I've just spent the past hour falling madly in love with Professor Brian Cox. Is there anything sexier than brains?
Brains and swishy black hair, perhaps.
Finally today I got out into some green space, far enough away from busy city life for there to be no hum of traffic in the background or crumpled Starbucks carton in the gutter.
My friend Nick phoned this morning to let me know that he and some friends were taking a 2-car convoy to Aysgarth for the day; a village towards the west of the Yorkshire Dales with what is probably quite a lovely waterfall. Once I overcame a need to stay indoors and work on my assignments, I packed marmalade sandwiches (perfect picnic grub), waterproofs and sunglasses and headed out of the door into some perfect spring sunshine.
Due to the current speight of intense roadworks going on in York, we were still fringing the city after listening to the whole of Chuck Ragan's new album, and so we consulted maps over a phone conference between cars to decide on a closer destination. My suggestion was lunch in Masham followed by a visit to Jervaulx Abbey, a beautiful, privately-owned monument I've visited twice before, which is certainly overlooked by many visitors to the Dales all too often.
We had a really lovely day in all, fuelled by some proper pub grub and some great music. I finally got a (very small) dose of some fresh air, and feel ready to head on with some intense study tomorrow. Catching up with old friends always leaves me with that warm, mushy feeling; a recognition of belonging to something bigger than myself. I hope this was only a taster of more country adventures to come: maybe we will make it to Aysgarth one day after all! (I've now attempted to see the waterfalls twice, and failed both times...)