Thoughts on Travels | Manchester 29-05-2017

It was a cloudy, rainy day today in Bradford, luckily for me, Manchester was just cloudy. Typical English Weather.

I headed out for the 9:00 train to Leeds (and a 9:30 train to Manchester from there) So I actually got to Manchester around 10:30. There were far more police around as you’d expect, which was a little scary, but it also served to remind me of the events that happened last week, and the precautions I ought to make.

Unfortunately, due to my postponement of this trip and the days the attraction is open, I was unable to visit Elizabeth Gaskell’s house which was to be my first port of call. It was my sisters birthday on the 24th so I had planned to go there and buy her something as she loves North and South  but it was not to be. Instead, I walked to Manchester Museum. It was almost a 2km walk, but walking is a good way to see the city and a lot of interesting places you wouldn’t normally see from the window of a bus.

The Museum was amazing. It felt like an art exhibit and a museum all rolled in to one. They have such a large collection of Taxidermies. I watched a few videos on the Brain Scoop (Which you can too!, click here to see Emilie dissect a few animals, obvious warnings about blood and stuff). Maybe I’m weird, but I always find those videos really interesting, and so to see the finished product in a museum was really interesting for me.

It was about lunch time by the time I got out, so I had lunch and took a bus to the John Rylands Library. I also walked part of the way, but I wanted to, so that’s okay. I wish I could show you the books but I couldn’t take any pictures of them. I’ll just have to show you pictures of the beautiful building. Marley, I know you’d love this building. There are so many books, and while you can’t touch the books, it still functions as a library, there’s desks that students use and everything. It was just a religious experience.

After that I was knackered, and it was 1500. So I walked to the station, about 20 minutes and caught the train back home.

Get Reading. Get Travelling.

Thoughts on Travels | York 26-07-2017

It took about an hour and a half to get to York from Bradford. And then another 20 minutes or so to walk to my first stop which was The Shambles.

The old streets and overhanging buildings, the cobbled streets and swinging signs gave a certain feel to the whole area. It reminded me just how old the history of England really is. I’m sure that if I were to return of a nighttime, or a foggy time I would love it even more. I can already feel the fog twisting around my ankles.

After a good jaunt about the town, I headed off to my next stop which was the York Castle Museum. It was an incredibly enjoyable experience. Despite the multitude of kids groups in there that day. I think what made it so enjoyable was the Victorian Town in the middle. And this is Victorian era, not Victoria the Australian State (sorry guys) There were places you could go into and there were so many twists and turns it never felt like just a main street, it was also a few side streets, and shops and everything. I skyped with my parents and showed them while I was there.

For lunch I went to Wagamama, because I was craving Karaage (a Japanese deep fried chicken dish) unfortunately it was wholly disappointing and expensive. I don’t normally review restaurants, but the collection of overcooked, under-battered pieces of chicken was not very nice and it was expensive and I’m too much of a wimp to complain at the restaurant. So I shouldn’t say anything because I ate them right?

Get Reading. Get Travelling.

Ash

Thoughts on Travels | Harrogate 25-05-2017

Today I headed out from Bradford Interchange and due to a series of literally just missed the train circumstances, got to Ripley Castle at 11:30. Despite leaving on a 9:00 train. I was alright though. I managed. The next available tour was a bit late in the day for me, but the grounds were free, so I walked around those for a little. It was very hot and I regretted taking my jacket. Or not putting sunscreen on. Seriously folks, the sun is a deadly laser!

Once I finally got back to Harrogate, my phone decided to die. So I had to organise all of that. (This new one has so much more data, I’m getting excited) then I headed out to Knaresborough for the afternoon.

First on the list was Knaresborough castle. Which was lovely and old. It featured amazing views of the rest of Knarsborough and was free, so that’s always a good thing.

After looking at the view, I realised that I could walk down the cliff face and walk to my next destination, which was Mother Shiptons cave. So I did that. It was a bit of a walk, but it was quite a nice one, despite the heat.

I ended up meeting someone on the walk to the attraction (which costs £7 – the attractions, not meeting someone) so that was nice for my smol loner heart. First up was the petrifying well. That’s right. You heard me. Now, it’s no Deathwater, or anything, but due to large quantities of minerals in the water and the way that the water drips down the side. For centuries, people have hung things from the well and watched them be coated in stone.

Secondly was mother Shiptons cave which details the life and times of a tudor era witch. She is said to have foretold the great fire of London among other things. This bit wasn’t as interesting. The audio commentary goes on for much longer than the cave and dark statue really necessitate. There isn’t anything else to look at so it just gets boring. Don’t get me wrong, the commentary is sort of interesting, I just would have preferred it on a plaque, maybe on the walk up to lead you there?

After mother Shipton’s cave, I had afternoon tea with my new friend along the river Nidd and we walked around before she had to get back and I had to get back. but hey, I got her number!

Get Reading. Get Travelling.

Ash

Don’t forget to check out more information on my instagram revivalsword.

Thoughts on Travels | Leeds 24-05-2017

So Under the circumstances I decided against Manchester today. I will be going though, don’t you worry. It’s coming. Instead I did the rest of my Leeds trip.

I made good time to Kirkstall Abbey where I went straight through to the Abbey for free! I thought I was going to have to pay, I don’t know why I didn’t yet.

The guy at the front desk gave my a fancy map that he said I could keep even though it was on fancy paper. I didn’t. I figured that they were giving out these things for free, the least I could do was let them keep the map.

The Abbey itself ranges from 12th century to 15th century. The inner parts being older are, interestingly, the most well preserved. I would have loved to have learnt more about the history of the Abbey and how it came to be a few walls and no roof, but then again, I can easily find all of this out on the internet. Isn’t it a wonderful world we live in today?

It was really beautiful and if you’re around Leeds I definitely recommend you check it out.

After that I was going to go to Temple Newsam House. and then I realised that it would be a mile walk. And I just didn’t want to do that. Oh the Perils of not having a car. I’ll probably regret it later, but I get the whole point of holidays is #noregrets am I right?

By the time I got to where I thought I needed to go, it was lunchtime, so I headed into The Secret Garden Cafe for a lovely panini.

After that, I found my way to Hope Pastures to see some Horsies. A note, if you use the apple maps app on your phone it will take you to the top end of Weetwood Lane. You want the other end. It’s about a mile walk. It’s funny how life laughs at you. Also none of the horsies wanted to talk to me. I only wanted some animal hugs. I miss my dog.

After that fun time,  I made my way back to Bradford- where I’m staying – to go to the National Science and Media Museum. It was really cool. A lot of it was interactive which I think is the best way to get people to interact with science and media, instead of just watching and looking, you get to play with sound and play vintage video games. It was really good times.

I’m so boring after that I literally just walked back to where I’m staying. Good Times.

Get Reading. Get Travelling.

Ash

Thoughts on Travels | Leeds 23-05-2017

I left the house at a quarter to eight this morning as I was catching the train at 9:02. Got to Leeds and immediately set about trying to get to Meanwood Valley Urban Farm. I tell you, the Leeds Bus interchange depot map/locations are confusing. Or is it just me? Anyway, I got there and only had to look at my phone a few dozen times. (speaking of which, don’t you think it’s silly that there isn’t any way to tell when your stop is coming up if you’re unfamiliar with the area and don’t have a phone?)

It only costs £2! It was rather awesome, I got to pat some sheep and I saw a few Donkeys and Llamas (or where they alpacas?) and then, when I went down to the small animal barn, I got to see some guinea pigs, a few Bunnies, and a whole lotta cute chicks! they were so cute I can’t wait for my mum to get some! They were all in the corner closest to the door and then one went fluttering away, and then they all followed! And then they returned! I resisted the urge to just pick one up the whole time!

After Meanwood Valley Urban Farm, I headed back into town to go to the Leeds City Museum. I have to say, it was good, but I didn’t find it as good as, say, the Birmingham Museum. Leeds sort of had this odd set up and I was never sure if I was going the right way and it wasn’t logical and I had to double back – I understand that they are also working with the building, but come on! And there just wasn’t as much. The places where there was a lot of pieces they were just overwhelming.

They had a new exhibit about the Seasons but it was really marketed exclusively to Northern Hemisphere children. I was expecting something about the history of people’s perceptions of the seasons over time. You could talk about when people first started settling down, and Persophone and Hades, and different Culture’s different Ideas. You could even talk about how when the Brits invaded Australia they were really unprepared to deal with the seasons as they hadn’t realised that they were opposite. They had nothing on the fact that in the Southern Hemisphere the Seasons are opposite. There was nothing.

After that, I found my way to Little Tokyo for lunch. I was craving Japanese food. It was very nice food, although I did find that the addition of the fork and spoon – without asking me – was a little unnecessary, I can manage fine with chopsticks. The Chicken Katsu Curry was nice, although more spicy than I’m used to.

And after that I literally walked around the shopping district. I was planning on going to Harewood House but the walk was just a little too far for my taste at the time. Instead I spent money. Which was not ideal, but now I shouldn’t have to spend money for a while. Yay!

Join me tomorrow where I head to Manchester.

Get Reading. Get Travelling.

Ash

Lived in: Leaving and Growing up.

So…

I’m leaving.

I mean, the only people who read this are my parents and they know, so I figured I’d put it here.

Living alone overseas is hard. I didn’t realise how hard it would be until I thought about leaving. And coming home. And seeing my friends again. my family again. my dog again. So maybe I’m weak because I’m returning early. But I also know myself. And I know that I don’t have to continue to do something that I believe to be damaging to my mental health. and I don’t have to do something that is making me sad. I’m lucky enough that I have this option. I know not everyone does, but I do.

Then, when I return, I’ll have to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life. Ultimately I’d like to live in limbo and not have to decide ever and spend my days crafting and hanging out with my friends. But unfortunately that’s not viable.

Wanted: someone to do to Disneyland with me this week. Must like Disney (obvs) and must be prepared to hang out with me.

Get Reading. Get Travelling.

Ash

Age Of Reason | Thomas Paine

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I got this one from Neil deGrasse Tysons 8 recommended books for smart people or something. (It’s on project Gutenberg, so you can read it for free! Legally!) I wass expecting a lot of stuffy, difficult to read text. When I realised that he was talking about christianity and the bible, I figured he was going to be flushing the whole book down the toilet, you know/

I was wrong on both accounts. His words are like honey, they’re smooth and free flowing and so, so amazingly easy to read. And since his father was a quaker, he didn’t touch actual christians and went after the bible only. With real, actual logic and evidence found only in the bible. It felt like analysis from the inside, rather than someone who was never going to respect the text.

He logically goes through the old and new testaments like an English teacher with a red pen. He uses logic and (duh) reason to refute the bible while still supplying adequate reason for a belief in God.

This came at a perfect time in my life as I am thinking about how I can apply my beliefs in God to my beliefs in science and let them get along. He also raises a lot of concerns about the bible that I have had myself, so it was really nice to be able to see it written down.

Get Reading. Get Travelling.

Ash