (CWWGM) and swore at a vicar (a technical requirement as neither of us live in the city, never mind the parish, where we’re getting married, and they don’t read banns in Scotland – thankfully we said the right swear words so now have a licence to get married). We also saw friends at a birthday do, sorted out the flowers, did a bit of Christmas shopping (including buying our first Christmas tree, which we decorated this evening), and went to church yesterday where they very kindly prayed for us.

We got back to Glasgow just before 2 this morning, so I’m not sure this morning’s supervision session was entirely coherent, but I still seem to have a vague sense of progress and purpose, which at this stage in the PhD is always useful. This term’s essays are due in on Thursday though, so any sense of progress and purpose, however vague, will I expect be lost in the fug of misplaced apostrophes. I’m hoping this year’s lot are better on the comedy typo front than last year’s though.


I’m not long back from the City Where We’re Getting Married. We had a lovely time, and achieved lots – HD has a suit, we have bought rings, we have eaten at the best restaurant in the world (OK so not strictly weddingy, but it was delicious) and the church bits seem to be getting sorted. We also thought we’d found the most fabulous over-the-top cake that we both really loved, but we actually only liked the icing – for some reason this particular cake only comes as a madeira, which neither of us were mad on. So the options are to go traditional (highly possible) or try to find a place that will do a mad fruit cake.

In other news, I’m online at home! Hooray! Now I’ll never get any work done! (oh hang on, that’s not a good thing is it?).