Saturday, 31 January 2009
And then there's that whole "being a tourist in your own town" sort of thing to mentally deal with, which is a sore point for me because I regret my separation from this metropolis - and that I haven't been around to witness and live through its recent developments.
I must have got over it though by the time I exited the station, as I was greeted by a group of passing workmen with: "Now then, Smiler!" Which made me laugh. I had a friend at school who used to say that exact same greeting to people who were smiling. Wonder if it's a Leeds thing? I've never heard it anywhere else :-D
Two great Leeds blogs I've been enjoying recently are:
Leeds Daily Photo by Paul and
Leeds Grub by Katie.
Friday, 30 January 2009
Thursday, 29 January 2009
I buy a weekly ticket for the ordinary bus service, which costs £15 and with it I can travel anywhere on any bus within York. I intend to do some exploring some time soon.
Wednesday, 28 January 2009
Monday, 26 January 2009
Here it is from the other side. You can see the difference in brick type more clearly here, that upper part with the "windows" being the later one. The red stripe in the Roman built section looks decorative but was apparently to cement the structure together
There are lots of Roman tombs all over this part of the Museum gardens. They have been brought here from other sites around York. Here, Little J is lamenting the fact that there is rubbish and graffiti around them. "That is someone's tomb, so why do people put rubbish in it?" he asked me.
Sunday, 25 January 2009
Here is the same location, St Helen's Square, without Little J pogo-ing into the photo. The road you can see between the blue and black shop fronts there is Stonegate, and follows the line of the original main road into the fortress established by Roman soldiers who built the first city of York, all those centuries ago (there was nothing here before the Romans' arrival, at this strategic meeting point of two rivers, the Foss and the Ouse).
Nothing left of the Romans' gate here now, but five minutes away in the Museum Gardens stands a multangular tower that was part of the fortress's defences.
Ruby: Would you like to go and see it?
Little J: Oh, all right then! But can we go home, soon?
Ruby: Look, I'll do you a deal. If we can go see the ruins, we'll watch Mr Yellow juggling for a bit first.
Little J: Done!
Saturday, 24 January 2009
If, on the other hand you get something like platform 5 - like I did on Wednesday, you have to leg it up these steps, and down the the ones at the other side before you can look for your train.
I love this clock at the top of the first steps going up, as I can look at it and work out how many minutes I've got. In this picture though, unusually for me, I had plenty of time, as my train to London didn't leave till 10.29. But that was because Ruby Senior, who is Organised, dropped me off at the station ;-)
NB The rose in the metalwork of the clock is the white rose of Yorkshire :-)
Friday, 23 January 2009
Ruby Senior was doubtful about my choice of footwear for London. The boots have a heel, and I don't do heels, as a rule. She was also alarmed by the fact that I was still trying to zip the boots up when she took me to the station in the car. I had to push the passenger seat back to the max, rest my feet on the front dashboard, then give each zip an almighty prolonged tug to get
Thursday, 22 January 2009
When I lived away, and used to come up and stay here in my mother's house, I used to sit and look at this view and dream of coming back to live here. It is so very Northern, and feels like home for me. Although I can see why it wouldn't appeal to some (I also like mills, and cooling towers :-D).
And having just waxed lyrical about the North, I am now off down South for the day. London is calling, and I have a ticket to ride (how many more song titles can I get in?), leaving shortly and back late this evening. I've just joined a professional association that has about 7 meetings a year there, and today will be the first of those for 2009. I lived and worked in London for about 3 years - it'll be good to be back for a visit.
Wednesday, 21 January 2009
Tuesday, 20 January 2009
A leaflet came through the door this week about the disused Terry's factory, seeking our opinions as nearby residents on the amendments to the council's brief for would-be developers.
Terry's is currently owned by the developer Grantside, who bought the factory in 2006 for £26 million. They put in a proposal to turn the place into loads of homes, a luxury hotel, offices and workshops, but the plan was thrown out by the council's planning department.
So the amended brief from the council says the developers may submit proposals for: a high quality hotel, conference and leisure facilities, shops, restaurants, and specifies that the development must benefit local people and have a "communal" feel.
I've been trying to get my head round it for a day or two now. It isn't stated on the information given to me why the last proposal was chucked out, and how the amendments will prevent that happening again - which surely, it the key piece of required information here. I think, if I remember rightly from what I read in the paper at the time, the main reason was the traffic congestion that it would supposedly cause in the area. I can only assume this must have been because there were too many homes planned as part of the last proposal (?). Why am I having to assume things? It would be nice if it was all made a bit clearer After all, this article in the Press yesterday tells us:
"It's one of the biggest and most crucial developments in York's recent history - and now the people of the city are getting their chance to reshape its future!"
Communicate to us clearly about it, then!
After residents have given their opinions, which we have until Feb 22 to do, the brief will be revised, and presented to the council's planning committee in March or April, according to the article in yesterday's Press. Then I suppose Grantside will have a look at it and submit another proposal. If they can still afford it, and if they aren't too p*ssed off by now.
Monday, 19 January 2009
Halifax is about 35 miles to the south west of York, on the edge of the Pennines, in my home county of West Yorkshire. It was good to see some hills - the area immediately around York, known as the Vale of York is completely flat. It was even better to the see the sun.
On the way there and back, we passed signs to Brighouse and Rastrick, famous for the Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band which scored a pretty massive hit in the late 70s with the Floral Dance.
Sunday, 18 January 2009
Saturday, 17 January 2009
Knave - a rogue, a rascal - from the old English, cnafa
Mire - an area of wet, swampy ground; bog; marsh - from the Old Norse, myrr
The Knavesmire is a large area of undeveloped ground in York known as a stray. It is the haunt of dog walkers these days, and is low lying, flooding easily when it rains.
The York Races take place on the Knavesmire, with the racing track (not pictured) occupying a large part of it. Between 1371 and 1801 public executions took place here too, as I mentioned the other day. In fact horse racing in York started as a side show event for the crowds who came to town to watch the knaves being hanged. It didn't surprise me when I found that out. There is still a motley crew coming to town for the races these days too, with restaurants and pubs in the city centre hiring extra bouncers for the occasion.
But the Knavesmire has a strong character all of its own, which for me overrides the unpleasant aspects of its history. It is very atmospheric, especially in the early morning mist, and a great place for a walk - preferably with wellies.
Friday, 16 January 2009
Yes, Archbishop John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, lives in Bishopthorpe. We go past his palace every morning, and as we do, it has become a bit of a tradition to call out a greeting and enquire how he is getting on with his daily routine (please take note, I am with my young son when I do this).
Thursday, 15 January 2009
You wanted to see it ... Are you sure? Are you sure sure sure? Too late to change your mind now anyway, here he is :
I told you he was scary!
The first time I did the bus ride to school with my son, I was pointing out interesting things to him, to try and get him to enjoy the journey. As I glanced up at the statue above the church's main entrance, I was going to tell him to have a look - then I saw it properly from myself and my pointy finger went right back down, I can tell you. He has never noticed this and I shall not be showing him, either. *Shudders.*
I don't know what it reminds me of exactly. A fly? A half-hatched pupa ? I had a look at the church website to see if it said anything about who the statue is meant to be (St Chad himself?) but they make not a mention of it. I don't blame them!
Tomorrow, the mystery special place we pass on the final part of our morning bus ride, which also involves a special ritual ...
Wednesday, 14 January 2009
First is the Knavesmire on the edge of the racecourse (pictured above), where in the cold weather we sometimes see kids skidding across the ice, because the middle of the Knavesmire is waterlogged and frozen over. Public executions once took place here (urgh!) - the most notorious person to be hanged on the Knavesmire being Dick Turpin.
Next is Terry's chocolate factory, then St Chad's church where there is an unpleasant statue above the door, which I think is of a holy person but looks like a giant insect, and I am frightened of it.
Knavesmire School is next, then Terry's again from a different angle, then a long expanse of road going past York Crematorium, York College of Law and the Bustardthorpe Allotment Association, whose name makes me laugh (I have a mature sense of humour).
The most exciting place of all is last, just before we get off - photo tomorrow.
Tuesday, 13 January 2009
Have you noticed lately that when brand names are pluralised - such as Shoot in that sign in the top right - it seems to be becoming more and more acceptable to use greengrocer's apostrophe (an appostrophe where it shouldn't be, as in "apple's 70p a pound."
Shoot's £1. State of that. I think I'll go and find the manager and say "Hello, my name is Shoot, can I have my £1, please?"
Monday, 12 January 2009
I've decided to take a picture of this view every month, to see how it changes - a lovely idea which is not my own, but is from Marley over at Cheltenham Daily Photo. I've been really enjoying his recent Changing View series, which he began in September, and have been amazed at how much his scene changes in as short a period of a month - what a difference passing time and the seasons make. Thanks Marley for the inspiration - I hope you don't mind me adopting your idea for YDP.
Clifford's Tower is probably York's most well known landmark. Very distinctive up there on its hill, where it has been standing since 1069, built by William the Conqueror as part of his campaign to subdue the Northerners. Anyone out in town in York on a Saturday night will soon see it clearly didn't work ... ;-)
Sunday, 11 January 2009
This section of the ruins in the gardens is actually part of the remains of St Leonard's Chapel and Hospital, a place where the sick and poor came to be healed - in spirit as well as body, and was apparently the largest such place in the north of England. It was rebuilt after a fire in 1137, which is when these ruins date from.
Not pictured here (I'll post a photo when I have one!) is a spacious undercroft, off to the left from the tunnel, which has some beautiful arches. I was actually too scared to go down there and get pics the other day when I took these as it was getting dark! It was the prospect of meeting one of the dodgy types that sometimes hang around here that put me off though, more than the prospect of ghosts. Although I admit, that did also cross my mind. Eek!
This part above definitely does spook me a bit. It's the inside of the "tunnel" and the graves are Roman ones. I seem to remember reading that they weren't found on site, but have been found at excavations in other parts of York.
Funny how just across to the right beyond the park's railings is one of the busiest roads in York, with bus stops, people and loads of traffic. Then along at the end of this tunnel, which you can just see, is the forecourt to the library with people constantly coming and going. I can't help feeling in a totally different world just here though, and civilisation seems far away.
Saturday, 10 January 2009
The photo above shows The Lodge in the background. Just after I took this photo, I went to have a closer look at it. There was a poster in its window advertising the events of the Yorkshire Philosphical Society, which I hadn't heard about before.
Then I went to have a look at the spooky bit of the gardens, which I really like, but which frightens me a bit as well! Photo tomorrow!
Friday, 9 January 2009
Ruby has written a guest post today on the blog of her good friend and writing partner Karen, aka Almost Mrs Average of The Rubbish Diet. A link to the post is here: Ruby's Rubbish Surprise: reporting live from York. Do pop over and see my post about York's bins - or the lack of them, inspired by my post on this blog yesterday!
Thursday, 8 January 2009
Not that the cats in the neighbourhood get much chance for bin bag attack. Bags can only be left out after 7pm of the night before collection. And why no wheelie bins, you may ask? Well in certain areas of York where there are back access alleys to the houses such as this one, wheelie bins are not allowed - to avoid the problem of people leaving them out permanently, where they look unsightly!
All well and good, but even in the short window of available time, cat attacks can and do happen. Aaaargh! Here comes one now!
Tuesday, 6 January 2009
So what of the building?
Monday, 5 January 2009
Pics taken on a day out to Pickering, a bit further up into North Yorkshire than York.
Sunday, 4 January 2009
Saturday, 3 January 2009
For a long time, I have thought of these penthouse flats as my dream home. Imagine the views! Well funnily enough, while browsing houses online, I have noticed that there are appartments in the penthouse suite for sale at the moment - so I don't have to imagine the views any more, I can actually see them: Lookee here!! Click number 5 to see the view - WOW!
£485,000 for a lease on a 2 bed flat though? How bout no! Weirdly enough I almost like the houseboat moored below it just as much. Says she, trying to convince herself ...
Friday, 2 January 2009
Thursday, 1 January 2009
Having risen to ridiculously high peaks, the house prices in the UK are now dropping again, and will need to drop some more before I can afford to buy. So I'm watching, and waiting, and in the meantime, am very often tempted by houseboats and caravans ...!
I pass this particular boat on my way in to town. It was for sale a little while ago, but presumably has a new owner now. No, not me, but I was sorely tempted!
P.S. HAPPY NEW YEAR!