York is one of the oldest cities in England, and it's beautiful. Even my mother, who doesn't like anything north of Watford, likes York. The Vikings were the first people to make a big settlement there (they called it 'Jorvik', and people in Yorkshire still say 'York' with a small 'i' sound at the end). This means that a lot of streets in the centre are called 'gate', because that was the Viking word for street, e.g. Stonegate, Queensgate. The main shopping streets are Stonegate, Market Street and the Shambles, which is the oldest street running straight to the Minster (another Viking word).
Dad dropped me off at one of the Park & Ride sites just outside the city and I was left to explore it for the day. After browsing the shops, I decided to go to the Treasurer's House (which is one of the most famous haunted houses in Britain, because a plumber saw a whole legion of Roman soldiers marching through the cellar). The house was beautiful but what I liked most of all was the silence inside it and the slow ticking of the clocks. It was a peaceful sound. The only problem with the National Trust is that you don't get a student discount. After that, I went to the Richard III museum, which is in one of the towers on the city wall. Richard III was very fond of York when he was alive and York returned the compliment. The museum was quite good, with lots of displays about whether Richard had killed the Princes in the Tower or not. At the end, there were two books, 'Guilty' and 'Innocent', and you could sign one depending on whether you thought he was guilty or not. I also discovered a vegetarian Hispanic restaurant, right in the centre of the city. It's not that the Spanish don't eat vegetables, they just love their meat. I didn't think I'd ever see one and there it was. (For anyone who's going to York, it's called El Piano and it's on Grape Lane.) They even had a copy of 'El Pais' there, so I was able to browse. (It was Friday's copy but that wasn't too bad.) After lunch, I found a shop filled with jams, chutneys, preserves and mustards. My mother adores condiments, so I quickly phoned her up and gave her a choice of either Bramble Preserve or Garlic Mustard. This is a hard choice for Mum, as she loves blackberries and also loves garlic, but in the end she chose the mustard. Then I wandered around trying to find Books Etc., which I'd visited earlier in the day and actually possessed all the paperbacks I've been wanting (but I didn't buy any). I didn't find it, but I did find a wonderful ice cream shop with loads of interesting flavours (I chose mint choc chip and lemon sorbet). Then I bought some chocolate from Woolworths and wandered around the Manor Gardens before getting the bus back to the Park & Ride site, just in time to avoid a massive downpour. York's Park & Ride is wonderful - buses every ten minutes, £2.00 for an adult return, outside the city limits. Salisbury City Council should come and have a look, then they'd see proper P&R planning.
Yesterday I went back to Guildford for another interview with a translating company. They have a Project Manager vacancy and if I get it, I will go straight into a proper job after uni. The interview went well, we spent the first half talking about poetry and being on the course is a bonus. Unfortunately, I got an e-mail today saying that I wouldn't have a second interview. What do I have to do to get a job? Then I had trouble with my library books.
I went back to my house in Hazel Farm to have lunch and basically sort out the stuff I would have sorted out two Sundays ago, if I'd had my keys. I threw away all the brown vegetables, washed up everything and got the things I needed to take back to Salisbury, including my library books, which I'd drop off at Guildford Library. Just as I sat down on the bus, I remembered that I'd forgotten my father's birthday present, which had been one of the main reasons I'd gone to the house. I rushed off the bus, muttering to myself, then saw a gorgeous ginger-and-white cat. It had to be male, he looked like a real tiger. He had a really interesting undulating purr that went up and down the scales. However, while stroking him, I realised that I was only carrying one plastic bag and realised the other one must still be on the bus. Cue me kicking myself and muttering abuse. I went back to the house, got the present and then got the next bus down to the bus station. The bag was not in the Lost & Found. I was directed to the station inspector. She rushed off, only to inform me that the bus had just left on the second half of its journey and would not be back for fifty minutes. What was really frustrating was that the bus I'd gotten had been going really slowly. If he'd just gone a little quicker, I would have got my books back right then and there. I plodded off to Waterstones, flicked through a few books, then went back 50 minutes later. The inspector was on the phone, trying to sort out a timetable mix up. When she finished that, we went looking for the bus... which had just left AGAIN. The inspector was not daunted and said we should try the Lost & Found again: my plastic bag was there! I thanked everyone profusely and rushed off to the library, stopping to draw out some money because I didn't know how much I had to pay for my overdue book (which was why I was so worried about the books in the first place!). It turned out I had to pay 4p. Only four pence after all that worry.
Then I discovered when I got to the train station that there had been a fatality at Escham, which meant everything was in chaos. The train which would have got me to Salisbury for 5.45 would now arrive at 6.25, which is after the last bus leaves. I phoned Mum, wondering what to do and she said she'd wait for me. Finally, I arrived in Salisbury and came home. Then I went to the cinema with my friend Lydia to see Ice Age 2: The Meltdown. Which is utterly hilarious. I'm wondering why they chose Queen Latifah to do Ellie, though. She didn't really get to cut loose and I would have thought that was the whole point of hiring her as a voice actor. Oh well, what do I know? See the film!
And that's all for now.