24 October 2013

Visit by Dad

Retirement allows for lots of fun stuff, such as travelling! And if you have children abroad, you automatically have ideas for destinations. Only a few weeks ago my father had met my sister in Tallinn, and now he and his wife would visit me! And that sounded like fun. And the circumstances were good: I now have a big house with a spare bedroom, and I have a very beautiful city at my feet.

They made their way to the station, where I waited for them. We walked home in such bright sunshine they decided to immediately leave again; time to go stroll around town! At 6PM I joined them, and together we went for dinner in an ancient pub.

The next day they had planned to go into town again, but they said they also wanted to see where I work. And I was supposed to give a presentation about my work at 10AM, so they decided to witness that. I'm not sure they are now experts in interglacial sea level change, but at least they saw some nice pictures!

When I came home after work there was light in my house. A wine bottle was open, and some snacks were on the table! That's a nice way of coming home. And I just chatted with my dad while my stepmom cooked dinner. Very luxurious!

Dinner for three

The weekend was for roaming around with the three of us. Wim and Joke wanted to go biking on Saturday, so we rented a third bike at the railway station, and headed south. I knew there was a nice route over an abandoned railway we could follow. And on the way back we could just improvise. That worked out well! The route was nice, the weather too, we found an old railway station to have some coffee... all good. And on the way back I biked past the supermarket, to buy food that again was prepared by Joke.

Biking through autumnal Yorkshire

Tea break

On Sunday we walked around the city walls. I knew that would be nice, but hadn't gone around to doing it myself. And again the weather was better than we could have expected. From the walls you have amazing views over trees in autumn colours, and nice old terraced houses. And once we had come all the way back to the start we went to the pub! We had a nice meal, while we saw the cast of Blood and Chocolate get ready in the street. We walked past the performance on the way back; it's a very strange sight if you're not wearing headphones!

The York city walls

View on the Minster from the walls

On Monday I went back to work, while Wim and Joke went off on a two day walk. I had advised them to start near where Antony lives; near York the terrain is very flat, but he lives in gentle hills, which would provide some variety. From my office I did see a lot of rain fall, but I know my parents are tough people and there was no reason to worry. And there indeed wasn't; when I came home after work I found both guests already back; they'd walked all the way from Easingwold, and apart from having acquired wet shoes and smelly socks they were absolutely fine. So that allowed us a last shared evening meal, and then a last breakfast together, and then it was time to say our goodbyes! It had been good; they were glad to be staying in a house rather than a soulless hotel, I was happy they were such independent guests, they were happy to have seen York (town, campus and surroundings), and we were all happy to have had a lot of time to catch up. We had deeper discussions than I've had with them in a while! And father-daughter bonding is very valuable. Maybe again at christmas!

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