I must have been to York train station before, because I distinctly remember taking an early-morning train down from Edinburgh, many years ago. All of my recollections of this long-ago trip are of the journey itself, perhaps because it was my maiden voyage—so to speak—in First Class, and I recall that being an excellent experience. I have no memories of the railway station itself.
I am mildly embarrassed about this as I stare up at the curved, arching iron and glass roof, which must have been a considerable feat of engineering when it was built in 1877, and is really quite spectacular. I, of course, have no idea of the identity of the architects, but Wikipedia knows, and so I hereby doff my cap to Thomas Prosser and William Peachey.
I am on my way to Harrogate, on the next leg of my 2022 UK Tour, and have missed my connection in York. I would like to say I missed it because I was enjoying the roof so much I forgot to board my train, but the reason was much more prosaic, there being some sort of problem with the overhead lines between York and Doncaster.
No matter, I am not in a rush. I make it to Harrogate eventually, and settle in to my digs, my Airbnb host showing me round on my arrival, and being really quite proud of showing me the bathroom I will use, which they converted from a corridor during Lockdown. It is, as one might expect, a long and particularly narrow bathroom.
Since I last wrote in these pages, I have spent a short stint in Horsham, a very pleasant little town in West Sussex, with some cobbled streets, nice buildings and an Everyman cinema (I didn’t visit it, mind).
My Airbnb room there featured what I reckon must be the World’s Smallest Ensuite, a short, narrow room, so short and narrow that I’m sure it must previously have been a small cupboard. It had a shower at one end, the toilet at the other, and the World’s Tiniest Sink lodged in between. These three were in such proximity that—had one tilted the shower head slightly—one could have taken a shower, and shaved, while sitting on the loo, thereby performing three morning necessities at one time, making for commendably efficient ablutions, albeit fraught with various risks which might be better not to detail. I did not attempt to pull this off, at any rate.
After Horsham, it was London-Edinburgh-London on the train, followed by a camping stint at the Wildfires Festival in West Sussex, where I got alternately burned by the sun and drowned by the rain, as is the way of British camping, really. I expected nothing less.
Then once more to London for a few days before returning to Edinburgh for some extended respite.
Now Harrogate for a few days, another pretty town with an Everyman cinema, and an Airbnb with a lumpy bed, which might be the reason I’m writing this at 2:33am…