Friday, 21 May 2010

Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast.....

Thank you for those who have pointed out the lack of blogs for the last 10 days. I have been enjoying myself and tearing around the country working in equal measure and in doing so accruing just about enough information to blog about.

Last weekend Mel and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary with a weekend away. I'm pretty sure that she would have liked a trip to Paris or Rome perhaps but I am an old romantic at heart so I took her to Whitby.

Whitby holds a special place in my heart for loads of reasons. It is the perfect UK seaside destination, brilliant atmosphere, fantastic restaurants and just the right amount of seaside tackiness.  It was also my mums favourite place and we holidayed there regularly as a kid. Sadly she died fifteen years ago after a long battle against breast cancer but whenever I feel melancholy about her, I just think about Whitby and holidays there as a kid and I instantly feel better.

The final reason for going there is that when Mel and I first met four years ago, we went for a weekend there and arranged to meet my friends Paul and Sally (I wanted their approval!).

That weekend started off really well in a beautiful old Hotel just outside the town, with champagne on arrival, an enormous suite and I clearly managed to make quite a good impression. On the Saturday morning we had a walk through the town, round the harbour and up the 199 steps to the Abbey atop the cliffs. It was the end of March and so the tourist season hadn't yet begun and though quite cold, the mist coming in from the sea made the whole thing so atmospheric it was untrue.

In the afternoon, we found a brilliant seafood restaurant and booked a table for four later that evening, arranging to meet our friends in a bar around the corner. By this point I was beginning to get quite nervous. What if they didn't like her? What if she didn't like them? What if it's awkward or someone makes an arse of themselves?

Thankfully they got on like a house on fire, they adored her and she them. Unfortunately, it was slightly awkward and someone did make an arse of themselves. - Me (you'd already guessed that eh?)

I'd had a few drinks to wash away the nerves and a few became a lot and before anyone realised I was blind drunk on alcohol and infatuation. By all accounts, I lost my volume control early on and my swear word surpressant mechanism was broken beyond repair. Worse, I spent the evening telling Paul and Sally how lovely Mel was in a way that might have been mildly acceptable had she not been sitting next to me. Most cringeworthy of all, I asked Mel to marry me several times on the way back to the Hotel even though we had met just a few weeks earlier.

To this day, Sally cannot hear the word Whitby without bursting out laughing and to be fair she does a pretty good impression of me that night - every time I see her. She mimics my stagger, my glassy eyed thousand yard expression and the peculiar brand of bonhomie that I shared with the whole of Whitby that night.

So last weekend, we went back and I was delighted to discover the ban on my presence within the town had been lifted. We stayed at the brilliant Willows guest house, a short walk from the town centre, ate fish and chips on the harbour on arrival and enjoyed a bottle of champagne to toast our return.

On Saturday, we walked around the harbour, drank coffee, laughed at tourists and walked a long distance without it ever feeling like exercise. We bought some presents from us to us at one of the 'saw you coming' shops including a chain for Mel with a piece of Whitby Jet dangling from it. (I'm sure she could describe it much more eloquently). I made do with a Salvador Dali melting clock which looked brilliant in the shop but looks slightly out of place in our apartment.

At the end of the harbour in Whitby is a large lighthouse. A sign at the bottom explained that for a pound you could climb up to the top and take photographs. Mel didn't fancy it as she had already worked out but had failed to explain that to get to the top, you would have to climb several hundred very steep, old worn steps which wind around a very narrow central chamber. Whilst I did indeed get some good photographs I could hardly keep the camera still, as I was shaking like a shitting dog after my climb to the top and if anybody reading this is in Whitby and finds the lung that I coughed up when I reached the top, I'd be delighted to get it back.

On Saturday night, we had a brilliant meal at the Moon and Sixpence (highly recommended), several cocktails, partook in some super people watching and then had our second early night. We left after breakfast on the Sunday morning after walking back into town to buy some of the famous Fortunes Kippers. (They are a thing of beauty and perfection but must be served with a considerable garnish of Rennie).

So no incidents, no drunken antics, no major embarrassments, just a lovely relaxing weekend. Maybe I've cracked it, perhaps I have grown up just in time for my 40th. However, I fear I may be turning into Ken Barlow. I found myself pointing out different varieties of birds and dragging Mel around old ruins (though she drew the line at reading gravestones). I'm really quite worried about myself.

No comments:

Post a Comment