York: Amus-(eum)-ing myself

Let’s begin by establishing that my second full day in York was a wet one. The skies grizzled ominously and gushed forth in turn so it was just as well there were plenty of indoor activities to keep me amused.

After a bracing walk along the river, I spent the morning at the York Castle Museum. Located just by Clifford’s Tower, it’s comprised of two buildings – the old Female Prison to the left and the old Debtors Prison to the right – with a gift shop (there’s always a gift shop) and cafe in between. The museum weaves an eclectic route through York society and culture during the 1800s-1900s and all it takes is a tenner to get amongst it.

I began with the Female Prison Building – containing exhibitions covering the changing nature of homes and living – and a nod to one of York’s great pillars of commerce, chocolate.

York Castle Museum - chocolate montage

The Rowntree’s company in York invented the Kit Kat and the Terry’s Chocolate…Apple?

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A Milestone With Meaning…

It’s Good Friday here in the UK and after an impromptu dinner out last night with a work friend (and a nice bottle of red shared between us) it’s been a lazy start to the day. But with Vegemite toast done, the coffee machine warming up and back episodes of Frasier on the telly, I’ve popped by to see what was happening.

And it seems rather a lot – in the last few days, Gidday from the UK has tipped into triple figures and passed 100,000 page views.

It might not seem so much to some but when I started tapping away in 2008, it seemed quite impossible that anyone outside my nearest and dearest would actually find my witterings in the big wide blogosphere, let alone read them with any regularity. And that’s because I really started this blog for me, to find an outlet to express both the richness and ordinariness of my everyday expat moments that seemed to fall short in their relating during long distance phone calls to loved ones. 

But it appears that there are many more of you out there – and for the most part we’ve never physically met each other – and I feel enormously humble when I think about that.

So whether you’ve been visiting for a while or you’re a newbie here, thank you for stopping by and being part of the Gidday community.

And have a wonderful Easter however you choose to spend it. 

13 Festive Sleeps To Go…Gratitude

I opened up my blog today not knowing what I was going to write.  Sometimes it happens like this and today it meant that instead of rushing in knowing exactly what was there to be said, I took some time to read some of the other blogs I follow.

Earlier in the year, a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer.  She weathered an array of aggressive treatments and has spent the last 5 months in India, giving herself the space to heal.  She only started blogging again recently and I read today that she has come home to Paris and it reminded me how much I love my little maisonette flat tucked away up here on Kingston Hill.  My sanctuary, where I can either invite the world in or take a brief respite from the little battles life presents on a daily basis.

Her words reminded me what there is to be grateful for and straight away it brought up some of the little pieces of news from family that have made my heart swell over the last week or so – like when my little sister was honoured as a life member of the NDSOC car club and I cried on the bus going to work reading how stunned and touched she was – or when my Mum’s partner got the all clear after being rushed into hospital with an aggressive form of melanoma. Or the regular newsletter from my itinerant Dad-and-Stepmum chronicling their latest travels through Western Australia over the last few weeks and reminding us all that they having been living this gypsy dream of theirs for 3 years.  Or when when I sat with my partner, his ex and his son, cheering and clapping furiously at his daughter’s end of year Christmas Dinner Concert last Saturday…

What a couple of weeks it has been.

So my brave, brave friend, in the midst of her journey, wrote her blog…and without even knowing it, became the inspiration for mine…