Tuesday, March 31, 2009

York Un

I went to York this weekend and stayed at Chateau Clay. He is staying in a massive house which has its own library, multiple bedrooms and - rumour has it - a dungeon. Clay's primary task is to keep the house cat well fed, something he failed to do on Sunday. Fortunately I was on hand to soothe the savage beast, who was pacing up and down the hallway growling, hissing and generally looking furious. Apparently it starts every day by trying to claw Clay's eyes out until he gives it food - this particular morning however, he cowered under the duvet so the cat came to torment me.

I scooped half a tin of salmon-flavoured horsemeat into a bowl, and as if by magic the cat was transformed from wild-eyed predator to purring ball of fluff. I reckon Steve Irwin could have picked up a tip or two from me about taming the beast.

Once Clay had surfaced from his pit, we took a walk round York's city walls. The daffodils were out in force, so needless to say we took half a million pictures of flowers. All very exciting, I'm sure.

York's walls were built a thousand years ago to defend against the threat of foreign attack. Today, foreigners are drawn to the walls, to gasp and coo at the daffodils and generally get in the way. What would the Romans or Vikings have made of it all? Nothing - they would have torched the lot and put the populace to the sword.

York Deux

Later on, Marcus came round. Clay had better things to do than hang out with the likes of us, so while he went off to a barbecue, Marcus and I went to try out some informal portraiture. We started off in Wentworth College at the University of York.

While I readied myself for an intense photographic session with some combat meditation, Marcus stole some paper for me to use as a snoot on the flash. This helped narrow the light into a beam, see above.

In the corridor just behind Marcus is the entrance to Wentworth computer room. This is usually a hive of activity, and means that the corridor is normally crammed with panicking students who are trying to finish assignments. I don't know what Marcus did when he got my snoot, but no one came out of the computer room after his visit. Presumably he blocked the exit with the bodies of the dead.

The pictures above and below were taken at Clay's mansion, while he showed us some combat footage from some sort of computer game. Hence Marcus' suitably impressed expression.

I haven't got any pictures of Clay's cat just yet, partly because it moves like lightning, and is therefore almost impossible to photograph.


alex_sotheran said...

Will you be coming to York when I'm there? and what is this obsession you all have with hanging out at the University? It's like you can't let go.

Lily Roth said...

My dear Mr. McKibbin,

I am very glad to hear that YOU, at least, made sure that dear Cleo had her food. Dr. Clay is inevitably cruelly depriving that gentle old lady of food. If he cowers from her claws, he is craven indeed! She is not "clawing his eyes out" as you so melodramatically put it, but rather is gently tapping him on the cheek with her velveted paws and miaowing plaintively for her breakfast.
Poor old dear. I do hope she didn't leave you any presents? She was rather overgenerous with her regurgitative gifts when Mr. Roth & myself were visiting last month. Sigh.

Mrs. Lily Roth

Craig said...

Cleo was thoroughly delightful during my all to brief sojourn at Chateau Clay. She didn't bring me any gifts, but rather sweetly drooled over everything within a six inch radius of her head.

I only have Dr Clay's word that Cleo tries to claw his eyes out every morning - methinks you may be correct, and she is simply caressing his cheek with velveteen paw....