Ilkley, United Kingdom
We awoke this morning, feeling inexplicably fine, to a gorgeous day that was ripe for excursion. Diane and I hopped on a train and headed to the big smoke… or perhaps the medium smoke of nearby Leeds.
We started with a coffee at an Italian cafe in Millennium Square in the vain hope that they might get it right, they didn’t. Never mind, it was enough to be sitting in the warm sunshine, under a peerless blue sky with flowers blooming out of baskets all around. After our ‘coffee’, we sat a while on the steps of the Civic Hall just soaking in the goodness of the day.
We meandered around the streets and stopped in at the art gallery to see a Damien Hirst exhibition complete with the recreation of his ‘Pharmacy’ restaurant and the unfortunate half sheep in formaldehyde. It occurred to me that all I’d known of his work prior to this were these controversial, headline pieces so it was interesting to see some of his lesser known work. I found his ‘Anatomy of an Angel’ sculpture to be strangely beautiful leaving me far more impressed than I expected to be going in.
We tarried a while in the galleries ornate cafe over tea (having given up hope of a decent coffee) before continuing our exploration through familiar streets which ultimately led us back to the train station and from there, back to Ilkley.
After the excesses of yesterday, we opted for a quiet night in feasting on leftover curries and reading each others Tarot cards. I’m certain it amounted to little more than us contorting the meaning of the cards into our best wishes for each other (which is not to undermine the power of best wishes). The patron saint of this journey – the fool – eventually floated to the top of the deck reminding me that I still have a path to travel but for now, I’m happy to be still, right here, right now.