понедельник, 8 октября 2007 г.

morarwen: Roaming Yorkshire, Day One

[Originally posted Wednesday, November 1, 2006]

Monday, October 23

Another journey to Old Albion was underway, but this time the flying day was totally different from the previous one, only two months earlier. This time I had chosen to fly early in the morning, which means that the entire panic of packing took place on the previous day. As usual, some little things had to stay unpacked in order to be used in the morning, so I kept worrying about leaving something behind until I finally unpacked to find everything in place. It shows that I don't have much trust in my organising abilities, doesn't it?

Anyway, this time I expected to have a very quiet flight; after all, how many people could possibly want to travel to the UK early on a Monday morning? A lot, it seems. The plane was almost full again (no children, though, thankfully). Still, I did get a window seat, which was more than I had managed previously.

The flight itself was uneventful, and the only glitch came when we had actually landed at Heathrow: we were on time, but for some reason we took forever to be let out. Few things can be more irritating. Waiting to board I can handle, but being kept from joining the people I was so eager to see for no apparent reason was a bit too much.

Coming through arrivals, sure enough, I saw Terry and Rosie leaning over the railing, virtually hopping with excitement - well, in Rosie's case, literally. After a round of hugs, we headed off to the car: the drive we had ahead was long.

For almost five hours we went on northward, passing through a number of counties, most quite flat and bland, but the difference in nature started to show before too long. The seasons in Greece are pretty much blurred, and I was looking forward to seeing what a true northern autumn would look and feel like. Terry had told me that the weather in Yorkshire is two weeks ahead of Essex, and although the season of glorious changing leaves was over, I did see enough gold and russet to make my heart glad.

Yorkshire used to be the heart of the country's heavy industry, but most of the coal and steel are gone now. In some curious way, that seems to have deprived the place of some of its spirit. We passed just out of Sheffield and I saw a shopping centre roofed in green glass taking up the city centre, where the steel mills used to stand; impressive, but somehow heartless. Further along the way the imposing Ferrybridge power station with its open coal pit seemed oddly in place in the middle of the countryside. Weird.

We arrived in Selby shortly before 5, and went straight to Ness Cottage, where Terry's brother and his wife would be putting us up for the night. I wished we could visit the impressive abbey, but there was not much time, and to be honest, I was beginning to flag after almost nine hours of travelling.

Leslie and Angela turned out to be charming hosts, and both the dinner that Leslie prepared and the time spent chatting afterwards were more than enjoyable. I had been warned that an argumentative nature runs in the family, and I have seen it displayed by both Terry's siblings, but I suspect that whatever arguments we're going to have in future are going to be the stuff debate clubs are made of.

Still, I was only too happy to retire for the night, around midnight. And I was glad we weren't given the open-plan guest room in the loft, because the smaller one we got had all the cuddly feeling we both craved.

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