Saturday, 22 June 2013

I am longing to be with you, and by the sea, where we can talk together freely and build our castles in the air

A while back now my friend Katherine came up from Sheffield to see me. I never really had the thought processes lined up to blog about it properly at the time, but I think now's the time. Katherine unfortunately turned up late to my town due to delayed connections at York, which sent my mind racing in anticipation. She did eventually arrive, an hour later, and we dropped her stuff off at mine (her light packing sent me aback quite a lot - I usually pack half my flat to even go away for a weekend. I should be more like her, I decided). We set off into town and I showed her around the unimpressive shopping centre and charity shops (again nothing, which was rather disappointing. I was looking for an outfit and the charity shops usually provided such, but not today). After calling my friend Natalie for help, I bought a skirt that should last (if a little expensive for my budget) and we headed back home.

The next day we went to Whitby for a day out and my job interview. We managed to get on the bus and spent the next hour chatting about holidays and summer as the bus struggled through the hills of the Yorkshire Moors. Katherine told me she felt like she was on holiday as the location reminded her of when she went to the Yorkshire coast with her family, and it certainly felt like a holiday with duck-egg blue skies and warm air. When we got into the Whitby bus station (ha if you can even call it that) we grabbed sandwiches at the Co-Op and raced up the Abbey steps to my interview. Since last time I was at Whitby I must have got fitter because I managed the climb easier this time. While I was in my job interview Katherine explored St Mary's church and the cliffs surrounding it.

I didn't bother getting photos of the Abbey and the church, but in the future I will since there's quite something about reading about a place and actually visiting it. And here my love for Gothic Literature comes in: one fabulous thing about living in the area I do is that many of the authors in this genre used to live around here. The Brontë' family, perhaps the most famous example. Anyway, according to Whitby town records (thanks to Natalie for this treasure) Bram Stoker, the author of the most famous vampire novel in history, Dracula (Sadly Edward Cullen may rival this fact) stayed here for only a couple of days, but based half of his novel in the town. Having read the novel excitedly (it really picks up pace when the story is stationed in Whitby) I saw the Abbey as a slight disappointment. Having pictured the scene in dark, ominous weather with luxurious thorned  roses entwining themselves between cracked headstones, and the Abbey's spires touching the clouds - well reality was quite different. The graveyard was clean, orderly and trimmed, the Abbey certainly tall but not at all scary looking, and the church was fairly ordinary. Perhaps it was the too-bright sunlight, but it didn't seem quite such a dangerous place to set a horror story in (I've had this visualising problem before, years ago; I went on a school trip to Ypres and visited WWI and WWII graves, including Tyne Cot and Menin Gate and struggled to take in the magnitude of massacre by the very hot weather and happy students around me). I wanted to visit the bench in the story of Dracula, the one the 'crazy' man sits on in the novel when Mina visits - and more importantly, the very one Bram Stoker sat on while ruminating on plot points of his story - when to my horror I discovered a coastal landslide had sent the bench cascading down into ruins. It had happened a week or two before I first visited Whitby, so probably early May, so I went right up to the cautioned off wire fence and peeked through, trying to imagine it there. It was kind of hard, and everything I had expected of Dracula's setting seemed incorrect.

However, I couldn't remain sad for long because Whitby is such a quaint and interesting town. Katherine and I went in and out of many kitsch and touristy shops, picking and glancing over products. At around three or four o clock we went to Marie Antoinette's Cafe, the only one I was familiar with (Natalie and I went in there last time). To my dismay, I forgot about Katherine's nut allergy and she couldn't try any of the cakes I had been boasting about, but she contented herself with a scone with cream and jam so that was fine. While we were gabbing I got a phone call - I had been accepted for the job. I couldn't keep the smile off my face (Well in between bouts of anxiety about it all).

Katherine only stayed for three days, so we slowed things down and hung out in our pyjamas until mid-afternoon. I felt bad for not taking her to the beach so we set off to the seafront only, to my chagrin, to meet the sea - the tide was in. Not being able to touch the sand we walked around the Spa and stopped at the pavilion, looking out to sea, to take photos. Katherine has such beautiful, long hair I had to take photos of her! It was nice to take photos with someone because even though we had the same scene, our photos came out so different.

On our way back we took photos of flowers in the park and then Katherine packed up and caught the train back home.

L x
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Monday, 3 June 2013

Rock Pools

The weather has been really good to us lately and has stayed sunny and warm for a few days. My boyfriend Stephen and I went to the beach for a couple of hours. The tide was coming in, but we had caught it as it was out, so there was no rush to get back to shore. In among the bladderwhack-seaweed there were limpets, tiny fish and shrimp and clusters of barnacles and sea-moss. Our feet picked between these parts onto the dry rock so that we didn't slip over, and while Stephen jumped between pools and crevices I went around them the long way, holding my camera up in protection.

(sooc: might edit this later and upload it to flickr.)

Will most likely upload the one of myself onto flickr soon. Hope you're also enjoying the summery sunshine in the UK. 

L x

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