25.08.2010 - 27.08.2010 18 °C
Yes, we're in York now! We met up with my friend Barrie, who I befriended together with his partner Judy, when I was living in York more than 20 years ago. Barrie told us when they were having some recent renovation work done on their house, the builder unearthed some interesting looking stone material under their property. In spite of their interest in discovering what was under their house, he advised them to cover it up and press on with the renovations or it could be 2 years before the work might be completed as a team might have to come in and "dig" to see if there was anything of historic merit. It is not unusual to find human bones and old roman roads when you dig in York. He took us to a dig site in the city that is thought to be the site of a roman hospital. Fascinating - too bad if it's under your house and you want to get that small extension done before the winter.
The weather has been much more pleasant in York. On the first night we wandered the town and sat out to eat at a little pub near to where we are staying. Met up with Barrie on day two, and he took us around some interesting sites in the town. Went back to his place for a meal. Nice to have home cooked food after so many restaurant meals. I think the kids enjoyed seeing the inside of a private house. Judy and barrie's house is lovely and cottagey, with a pretty little garden out the back.
Went to Castle Howard, a large country house just north of York, on the day we left York. I wanted to show the kids a big country house, but this one in particular because Geoff always maintained a distant grandparent used to work there as a stable boy. It's strange to think that I am part of a family that has a longer family history in Scotland and England than we do in New Zealand. Travelling down to York from Edinburgh we stopped at the ruin of Invergarry Castle, which is the seat of the MacDonells of Glengarry. The Sandersons trace their family heritage to the MacDonnells and a family history going back to the 1600s at the site of this castle. How cool is that?
Again, York had many memories, but not so pronounced for me as I experienced on revisiting Skye. After a delayed departure (due to the diversion to Castle Howard) we set off for Oxford. To the south - warmer I hope.