Week-end: return to Yorkshire

A pedestrianised shopping street on a rainy day. Neon lights strung across the street read: Dear Leeds, we are your people/Past present and future

The good

I’m writing this on the train home from York: I’ve had a lovely weekend, using the fact of delivering training in Leeds as an excuse to stay with my friend A (and spare my employer the expense of a night in a hotel). We’ve been drinking tea and chatting and playing board games.

The mixed

Still very tired. But it could be worse: it could have been long COVID, and it isn’t. Another couple of months and I’ll start feeling more human. In the meantime there’s the sofa and a blanket and the cat.

The difficult and perplexing

The awkwardness of mistaking a traffic light for a bus stop and trying to get through a crowd of people who, it turned out, were also trying to get off the bus…

What’s working

New standing desk thingy, though I’m spending some of the time seated, with everything moved down a shelf or so.


It’s been a week for finishing books. Coastliners (one of those books that took a while to get into and then got gripping); Sisters of the Vast Black (continued to be excellent all the way through; a book about doing the right thing despite everything including the futility of it all; had to spend a few minutes staring into space when I got to the end); Changing Planes (Ursula Le Guin; a Gulliver’s Travels for the jet age; started ages ago, but it’s more a collection of vignettes than a single narrative, so bore dipping into). Then I reread The Moving Finger on the train up to York on Friday evening.


None, but I’m counting the Leeds excursion as research for the Romeo and Juliet thing.


Secret patchwork things.


Eurosport. Mostly skating.

Looking at

Hear My Voice: an exhibition of art by refugees at Ely cathedral.


Spaghetti Vesuvio.


Half a Fat Rascal (apparently a Yorkshire thing, maybe specifically a Betty’s thing: a sort of spiced scone with dried fruit and almonds on the top). Just the thing for a Sunday breakfast. Today we went to Trinacria on Bishy Road for lunch; I had an extremely large pizza Vittoria (fennel, tomatoes, sausage, mascarpone).


Pandemic. We made a pretty good team.


Fireworks in the sky as I looked back over Leeds, with a sunset squashed under black rainclouds. Square grey stone housing and elaborate Victorian red brick Gothic. Rainbow in the east. Deer in the fields outside Ely.


Seat reservations. Friends.

Line of the week

From Changing Planes:

The people sing at the campfires, and the quiet singing hovers in the darkness between the little fires and the stars.

This coming week

A couple of days of work and then a few days off. Maybe I’ll do some writing. Maybe I’ll catch up on sleep.

Anything you’d like to share from this week? Any hopes for next week? Share them here!

December Reflections 19: cold


September 2019. A trip we’d been planning ever since we heard the world road cycling championships were going to be in Yorkshire this year.

On most days we went to the finish line in Harrogate.  For the women’s time trial, we went to the start of the route, in Ripon. It was a funny old week, weather-wise. There was one day of blazing sunshine, and then several of rain. This was one of those rainy days.

We went to Ripon and skirted several puddles; ate some lunch; waited for the start of the event, which was delayed due to the weather; visited the cathedral; watched the cyclists leave; watched part of the rest of the course on the big screen; watched part of Labour conference on the big screen when the coverage got a bit confused…

Got cold.

One of the things that I particularly love about cycling – as a spectator, rather than a participant, I mean – is the way that you can, without paying a penny, turn up at the side of an ordinary road and watch some of the best sportspeople in the world pass by within a few feet of you. The World Championships joins a list including the Olympics, the Tour of Britain, the Women’s Tour, and the Tour de France that I’ve managed to see without even having to leave the country. Not to mention the Tour Series, which was so very much right there that I turned up to it by accident, and that’s how I got into cycling in the first place.

Anyway, it’s worth getting a bit chilly for.