Breakfast is served later here on Sundays, so I was able to sleep in and start my day off with cereal, toast, fruit, and tea. Then it was back upstairs to shower and try to make myself presentable before heading to the station. There, a very nice woman named Samantha reserved me a seat on the right-hand side of the 9:37 to Edinburgh, assuring I’d get a great view of the coast as the train makes its way north from Newcastle (both Top Gear and Stewart from Selby Abbey helped confirm my decision to seek out that side).
After leaving the station, I wandered north along the River Ouse, enjoying the crisp, sunny day while listening to York Minster’s bells carry across the town before crossing to the other side and making my way back to town along what I later found out is named the “Dame Judi Dench Walk” (as you can probably guess, she’s from York). I meandered my way through the Museum Gardens, which were filled with lots of people out enjoying the weather and the flowers (even this pigeon couple was taking a stroll) and slowly made my way to the Shambles, an iconic and very old street with overhanging timber-framed buildings. It reminds me a bit of Diagon Alley in Harry Potter. Just as I was wrapping up my wander through the Shambles, York Minster started singing again, so I spent quite a few lovely minutes listening to her happy song before making my way back to the Museum Gardens and the restaurant there that offers views of the foliage and the river. They also offer the fanciest and most delicious shrimp cocktail that I have ever eaten, probably due to the smoked salmon in it.
After lunch, I hurried back to my B&B and its wi-fi connection. While at lunch, the Downton grapevine was abuzz with news of an event, a talk with the creator/writer and the producer. The actor who portrays my beloved butler is also supposed to be there along with other members of the cast and it’s conveniently scheduled to take place in Piccadilly the evening before I fly out of London. While both nervous and terrified about going by myself with no fellow fangirls to keep my steady – or remind me to breathe – I wasn’t sure I should even seriously consider going. But, thanks to the awesome support and encouragement of my fellow fangirls in the Downton fandom, I dug down deep again for some courage and bought a ticket. I am equal parts excited and terrified, but it really was too good an opportunity to pass up, especially with the upcoming Season Six being the show’s final one. So, I’ll be a horrible bundle of internally flailing, silently hyperventilating nerves and hopefully I won’t pass out, but I’ll get to be in the same room with Jim Carter and his swoony, ovary-busting voice. And only a few days after I see his wife in Gypsy, too!
I didn’t feel like going out to a restaurant for dinner, or searching for one with a light menu, so I walked down the street to the local Sainsbury’s and picked up a couple of small, healthy things to nibble on, enjoying them in the back garden of the B&B. Just as I was finishing up, a car pulled into the carpark and a group of new arrivals got out…another group from the States. Since then, I’ve passed the evening in typical me fashion, packing things and catching up on more reading and writing. 5 am will be here bright and early (yes, bright, since I’m considerably further north than usual) so I should probably head to bed. Tomorrow, it’s off to Edinburgh!