A Yorkshire interlude

Dot writes: ‘interlude’ maybe is an odd term to use for a work trip – I’ve just been to Leeds for a conference – but it felt oddly like one. Though the conference was huge and busy, and I was busy at it with a paper to give and three other sessions to chair, I was staying in a student residence away from the campus, tucked away at the end of a dead-end street, with trees outside the window and a strip of woodland behind; there were other people also in the house, but somehow I never saw them, and I felt very secluded. In the corner of my room were steps descending steeply into a strange little room with shelves and a sink in it, which made me think I’d been provided with my own priest’s hole, or maybe a linoleum-lined inner sanctum for my anchorhold. I sat at the desk and thought about my book project, with more focus and energy than I have for ages. At one point a squirrel came and sat on the window and looked in at me.

Cumberland Drive. I was in a house off the little lane at the end of the street
Cumberland Drive. I was in a house off the little lane at the end of the street
Priest's hole
Priest’s hole
View from priest's hole
View from priest’s hole
Fire door in residence. Only very thin locksmiths are allowed out in the event of a fire
Fire door in residence. In the event of a fire, only very thin locksmiths are allowed out
I took this on the evening of the last day of the conference; earlier this scene would have been full of people
I took this on the evening of the last day of the conference; earlier this scene would have been full of people
Trebuchet demonstation at the conference. A compact trebuchet for those seeking to destroy smaller fortifications
Trebuchet demonstation at the conference. A compact trebuchet for those seeking to destroy smaller fortifications
Medievalists contemplating a more aggressive approach to the rankings game. (You may recognise Julie, who was our au pair in 2012/13.)
Medievalists contemplating a more aggressive approach to the rankings game. (You may recognise Julie, who was our au pair in 2012/13.)

I’m afraid I didn’t get a picture of the squirrel.

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5 thoughts on “A Yorkshire interlude

  1. Mairi Jay

    What a delightful interlude. I can thoroughly relate to your sense of enchantment.

    It reminds me of a time I spent in a B&B at York when I was visiting Andrew once. It was a small room off a narrow corridor, but the memory that remains with me is the flowering of a beautiful pink magnolia. I was there for just a few days and in that time the blossoms gradually opened out to their full glory. I would get up in the morning with the sun showing up their beauty. I’ll never forget it.

    1. Dot

      I think I remember – not the magnolia, but your visit. It was when Andrew had only just moved into the St Olaves Rd house, and I remember the two of you sitting at the kitchen table reading the papers and companionably ignoring each other 🙂

      I don’t think I felt enchanted in this place, but as though I’d managed to slip aside for a while, out of the main flow of the stream.

  2. Katimum

    Glad you had a good and productive time. Your little boys missed you, but still, I think, managed to enjoy themselves.

    1. Dot

      Yes, I’m sure they did! I was sorry to miss the camping trip and I would have loved to visit Ironbridge, but then the trip was only arranged at all because I was going to Leeds.

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