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Back from York

We got back from York last weekend after a really good two weeks. I could write reams about York as I like the place so much. It doesn’t sound like a very exciting place to go for a fortnight, but if I say that we didn’t go to the Jorvik Viking Centre, York Minster, anything to do with the Brontës, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, the Keighley & Woth Valley Railway, any pubs, or Whitby, and still had lots to do, then you get the idea. The things we did do mainly involved eating and railways: we could have left our son watching the Voyager train go round the York Model Railway and he probably wouldn’t have noticed. Ditto for the Bullet train at the National Railway Museum.

When we spent a week in Cornwall over the summer, every shop and café advertised Cornish cream tea. In York they all advertise Tea rooms. Never a single tea room in York. I think we did most of them, including Bettys three times (once in Harrogate; go and have their cheesecake). I’m quite happy to go back and find more.

We visited some other places by train, including Scarborough, which was nice except we wandered over to the North Bay too early and it took the rest of the day to get back. They’ve moved the information centre away from the its old position next to the station so that it is now buried on the lower ground floor of a shopping centre. As all we wanted was a map, so this was less than helpful as we needed a map to find our way to the information centre. We were unimpressed by Harrogate: there were some very nice shops, especially Farrah’s sweet shop and the little book shop where we found seven of the nine Agatha Christie novels we had left to collect, but it wasn’t nearly as beautiful or elegant as we thought it would be. Knaresborough, about which we knew nothing, was lovely. Hundreds of charity shops, and the view of the viaduct from the castle is breathtaking. The Lavender Tea Rooms are simple but serve the most amazing paté and banoffee pie (not together).

Short silence to follow

There will be a short silence on Aurlog as I am away on holiday in (not New) York for two weeks. We hope to compare the Betty’s in Harrogate and York as well as sample the fish and chips in Scarborough, which have been highly recommended to me. As this is the flood season, however, it’s probably best not to get too hopeful. This is the first holiday we’ve ever taken out holiday insurance for.

CILIP recruitment

CILIP are offering £20 Amazon vouchers to those who recruit new members. It doesn’t strike me as the best of reasons to join:

ME: Why should I join?
CILIP MEMBER: I get 20 quid

I appreciate they have to market themselves, but they should surely stand on their own merits without this kind of gimmick. I also like the way the CILIP marketing manager attempts to argue herself out of a job:

“All our research shows that existing CILIP members are by far the best recruiters,” says CILIP’s Marketing Manager Louisa Myatt.

Sniffin’ brandy

Whenever I’ve ordered a brandy from a bar, I’ve always been disappointed, after a long wait while the barperson looks for the long-lost bottle and dusts it off, to have it served in a tumbler or even a half-pint glass.

Last weekend, I was in a posh hotel and asked for an armagnac. Not only did it come back in a brandy balloon, but it had been warmed too. I want to go there again.