Medieval York…

I am undeniably Northern at heart. I also have a weakness for people-scale architecture and the Medieval period. In January I had a short break in York and it made me very, very happy. Just to be there.

If you don't know, York is the capital city of North Yorkshire which in most local people's minds is not so much a county as God's Own Country... well, this, and the capital city part, is not technically a legal fact.

Actually, it's a county town, but in the Medievel period it was the second city of the English realm so there is pedigree to the boast. It was the second most populous place after London, with a massive, seething, bustling population of 12,000 by 1500 AD.


The old centre is famously curtained by a beautifully preserved wall which is still walkable and incorporates Roman fortifications.

Nothing pronounces the City's past wealth more than its cathedral, York Minster, which in my mind (and on a sunny day) shines as brightly as anything Paris can offer. Wherever you go its profile is ubiquitous and its image is synonymous with the place.

I will refrain from waxing lyrical; here instead is a little image sample of photos I took another summer...

I returned, if not Home, then to the place where I live, with the germ of an idea which has since sprouted.

Let us be clear.

This is highly inconvenient.

I do NOT need any more stories in my head.

But this capacity knows no logic. My Story Brain, as opposed to my (relatively) Normal Brain, works on the same principles as the Swedish children's tradition of the 'pudding stomach', no matter how much you have eaten there is always room for something sweet in the sweetie tummy.

The good stories are like moss on the damp, north wall of a building - they just grow silently, steadily, because the conditions are accidentally right, until one day you walk by it and think, 'wow, have to do something about that...' I have since started to write a short synopsis because I got so excited about the concept one night that I couldn't fall asleep.

It will remain top secret for now. It will remain on the backburner, or the back wall, whichever metaphor grabs you most, mainly because I would have to do some serious research before I ever began it, and that takes time. So, I'm recording the inspiration because even I will have to 'watch this space' and am curious how it will go. Or, grow.

Meanwhile, I leave you with words of wisdom regarding law and order from York's ordinances of the Middle Ages when the world was a simpler place, bereft of teacup pigs and women's rights:

Images © F. Fidelio

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