Warm Up the Slide Projector
June 23, 2005
Hi there. Are you comfy? Do you have a beverage? Because this is Part One of my vacation photos. We’ll be here for a while, and the knitting content will be 100% indirect. No actual knitting.
I went to England by myself, a few days ahead of Hubby and kids, because I wanted to make a pilgrimage to the home of beloved Emma. I’ve been chatting to Emma from my first days on the Internet. Hers was the first knitting blog I ever looked at. We even talk on the phone. It was High Time we met in person.
(An aside for purposes of Self Affirmation: I am quite proud that I navigated self and baggage through Heathrow to the Piccadilly Line and got on the right train (the only train, which helped) and took it straight to King’s Cross. There, despite the dire warnings of certain Londoners, I was not accosted by highwaymen. (It was no worse than Penn Station. I stood there drinking a coffee and making phone calls while I waited for the train, safe as could be but poised, like a good New Yorker, to be obstreperous and noisy if anything went amiss.) From King’s Cross I caught the train to Darlington, stayed awake so I wouldn’t miss my stop (knitting all the way on a misbegotten gansey attempt, if you must know), and stepped onto the platform where Emma’s husband Allan was waiting for me. Yay!)
Next stop was Emma’s garden, just like it looks in pictures on her blog, where Emma and Oliver were waiting, roses were blooming, and a giant bee was buzzing. The next 36 hours flew by. I took very few pictures. Too busy blabbing, munching, and sipping! Occasionally knitting, even. It is bittersweet to have such a good time with someone, knowing that in-person get-togethers will always be a rare thing. It would be so great to live within drop-by-unannounced range. But that is the thing about the Internet. It makes the world seem small, but the world is not physically getting one bit smaller.
The next afternoon, we picked up Oliver at school (he introduced me to his teacher!), piled into the car, and went to Whitby. To get there, we drove through actual moors. Actual sheep were grazing. It was actual Yorkshire. Quite astonishingly rural. Lovely, lovely. Once we got to Whitby, I managed to crank up the KayCam for a while.
Emma and Oliver. Oliver is a great sightseeing/dining/hanging-out companion. He likes to give the grownups helpful hints on what they should do next, which made me a little homesick for Joseph.
Whitby’s postcard harbor. Quel thrill to be in the town where those vintage pictures in the Rowan Denim book were taken, long ago.
Bobbins had closed at 5. Emma pointed out — too right– that this was saving me a ton of money. Who could seriously suggest that I would not have walked out of there with armsful of gansey kits with denim wound off of cones? That’s crazy talk! And the window alone was worth a visit and a picture.
Another Bobbins sign. My heart went pitter-pat; denim usually doesn’t get top billing.
Allan kindly posed to demonstrate the height of Whitby’s ancient doors.
Nearby, you can look through the doorway of Arguments Yard (whatever it is, it sounds like a handy public amenity) and see clear through down to the waterside.
After the best fish & chips ever, PLUS my introduction to Mushy Peas, which are so much tastier than you would think from the name (hello Yorkshire advertising people: try ‘pate vert’, or even ‘pea pesto’ and see if that helps), we found a spot to take the sea air on the cliff, and squint into the sun for this picture. It was all so gloriously Victorian and Merchant/Ivory.
This was the view over the edge.
Hello? Is this a Rowan Photo Shoot, or what? Where are the tall pale girls in the sweaters and underwear? (I actually think I’ve seen this location in one of the magazines….I’ll have to dig around.)
I did not manage to take pictures of the wonderful jet and amber shops, the fossil/mineral/goth shop, or other delights of Whitby. Know this: Whitby does not disappoint. Well worth a journey even if you’re not a denim, gansey, or denim gansey fan.
Thank you Emma, Allan and Oliver for a lovely time! I’ll be back!
I’m not done yet with the travelogue. Oh no. There is more denim to come, in London.