Day Eleven: York to Ambleside

We’ve been here for ages

We have we’ve been here for ages

Number four? oh you’ve just missed it

They’ve just missed it, they have

Oh yes just missed it

Yesss you can get the number two that’ll go to the station.

Lived here all my life

Going out for the day

If it shows up

Yes if it shows up

You’re doing it for you

They’re doing it for them

They don’t need to do it for charity

You should have the money

There’s always someone running here or there for charity

They’re doing it for them

If he doesn’t shut up I’ll smack him with me stick

I can do that I’m old

I’m old

Oh no love I can’t do that

I don’t do business

I don’t understand all websites and dot coms.

Ok love

Good luck on your journey

Good luck

Today is a day where we have to be influenced by others, do as we are told, comply with suggestion. As I am bit of a control freak I’m not that keen on this idea. We begin trying to buy coffee. “Where should we go for coffee?” we ask a young couple with their kids.  “You should probably go to the river. There’s a Costa on the river I mean it’s a chain but you know…”

Costa? Really? Ok we have to go with their suggestion. In Costa we meet Steven the Barrista. “What should we have Steven?” “Errrr I’d go to Starbucks if I were you” We are about to leave and go to Star Bucks, his colleagues look worried, wondering what all the fuss is about. “Oh no no I was only joking. Caramel Late?” said hesitantly. We agree because we have to, “What size should we have Steven?” “Errmm medium?” I admire his resistance to up-sell. We gave him the power but he didn’t abuse it.

“Where should we go?” “Go to the Minster. Go to the Art Gallery, buy your postcards there.” “Should we go into the exhibition?” Nonchalant shrug.

There’s an exhibition of pottery by Gordon Baldwin. All I see is a lot of pots in funny shapes and sizes, nothing for me to connect to. Then it is suggested by a friendly guide that we watch the video of Gordon talking about his work. We take her up on this offer. It’s very interesting; he talks about how he likes to stare at his work before he does the next bit and how it sits there in his studio sometimes for months till he has stared at it for long enough. He says, “There’s something weirdly vitalizing about going to bleak places”. I suddenly start to understand and find the story in his work and begin to relate to it. It says on the gallery wall “I have a blurred map of connections, of things seen, of things read, of things listened to, of things heard, of places visited and other art” I like this, I think it captures my collections of our journey so far. He also says (he seems to say a lot of inspiring things) “each artists work is given plenty of room to ‘sing’”. I like this too and it makes me think about how important it is that we give each of our stories room to sing.

We haven’t done much in the way of transport except the York Wheel which hasn’t really taken us anywhere, just up into the air and back down again. So we decide to move on, we have a lot of miles to cover today. So first picked up by Ben, who it turns out was born in the same hospital as me, worked at the college that Kristy went to and may have been at Uni with Ria’s sister. We can’t seem to escape these coincidences or maybe we’re looking harder to find connections than normal, like me in the Art Gallery. Driving through the Yorkshire Moors, avoiding the tourist traffic, Ben reminisces about his cycle rides as we drive with Scotty and Sunset in the back, his two ex-greyhoud racers. He says they weren’t very good and ended up in a dog rescue centre.

Next picked up by Adrian, a copper, he never even saw our sign, he picked us up because otherwise someone would mow us down and that would mean a lot of paperwork for him. He wasn’t sure why he picked us up as the last person he picked up was a smack head and tried to steal his stuff.  Finally we are taken all the way from Giggleswick, hehe, to Winderemere by a second Ben who works on Submarines in the navy. We sing along to disney songs and talk about nuclear missiles.

Our hostel is on the edge of the Lake. I love water, I have always wanted to live next to water it makes me feel calm. But no night swimming tonight, it’s much much too cold.

Hannah

Distance traveled: 98 miles

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