Monday, 5 August 2013

Holidays Week Two

Day Eight - 
Morning campers!!! Woken by the sound of rain falling this morning. I've surfed the net for a while and now I'm sitting in the hall-way in our room knitting. I'm here because the boys are still sleeping and I don't want to wake them by putting a light on in the room. 

Today is our first full day in York. Not sure what we'll do, I suppose it depends on whether the weather is set for the day!

The day started off with us trying to find our way around. We headed for the minster. While we wandered through the shopping centre we wandered across a lovely church with a very grand clock
We went inside to find a beautiful church. It's called St Martin's and the altar is lovely. Very modern. It turns out it was bombed and had been rebuilt. 

Well, we walked Round York all day despite the on-off rain. We went to the minster and rather foolishly when buying the tickets I said " yes, why not!" when asked if we wanted to take the tower tour. Now, this tour involves a climb of 275 steps in a very confined spiral staircase. The climb is broken about halfway by the need to walk across a roof which is itself stupidly high!
Half way. Could have happily stopped, but wasn't about to give in. 

The views from the top where staggering, but I have to confess that I couldn't fully appreciate them as vertigo was taking hold and I was trying not to lose it infront of a hoard of strangers!
At the top. 

We had a look around the minster, but stomachs were calling so we stopped for lunch and decided to take the full tour another day. 

After that some retail therapy was completed. Not on my part by the way! Matthew rarely shops for clothes, but when he does, he goes for it. We had a lovely mooch around an antiques shop, 
bought a gift, and Matthew managed to spoil his surprise for Christmas by finding a watch he liked. I had to drop hints as heavy as bricks suggesting he wait a while to stop him buying it! 

We spent a ridiculous amount if time circling a block of streets looking for the Ronan Bath Museum. We could see it on the map, we could find a pub called the Romsn Bath, but the museum eluded us for hours. In the end we discovered that the museum was UNDER the pub! Give me strength!!!! Any how after losing another £10 we went in. The word museum is a tad misleading. What it actually is is a preserved dig site. Don't get me wrong, it is most certainly a Roman bath, but I'd hardly describe the small space barely the footprint of the pub above it warrants being called a museum. The chap manning the till was clearly passionate about the subject and I'm sure that given the opportunity he would be a mine of information. 

After the disappointment of the bath we set off looking for Dig. It's an exhibit aimed at children and it's run by the same company who run the Jorvik Centre.
Ben 'excavates' a site looking for some finds. 

He seems to have covered himself rather than uncover history!

 I can't praise it enough. The people there are great! Their passion for archeology is obvious and their ability to infect kids with that passion was great to see! I'd recommend it to anyone. Great fun and interesting too. 

After that was dinner and home. A good day

Day Nine - 
Rudely woken by flocks of geese honking on the river. Got out of bed to knit while the boys slept only to nearly collapse on the floor! It seems that that nasty spiral staircase has taken its toll on my calves! I'm in for a painful day today. On today's itinerary is the Railway Museum, the Jorvik Centre, the minster again as we missed half of it yesterday, and the Dungeons. Wish me luck folks!

Today was another jam packed day. We started at the National Railway Museum. Wow. Even for someone like me who really isn't fussed about trains, you can't help being impressed. 
I found my way home!

I also found platform 9 3/4! Does that mean I'm not a muggle!?

The collection of locomotives is wonderful. They have a bullet train, the Mallard and the Flying Scotsman. The Scotsman was having an overhaul and so wasn't on display, but there was still plenty to see. 
Queen Elizabeth II's bed in her train. Strangely un-fussy I think

After a great morning it was time to move on. We went to the Jorvik centre. I'd been here as a child and while it has been updated technology-wise, history hasn't changed in 25ish years so the exhibit was pretty much as I remembered it. Have to say though, they seemed to have toned down the smells! Ben was very impressed, he had lots of questions. 

The day rounded off with a trip to York Army Museum. It follows the history of two of Yorkshire's army regiments - the Royal Dragoon Guards and the Prince of Wale's Own Regiment of Yorkshire. It's another small independent mum run by great enthusiasts. Ben was enthralled by all of the weaponry. The guys manning the entry desk were great, I can't praise them and their museum enough

We decided that we needed to chill for the night and made our way back home, having our dinner in a riverside pub. Yum. 

It was a great knitting day. I managed to cast off a huge sock and cast on a new toe while walking around the railway museum
And I finished "The Scarf"! I've just flicked though my camera roll on the iPad and realised that I don't have a photo of the finished article! Doh!!!!! So here is one of a nearly done version!

Day Ten -
Our last day in York. We had a late check out time which got the day off to a relaxing start. I hate it when you have to rush around getting packed and out of your room early. It puts my stress levels on a high before the day even starts!

Today was another crammed day. We took a guided tour and the minster. Bear with me now, but it was a fantastic tour! York Minster houses 1/4 of the world's surviving medieval stained glass!

This window is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It's a miracle it survived through to the present day. During the reformation, anything that people prayed to which showed anything other than God was destroyed. 
The Five Sisters window. So called it's said because it resembles five Cistercian monks. This order of monks wore off-white robes. This window isn't a coloured window, it is decorated with geometric patterns similar to those often seen in Islamic decoration. This is because the window was paid for by knights returning from the Holy Lands and the Crusades. 

This is the roof of the Chapter house. It isn't consecrated land, it's the meeting room for the church and is so called because a chapter of the bible is read out before each meeting. The ceiling is held up by an astonishing oak beamed roof. You have to marvel at the architecture; and the fact that they had no safely systems. Everything was done with pulleys and ropes and a healthy dose of faith! Around the base of the ceiling is the most amazing stone work. Each figure is different and many reflect the stonemasons' irreverent sense of humour!

This is the South Transept. It was badly damaged by fire in 1984. I remember entering the Blue Peter competition to design new ceiling bosses! You can see the magnificent Rose Window at the top of the building. 
The east end of the minster is undergoing a massive renovation. The Great East Window has been removed. It is the largest piece of medieval stained glass in the world. Inside the east end you can see the Orb. Inside the Orb you can get up close to panes from the window which have been restored

The dragon gives power to the beast. During the conservation of this piece an eye socket was discovered in the face of the dragon, and a new eyeball was inserted!

St John glimpses God in majesty. The conservators used historical evidence to restore God's purple cloak in this pane. It had become patched with a jumble of different colours over time. 

The stonemasons also have a huge task. Outside the church you can see them working. Must be like living in a fish bowl! But it was interesting to see their craft in action. 

Ben took a photograph of this too. His camera told him that a blink was detected! Oohhh scary!

After the minster tour I wanted to go to the Shambles. It's a tiny street of old buildings almost falling in on themselves. 
There is an LYS there called Ramshambles. I wanted to find a skein of local yarn there. I did find some natural coloured Aran weight Yorkshire yarn. But I wanted something with a bit of colour! The shop did stock Eden Cottage Yarns with was odd, because Vicky, who dyed the yarn comes from 20 miles away from me in Appleby! Not very local to York, so I left without buying anything (I had quickly popped in on the Monday to buy a set of sharp tipped circulars to knit the scarf but they only had Pony [bleuargh!] and the lady in the shop spent ages telling me excuses why she couldn't get Addies or Hiya Hiya's. I couldn't help thinking that other LYS's manage, and I'd rather sell no circulars rather than sell rubbish ones!) 

We called York a day after that and headed out to the Yorkshire Air Museum. Another fantastic museum. It's filled with great exhibits following World War II. There are also great aircraft, many are in flying order!
Ben and a replica Spitfire

A huge Halifax

A Gannet - some self-assembly required!

A Mosquito undergoing an engine rebuild. I wonder how many 'bits' will be left over when it's put back together!?

We spent a couple of hours wandering around and then decided we were museum'd out and it was time to head home
I love the way sunlight streams through the clouds. That's Penrith in the distance by the way.
Nearly home. Once I was unpacked and the washing machine was started, I worked on blocking Jesn's scarf. It had to be dry for the next day - her birthday!

Day Eleven - 
 The scarf dried thankfully and we had a wonderful lunch at the Sharrow Bay hotel. It has a Michelin star and I could tell. The food was wonderful and the service was superb. I was so proud of Ben, he ate lots and tried everything! The food was a great deal fancier than anything he'd experienced before! 
A stroll in the gardens after lunch. Lovely

Day Twelve - 
My birthday! It came and it went. I treated myself to dome Nunoco fibre. It should be delivered when I get back to work on Monday. I think I might need cheered up, so fluff is just the thing I'll need!

I did get lots of spinning done though. I'm working on the silver top I said I'd finish a couple of blog's ago! I am making progress! I think I'm over halfway through the 50g now. The plying is in sight!  I also cast on another Piper's Journey. I'm using Opal Sweet and Spicy in the red onion colour way. 

The pattern calls for a sport weight yarn and this is obviously fingering. I plan to continue on the body past the stitch count given in the pattern until I'm happy with the depth of the shawl. The applied edging used 6 body stitches with each repeat, so I'll increase to a multiple of 6 stitches and the work the edging. I have 2 balls, so I'm reasonably confident I have enough yardage!  

I'm also working on Makai. I started it as my guilty pleasure while we were in York. I'm working on the ripple pattern at the moment and I have to say, it's not stuck in my head yet, so I'm referring to the pattern each row. It's hard going, but I'll speed up as I get into it! 

Day Thirteen - 
A catch up with the housework day. Not overly exciting, I worked almost exclusively on Piper's journey and spun on my wheel in my down time. Jean made a lovely dinner as my post-birthday tea. She is just too good!

Day Fourteen - 
The last day of my holidays. Today I'll drop Ben off at his friend's for the week. He's excited to go stay. I'm excited for him, but nervous too. I do miss him when he's gone. 
So here I am, 8 o'clock in the morning finishing this blog before the motley crew wake up. I'll get Ben packed and ready to go, I've still got a mountain of washing to do (where does it all come from?!). Next Ben and I have an Airfix model to paint, I need to get something in the slow cooker so my dinner is done after my 200 mile round trip to drop the boy off, and somewhere in amongst that I'd like to get some knitting done! At the moment it seems unlikely, but we'll see!

On the horizon - 
My return to work will hopefully be uneventful. I'll have lots of bills to pay and mail to work through, but hopefully all will be well. 

I have a swimming lesson to give for my cousin

I'm hoping to get a dying lesson for me! 

I'm really hoping I can get to plying the black and silver merino together. 

Will I get to clue 2 of Mel's Makai?

Will I get the body of Piper's Journey completed?

Who knows. We'll see. 

Have a great week. 

Normal service resumes next Sunday!