I am supposed to be showering right now. Liam and I have come to Manchester on a particularly lovely day, and while he is off trying to reverse the damage of loads of internet pirating parties on his laptop, I am supposed to be showering so that we might enjoy the last moments of sunlight on this glorious day near the end of the February. Watch out, it's supposed to just hit 60 a couple of days in London next week. I might be able to strip off the protective 'coating' I've been wearing so religiously for the past three months.
This weekend Liam and I set off for York, Newcastle, and Manchester, respectively. After an evening of Cote Du Rhone, Wensleydale (which is DIVINE) and spiced olives, We boarded our brand new Virgin train (and, no, I'm not being redundant there) at the chipper hour of 7:30 on Saturday morning. We had a whole section of four seats and a table all to ourselves, and after only one change and four hours of train travel, we arrived in the picturesque/historic town of York at 11:45. It was everything an American would expect to see in England, and by everything I mean...bloody, war battered vikings roaming the streets in droves.
All of this, along with your typical Tudor style housing, equipped with a little overhang for you jump under whenever someone on the top floor had to empty their bedpan (we're imagining ourselves in the past right here). We wandered around with Liam's friends Ruth and Katherine making jokes that we were SO going to sign up for the 'certified' ghost tour and scoffing at the viking re-enactors that I find to be as impressive as Trekkies...if not more, as they can instruct on the best way to brandish your wooden sword in an attack by the celts. It never hurts really.
Then Liam and Ruth and I traveled onward and upwards to Newcastle...where they make the beer. Yes. We spent the next day climbing around on rocky beaches, avoiding the slippy patches, and making fun popping noises with the bloated ends of the washed-up seaweed. Liam rambled off towards the water after this picture was taken:
and I, after shaking myself out of the seaweed popping trance, scrambled my way over to see why he was standing so still. I slid of the nearest bolder and looked off in the direction of his gaze to see this:
and I promptly threw my arms around him and gave him a little kiss. His nose was cold and his lips were cold, but my face was surprisingly warm and the cold felt good...like a cold wash-cloth on a feverish forehead. There are moments when I am incapable of expressing, even to myself, what my true feelings are, and there are moments, too, when I know exactly how I feel and why I feel the way I do.
We then climbed up some steps over the 'cliff' to see a much less secluded, much more popular beach:
At dinner, we found a pub that served two for the price of one Sunday roast dinners and whilst wiping some mashed potatoes onto my roasted potatoes, I laughed with Liam, Ruth, and her boyfriend 'Foxy' about weight gain and the price of flats in Newcastle.
Today I am in Manchester. I have already been treated to a delicious bowl of a soup I would never have even been able to imagine...spicy cauliflower...and a good long newspaper reading session. I will leave you with a video (oh yes) of Liam rolling down a hill on the coast. Note the form and execution of the maneuver. Liam takes these things very seriously.