Thursday 26 January 2017

#181 Two degrees colder

I'd never been a fan of Haribo. Those little sweets reminded me of the jelly-like substance sometimes used for sealing large envelopes. They seemed to require an unreasonable amount of chewing. I wasn't even convinced that the creator had deliberately set out to make something edible. Perhaps the rubber end of a pencil had been accidentally dipped in some peach juice and inadvertently chewed. There I was though. Lying sprawled across a hotel bed on Saturday night, my tongue wrestling frantically with a sugary fried egg. It turns out that in the right company, I eat Haribo.

There's a quietness about the more modestly sized of UK cities that could easily become mundane for two urbanites over the course of a longer trip. There are only three things to do in Durham: visit the cathedral, browse the market and walk along the river. We managed to keep our 21st century attention spans engaged by making a 24 hour speed run up the up to the Land of the Prince Bishops and back. A brief burst of relief from the usual smog and bustling tube stations.

The countless fields whizzing past the window on the journey up had been coated with a thick layer of mist since the midlands. I didn't mind the greyness. It provided a feeling of escape into the unknown. This was a place I knew well though and upon catching the first glimpse of the cathedral on our arrival, I'd realised that I'd been away for much too long.

Aware of our accents, we successfully managed to communicate with our hosts in order to procure sustenance. One of us tried some chilli sauces. The other tried a stottie cake. Culture box ticked. We were even fortunate enough to catch a traditional northern display outside a local pub at closing time.

Despite feeling, upon trekking uphill, which is necessary to get anywhere in Durham, back to the station on day two, that we had not five minutes ago arrived, we emerged from the north in a recharged state. 

I have enjoyed longer trips less.

"If you have never been to Durham, go there at once. Take my car. It's wonderful." - Bill Bryson


Jonathan Bandit Copping said...

Aah - good old Stottie Cake!

Anonymous said...

Self raising flowers here, I've somehow signed out, now need to find my password, sigh.

I'd like to see the cathedral. We learned about it at school in Australia. I liked its strength and minimalism compared to gothic.

Profound Familiarity said...

That's interesting to hear. It didn't come up at school for me. How's the blogging going?

Running on empty said...

I think we learned the history of architecture as part of art class. The blogging seems ok, it's not literary or philosophical, like some of your posts, though.
Hope you will join in the conversations on my posts. I chat with a Brit from Norwich, about your Royals, Maggie Thatcher, your tabloid newspapers etc, whatever comes up. Do join in.
Are you still in between jobs?