Saturday, 12 April 2014

Postcards From York IV

"What are we going to do today?", asked The Husband
"We can go to the natural habitat of every Englishman or a woman-the pub. We can also go and see a Viking poo.", said I.
"Viking poo???"
"Yes. Viking poo. It's the poo pooed by a Viking many, many centuries ago."
"And we can see it?"
"Yes. In a Viking museum."
"You're lying! How can a poo stay preserved for all this time?"
"Technology!!!", I exclaimed and off we went to a Viking museum.

We stood in front of a said poo and marveled at its size.  It was ginormous!
Viking skeletons (also on display) were, by comparison, pretty small.  Unlike today's Norwegians who are amongst the tallest people in the world, Norwegians of yesteryear were meter-nothing tall.
"How is it possible that THAT came out of THOSE?", asked The Husband pointing first at the poo and then at the Viking skeletons.
"I'm afraid we will never know. It's one of the great mysteries of the Universe.", I answered. We turned and exited the Viking Museum and stopped for a drink in a local pub. It was a fitting end to our trip to York.
I wore:
Trench: Asos
Scarf: Joshua Joseph
Bag: Rebecca Minkoff
Jeans: Mango
Flats: Zara
Watch: Olivia Burton
Ring: Dogeared

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Postcards From York III

"What is it, what is it?"
"Did you bring a blue laser light with you?"; I enquired.
"Blue, wh...what in a God's name?".
"Well, if you didn't bring a blue laser light, then we have a ghost situation."
"Yeah, look. There's a blue light on the wall. Look!"; I pointed at the blue light.
"It's a light from the clock."
"Oh. Not a ghost?"
I went back to sleep. But not for long. A radio just happened to switch itself on. By itself.
"Poltergeist activity detected!!!"; I said and sat bolt upright in bed.
"Don't be silly. It was me. I accidentally switched it on."; said The Husband.
"Are you sure it wasn't a ghost?"
"I'm sure. Go to sleep, woman."
"Listen, listen...there's a noise. Surely now it's a ghost!! Right?"
"Wrong. It's not a ghost."
"What is it then?"
"I don't know, but it's not a ghost."
"Very disappointing."
I went back to sleep.
The following morning I got over the disappointment of not seeing the ghosts and suggested a trip to a local supermarket. I love visiting supermarkets everywhere I go. To see what the other folk eat. Granted, it's not going to be much different seeing that the York is in the same country, but nevertheless I wanted to check it out. Just in case. 
We entered the hallowed grounds of "Tesco" and straight away I noticed a mini aisle devoted to local products.
"Oh, Lawd Jesus, look at that! We don't get this in London."; I said
Right in front of me, there was bewildering array of Yorkshire ginger biscuits, Yorkshire lemon cheese (Cheese??? Did the good folk of Yorkshire discover how to get cheese from lemons or do they mean lemon curd?), Yorkshire mix sweets, Yorkshire mintoes and other Yorkshire related produce. 
I stared in amazement. 
"We only get Kosher, Asian and Polish foods in our Tesco."; said The Husband.
"I know. Unfair."
After the supermarket, we decided to check out local housing market. Like any self-respecting Londoner, I too am obsessed with houses, property prices and the eternal question of will I EVER be able to afford to buy my very own house (the answer in case you are wandering is..."No, probably not. Not in London. Not if the hell freezes over. Not ever.").
We glued our faces to the shop window of a local estate agent. 
"We should move here!", I announced.
The price of a sprawling Yorkshire farm house was the same as the price of an ex-council studio flat in the middle of gangland Hackney.
"We should. Do they have jobs here?"; enquired The Husband.
"Obviously. I mean somebody has to make all that Yorkshire lemon cheese. It could be us."
"Could be. We just need to learn how to milk a lemon." 
I wore: 
Pajamas: Cath Kidston

Trench coat: ASOS
T-shirt: Maison Scotch
Jeans: Mango
Watch: Olivia Burton
Ring: Dogeared
Shoes: Whistles
Pashmina: Joshua Joseph

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Postcards From York II

"Wow, indeed!"
I ran my hands across the wonky medieval walls of our York holiday home.
"This is amazeballs. We don't really need to go to the city. We can just sit here in the house and enjoy"; I suggested.
"We really do need to get out at some point, you know."; said The Husband.
"OK then, but only after I open every single cupboard and drawer and check under the bed for snakes."
"There are no poisonous sna..."
"There be adders!!!!"; I interrupted him.
"It's highly unlikely they are nesting under the bed of a holiday home in York."
"You never know. It's better I check."
There were no adders so we went for a walk around the city.
"Look at us walking around with very little likelihood of getting robbed or beheaded!"; I exclaimed.
"Is that a dig at my homeland and its crime statistics?"; said The (Brazilian)  Husband suspiciously.
"No, not at all."; I lied.
He wasn't buying it, but before the argument could develop, I stopped dead in my tracks.
There was a movie (or a TV) production going on, just yards away from York Minster.
"Ooooh, they're filming something, let's have a look."
After observing various people in period costumes shuffling this way and that on set, I decided I was going to be brave and ask some questions: "I'm gonna go and ask what are they filming."
"Why? They're busy, they're not gonna tell you."; stated The Husband
"If I ask politely they will.".
I approached a busy and important looking man: " filming here then, mate????"
"Crimewatch UK"; he dead-panned.
I squinted at him suspiciously.
He squinted back. We had a little squint off.
"It's a reconstruction"; he quickly added.
"M...m...mate, you can't bullshit a bullshitter. I'm gonna ask you again...Whatcha filming?"
He better tell me now.
"Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. For BBC."
"For real?"
"For real. You can check on the internet."
I whipped out the phone. His story checked out.
"Aight then. Cheers. Have a good day."
I went back to The Husband who moved several metres back from the set and was by now dying with embarrassment.
"It's getting dark. Let's go back to the house."
Since the house was supposed to be haunted, I switched all the lights off, lit a million of candles, immersed myself in a roll top bath creatively positioned in the bedroom and waited for ghosts.
"Can we go on ghost tour?"; I asked, still immersed in water.
"Sure."; said The Husband.
"And then can we call the ghosts via ouija board?"
"NO!! Are you crazy. You don't mess around with that."; he panicked.
"But the house has ouija board. And there are instructions."
"NO! It's not good."
"But, you don't believe in anything!!!"; I protested.
"I believe in ghosts!"
"Sweet Bejesus! Fine, I'll do it on my own!"
"You do that. But not in the house."
"Look, I can hardly go and sit with my ouija board on the wet and cold streets of York, indulging in paranormal activity. People will think I lost my marbles and commit me to an institution."
"Don't be silly, this is England. People will think you're mildly eccentric at most."
He won. No ouija board then. Still, I was determined to see and hear the ghosts.
We settled for the night and nodded off to sleep...

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Postcards From York I

"Hey"; said I to The Husband
"Um..."East Coast Trains" has the train travel offers for £5"
"Uh-huh. And where do they go?"
"They mostly go to uncharted territories outside of London. More specifically...Newcastle, York, Edinburgh the villages in between. We could go to York. There be Vikings there!!!"; I was angling for a trip.
"OK then, sold. Let's go to York."

After two more days of internet comparing the accommodation (no one can accuse me of not being thorough), I found us a haunted house to stay in. The whole house. For just the two of us.
"We'll be staying in a haunted medieval house. Hand over the cash."; I demanded.
"They don't have the hotels in York?"
"No!"; I lied.
"How much is it?" enquired The Husband.
"Not much. It is the WHOLE house, you know. It comes with all the mod cons and the ghosts thrown in for free."
"Well, how much?"
I told him. He spluttered his coffee and said: "Darling, we're done touring England."

The day of the York trip finally arrived and we made our way to London's King's Cross station.
It was teeming with people.
"Look at all them northerners. I think they're all going to Newcastle."
"What's wrong with you, woman?"
"I don't know. I'm excited to see the northerners."
The Husband rolled his eyes and hurried to our carriage.

The train was happily chugging along til we got to Doncaster. I glued my face to the window to better observe the exotic station outside London. Then I saw them. Thousands of them. Equipped with writing pads, pens, iPads, compact cameras and DSLR cameras. They were hurriedly and excitedly walking along platforms and even, occasionally, breaking into run.
"OH. MY. EFFING. GOD.", I was still glued to the window, my mouth agape.
"What? What is it?"
"Trainspotters!! Millions of them!!!"
"What's a trainspotter ?"
I explained, the best I could, about the mythical beings who, actually, are clearly well, alive and thriving in Doncaster.
"It must be really boring in Doncaster."; concluded The Husband: "They can't possibly have a decent pub here."
"Oh, they must have."; I disagreed: "It's a well known fact that a cluster of two or more houses in England forms a village and everyone knows a village has to have a pub and a train station. It's the law!"
"So, why the trainspotters?"
"I believe the British male obsession  with trains begins at an early age...they all grow up watching "Thomas The Tank Engine". I took a moment to think about British cartoons: Thomas The Tank Engine, Postman Pat, Bob The Builder....all regular folk. USA gave us Superman, Spiderman and Power Rangers and the UK gave us a cartoon about the ginger postman and his cat. The English like to appreciate the underdog. Being the underdog (and the foreign one at that) myself, I liked that fact.
While I was busy analyzing the finer points of the English psyche, the train made it to York.
"We're here!!! The Viking Central!!!" Yay, let's go!"; I pulled my husband from the train and hurried into the city.