I had a couple of weeks off, and while I didn't really do much or go anywhere during the first week, I crammed as much as I could into the second. I booked trains to see my friends my York, then Sara at My Flower Patch, before coming home for a day and then going off again to see Ann at David Austin Roses. Sara came up with the hashtags #floristontour and #citymouseinthecountry - I didn't use the last one because it was a wee bit long for the 140-character limit on Twitter!
Part one is not especially flowery, but if you like scribbley art, pretty signs, and old trains, it might appeal to you. Otherwise, you'll have to wait for parts two and three.
This was the first summer I did a drawing for every single day in August as part of Drawing August - during previous years, I've missed a few days, or started off committed and then fizzled out. This year, I even did more than one drawing on some days. When I say "drawing", I am using the term loosely...I suspect many would call some of my art "scribbles" or something even less generous! But I don't care. I did artwork as part of my research project for university this year, and learned how the process of creating something is more important to me than the finished product. I only create things for pleasure, so I can afford to do that.
When I got to my hotel room in York on the Saturday, I did a little self-portrait as my scribble for that day. It was meant to be a calling card in the style of the 1980s Milk Tray Man, to go with the retro chocolates I'd bought for my childhood friends. I love this tall table that was in my room, with its provenance clearly on display.
I used it as a background for my drawing the next day as well.
My friends picked me up mid-morning on Sunday to take me to their family barbecue. But before that, I managed to have a Speedy Gonzalez meet up with Rachel from Ducks and Daffodils after she delivered flowers to Merchant Adventurers Hall, just up the road from where I was staying. It's always a curious experience to meet Twitter acquaintances in real life, and Rachel was so nice and very funny and interesting. I wish I'd had more time to talk to her and, of course, I wish I could have seen the flowers she grows and arranges.
It was a bit too early in the day for a proper photo, but I did snap a picture of our matching blue shoes to prove we met!
Then I had a coffee in Spring Espresso (thanks for the recommendation, Rachel) and did another sketch, and had the very un-London experience of having to wait for someone "outside the city walls". My instructions were: "You're basically walking towards Hull...but don't walk all the way to Hull." My friends found me, and I had a lovely day with them.
The next morning, I had a nice walk around York, bought a delicious pastry from Betty's and another nice coffee from Spring Espresso for my takeaway breakfast, and took lots of photos. The sun came out at last, so I wasn't half as cold as I had been the previous two days. Greenwich baker Adam recommended Haxby Bakehouse, and although I tried to go somewhere that served their bready things, I didn't have much luck what with it being a bank holiday Monday. Also, one place had miserable customer service and a lot of sad-looking customers waiting at empty tables, so I walked out.
I accidentally came across the old Terry building - York is as a famous for its chocolate as it is for its tea!
I checked out of my hotel and walked across the city to the National Railway Museum, which is just behind York Station. It's free to enter, and they have lockers to put your luggage and coat - a non-refundable £3, which was pretty good given how big the museum is, and what a relief it was to walk around without heavy, cumbersome bags! I'll leave you with a few of the dozens of photos I took in the museum. I spent two and half hours walking around and having my lunch - if you're interested in beautiful trains, old posters, and the history of the railways, you could easily spend the best part of a day there.