The conference is finished and my long, protracted journey back to my lovely little flat is finished. I’m back enjoying home comforts. After a wonderful dinner of beef stew and dumplings (yum! yum!), I’m enjoying the quiet comfort. There’s something infinitely comforting about coming back to something wonderfully familiar. I was tired but it was as if all my stresses just melted away the minute I stepped into the flat!
And to be quite honest, I was looking forward to sleeping in my own bed. I was sleeping in student accommodation. Now mind you, minus the TV, I think it could give the nearest single occupancy Premier Inn room a run for its money. I’m not necessarily complaining. But the walls were thin and there were far too many strange noises in the adjoining rooms. And, let’s face it, there’s really nothing like sleeping in one’s own bed.
The conference seemed to be a success, although I wouldn’t suggest that venue again. While I got a much-needed work out going up and down the hills of the University of Durham, it can be quite a chore. It wasn’t a good feeling, feeling already tired before the day actually started. A majorly major disappointment was that I didn’t get to see the Durham Cathedral. I love visiting churches. Every chance I get, when there’s a church or a small chapel, I go and look at it. I don’t know why I’m so attached to churches I only got to see the cathedral from afar. I promised myself that I’d be able to visit the Durham Cathedral soon. I would love to see this beautiful building up close and personal.
On the way back, I had to change trains at York. I loved looking at the train stations on my way to Durham because the train stations looked beautiful with their tall arches. I’m not sure what style the train station in York was, whether it Victoria, Georgian or Edwardian, but I loved the quaintness of it.
Anyway, while I was waiting for the train that was going to take me to London King’s Cross St. Pancras (where you can find Harry Potter’s Platform 9 3/4—if you’ve never been, there really is a Platform 9 3/4, with one half of a trolley still stuck to the wall!), I happened to look up and noticed the beautifully decorated arches. Mind you, if I hadn’t just finished reading Philippa Gregory’s The White Queen, it wouldn’t have held as much significance to me. It was the white flowers that caught my attention. Then I noticed the coat of arms. The white “flowers” were a representation of the white roses that the Yorkists wore during the War of the Roses (the war between the Yorks and the Lancasters). I had to laugh at myself because there I was, clutching my little trolley case, smiling up at train station arches. I must have looked so strange to the people walking past; this little weird Filipina (not that they would probably know I’m Filipino) smiling bizarrely at the train arches! There is something to be said about reading books. They make your surroundings come alive and become even more significant. This is one of the reasons why I love living in England. It is quite literally living in history. I hope everyone in England appreciates how fortunate they are to be surrounded by so much history!