Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday 26 November - York

First thing we saw this morning walking into town was a van delivering Pork Scratchings.  Scratching is big business in this area.  
We walked along the Shambles scouting out possible apartments for rent next summer and looking at the amenities in the area.  There is a covered market close by as well as a large Marks and Spencer.  
The Golden Fleece
Merchant Venturers
Buying stamps at the Post Office turned out to be a bigger job than I had imagined. I entered a world of Monty Python. It was almost entirely pensioners getting their pension money.  They all seemed to know each other and chatted amiably.  Three ladies in front of me were talking about hospital wait times for their hysterectomies. There was one old fellow who could hardly walk.  He sat in a chair in a corner until it was his turn.  He then struggled upright and tried to walk over to the counter, nearly falling flat on his back in the process.  Several people rushed to take his arm.  He told the clerk what he wanted and the clerk told him to go back to his chair and he would call him when he was ready.  We helped him back to his chair and a little later helped him back to the counter.  
One lady wanted to send a parcel to Canada for a friend "But it must have an 88p stamp on it." I never discovered why an 88p stamp was so important.
I want to sent this to my Aunt Edna in Wogg Wogga, Australia.  Its me knitting, it get awfully cold at night.
It must fit through that slot - the parcel was cajoled to go through the slot.
Do you want it to go first class air mail, second class air mail, first class parcel post, second class parcel post.  We have this surface rate, it goes by yak caravan through Mongolia and then on the new Chinese high speed camel train service through the Gobi desert. You need extra insurance for this as several of the dugout canoes have been attacked by crocodiles in the Gulf of Tonkin.
Will it get there by Christmas?
When it was my turn all I wanted was stamps for two letters to the UK.
- do you want to go first class or second class? 
- would you like Christmas stamps or regular stamps? 
- we've only got these children's Christmas stamps. Will they do? 
At the end of this pythonesque exchange I just wanted the b stamps and get out.
All that was missing was headscarves and hair curlers.
The line up at the Post Office frequently extended on to the pavement outside

As with many cathedrals it is difficult to get far enough way to see it properly.
We spent a lot of time in the Minster.  It is an enormous space and seems in pretty good condition.  The stained glass is magnificent and much of it dates back a long way.  We were given a guided tour which was informative and the guide knew his stuff.  The Chapter House was also interesting because of the acoustics.  You could hear someone speaking in a normal voice from across the room.  The east part of the minster is being renovated but it all looks pretty good.  The interior is very light and airy in spite of its size.

We decided to try Yorkshire pudding and beef for lunch at The Hole in the Wall.  The pudding forms a container for gravy and meat and you add vegetables as required.  I washed this down with a very passable  Mild beer dark in colour but mild in flavour.
This afternoon we walked around the town walls which are mostly complete, about 2 1/4 miles.  This gave a different perspective on the town as there is a large area devoted to housing with very little other services.  Much of the traffic is diverted around the city.
At the end of our walk we finished up at the Hole in the Wall again, this time for a Pale Ale, again, very pleasant.  This was light with a nice hoppy after taste.
This evening  we found possibly the best pub so far.  The Red Lion is very friendly and there are no distractions.  The cask ales are good, I had a St. Austell brewery Tribute, a pleasant pale ale with good notes of vanilla.

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