23 Jul 2017

The Return of the Elusive Blogger (oh and Libby's random tales of England)

Hello internet world,

My goodness. Has it really been 2 and a half years already? Surely not. I mentioned in conversation recently that it must have been 1.5 years and was horrified to realise that I needed to add another year!

Where does the time go?!

Anyway, I am currently still adjusting to the time difference. I am now sitting in a sweet hotel in the ancient city of York in Northern England after landing in London earlier in the week. The window to my right is draped with beautiful curtains and I can tell that it is gradually beginning to become slightly lighter. It is 2:30pm in Melbourne

And I was also not aware that this is the most HAUNTED city in Europe...

Fantastic. I am not known for being the bravest. I almost had a heart attack as a child at Luna Park's Ghost Train in St Kilda... I was there with my dad who enjoyed chuckling at me as I nervously slid down the back of the carriage and occasionally peeked through the hair that covered my face amongst my desperate attempts to grab his right arm tighter and tighter. Maybe there were a few girlish yelps every so often. I have since ridden it again and seriously... it was lame.

In other news, York does seem to be the place to be. Especially to party. So many hen's parties. Groups of very dressed up girls coming from London on the regional train from King's Cross Station *ahem* Platform 9 3/4 reference.

I was wondering also earlier last night (does not get dark until after 10pm) as we toddled down the cobble-stoned streets if it was just me or were the majority of people here...umm.... drunk or something?

My mother quickly answered an awkward "err... yes."

There have been some very entertaining conversations being heard as we pass on our journey down these winding and fascinating streets, which are steeped in rich and also very morbid history. York is a walled city. Conquered by the Romans and the Normans. Scenes of gruesome executions including in The Shambles, where a now canonised 30 year old and pregnant woman with her 4th child, was crushed to death under her own front door, which was loaded with stone and rocks aiming to break her back (she was laid down on the street on top on a shark rock aiming to also break her back).

Her crime? Hiding Catholic priests in a very Protestant world. She herself was also a converted Catholic by choice.

Queen Elizabeth I was none too happy to hear of this taking place and wrote to the people of York of her disapproval.

Please keep an eye out for my later posts once I have the time. I will be updating my journey on London (amazing places!) and the ensuing ventures around England before going onto France (wedding in the Loire Valley over 3 days as well as spending some quality time in Paris et ailleures) and Rome (to complete my pilgrimage following the life and tragic -much too early- death at 25 in a tiny apartment literally on/next to the Spanish Steps of the Romantic poet, John Keats).

I also promise many, many photos. I believe my SLR is now feeling the ever burdening pleasures of camera ecstasy.
In a few hours, we will be heading off to the Yorkshire Dales and Haworth, which is of course where the Bronte sisters lived and the incredibly picturesque and often frightening wildness of Yorkshire, spawning the inspiration for much cherished Wuthering Heights (personal favourite- well, one of them) and Jane Eyre amongst others.

“My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Healthcliff! He's always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.”  

“You teach me now how cruel you've been - cruel and false. Why did you despise me? Why did you betray your own heart, Cathy? I have not one word of comfort. You deserve this. You have killed yourself. Yes, you may kiss me, and cry; and wring out my kisses and tears: they'll blight you - they'll damn you. You loved me - what right had you to leave me?"...

“Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living. You said I killed you--haunt me then. The murdered do haunt their murderers. I believe--I know that ghosts have wandered the earth. Be with me always--take any form--drive me mad. Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! It is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!”  

Did I mention my love for Laurence Olivier by the way?

(Btw that was a subtle nudge to watch Wuthering Heights 1939. I maintain that it did not win an Academy Award for the main 4 awards due to being up against Gone with the Wind, thank you very much).

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