Within These Walls

This morning, yours truly strolled the historic streets of York, treading ground graced by the Vikings, Romans, Angles and comedian Harry Enfield; the latter previously studying in the city. In a (nearly) remarkable coincidence Enfield College’s hallowed classrooms, in North London, can boast being the lecture halls of legendary balloon bender Harry York.

Both of my twenty-something children studied for their degrees within York’s city walls. Originally constructed by the Romans in 71 AD, these walls have changed significantly since the city’s occupancy by the Eastern European invaders. That being said, it remains a tastefully built edifice, thankfully kept free of stone cladding, garish rendering and art nouveau graffiti.

When studying for their degrees at their York alma mater my kids, Jonathon and Rachel, graduated in music production and media studies respectfully. Both loved living in the city during this time; whether York reciprocated this love of the two Strachan invaders from 30 miles west is unknown.


My son’s amour for this enchanting metropolis so ingrained he made the North Yorkshire domain his home. Now living in a village just north of the city with his charming fiancee Jenny, their cat Lottie and his acoustic guitar Bernard.

Why my eldest offspring felt the need to name his stringed instrument is one of life’s enigmas. However, as I told my fridge Arthur this morning, providing inanimate objects with a moniker is a truly ridiculous notion.

Unlike her brother, my daughter Rachel didn’t turn her fondness of Jorvik (as the Vikings dubbed York) into a long term move. Displaying the very antithesis of her sibling’s wishes, her itchy feet and desire to travel resulting in her travelling after university; Rach’s time spent visiting the likes of China, Australia and California, along with a two year spell working in Banff, Canada.

Rachel post-travel years see her residing in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, where she lives in a flat with her boyfriend Brian, memories of a multitude of great life experiences and her itchy feet. The latter still not responding positively to dermatological medication.

With numerous previous visits to York under my belt, where they fight for space with my middle-aged spread, I’m fairly familiar with the city’s layout. Well, apart from the parts I get lost in, during which time I just head towards the metropolis’ mammoth minster, whose top seems to be seen from most part of York and surrounding districts……. Once there I ring my son Jonathon to come and claim me from the huge cathedrals Lost Property section.

One thing that always find when driving through York centre’s residential thoroughfares is the lack of space between parked cars on the streets. Avenues originally designed and constructed in an era when cars weren’t widespreadly used by its citizens, if at all.

Consequently, navigating those particular roads have to be taken with the forensic accuracy of a surgeon when performing a heart operation. God only knows how emergency service vehicles, particularly fire engines, manage to circumnavigate these snug spaces.

I love the York and, like my eldest offspring, would love to one day permanently inhabit a residence in this enchanting city……. Hopefully the residential restraining order will expire one day!


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