We spent this morning in Whitby, which is a town I’ve loved from a very early age. We came here on a school trip when I was about 10 and I still remember being almost washed away by an enormous wave on the beach, staring in awe at the whale-bone arch and climbing the 199 steps to the abbey, which fired my imagination for years to come.
Rupert and Isabel went to church whilst Hilary and I strolled around the town; a fine place to amble on a Sunday morning. We climbed up to the abbey and stared at Caedman’s cross whilst I regurgitated all sorts of tit-bits from my muddled, aging mind! I remembered that the church’s graveyard is famous for periodically ejecting its ancient coffins off the side of a cliff after particularly heavy storms.
I wanted to buy some fudge until I remembered I don’t like fudge!
Later on, we met the others and went wandering along the harbour, following the walls right out into the beautiful blue sea. It’s a very special place.
It is Gay Pride in Leeds, which means half the streets have been blocked off. Leeds is a city which is almost impossible to navigate at the best of times, but today I was forced to spend an hour cursing and swearing, whilst stuck in traffic jams filled with similarly bewildered and irritated people.
So what is Gay Pride in Leeds? I took a pen and paper with me and jotted down words and phrases that came to mind as I walked through the middle of the festivities:
Bronzed, trinkety, shiny yet tawdry, emo gays, a plethora of men with their elbows surgically attached to the sides of their stomachs, silly moustaches, mullets, every shade of hair dye, bondage trousers, balloons, rainbows, old men looking sad, old men looking hopeful, terrible arguments, deaf gays, the smell of poppers, dancing gays, the smell of poppers, singing gays, shrieking gays... Gay shrieking louder and louder... Must escape... Must escape... Help me!
Homosexuality en masse obviously freaks me out somewhat. As I walked along, I looked from face to face trying to identify someone I could identify with. I failed miserably. I suppose I’ll always be a bit of a one off and am not a fan of any large gatherings of people based on type. Though I would support the gay community until my very last breath, large displays of campery like this make me feel uncomfortable. Not only do they feel somewhat forced, but they intimidate people...
It’s Yorkshire day, and church bells are ringing across Leeds. The Yorkshire Symphony was broadcast on various BBC Radio stations for the first time today and I had several lovely texts and messages from strangers who enjoyed what they heard. I am so pleased that people take the time to do things like this. It really does make the whole experience seem that little bit more worthwhile.
It was a day of business for Pepys 350 years ago. There were various meetings and various formal matters to be addressed, although nothing of any great interest in my humble opinion.
Pepys met up with his clerk friends and drank at a “bottle beer” house on the Strand before taking a boat with the intention of heading back home. Unfortunately for Elizabeth, he found himself buying a lobster and instead of taking it home, he took it to the Sun Tavern where he had it cooked and ate it.