|I am not ever going to get tired of this view.
When I asked during breakfast yesterday if the B&B owner ever had black pudding, she said, ‘I’ve never made it. In fact I’ve never had any. Didn’t like the look of it.’ Then, sweetheart that she is, she bought some for us, and oh do I love that stuff.
Unfortunately it doesn’t love me. I knew that it was probably made with a breadcrumb binder but I was willing to do that. I can tolerate little bits of wheat as long as I don’t overdo it.
But I can’t eat oats. At all at all. Assuming I want to get out of bed during the four or five hours afterwards.
When it was two o’clock on a bright sunny afternoon, and in spite of a pot of very strong tea (when they serve black tea in Yorkshire they mean black) I was unable to keep my eyes open for more than thirty seconds at a stretch, I took an educated guess and Googled the common ingredients of black pudding. Breadcrumbs and/or OATMEAL.
Yeah, that was dumb.
But the nice thing is, I knew it would wear off.
Finally around two thirty I started to feel better, allowing my brain’s desire to go walking in the countryside (which was the point of visiting it) to win out over my body’s desire to crawl back into bed.
After a discussion in which we weighed the masses of advice given to us about various walking paths – from our landlady, from the gal at the tourist office, from the cabbie when we arrived – we decided to do the easy 1.25 mile walk to Thirlby. My mother is not much of a walker and I was, well, I was recovering but not tiptop.
Also, James Herriot used to live there, so I had a sneaky touristy motive as well.
Armed with the appropriate bit chopped out of Ordnance Survey Map OL 27, North York Moors, we set off in search of the public footpath. There is a road (of sorts) but that’s no fun!
An explanation to my American friends. In England there are public footpaths which go over private land. As in, if you see the yellow arrow, you can open the gate and walk through the field until you find the arrow on the other side. Repeat. Don’t let the cows out, please.
See, my British friends, in the US this might get you shot, or at least yelled at, or at least would get a landowner staring at you with an incredulous look of what is this crazy person smoking? As my mother and I followed our map, hunting yellow arrows like early Easter eggs, I kept looking around nervously, half expecting to hear a shotgun being racked.
However, our only company was a pair of friendly horses:
|Maybe a little too friendly. No, I don’t have any food for you.
and the same guy on his tractor passing us three times in different directions.
|As we walked out through Boltby.
We made it to Thirlby eventually, with only one squabble along the way in which my mother once again doubted my ability to navigate by map in spite of the fact that I have been doing it successfully for the whole of this trip.
‘THIS. You see this line? This is the road. It is right THERE.’ (Pointing.) ‘So the map orients like THIS.’
‘But we don’t go ON the road!’
‘Right. The road turns. We go across the corner. STOP TURNING THE MAP.’
‘But WE DON’T GO ON THE ROAD!‘ (Turning the map.)
‘Also, there is a sign with a name on it right in front of us JUST GIVE ME THE MAP!‘
I did know where we were but there was no yellow arrow in that pasture or the next one up, so we did in fact go on the road. Not as photogenic as the fields, but at least we weren’t likely to anger any sheep who weren’t supposed to be disturbed.
My map-reading skills were vindicated when we walked through Thirlby and found the other end of the path we’d been trying to find.
‘PUBLIC FOOTPATH DIVERTED. FOLLOW MARKED ROUTE.’
It would have been nice if they’d put that note at both sides of the diversion. No?
|This was the representative sheep-in-the-field photo I have tried and failed to get for the last three days.
Later on I found out that Rosie, James Herriot’s daughter, still lives in Thirlby. You can too, if you want to live in a town with a population of less than 150 people. There are houses for sale.
It’s cute but…hmm…think I’ll pass.
On the way out, the only occupied field we’d walked through was the one containing the two horses; on the way back we met some cows. I think they may have been the same cows from the other day who really liked us.
Or wanted to eat us or stomp us into pulp or whatever goes through cow brains.
‘I hope they don’t come over,’ my mother said as we walked around the far edge of the field. ‘I don’t want to get gubbed on.’ (‘Gubbing’ being what animals do with wet noses and tongues.)
‘Too bad because it looks like they…are…COMING…gosh, they move fast.’
‘What do they want with us?!’
|I waited until we were on the other side of the gate before I took photos.
On the way out we had walked parallel to what I would call a stream, but what seems to be in local parlance a ‘beck.’ I kept expecting to see Little Grey Rabbit tiptoeing along the bank with a basket of flowers. I promised myself that on the way home I would stop at a part with a shallow bank and dip my toes in the water.
I did and it was lovely.
Then after carefully checking for stickers and dung, I climbed up the bank with my shoes in hand and wiped my feet off on the clean grass.
Whereupon a small nasty insect BIT ME.
It felt like a nasty pinprick but when I looked, expecting a splinter, I couldn’t see a thing. Neither could my mother. So whatever. I slipped my shoe back on and limped back home.
Several hours later, when my foot got tingly, got a swollen patch, and produced three miniscule red dots, I did Google to make sure there were no poisonous bugs in northern England. (There aren’t.) Why is it that this sort of bizarre reaction happens when you intend to be on your feet the whole next day?
(An icepack overnight has kicked it, thankfully!)
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