Yesterday Spiderman and I took the train up past York to Harrogate to see an art exhibit of Victorian painter John Atkinson Grimshaw who painted lots of scenes by moonlight giving them an eerie ethereal quality. Look here to see his complete works: http://www.johnatkinsongrimshaw.org/ He was completely self taught but had a lot of the Pre-Raphaelite in his works--the really looking carefully at nature in natural light, the attention to detail (painting every single individual leaf) and his love for Romantic literature (he had twins named Lancelot and Elaine after the poem by Tennyson.) His works have a near photographic look about them. Gorgeous.
It was a long train ride. we left Stevenage at 7:30 am and arrived in Harrogate about 10:45 after a small layover in York. It was a long journey but we entertained ourselves by playing games. We saw some rabbits on the hill beside the tracks in Stevenage and so we spent a great deal of time rewriting Watership Down as if all the rabbits were chavs.
The primroses were well over.
BigWig: Oh for Frith's sake 'azel, what's Fiver on about?
Fiver: Bloody fields, innit.
Posh Kehaar: I say old chaps, that's some frightfully big water.
etc etc etc
It was a huge laugh. The game we used to play on long car trips was inserting the word FART into famous literature quotes. e.g. But soft! What fart through yonder window breaks! (Romeo and Juliet) or To fart or not to fart, that is the question. (Hamlet) Hours of entertainment.
Anyway, we mostly entertained ourselves quietly as we were on the quiet coach that wasn't supposed to have mobile phones or people with small children so we kept mum with Spiderman reading and me listening to tunes on my wee MP3 player which we call a q-pod (as opposed to an i-pod) as it is so old fashioned. It is basically a gloried memory stick with earphones, but it works. Spiderman got it for me for mega-cheap when i went into hospital last year. So I listened to my favourite tunes to pass the time.
But once we got there we had 7 hours to have fun. We did the Attkinson Grimshaw exhibit (which was free) and the paintings were *amazing* and then we did the other museum at the Pump House which had lots of interesting local stuff including letting you sample the local medicinal water from the wells--which reeked of sulphur. Pooh. We declined to drink it, but many people used to come there for spa treatments as the water was supposedly good for skin complaints. But boy it was whiffy.
We also pottered around some antique shops and sat on some benches in the park and enjoyed a picnic lunch I had packed and just checked out the town. We found a cool geek shop with comix and had a nice chat with the dude working behind the counter about Joe Hill's graphic novel Locke and Key which we are mad for.
Then it was time to train back home. We stopped off at M&S (Ooooh, aren't we posh?) and bought some healthy food--quinoa with chickpeas, edamame and pomegranate seeds with spinach and other nice veg thrown in a sweet lime dressing for me and Spiderman got giant couscous with roasted butternut squash and red pepper in a dressing--they were 2 for £3. Plus I bought some fresh cut pineapple, melon and grapes. Then we trained back home munching and listening to tunes or reading until we were safely back home about 9:00pm.
It is amazing that you can train halfway across the whole country and back in a day--in Louisiana 4 hours travel and you'd still be in Louisiana. I love living here.