A bit after Christmas but before work kicked off again, in that moment between, when everything is calm and you take stock of the things that were and the things that are to come, D and I took a sneaky half day to ourselves. The boys were delivered to grandma and we took ourselves off to Hull, which is the city closest to where we live. Hull has a bad reputation. It was bombed heavily during WW2 and even without that it's not a pretty place, it's not ornamental. Instead of dolls house aesthetics, what you get is a working harbour with all the grittiness that comes with that. It has it's own charm, and in the years that we've lived in this region, Hull as a city, and Hull as a mentality, have grown very dear to me.
There are pockets of beauty here, moments of poetry, among the honest and rough physicality of the place - what other city can pride itself of a street with the lyrical name 'Land of Green Ginger'? There are places in flux here, like the old Fruit Market, which is about to be redeveloped and will supposedly become a community of arts and crafts and little cafes and restaurants, and there is always the contrast of old and new, destruction and renewal, all placed in front of the backdrop of the sea and the muddy waters of the Humber estuary.
The day we spent in Hull was crisp and cold. We were going to have a meal somewhere, but the restaurant we had in mind was closed. Instead we walked and we looked and enjoyed having the time to just be.