My cousin and his wife, the ones we went to Winchester and Arundel with a few weeks ago, came to stay last week, so we were out and about in our “local” (within 100 miles) area. It’s one of those things, you don’t appreciate your own back yard until it’s time to think of places to take guests and then there’s suddenly a lot to choose from.
There was a vintage fair in our nearest town, Rotherham, with live music from the 1940’s and 50’s. Unfortunately, this included a George Formby tribute act, which begs the question, why the Hell would you want to pay a tribute to George Formby? Anyway, all his songs have now been added to the “Songs I never liked” category and are henceforth consigned to the flames. There was also a BeeBop band with a girl singer who had a most mellifluous voice, in absolute contrast to the nasal squeaks of the above mentioned torturer of innocent words.
There were vintage cars, which we were all drooling over and motor bikes too, which had the guys doing a bit of mental time travel, back to when they were Yorkshire versions of James Dean, rather than hopeful auditioners for a new series of Last of the Summer Wine.
Rotherham has a little chapel built into the bridge across the river, called, with a stunning lack of originality, the Chapel on the Bridge. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotherham_Bridge) Actually, it’s also known as Chantry Bridge but I try never to miss an opportunity for sarcasm. It dates from about the 14th century and is normally kept locked, but it was open to the public that day, so we went to have a look. It is, of course, tiny but it does have a crypt, which was used as the town gaol at one time. (It certainly wouldn’t be big enough nowadays!) My elder daughter, who is claustrophobic and subject to panic attacks, decided she would go down into the crypt, which is accessible via a steep ladder through a hole in the floor. She and the loved one went down there, as did my cousin, but his wife and I stayed above ground, ostensibly to offer comfort and succour to those traumatised by the experience. (That’s my story and I won’t accept that fear had anything to do with the decision.)
You may imagine my surprise and a certain amount of reluctant pride when she surfaced a while later, apparently sane. (?) Her hair hadn’t even turned white. Pink, yes, it always is. Edgar Allen Poe would have had to give up writing if his heroines were all like her.
On another day, we took a trip out to the coast and visited Whitby, which is about eighty miles away. It’s a spectacular journey across the North Yorkshire Moors and, as it’s a small, old fishing village that has grown over the years to accommodate tourists, parking is at a premium. The loved one put his safety at risk by reminding me to take my pensioner’s bus pass, as we would be using the Park and Ride system. This suggestion was dangerous on two counts; firstly, because reminding me that I am old enough to have a bus pass is, as they say, contra-indicated and, secondly, because our experience with Park and Ride has not been entirely successful in recent times. (See my post –Songs I Never Liked )
However, my fears proved groundless and we parked, rode and alighted with no trouble at all. And I do love Whitby. Built into the hillsides on either side of the River Esk, it has little cobbled streets and tiny shops, steep lanes where no car could ever squeeze through and loads of pubs. (Always a positive sign.) We strolled through the old town, peering into the windows of jewelry shops at the lovely trinkets made out of local jet. Oooo, there is some lovely stuff in those shops. (See http://www.whitbyjet.co.uk/) Did I buy any? Well, no, but only because I saw something I liked better and decided to discuss it with the loved one at a later time.
Apart from its attractions as a fishing port, with a lovely beach and lots of pubs, Whitby has another claim to fame. It is where Bram Stoker set much of his novel “Dracula” . You can walk the same streets, stroll through the same graveyard and, if you are completely crazed, climb the 199 stone steps up to the church and the great Abbey of St Hilda at the top. From what I remember from previous visits, the view from the top is spectacular and it’s easy to envisage the Demeter, bruised and beaten by the storm, slipping between the two arms of the harbour and safely in to port.
I didn’t climb the steps this time, no surprises there, but, I hear you ask, Why Not? Because there’s a pub at the bottom that sells some of the best fish and chips in the UK. You have to weigh it up – Climb 199 steps, cardiac arrest, intensive care… or sit in a lovely old pub, overlooking the harbour and eat a splendid meal, saving the cardiac arrest until the cholesterol from the fish and chips kicks in. So we went in the Duke of York, sat by the window overlooking the water, and ordered lunch. It’s tough, but you have to do it.
Apart from its attractions as a fishing port, with a lovely beach and lots of pubs, AND being Dracula’s stomping ground, Whitby has another claim to fame. Oak smoked kippers. It has one of the oldest smoke houses still in use in the whole of Europe. It’s a bit primitive but the results are irresistible. You can see some bacon hanging there too, smoked and delicious. Never mind the jet jewelry, gimme the kippers.
Anyway, all in all, Whitby was a great success, including the drive home via Scarborough and a cup of tea on Marine Drive. We were shattered by the time we got home and slept like logs that night.
Do you remember I posted an unfinished ZIA of a Fengle flower that I did on the plane? Well, it’s done, I think, so here you can see a sort of W.I.P and a completed one. Having had guests, I’ve done less drawing than normal, although it tends to go in fits and starts anyway.
When we were in Scotland a few weeks ago, I started a little one of elephants, using a Dreamweaver stencil as my string. As is often the case, I put it on one side and then picked it up to finish it this week. I quite like the finished product; it’s not particularly complex but I think my grandson may like it. You can see it, already framed, at the top of the page. (I happened to have an appropriately sized frame ready.)
And then Square One on Facebook focused on Hollibaugh and i remembered this based on a Youtube tutorial by Miraculous Mosquito. Lots of fun, as you can imagine.
So now I can wait for Diva Day and see what the next Challenge is. Looking forward to it, as always…
So Diva Day is here and the guest Challenger is Lee Darter, who asks us to use several tangles in a sort of three ring circus arrangement. Tropicana is a favourite of mine and one of the first i learned, Fescu and Florz are also standbys but I rarel use Cack. Two reasons for this; firstly, it makes my head hurt and, secondly, where I come from, the word cack is a colloquialism for poo, so I get a fit of juvenile giggles whenever I see this pattern.
However, having recovered from my bout of scatological humour, I got on with it and, you know what, it really was fun.
So that’s it for now, I have some drawers to tidy. See you soon, world, be happy.