Christopher and I were just agreeing this afternoon that this trip has greatly exceeded our expectations of what we’ve been able to do with the adventuresome little Bean in tow. Despite two colds, diaper rash, and a complete lack of schedule, she’s still been relatively cheerful and excited about being dragged about everywhere. It’s important to remind myself of this when, like this afternoon, she gets home absolutely wound up by everything, refuses to eat any proper food, and becomes more and more manic until finally sobbing unto sleep in her dad’s arms…oh lady. I wish I could explain things to you, and say that we will soon be back home, and back to a predictable routine with lots of naps and normal mealtimes. But for now you are napping, and hopefully will wake up feeling a little better, and we will get on alright for the remainder this trip.
We finished off our visit in Hampshire with a tour of a National Trust house, with Christopher’s aunt and uncle. (No pictures allowed inside, so you’ll have to imagine.) I love seeing real dwellings made into museums, set up to show how people might have lived in a different time or culture. It’s probably because they are easier to connect with – the stuff of life might differ in context and form, but everyone has practices surrounding food, sleep, clothing, and leisure, so it’s fascinating to compare and contrast with your own practices.
Then we took the train to Cambridge, to visit with Christopher’s cousin and new baby. Hooray! Tiny babies are just the sweetest thing. We were fortunate to be able to join a walking tour of the colleges, focusing on the Christian heritage of Cambridge and its students, with Christopher’s cousin’s grandfather. Common Moorhens and punting parties on the River Cam completed the Cambridge experience. We stayed with relations in Hemingford, a little ways out from Cambridge, which gave us the opportunity to walk through the village of St. Ives to and from the bus station. Bean never seems to get tired of riding the double decker busses, and I don’t think I could ever really get tired of picturesque villages!
Another leg of travel has brought us to the historied York, and nearby Thirsk, of James Herriot fame. Thirsk has a delightful market square that had been cheerfully yarn-bombed by over 300 volunteers for the Tour de York bicycle race earlier this summer. Our main goal was the James Herriot museum, which is in Alf Wight’s actual house and surgery practice, with lots of added exhibits about veterinary history, the television series, and the real life of the author. Again, I just love these sorts of exhibits, with rooms laid out as if the family had just left – doesn’t the sitting room make you want to sit down with a cup of tea and hear the latest news of Tricki Woo? Bean’s favourite part was definitely the chickens in the back garden – she “talked” excitedly to them for over ten minutes.
Back in York, we managed a walkabout and some museum exhibits before taking the bus back to our AirBnb and having the aforementioned nap time drama. Tomorrow is one last train journey to Glasgow, our last stop before flying home. Maybe my next post will be from Nanaimo!