Monday of this week (15th) was Julia’s birthday. Though she’s no longer with us, the family ( or as much as could get away) wanted to celebrate the day to show she’s not forgotten. I wanted so much to show my appreciation of all the support I’ve had and settled on a couple of days away. I didn’t choose the place but in the end couldn’t fault the choice.

My niece Karen found a Groupon stay in York and we were able to book the last rooms available from Monday to Wednesday at a nice little place called the Queen Anne’s Guest House. Before I go further let me again thank Phil West and his wife for making our stay easy and pleasant. We arrived late morning and had been told it was fine to drop our bags off and go off to explore and find lunch if we wanted. My son-in-law aka The Stomach on Legs needed little persuasion so we headed the ten minute walk into town for food. The weather was a great help at lifting everyone’s spirits but our walk took us through the most beautiful park by the River Ouse where we were able to release balloons in Ju’s memory. True to form she didn’t make life easy when the balloon released by Yvonne hopped along the ground and headed straight for the nearest tree which it began to climb. She was quite the tomboy in her youth.














After  the release we had a coffee and light lunch, a wander round part of the city and returned to the guest house to rest before going out again for dinner. There was a nice pub/hotel quite close by and we had excellent food before realising how much the heat had taken out of us. In honour of the day I had agreed with a friend that I’d have a pint on his behalf. Not something I’d normally do since a sniff of the barmaid’s apron is usually enough to have me flat on my back.


Of course everyone was only too happy to record this and I think  four cameras were out and trained on me. We got back to the guest  house safely and had an early night.










Tuesday morning breakfast and Phil’s lovely wife was dancing attendance on us with our various orders. I can highly recommend the full English and even managed to have my fill of toast before Ugo descended from his pit. I’ve never seen hand and jaws co-ordinate with such speed before as the table rapidly emptied. We were lucky it was time to leave before he started on the tablecloths. Karen and Joanne kept me in check as we headed back into York as Ugo made sure Yvonne was OK and not about to give birth before the holiday was over. First job of the day was to indulge a whim of mine which was to ave a photograph taken together without one of us claiming they needed to be on the other side of the camera. We headed for York’s famous Shambles and the Past Images Studio. The Shambles is a centuries old Meat Market with many of the building still retaining the original meat hooks by the doors. It’s beautiful, it’s quaint and very historic.














These are some of the

Photographs from the studio.


















York Minster was another place we couldn’t afford to miss since it’s history is so significant to the City. After lunch it was our first stop before we again ambled back to the guest house to rest up before dinner at the same pub as before but without me indulging a second time.

DSCF3222 DSCF3231 DSCF3223

Breakfast on Wednesday wasn’t half as much fun as the day before as Ugo arrived before I could finish the toast. We’d all slept well after the walking but today we had to journey home and had a stop to make on the way. Stockport !! I’m going to make the excuse that the girls all wanted to shop for baby clothes but in reality I wanted to stop for pork pies before my brother visited that evening. After breakfast Ugo only needed to stop for food once before having his first beef pie ( my pies are safe since he doesn’t care for pork) just before stopping for lunch. Since I’m honest I can say we shopped for baby clothes and the girls between them created a dearth of clothes and shoes that will leave the women of Stockport stunned for many a year.

We arrived home safely. Of course in a blog there’s no way I can describe everything we saw even if I had the words to do so. York is an exceptional place, the guest house was superb and I’d gladly return there, most of all I was in fantastic company at a time when alone I may have been fragile. Thank you so much to my lovely family, Karen who stood to my right in the picture, Yvonne who stood to my left, Ugo to her left and Joanne who managed to get the only chair in a way I haven’t fathomed yet. You gave me a wonderful break.


July 20, 2013 · 10:17 pm

54 responses to “BOGOF 1.

  1. That was a lovely idea for a celebration — and so charmingly told.

    • Thank you Teagan, what a lovely thing to say.I shall have an excuse to drink at least one pint of beer a year from now on though I’ll tell my friend it’s for him. ( Sorry Owen).
      I send you Massive Hugs xxxx

  2. Thanks for sharing your celebration. The photos are wonderful. I am glad you had a wonderful time and enjoyed your beer.


    • Thank you Francine. I’m sure I could have made better photographic choices to give you more of an idea of York’s quirky beauty. I had a great time despite the occasion but of course I was enjoying the beer for someone else ( or at least that’s my excuse). xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  3. Looks like a fantastic time, David. I enjoy seeing photos of places I’ll probably never see. Thanks for sharing your lovely story.

    • I didn’t do it justice Mary J. Maybe one day yo’ll get chance to see for yourself. I know you’d love it there. It was the home of so much Chocolate too, no-one should miss that.
      xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  4. Ardysez

    What a nice break and what wonderful souls to have with you. X

    • They are my support and I love them all dearly. Without them I’d be stuck in the house all day, every day. I have a lot to be thankful for and a lot of wonderful people to be grateful to.
      xxx Great Big Hugs to you. xxx

  5. Nice tour and wonderful premise for the family to be together.

  6. York was my favorite visit in England. The York Ghost walk is one of the best I have ever been on! And the Minster is awe-inspiring. The whole feel of the place is gothic history at its very best. What a great place to R and R, and send balloons!

    • We didn’t do the Ghost Walk though of course they still take place every night. York just oozes history. Chester also has a walk but that’s with the Legionnaries around some of the Roman sites available to see inside the town walls. It’s a wonderful place but lacks somewhere like the Shambles which is a definite plus for York in my eyes. Maybe Chester Cathedral has an advantage in it’s style though as you say the Minster is inspiring. York is a place I’d go to time and again. xxx Hugs xxx

  7. My in-laws really loved York, particularly the Jorvik viking centre. Some day we’re going to get to the UK and see more than a few sites in London!

  8. What a lovely idea to get the family together, and release some balloons for Julia’s birthday. York is such a pretty city.

    • It seemed better than sitting at home allowing the occasion to pass by or to make us miserable. I think Julia would have ( did?) enjoy the way we chose to go. Yes, York is a beautiful city and I look forward to a return again someday with perhaps more accommodating Hugs xxx

  9. Martine Kaufman

    It looks lovely. Such a wonderful way to remember Julia. Hugs and love to you, Martine x

  10. What a clever lovely, family you have, but of course they are related to you, to organise a break to celebrate Julia’s birthday. I have heard good things about York, and York Minster. Theres a quote “Your birthday is a special time to celebtrate the gift of ‘you to the world” which I like, and I think applies regardless of if the person is still with us on this earth, or not, as it’s stlll their birthday. Thank you for sharing the great weather, hosts and a balloon with a mind of its own plus the photos with us. Truly inspiring 🙂

    • Thanks so much Ella, I love he quote and must try to remember that. I think I have a clever, lovely family despite being related to me, I didn’t manage to flaw their characters. Having said that, there’s not one that brings a full crate to the picnic except me of course.
      Thank you for dropping by and sharing with me.. xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  11. What a great post David! Loved the pics, especially the one of the beer. I didn’t know you needed braces to raise a tankard, but I guess they are pretty heavy. 😉 My only complaint now is that I can’t tease you about the non-existent UK summer any more… you have proof. 😦


  12. What a lovely family you have taking you out like that. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your trip and your great photos with us. 😀
    Next time you go away with them perhaps you should get Ugo to stay in the hotel next door just so you don’t have to fight for your share of the breakfast. 😉

    • I was hoping to send him to another town altogether. Still, at least my Titterton’s pies are safe from him…I only have brother, nephews , nieces and friends to fight for those.
      Huge Hugs xxxxxx

  13. Oh my, David, what a lovely trip. You certainly have an amazing family! And a beautiful and photogenic one too.
    Thanks so much for sharing with us. I absolutely loved the photos. So glad you have them around you, and vice-versa!
    🙂 Hugs

    • The family are amazing Renata ( and very patient too with the annoying ‘Old Fart’ ). York was beautiful and very photogenic in the sunshine. I now have 2 canvasses on the wall to remind me of the trip.
      xxx Massive Hugs to you both xxx

  14. Oh, what a beautiful post and GLORIOUS pics. My grandparents were married in York just before the turn of the Century which makes your photos particularly delightful to me… way over here in Oz. Thanks David and I’m sure Julia enjoyed her birthday celebrations too… xxx

    • I’m really glad I put a few York pictures on to remind you of your grandparents Catherine. Now I wish I’d out more. I wonder how much they’d recognise now, Julia must have had the time of her life thanks, she’d have been laughing her socks of at us trying to encourage her out of the tree knowing it was a bit of rebellion she could get away with. She made sure we enjoyed ourselves anyway.

      xxx Huge Hugs to you xxx

      • You’re so kind David. I never knew my paternal Grandparents… Dad came to Australia alone in 1928, at the age of 16, on one of those schemes to entice British lads out to the Colonies. I’ve only managed to track my Grannies down through persistent/ determined research… 🙂
        I can just imagine Julia enjoying every moment of her birthday celebration and delighted that you’d picked up the “clues” that she was there and having fun with you all.
        Thankyou for sharing and enabling me to reflect on so much that delights me … despite the sadness of the loss. Take good care of yourself, eh? xxx

      • Ouch, it’s an awful shame to miss out on grandparents and at that age your Dad must have missed his parents a lot. Of course coming home for visits in those days wasn’t on the cards. Have you managed to get lots of info on them and other relations since then. I’m a big fan of Ancestry .com ? My folks were thinking hard about emigrating in the mid-fifties when Australia was offering low passage but I’m glad they didn’t because I was close to my maternal grandparents.
        I’m of that state of mind I have to think Ju is with me all the time or I’d go batty talking to myself.She got me out in the world and without her I spend too long sitting here on the computer. I haven’t touched my fourth book in over 18 months ( maybe the world should thank her for that) which is why York was a delightful break.
        I’m glad you popped in to join us. Do you have a website to share as I can’t find one?
        xxx Huge Hugs to you xxx

      • Well, yes… it’s a long story but “long to short” 😉 my daughter phoned late one night SO excited… she’d joined Ancestry and was saying “mum, mum… did you know Grandad had a sister???”. Hooley Dooley… I signed onto Ancestry that night and was off and away. Discovered which Army regiment Grandfather was in and, through that, discovered he was in the Canadian Expeditionary Force during WW1 and served in France from 1915 to the end.
        After getting his Records from Canada and knew I had half cousins there I was determined to find them and e-v-e-n-t-u-a-l-l-y made contact with Grandfather’s only other living Grand daughter (be it by another woman) and June and I have become such good friends. For most of her life our Grandfather, and his 2nd wife, lived with them and she knew my Auntie Annie well. Turns out that, at the age of 13, dad’s sister, went to Canada with her father. June is the keeper of all the photos & memories and has been so generous in sharing these, as well as our thoughts & feelings about our Grandad’s behaviour. In fact my dad’s half brother, Leslie, died there just last month.
        Sadly dad never made it home, as intended once he’d “made his fortune”, because he’d only been here 3 years and his beloved mum died. I believe he must have known that his father abandoned her which is why he said that he “had nothing to go home for” and fibbed when he said his dad died shortly after his mum.
        Of yes, I have a Blog and you’ve actually visited & commented on occasions. It’s “Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family” on
        Thinking of you and please stay open to your Ju’s presence…for I have no doubt that she often comes to give comfort when you need it the most .
        xxx Catherine. (apologies for the “Squire McGuire” 😀 )

      • Thanks so much for sharing this story. Time just flies when you get on Ancestry doesn’t it, but it’s such a lot of fun. I’ve come across a few who’ve fathered children while still married to someone else and a couple who’ve unfortunately lost wives very young and remarried quickly for the sake of the children I suppose.So far I haven’t had much contact with relations from other branches so I’m really glad to hear you’ve met a special friend and relative at the same time.
        I’m sorry I didn’t realise I’d visited your blog. I hope I behaved myself while there. xx
        I always stay open to Ju’s presence probably because I still haven’t fully come to terms with it even though it happened on March 30th. I’m not sure I ever will as I feel I’ve lost my best friend.
        Sending you HUge Hugs. xxxxxxxx

  15. No worries David… always the gentleman 🙂 xxx

  16. I just can’t keep missing your posts. I do follow, but I will look for an email notification sign up to! Looks like a great day out was had by all.

  17. Oh you have taken me down memory lane today, I lived in York for a time and loved it. Such a nice pleasant city, great memories of the place. if I ever moved back to the UK it would be one place I would consider. Thanks a lot. Great images.:)

    • Hmmm, Memory Lane, is that by the Shambles?Though my stay was short I also found it to be a pleasant City. I know there’s so much more to see and will hopefully find another Groupon offer to take me there though in all honesty the place I stayed has very reasonable charges. If that happens I’ll post more photographs to remind you of where you’ve lived.
      Congrats on such a great blog !
      xxx Hugs Galore xxx

  18. Beautiful tribute, David and I love the photos. I have always wanted to visit the UK. I keep hoping someday I will be able to do so.It is wonderful for you that you have such a supportive family. ::)

    • Thanks so much Rebecca. Yes. my family have been wonderful and I’m sure I’d have folded without them. I just dread the day they submit their bills. The UK is only waiting for your visit of course. We’re tiny but have a lot to offer. If you come make sure to remember there are FOUR parts won’t you and not just the three most people think are shown on the Union Jack. Wales is of course the most beautiful but I may be a little biased. xxx Big Hugs xxx

      • I want to visit Wales in particular. My maiden name is Unthank. I am told that it is Welch but I have only been able to confirm that it is English. I would love to see it all: England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland..have I missed any? 🙂 Someday I will. Maybe when I’m 99.9 years old and I have a bestseller on my hands, I will celebrate my 100th there! 🙂

      • I haven’t come across that particular name before but that doesn’t mean anything. My own surname is fairly common in South Wales but rare up here in the North. No, you haven’t missed any, we’re all there.It would be a pleasure to have you over here so sit down, pull your finger out and start on that best seller now!!If you wait till you’re 99 I’ll be long gone given such a head start. xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  19. don’t have a huge head start. I will be 55 on my next birthday in March. I am working on my first novel but I seriously doubt that I will have a bestseller first time out of the gate. I know the chances of that! The good news is that I don’t plan to stop at only one book! I do have to start there, however. Many hugs back to you!

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