It was Mum's funeral on Monday the 16th so to say goodbye to her in my own way Paul and I went to Whitby for a few days.
We set off last Saturday at about lunchtime and there had been accidents on the M42 and the M1, Paul had checked on his Iphone, good job he did. We re-routed but it was going to take us another 1.5 hours, going via Manchester, Leeds and then York. It was really strange to be driving around all the places I went to as a child being a Yorkshire lass born and bred. The view over the Pennines was spectacular, to be honest I wished I wasn't driving so I could enjoy it better! The rain was absolutely appalling and I kept driving in and out of it, it was so heavy at time the motorway was flooding and you were driving through puddles. I've driven in wet weather before but this was the absolute heaviest I have known it and the spray from the lorries was nearly as high as my likkle car. We pulled into some services for a rest and a spot of lunch and the car park was like a pond.
As we reached the Yorkshire Moors it was getting much darker, I mean with all the rain it was really murky all day but it starting getting dark and I was driving on really windy roads with steep banks and you could have easily toppled off the edge as there were no barriers, but the views were amazing and I kept wanting to pull over and stop, but was starting to get tired and just wanted to get there. There were some really steep roads getting down into Whitby with gradients of 20% and the roads were so windy and remote it was like driving in a Top Gear segment, Paul loved it.
The rain had stopped when we got to Whitby, but it was extremely windy. Our B&B was only 2 streets away from the seafront and we ended up parking there, the sea was so rough and I could see the Abbey and the whalebone arch and was so excited to be there. Last time I went I was 13 and it really hadn't changed very much which was lovely to see.
The B&B was lovely. All the rooms were en-suite and were individually decorated. Ours was cream walls and carpet with everything else black and turquoise and was really nice. We unpacked our stuff, had a cup of tea and a lie down to rest for a bit and then went out in search of fish and chips. Obviously this time of year is out of season for most places but a lot of the B & B's were full and many of the shops and restaurants were open. We had a lovely meal of fish and chips in a restaurant, the haddock was so fresh and tasty and Paul's plaice was yummy too. I love the fish at the seaside :)
I'd intended that on Sunday we should go to Flamborough head and Bridlington but realised we could go there on the way back home so decided to go to York instead. I researched where the Papermill shop was of course, got to have a bit of crafty goodies LOL
York was just magical. It took me a while to get my bearings as I hadn't been for so long. Paul's Iphone was invaluable. I know I tease him about being welded to it but the apps were so useful and the GPS maps were fairly accurate so we could search for places and get around quite well. The river was very swollen, almost right to the top and we were glad it didn't rain as our car was parked underground not far from the river, it could have been messy......
We went to the Minster and went inside. I'm not religious but I did light a candle for Mum and wrote a little prayer on a card which they read out at daily services. I had a little cry outside and Paul was fantastic and comforted me. We went to a street called The Shambles where all the houses are wonky and the upper floor juts out into the the street so opposite houses are close enough that people could shake hands. It was still as fascinating as it was when I was a child. Paul loved seeing the castle walls everywhere too. I am so glad he liked it as it is one of my most favourite places and I would like to take him there for a few days next time so we can see more.
We went back to Whitby and I started writing my letter to Mum. I thought it it would have been easier to do, it really took some getting out of me. I opened a bottle of wine, that helped :) I was emotionally drained and had a nap afterwards. We ended up not having an evening meal so was starving the next morning.
The day of the funeral the weather was awful, really windy and rainy and I was very concerned that I wouldn't be able to execute my plan of setting light to the letter at the end of the pier and scattering the ashes into the sea. The weather was just so relentless and I was getting more upset the closer the time got. At about 11am the rain turned to spitting so we took our chance. When we got the end I read the words I had written the night before and it made me cry, it surprised me how much more emotional I felt than when I had written it the night before. We went down some steps to a concreted fishing area underneath the pier and set alight to it and then put the ashes into the sea. Paul was comforting me and just holding me, he has been the most amazingly supportive person and very sensitive.
Then the most amazing thing happened, almost like in a movie it was so strange. There was faint rainbow over the sea and the sun was trying to poke out of the clouds and it just got brighter and the dark clouds blew out to sea and the blue sky was getting bluer and it was like all the bad stuff had gone and I could look forward to a brighter future. It honestly was weird how it happened and the timing was amazing. The rainbow to me capped it off because when I had my nervous breakdown and had art therapy with a psychiatrist I'd drawn a rainbow then and she said to me it was a symbol of hope and happiness after sorrow, completely befitting for how I felt on Monday.
The rest of Monday was spent mooching around Whitby. We went to a great outdoors shop and I got a coat for camping and some breathable t-shirts and zip-off trousers. The prices were brilliant. I had my new favourite sandwich, bacon and brie panini, absolutely yummy. We went into the arcade and played on the 2p machines. Paul won me 2 little teddy bear figurines holding purple hearts and then we had a lovely meal at the world famous Magpie Cafe
. Paul had a gorgeous fish pie and I had fish and chips with the most gorgeous knicker bocker glory for dessert. It was made with loads of fresh fruit in a coulis and just was so tasty. It is honestly worth driving all that way just for that I promise you! And they serve proper Yorkshire Tea in a teapot, with tea leaves and a tea strainer. The water up north definetely makes tea taste better :)
We had intended to light a chinese lantern but it was just too windy. The lantern was almost ripping whilst we were trying to light it and the fuel block wouldn't light so we gave up. Paul seemed more bothered than I was. It would have been nice to light it there and watch it float up but we can do that at home when the bad weather has settled down so it's not the end of the world.
The following morning after breakfast we headed off towards the lighthouse at Flamborough head and stopped off in Scarborough on the way. We drove right up to the castle and then into the bay at the other side. Paul took some photos on his Iphone and it puts a pin in a map when you do. so his new obsession is to collect map pins now..... guess who's driving? When we got to Flamborough head we seemed to be driving for ages until we got to the lighthouse. As soon as I saw it I was smiling so much. I just love being there. As it is on a peninsular the coastline is amazing all around you and there are lots of little paths that I went scuttling along to get to the edges. Paul said it was amazing to watch me running around like an excite mad thing. The lighthouse itself you couldn't go to the top as it is out of season and was probably too windy and dangerous. I have always loved lighthouses and I'm sure a lot of that is because of going to Flamborough so many times as a kid. We used to stop at the Haven Primrose Valley holiday camp or in a B & B in Bridlington and there are coastal paths from both of these that we used to walk along with Mum and Dad. They were some of my happiest family times. Holidays were always good as they spent more time with us and everyone is happier on holiday aren't they?
We popped into Bridlington as our last stop and had a pub meal. I wasn't very hungry and just had a tuna melt baguette. It was awful...... the bread was stale, couldn't make my mind up if it was a part baked one that hadn't been baked again or if it was just stale and then to top it all off I found a long blond hair in it....... needless to say I didn't enjoy it. Paul's scampi was much nicer :)
The journey home was pretty good, managed to do it without stopping as I had college at 6pm and didn't want to be late. Had enough time for a cup of tea and a sit down before I went. It was the last practice before the exam next week so it was important not to miss it.
Had a brilliant 4 days. It has been very emotional, but very uplifting at the same time. I feel I have been able to say goodbye to Mum, but also create some happy memories with Paul.
Have been very tired since coming back, not been on my computer and have got 245 emails to trawl through..... I may be some time LOL