Friday, 6 January 2012

Boxing Day brings some interesting stuff with it

Man alive, how behind am I? Blogging about Boxing Day on 6th January?

If I was a fascist dictator, I would have sentenced myself to four years hard labour for being so tardy, but because I'm not, I ate a beef, cheese and jalapeno sandwich instead (which I made myself). And whilst I was stuffing it down my neck, I resolved to buy some chilli sauce for a bit of extra 'zing'.

Oooh, but before I forget - back to Boxing Day. For those of you who do not live in the UK, Boxing Day in the UK refers to the day after Christmas, and it's name was derived from the tradition whereby wealthy people give their servant a box containing a present. 

Obviously, because I spent Christmas and Boxing Day at Sarah's house in Leeds, we spent most of the morning dishing out gifts to our servants. Greedy little blighters they are these days; getting all complainy if you buy their gift from 'Pound Stretcher'. It's not like the olden days when they would have been happy with an orange.

Sacre bleu! Enough of our servants, what else did we do to keep ourselves entertained? Well, we decided to visit the city of York, that's what. It is one of the best places in the UK if you want to see tons of medieval architecture (the period between 400 - 1490 AD, as I discovered from Sarah).

So Sarah, Louise (her sister), and I jumped into my jalopy and duly headed for that noble city in the shire of York. And whilst en-route, we accidentally realised that York normally has fantastic Boxing Day sales in all the shops. Not that we cared - we were there for the architecture - not the high-heeled shoes .... obviously.

And because I am kinder than a Samaritan on a bonus scheme, I have got some pictures for you ........

Pic.No.1 This is a picture of 'The Shambles' in York. It is a proper surviving medeival street with most of the buildings being constructed between 1300 and 1400 AD. How impressive? They have lasted longer than an episode of 'The View'

Pic.No.2 The Shambles again - look how wonky the bloody buildings are. The name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon term Fleshammels, which means 'flesh shelves'. That's because the street was the home to all the butcher's in the city in medieval times

Pic.No.3 But the jewell in the crown of York, is the minster ..... here you get a glimpse of it at the end of another ancient street

Pic.No.4 And as you get nearer, it increases in size ...............

Pic.No.5 Until BAM! You end up right outside the main entrance to York Minster ... and man alive, men alive, is it awesome or what? It is so enormous that no more than a third of the building fits into each photograph

Pic.No.6 Even more amazing is the fact that the York Minster was built between 1291 and 1472 AD (it's older than the Bride of Wilderstein). And they had no scaffolding, no diggers, no cranes, no specialised tools, no concrete .... and most of all ..... no hi-vis vests. They were crazy sausages!

Pic.No.7 Who on earth dreamed up the concept of York Minster when everyone else in the land was wearing sackcloth and eating cabbage? It's gob-smacking

Pic.No.8 As we walked away from the Minster, we passed this building with a 'blue plaque' attached to it. Now just in case you don't know ...... buildings in the UK have a blue plaque assigned to them if they are of historical significance ...... so I went to investigate

Pic.No.9 How excellent is this? It was the birth place of Guy Fawkes in 1570 AD. If you aren't from England, Guy Fawkes is a chap who tried to blow-up the Houses of Parliament in 1605 (but failed). Because of that, 'Guy Fawkes' Night' is celebrated every 5th November in the UK, and fireworks are let off throughout the land

Pic.No.10 The day was ended with a large coffee in a Costa Coffee Shop. Mine was so big that it had two handles to help me drink it. Bloody glutton I am. And my hair had gone flat because of some weedy rain that had swept in

So dahlink, we need to spruce up Boxing Day because it is generally a bit hit and miss - what tradition should we introduce for Boxing Day to make it interesting every year? Go on ..... let's come up with some top ideas!!

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