Thursday, 14 July 2011
When we are out and about on the roads up here in July and August and those roads are clogged with drivers going slowly to look at the scenery (whilst we are in a hurry to get somewhere) we tend to curse the tourists.
But being realistic, these folk who come up here to see our lovely churches, our beautiful scenery, our old mills and pretty villages are really the life-blood of the area. They bring money to our little towns and markets and to our shops. They need to eat somewhere, so they bring money to our cafes and restaurants and tearooms. I doubt there would be our fantastic ice cream parlour with its splendid herd of Guernsey cows were it not for the influx of tourists.
And I have to say they do provide interesting conversations. The majority of the people who come are walkers - to walk on our footpaths and in our hills - and many of them have a dog - or two. Every time I go into our little market town at this time of the year I see all kinds of interesting dogs. A really good opener to a conversation is, "Can I stroke him/her?" I have yet to meet anyone who refused and through that opening I have had some lovely conversations.
Last week there were two Labradoodles; these dogs seem to be up and coming pets these days. A cross between a Labrador and a Poodle means the friendliness of a Labrador and the non-moult of the Poodle - can't be bad. I love Pugs and used to own one and I see that now they have crossed a Pug with a Beagle and made a Puggle. Now I am looking forward to seeing one of those amongst the tourists this year.