Daniel handed his dissertation in on Monday morning - what a tense few hours that was! Suprisingly, even for me the sense of relief was amazing. I think I'd been going through the motions of it all next to him. Knowing that someone you love is that passionate about doing something makes you just as passionate about it, and my heart was pumping quite audiably as I sat in the reading room waiting for him. We'd planned to spend the afternoon doing what we'd been putting off (due to the dissertation) for weeks - an ascent of the Minster and tea and cake in Bettys!
I've climbed York Minster a good few times before; each time I expect that it won't impress me, and gladly, each time so far I've been wrong. What we found wonderful about it was the space it gives you from everything else. The Dales on one side, the Wolds on another and the Moors on the other; a life far from this one really isn't that far away. Though it was murky and grey, Yorshire expanded out before us and I felt as if I was able to leave the city behind while still with my feet on top of the tower. We were the first to get to the top and the last to leave; it was magical standing there with no one else around.
Daniel had ordered up a day at the seaside to follow the hand in day, so on Tuesday we took the train to Filey. It is my favourite of the East Coast towns, moreso than Scarborough and even Whitby. I love how peaceful it is, how there is nothing to do, no crowds. Just old people and a lot of sky. There isn't enough sky anywhere else. Everything was closed, even the Fish & Chips bar on the seafront. We really did have Filey to ourselves.
We spent the day walking and climbing and scrambling, searching the rockpools for exciting marine life. I was looking for a starfish, but had no success. We did spot plenty of anenomes, though, and small fish, and lots of lovely shells. We spent a long while perched on a rock on the Brigg, looking out to sea. It was so blustery, the wind was bracing and it really did blow all the stress of the past weeks right out of us. Again, the sense of space and solitude was welcome, and it gave us opportunity to reflect on what the past weeks had brought, and what is to come in the coming weeks.
After lunch (involving some amazing Danish pastries, which were very welcome after a morning climbing hills and over rocks) we built a sand castle. I was hoping to create some sandy dream home, fit for only the most beautiful of mermaids. However, I found myself involved in a sea-side history lesson, learning about Norman invasions and typical castles from the period. I spent most of the time crafting small sand turrets to protect our citizens. The most serious sand castle I have ever built, for sure!
The next few days, weeks and months have a lot in store. I am busy most of the time on most of the days, and I like this a lot. It's the kind of busy that I'm happy to be; preparing for the next step in my life, earning money to pay for it, reading to prepare my mind for a seriously hard year. And then there's the Dales Way! Sheer, physical effort, rewarded by the things I too often take for granted, like a hot shower, a comfy bed and a great meal! I also can't wait to walk for 5 days by Daniel's side. I'm sure we'll have more than one moment where we want to push eachother into the nearest river, but I can't wait for the stories and the discussions and also the silences that long walks always provide. Bliss!