My mental image of Yorkshire weather is formed by James Herriot and the Brontës and, in March anyway, it involves mist, rain, cold, maybe snow, and very possibly some wuthering winds. When I packed, I brought long-sleeved sweaters and a parka vest. I have long underwear. I have scarves.
Today I wore a T-shirt.
And if I hadn’t been riding a horse in the afternoon, I would have worn a sundress and sandals.
And if, uh, I’d had a sundress and sandals.
The morning started with a full English breakfast:
|The eggs were laid about forty feet away.|
‘I MADE IT YESTERDAY’ LEMON CURD. That’s all I’m saying.
Except maybe Oooooh. Gimme some more.
This was the view onto the balcony:
Did I mention there’s a balcony?
With French doors?
My mother has given me an A+ in the B&B-picking department.
The view from the bathroom window:
|I love clotheslines. They don’t have them where I live.|
After lazing around a bit we went for a walk. And the light was absolutely horrible, photography-wise; not only was it about noon but it was apparently summer. I’ve had to tweak the heck out of these photos just to make them look like they weren’t taken on the Savannah.
My mother kept saying, ‘Come over here, let me take your picture’ and she wouldn’t believe me when I said ‘It will not look good‘ and then it didn’t look good and then we had the same conversation another quarter mile on. And it didn’t look good there either.
|Boltby. This is it.|
As we walked partway down the road to Thirlby, which is nearer the bottom of the valley, I stopped to peer through a particularly wild hedge.
And to my surprise, a herd of cows came rushing over to say hi.
|The bull showed up a minute later and we thought it best to move on.|
|I love this gnarly tree.|
|This tree and the sunbleached grass make me think ‘Africa,’ not ‘Northern England.’ Did I take a wrong turn somewhere?!|
|The sheep sassed me with stentorian ‘MRAAAAAH’s as I stopped to take pictures.|
|The view from the driveway.|
After we got back to the B&B I headed back down the road to the trekking center. No photos from horseback-riding – sorry.
Boltby Pony Trekking is right down the (single) street and is one of the reasons why I chose to stay in Boltby. Riding a mare oddly named ‘Rustler,’ I went out with the proprietress Sheila Ashby and a nice fellow named Paul.
What I’d signed up for was a 90 minute ride (‘that’s what I can squeeze you in for’) and I was expecting a circle around the valley. Nope! Try a two-and-a-half hour ride, up the hill, across the ridge and down again into the – I guess I’ll call it a dale. Fabulous! I forgot how much I enjoy riding horses.
I also forgot how lazy they are. If you let them they will just drift to a stop and have a munch on the grass.
We circled around the house that used to belong to Donald Sinclair, which was the real man on whom James Herriot based his character Siegfried Farnon. (I recall reading that Sinclair wasn’t too thrilled.) The house was a mish-mash of styles – was that a sort of turret-y thing I saw in front?!
Sheila said that the new owners have put in a full theater room with twenty or so seats and a control booth. Oh-kay.
Dinner was omelets I made with chopped-up pork belly left over from our dinner at the Lord Nelson; cheddar; and fresh eggs the B&B owner gave us. I had a crumpet with her homemade lemon curd on the side and at one point I looked down and laughed: both things on my plate were bright orange!
|You know they’re fresh when they’ve still got the feathers on.|
After dinner my mother put down a slice of toast to have with more lemon curd and promptly set the smoke alarm off. I don’t know what it is with this trip and smoke alarms! As it wailed its brains out she ripped it off the ceiling and popped out the battery. That takes a lot longer to do than it does to read it so I was cringing over my tea, waiting for the B&B owners to come pounding up the stairs to see whether we were burning their house down. But thank God, they didn’t even hear.
As the sun went down, and the stars came out, most people would sit down and admire the view.
I was too busy fiddling with my shutter speed and shouting, ‘I would kill for a tripod right now!’
|Orion was right behind the tree, but I was limited by the fact that I had to prop my camera on the railing.|
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