The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed that I took a short break from blogging recently. At the end of May I went to the UK to stay with my Dad for a couple of weeks. This was a big deal for me. It was the first time that I have travelled on my own since the kids were born. My eldest is coming up to 17 and is always busy with his own stuff. His younger brother still hangs around at home a lot more but, with the freezer packed full of homemade meals and plenty of invitations to friends, I knew they could definitely cope without me, even if it meant an little more work for Mister Handmade in Israel.
Off to the UK I went!UK City of Culture this year and so I decided that I was going to spend my whole trip there on this occasion. It was a good decision.
The sun shone for quite a few days of my visit. Now, I will be the first to agree that the north of England in the rain can be a bit miserable, but in the sunshine my hometown looked wonderful! Dad was keen to show me the city centre and the pier. We saw the excellent Travel Photographer of the Year exhibition, and passed by The Deep (I have visited it several times previously). He pointed out the recently renovated Zebedee's Yard, the site of the old Trinity House Navigation School, and we spotted the Spurn Lightship in the Hull Marina.
Another day we travelled to Lincoln and walked around its pretty medieval town. Lincoln was once home to one of the five most important Jewish communities in England, before the Jews were expelled en masse in 1290. We stopped to look at the mid-twelfth century Jews' Court on Steep Hill and went into the beautiful cathedral too, though we didn't spot the cheeky little Lincoln Imp there but on another building's wall.
Of course we ate fish and chips (twice!) and I fitted in some clothes shopping too. My Dad wins the award for the world's most patient dad since he sat in his car reading his newspaper for three hours whilst I chose clothes in the Kingswood Retail Park.
Then it was back to Hull. There was more to see. Holy Trinity Church was until recently the largest parish church in England by floor area. In May of this year it became Hull Minster. Renovations are currently taking place on the building and it is already looking rather wonderful.
We spotted the smallest window in England in The George Hotel on Land of Green Ginger, a narrow street in the old town area of Hull. Can you see the window in the photo above? The new memorial for lost fishermen in Hull, below, a 9 ft tall steel sculpture depicting 13 trawlermen standing in an overlapping line, was created by local artist Peter Naylor. Around 6000 fishermen from Hull are believed to have died at sea. The city has been a major British fishing port for centuries.
Humber Bridge. I watched the bridge, a 2,220-metre (7,280 ft) single-span suspension bridge, being built as a child. It opened to traffic on 24 June 1981 and, when it was opened, it was the longest of its type in the world. The Humber Bridge Country Park, which we accessed from the bridge car park, has really been developed since I was last there. Set amongst woods, meadows, ponds and cliffs (the area was once quarried for chalk, and the old quarry cliff terraces now form the edges of the reserve), it was a lovely place to visit to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, and to enjoy a walk amongst the trees.
Then it was time to get ready for the reason I had travelled to Hull in the first place. Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott were performing their Beauty In The East show at Hull KR's Lightstream Stadium in Craven Park. Mister Handmade in Israel had surprised me with a ticket last Chanukah, and my best friend had come up from London for a few days to join me. We were very excited...