Sunday, 12 April 2009

Thirteen - Unlucky for Sam?


If Dracula can't kill me, nobody can!

Moonwalk number four complete and another overwhelming success. Though for most of Thursday it looked like I was heading for a big, cloudy, congested failure. Along the motorways and A-roads of Britain, a million accidents caused a million miles of jams. I don't think I've ever taken a more complicated route.

We'd booked in for the 8pm Dracula tour of Whitby, courtesy of the man from the shadows, the raconteur, author and singer, the jolly nice chap himself, Mr Harry Collett. But at 7.55pm Sam, an old friend, and I were still circling the one-way system of North Yorshire's Cornish-looking town for our B&B, which we'd hastily booked earlier in the day, completely underestimating the newfound popularity of British holidays.

After a sprint from Gary's Full English in John Street, we reached Harry and his 25 "victims" (in the nicest sense of the word) beside the whale bone arch, overlooking the harbour. We had seconds to spare. Whitby Abbey, in front of a thick, grey cloud, sat proudly across from us.

"You know what they say: expect...the unexpected."

*cackles maniacally*

The tour was great fun and must be saved for the book. It was so good I didn't mind parting with £9.50 and buying "The Ghosts of Whitby Town", a CD of Harry telling some of his favourite tales of nasties and ghouls, all in his wonderfully lilting North-East accent. "Tha Go-usts uf Whitbee Tow-en".

To find out how, according to a smashing Essex couple outside the Royal Hotel - where A(Bra)ha(m) Stoker stayed, with a view of the abbey on the hills opposite - Brighton and the Catholic Church can easily be confused, you'll have to buy the book.

And to know whether our 13-mile Good Friday pilgrimage between 13 churches to bury a crucifix in the holy ground of St Mary's Church was successful, you'll also need to bug a publisher to publish Moonwalking and then buy the book. Or ask me really nicely.

And to find out how this little face of enthusiasm...

...became this face of pain...

...and inspired this sketch of an 80 year old Ringo Starr lookalike...

...all you need to know is that my friend, like me, hadn't prepared for miles and miles and miles of walking along bumpy tracks, main roads, down slippery hills, across brooks, along crumbling coast lines, through rain. In day light and under full moon. Thankfully, my legs held out and my knees stayed unlocked. Sam - sadly - didn't make it to the end of the trip quite so unscathed.

And after Harry made that move on him, with the neck stroking and whispering, like the girl on the bench who sunk her teeth into her butcher boyfriend after playful flirting, you can't blame Sam for resting up for the next week or so. Or at least until those red marks fade from his neck.

Whitby and the North York Moors provided some of the highlights of the year. So far. If you're looking for a weird weekend with a group of vampire fanatics, mountains of Yorkshire Puddings, a rugged coastal walk and a bit of a religious experience, hop in the car or jump on a train for a visit.

"You...won't be disappointed."

*cackles sleepily*


Sam said...

Cheers for taking me along matey!

My rubbish legs are now back to normal you'll be pleased to hear!

I can't wait to read this chapter and read how much of a loser I am!

Hurry up and send me the photos!

Rob Self-Pierson said...

Thanks for the company on what turned into quite a pilgrimage. Glad the legs recovered.

Will get the photos to you as soon as possible.