When Neptune Gives You Lemons…

“So much universe, and so little time.”

– Terry Pratchett, The Last Hero

The late, great, Terry Pratchett was so right. And not only is there so much universe, but still so much of our comparatively teeny-tiny earth, and never quite enough time. So why, one might ask, do I constantly decide to visit places I’ve been before when there is still so much to see?

  I hope the next few posts will make this at least a little clearer. If not – skip to the as-yet-unwritten posts about Scotland which I discovered, and fell in love with, on this trip.???????????????????????????????

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I Told You I’d Be Back

“Time devours everything, but each mortal believes that his own memory can enshrine immortality.”

– Angela Thirkell

There’s always a certain apprehension when returning to somewhere you previously loved. Sure, the first time you visited, it was beautiful and magical and you promised out loud to the chagrin and slight embarrassment of your companions “I’ll be back” in your worst-possible Schwarzenegger voice.

But then the years pass, life goes on, and that city, town, village or dilapidated old ruin gains this sort of unreal aura. It’s forever perfect. It stands in your mind as the most ideal locale on the planet.

And then, miraculously, you have a chance to go back. Your heart starts to pound at the thought, you feel dizzy. You will be going back to a place that truly makes you feel at peace. How brilliant is that?

But what if that fabulous little pub you and your friends found is now a blaring nightclub? What if that darling little hole-in-the-wall book store has gone the way of so many others and finally shut its doors? What if the ruin you so loved has finally lost its centuries-old battle with gravity?

What if it’s not the same?

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Fare Thee Well, York

“They say it is the first step that costs the effort. I do not find it so. I am sure I could write unlimited ‘first chapters’. I have indeed written many.”

-J.R.R. Tolkien

Wow, I’ve been sitting on this one for a while. I agree with Tolkien… Beginnings are easy, endings on the other hand? And so, for the past few weeks, I’ve written us out of York 5 or 6 times. None of them felt appropriate.

I’ve finally settled on something – it’s a little different from the novellas that were the last few posts. But, well, here goes.

5 Reasons Why 1 Day in York was Worth 3 Posts

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Unfinished Business

“Do we live to abolish death? No – we live to fear it and then again to love it, and just for death’s sake it is that our spark of life glows for an hour now and then so brightly.”

-Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf

Or, less elegantly, there’s nothing like a good ghost story to chill your blood and make you appreciate like never before the fact that it is still flowing through your veins.

Guess what. This post is not about walls. You’re welcome.

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A Stroll Between Living History and Ghosts of the Past

“Veni, vidi, vici”     

“I came, I saw, I conquered”

– Latin phrase commonly attributed to Julius Caesar

Photo Credit: Kristen

Well, it took about two months longer to get here than it did in reality but finally…Kristen and I reached the York City Walls.

And a glorious sight they were.

One of the incredible things about the UK, and most of Europe come to think of it, is how extraordinarily interactive their large-scale historical attractions are.

Unless you’re visiting an art museum in which most of the works of art are in constant danger of being damaged beyond repair, the historical enthusiasts and authorities alike across-the-pond are remarkably supportive of proactive exploration.

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History Continues to Trump Exhaustion

“Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them and you have their shoes.”

-Jack Handey

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My writing desk at home…Where these posts are drafted!

It’s a funny thing, writing. You can do it for days and days at a time and enjoy every minute of it and yet at some point you need to leave the comfort of your literary reveries – often just for a couple of hours – to take a deep, rejuvenating breath of real life’s fresh air.

Admittedly, I spent much of the holidays taking deep, frequent, even greedy breaths of the free air and I’ve been rather reluctant to dive back in to the chasm – both wondrous and intimidating – of the writer’s mind. But I am back. Truly. These posts should become much more frequent.

I may have to work on my breathing.

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History Trumps Exhaustion – Part The First

“The history of York is the history of England.”

-George VI

To satisfy what I am sure is burning curiosity, dear internet, the unexpected but highly welcome train breakfast was first-rate. And, more importantly, the coffee was spectacular.   

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A Wizard is Never Late

 “A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins, nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to.”

– Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring

Does waking up in a bed that is not your own ever lose its disconcerting effect?

Add 13+ hours of sleep and a time change and you’re pretty much guaranteed a healthy dose of discombobulation. 

Waking up in the hostel in London, I definitely had to shake my head a few times before I regained full use of my faculties. Well, to be honest, I’ve never had full use of my faculties.

But I digress.

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The Longest Day – The Longest Post

“Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!”

-Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit

By design, Kristen and I only had one day in the hectic, fast-paced, distracted and distracting metropolis that is London, England. Neither of us are huge fans of big cities and we were anxious to get out into the glorious English countryside.

As we stepped out of the dimly lit tube station into the afternoon light we blinked in surprise at how green it was. This was London right? The big, cold city we had been determined to spend as little time in as possible?

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A New Adventure

“Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.”

-James Joyce, Ulysses

Disclaimer – I did not put any hyperlinks in this post so if there are any, they are ads. Don’t click. Or do. Up to you. Free will and all that jazz.

For those who, for whatever reason, enjoy reading my rather long entries, I know it has been forever. Life is rather skilled at getting in the way of ones best intentions, is it not?

I’m going to attempt a rather ambitious task here – a multi-part series regaling the people of the internet (read: the 4 people who actually read these, 2 of whom are my Mum and Dad) with tales from the trip my sister and I took to the UK in May. It was, quite possibly, one of the most enjoyable and insane trips of my life — and yes that includes the madness of Berlin in the spring. What’s that? I’ve never told you that story? Ask me some time. It’s a good one.

So. Here goes. Part One: A New Adventure.

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