Image to Helmsley

Once at a training I worked at we had this task of presenting an image from our lives. Not like showing a photo, but describing it in a story that led to that moment. So I want to share with you such story, an image from 2020. Although this year seems like such a waste compared to how I was living before, here's an image of a truly happy moment of my life.

It was a cold morning somewhere in mid February. After weeks of melancholy I was given a chance to spend some time with my friends up north, but only under condition that during the weekend I return to London as I promised to help organize and run an event for children.

So once the kids' party was over, I couldn't wait to grab my bag and go away from there. Although my bus wasn't leaving until almost midnight, it was shortly after 11 that I was out of the house and on my way to Victoria station. Once we finally departed, I found myself on a long ride up to Leeds, that wasn't over until six in the morning.

As I slept for most of the journey, I woke up to twilight just faultily showing up on the sky, but more than that, it was also lightly snowing. The central bus station of Leeds with many doors and people constantly coming in and out was a cold place to wait, and while in London I just switched my skiing winter jacket to a smaller and lighter piece, based on the last week's weather up there being pretty mild.

The hour I had to spend there waiting for my transfer seemed so long and tedious, but when the sky finally brightened up and the snow created a white layer on the ground, I saw my next bus coming and I was ready to continue my journey. The bright double-decker was advertising its rides 
all the way to the seaside, where one can enjoy the day at the beach, but the view from the front row of the upper floor was rather revelling me small towns that seemed asleep under the winter blankets and daffodils that weren't awaiting return of the frost.

Unexpected weather conditions caused great traffic delays, and while I expected to spent another morning hour in York, I only got there some dozen minutes before I could board my final ride that will take me back to my friends, to Helmsley.

We were spending a week in this small Yorkshire place, known for the majestic ruins of their former castle and grand cathedral Rievaulx nearby. I knew some people involved from before, while I just met most of them recently, but one thing was for sure, being there made me feel alive again for the first time in more than six months. So leaving them to go do something as unappealing to me as entertaining the kids was truly heartbreaking, and I spent most of the weekend dreaming of the moment when I return.

ruins of the Rievaulx abbey

And now I was so close. Standing at one of the opened bus stops by the park, trying to squeeze under the roof to avoid dripping that snow caused, and imagining how in less than an hour I shall be back and able to sip on a hot tea. I kept checking the arrivals board over and over and over, counting down minutes until my bus will be finally there, when it suddenly disappeared from the list. I paranoidly looked at the time table, where I've previously noticed that some days and school holidays times varied, and kept checking my phone to find out weather the children are currently off school or not, as I've heard it somewhere before. If so, there was almost an hour before I could board a bus, and as I was already getting wet and frozen, I considered walking to the next station further in town, where I could wait in the library until the bus is almost due. But if I'm wrong, there won't be another ride until early afternoon, as our small place of stay only had few regular connections a day, which already made me considered not joining my friends in the first place at all.

As I was silently making up my mind, another bus from the same service that was also supposed to come a while ago and disappeared from the board arrived. I couldn't help myself to step in and enquire by the driver if he knows anything about the schedule of his colleagues. He calmed me down by explaining that due to the weather situation conditions on the road are really bad, as I could have already noticed myself, arriving in York in an endless traffic jam that made us delayed for probably an hour. I thanked him for encouraging words and kept standing under the small roof, until I finally noticed number 31X pulling in the square. Despite all the cold and the snow my heart warmed up, the doors opened and I've entered the bus.

„One ticket to Helmsley, please“ I asked at the driver.
„Only one way?“ he said.

It took me almost 12 hours to get from home in London to my destination up north, the flight to South Africa will take you less. I had to leave for something I didn't even want to do and I missed our cultural night. Therefore as soon as I got out of the bus I went straight to the shop and bought 10 boxes of ice cream with cones for all my friends, as they were imported from my home country and I wanted to celebrate my return with something truly personal to me.

„Yes!“ I replied to the driver and this is the image I wanted to give you, as for everything that was going on trough the last six months, this was the happiest moment of my year.

If any of you involved is reading this, I want to thank you for truly the most precious week I had in 2020.



  1. Loved your photos! Merry Christmas! <3

  2. That's a lovely story, beautifully told. These are tough times; hang in there. And happy holiday.

  3. These are more difficult times than in the end we will learn great lessons through this. Do not lose faith! :)

  4. Beautiful photos and story! You're a great writer!


  5. What a lovely story! Beautiful photos too xx

  6. Definitely difficult times we're living in, so well done for keeping going! And beautiful photos, York is lovely.

    Anika |

  7. It's a shame you had to leave early but nice that you still got to enjoy some time with your friends :)

    Hope that you are having a wonderful Christmas week :)

    Away From The Blue

  8. Glad you could see your friends and spend time with them! Merry Christmas!


  9. Winter wonderland, I love these pics!
    Wishing you a blessed Christmas!
    Kisses, Paola.


    My Instagram

  10. Lovely story, it's been a challenging year so it's nice that you have these moments to reflect on.


  11. 12 hours, you can sleep enough with the times. long journey, nice story.

    have a nice day

  12. I loved theses photos. Enjoy the snow ♥

    Merry xmas

  13. What a lovely story and I enjoyed reading it. Love the moment you shared with the last image. <3

  14. I loved the post and how you conducted the story.
    The photos are beautiful

  15. Amazing story and beautiful pictures!
    Wishing you Merry Christmas, full of joy and happiness!

  16. How nice to travel out of Victoria station I have been there it is beautiful. The snow is nice and festive but ugh the travel nightmares. I remember once in a big store in NYC/NY and getting out of Manhattan 20 miles away took five hours I thought I would never get home!

    Allie of

  17. I'm happy to hear that you have been able to spend some time with friends. Happy holidays and all the best in 2021.

  18. Lovely story and beautiful pictures... thanks for sharing dear :-)
    Beauty and Fashion/Rampdiary/Glamansion

  19. This must have been one long journey. Thanks for sharing your story.
    Happy Holidays Tanja and see you in the new year!

  20. Ah this is such a nice story! Merry Christmas!

    Katie |

  21. Thank you for sharing your warm story and beautiful photos<3
    Your experience encourages me!
    Happy Holidays Tanja!

  22. Such beautiful story!
    So well told through your words and amazing photos!
    Happy Holidays!

  23. Great story! So nice of you to bring ice cream to everyone. :)

    Não Me Mande Flores

  24. Lovely story, babe- and happy holidays and happy new year!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  25. What a crazy story but good that everything worked out in the end hehe!
    I loved the photos, I've never seen snow in my life, so looking through photos looks cool and beautiful.
    I wish a beautiful 2021, which is a very wonderful year for all of us! ♥

  26. Lovely story 1 I wish you all the best for this new year !
    Happy new year.

  27. Sempre bom tiramos algum momento para refletir, eu amei as fotos e espero que esteja tudo bem.
    Desejo uma ótima semana.


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