On Saturday, small handbag over my shoulder as opposed to a massive bag across my body and two children around my ankles, as is my norm, I headed off on the 8:59 train from Chester to York with my mother. A day of shopping, gossiping, nibbling and sipping ahead of us. Bliss, right? I can still count on two hands the number of full days that I've had away from my boys since my eldest was born nearly five years ago. Opportunities have been there but, to be honest, I don't really enjoy being away from them for too long a time. A couple of hours here and there to put my feet up, read a magazine or two, and eat slice of chocolate fudge cake as large as my head is my preferred way to recharge my batteries and enjoy a little peace and quiet. But having looked after two erratically-sleeping boys and a post-op husband for a week, a whole day of ambling at my own pace was much needed.
The day started cloudy but after a quick pit stop for a glass of wine at the York Food and Drink Festival (the food looked and smelled divine but we were saving ourselves for a special treat later in the afternoon), we emerged from the smokey, packed tent to beautiful, blue skies and bright sunshine. As it had been years since either of us had visited York, we decided to mingle with the tourists and brave both The Shambles (a ridiculously charming medieval street, once home to many butchers' shop and now packed with cute little stores and bars) and York Minster.
There are so many fantastic shops in York with gorgeously colourful window displays to tempt you in, but your eyes can't help but be drawn upwards to the medieval architecture. It's both beautiful but ever so slightly spooky at the same time, with the many signs dotted around to tempt you on a ghost walk of the city. Not for me!
Here are a few photos from our day ...
And the special treat that I mentioned earlier? More on that to come later this week!