We had a beautiful beautiful trip to York and Leeds last weekend. I saw many old friends. The places themselves are like old friends, and it was so refreshing to see them. It was lovely to see my old supervisors, although everyone in UK universities is extremely depressed and worried at the moment, because the government is cutting state support of universities by up to 75%, which will have a devastating impact… My supervisor reckons it will be the biggest change in the university system in the UK since the 1960s when they made many of the old polytechnics into universities. He guesses that now many of them will have to go back, or close down… Student fees are set to at least double. It’s also a pretty impossible situation for many of my friends who, like me, just finished PhDs, but now can’t find any casual teaching work (which you need to build your CV), because when people go on leave or retire at the moment they aren’t replaced – the remaining staff just have to work harder. Which in turn effects their own ability to research and publish, which will impact on their university’s standing and ranking, etc etc.  Anyway, my supervisor reckons it’s a brilliant time to take time off and have a baby!

Depressing economic situation aside, it was lovely to be there. The towns and countryside of Northern England feel so much more settled, established and cultivated than Norway does. The houses are brick and stone, the fields have hedgerows, ancient abbeys crumble slowly next to the rivers. It feels loved and lived in.

I also did lots of shopping. I love maternity wear. Finally I can buy t-shirts and jumpers that are really long enough for me! We were lucky enough to get two days of brilliant sunshine, and on Sunday we took our old friend Vic to Bolton Abbey, and did the first section of one of our favourite hikes ever.

Not much more to say really, except that if you’re ever in the area, you really should go there. You can do a short walk of an hour or so along the river, or you can keep going on up through the ‘valley of desolation’, climbing up to arthur’s seat for the most incredible views of the North Yorkshire Moors. (Wasn’t up for that this time but have done it several times.)

When we got home the kittens had survived being fed by the neighbour for five days, and were very pleased to see us, curling up tightly on our laps and refusing to leave for hours.


5 thoughts on “Yorkshire

  1. So so so lovely!! I love your photos and I can’t wait to get back there and do some proper hikes. I didn’t really have a chance last time =( I miss the countryside so much. Next summer, my sister is getting married, so I won’t have much time, but it would be ideal for me to travel soon, maybe next autumn, depending on my own job situation.

    It’s so depressing with the economy right now. I’m hoping it will turn around soon, especially with increasing fees, students are not as likely to get scholarships and that is such a huge thing for post-graduate study =( nevermind trying to find work afterward.

    I think you’re right; it’s the perfect time to just take some time off and have your baby 😉 Things will look up soon enough.

  2. Lovely to have you over here for a little while, Meli:-) Your pictures really are stunning – well done Michael? – and you’ve summed our recession-struck universities up as well. We have a goverment, and a society, which doesn’t value scholarship, research and learning. More the fool them.

    Fabulous post:-)

  3. There is a most beautiful … gravitas … about the way you are carrying your body and your baby across that water. I’ve just looked it up and indeed, as well as the adjective, gravid, there is also the noun gravida, pregnant woman. This picture defines a wonderful semantic cluster around you!

  4. Aw thank you everyone.

    At that point, Stephanie, I was very pleased and relaxed to be past the scariest part of the stepping stones and within sight of the shore! It’s quite nerve-wracking in the middle because it’s actually quite deep and all the swirling water was making me feel funny… My balance hasn’t changed that much yet but I was definitely more cautious than usual…

    I like your little semantic cluster! Gravid is the word they use in Norway for pregnant, too.

  5. Pingback: A wedding in the snow « northern lights

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