In the words of that famous philosopher Ferris Bueller: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”. With this firmly in mind, I stopped on Saturday. I didn’t have a market to go to and the house, DaisychainBaby and everything else will always be there. Instead, I got up at the crack of dawn (seriously, 5.30am!), hopped on the train and headed to York to spend the day with my Twitter friend Emma and her little girl.
York is one of my favourite places in the UK and over the years I’ve always had reason to go and visit. My brother used to study there, my best friend used to live nearby and one of my closest friends is from the city and got married there a few years ago. She even worked in an independent jewellers there and designed my engagement ring with a little guidance from OH so it has a lot of fond memories for me although until Saturday it had been a few years since I last paid a visit.
Emma and I “met” on Twitter. There are many people in my life that don’t get Twitter – either they have accounts but seldom use them or generally have no idea what it’s all about and probably never will. I’m somewhere in between, I set up an account for the business back in 2008 and then had a fairly love-hate relationship with it until about two years ago when I really started engaging properly and have since built up genuine friendships.
Emma has been such a great support to me across so many areas. She is a customer and fab supporter of DaisychainBaby and has helped me get through some really personal stuff. A talented lady too, she makes the most amazing cakes and I had some cupcakes made up for my colleague’s 30th birthday earlier this year as well as turning her hand to dress-making under her Twitter alter-ego, Ooo Lo La York.
I’d promised to go and visit her at the end of last year, thinking I’d have loads of time to make it happen in January/February when markets are quiet and I have free weekends. But then totally out of the blue the house came along and it was June before I finally found a free Saturday ahead and booked my tickets.
After a very early start (leaving at home at 6.20am to catch the 8am train from Kings Cross), seeing Emma and L waiting for me at the station was such a welcome sight. It’s human nature to wonder how people will be in real life – the virtual world can often be so different – but within seconds we were chatting like old friends and headed off for morning coffee.
York is such a beautiful city and all decked out in yellow for the Tour de France it looked stunning. We wandered around the old cobbled streets, chatting and taking in the sunshine before doing our very best ‘ladies who lunch’ impression at Betty’s. What a treat! We both opted for a Welsh rarebit on the specials board whilst L had a ham sandwich and all three of us then tucked into the legendary cakes. Have you ever seen such a blissed out three year old? Unfortunately she couldn’t enjoy the Strawberry Bellinis but Emma and I certainly did.
After our leisurely lunch, we set off for York Minster which despite having visited the city so many times I’d never been in before. As a non-believer, places of religion can make me feel slightly uneasy yet the Minster was so tranquil and it helped that L was insistent we were in fact in a castle. Lighting a candle felt incredibly natural- again, something I never thought I’d do.
L had a fun afternoon running around, she is so incredibly fearless and spirited and seems undaunted by anything, I’m so admirable of the job Emma has done raising her as a single-parent to be so independent. After stopping for afternoon cocktails (do you sense a theme here?!) we went back to Emma’s place via the park for a bit of L playtime. She loves bouncing and swings although wasn’t too sure about one of the fairground rides.
We sat and brainstormed business ideas over tea in her gorgeous back garden before I finally (!) saw a little bit of Frozen and L’s own rendition of ‘Let It Go’ – I feel privileged! All too soon it was time to head back to the station for my sunny journey back to London but it was an amazing day full of relaxation, a gorgeous little girl and cemented friendships. Ferris Bueller was spot on.