Monday, 7 May 2012

When is 'remote' 'remote'?








Last week's Times did a review on a local B and B in the Wensleydale village of Bainbridge. This village is on the main A684 which runs from the M6 through to the A1 basically and is the main route through this part of the Dales. The reviewer of the B and B, who probably lives in an inner city, spoke of Bainbridge as being 'remote'. Well, I wouldn't call it a Metropolis, but there are other villages within a couple of miles, whichever way you go. For 'remote' here you would need to go up Ravenstonedale or Tan Hill, both of which have isolated farms which are the only buildings visible in any direction.

Today we had to go to Sedbergh, which meant driving down the A 684 through Bainbridge and the surrounding villages, through Hawes and on to the little market town of Sedbergh. We took Tess and we took a picnic lunch and a flask of coffee. On the way back we intended to call at Cotter Force, a waterfall which has featured many times on this blog, for a dog walk. However, we changed our minds and went instead into an offshoot of Wensleydale - Cotterdale. Now that I really would call remote.

Many years ago I heard a lady from there give a talk on patchwork. Somebody asked her when she learned to do such beautiful work. She replied that when she was a girl in the 1940's, winters could be very bad and often the dale was cut off from the outside world for as long as six weeks, so they couldn't go to school. They never ran out of food because her parents would know that they had to stockpile it for such an occasion. To occupy the girls her mother would collect bits of old material throughout the summer months - old summer dresses, shirts etc. Then, when they were snowed in, they would make quilts - all sitting round the fire, laughing and talking and sewing. She said they were some of the most memorable parts of her life.

I took some photographs of Cotterdale for you to see. The buildings are right at the end of the Dale and that is all there is - maybe seven or eight houses and i think some of them are holiday cottages. There is one farm.

The stony bank of the little beck is a perfect nesting place for oyster catchers. Two were there and flew on to the wall. They are in the photograph - perhaps if you blow it up to fill the screen you will just be able to see them. The fields were full of Swaledale ewes and their lambs, the beck had ducks, oyster catchers, wagtails, dippers - all carried on as though we weren't there - I don't think they associate a car with humans. I also took a photograph of a dear little rabbit on the side of the beck. It is so tiny you can hardly see it but I am putting the photograph on anyway.

So, you reporters from London and the like, make sure you really know what 'remote' is before you describe a thriving village on a main road as such. In any case those of us who live up here like to keep it that way.

Incidentally, the photograph with a small building in the middle distance - the building is probably a lime kiln.

17 comments:

it's me said...

May we always have remote places...

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Remote, unspoiled and wonderful.
I love walking on the Isle of Skye and feeling so far away from everything. It's just the best feeling ever.

MorningAJ said...

The reviewer was probably someone from London. 'Remote' is anywhere beyond the reach of the Underground by their definition.

angryparsnip said...

Wonderful post today.
Lets hope you can keep your beautiful area unspoiled and remote.
I think Tucson has gotten to big. We are not remote but I wish we where smaller.
Remote for the reviewer is probably not having a Starbucks within two steps.

cheers, parsnip

Gwil W said...

Like the new title picture.

I recently walked all day in the sunshine in Snowdonia. Saw only two people. Lovely it was.

jill said...

Remote sounds good to me,lovely photos Pat hope you are well Love Jill xx

Dartford Warbler said...

What a beautiful part of the limestone Dales. Cotterdale looks like a wonderful place to have grown up and learn the art of patchwork, on days when the snow drifts were too high to pass through.

Irene said...

That's remore allright. I don't know how I would feel about that. Do they have internet there? I could not live without it.

SAS said...

Remote and very beautiful. Being "out in the boonies" has it's pluses in my humble opinion.

Reader Wil said...

For Dutch people this will be very remote. I wish we had some remote places, but we are so overcrowded, that living in a village like mine is almost the next thing to remote. You can understand that living in Australia is the opposite of this life in the Netherlands. And I think that is what you call, remote.

ChrisJ said...

The Hebrides and the Shetlands would be my definition of remote!

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

I suppose it depends on what you're remote from. The residents of Cotterdale probably view Oxford St. as remote from their lives. Lovely area anyway (Cotterdale, not Oxford St.!)

The Weaver of Grass said...

Irene asks whether they have the internet or not - I don't know but I would very much doubt it.
I am not sure how I would live in such a remote place. I do like company (on my own terms) and think I might get lonely if I went all day without seeing anybody; walking in such a place is lovely if you know you are going back to some kind of 'civilisation' after the walk. Thanks for visiting.

Dave King said...

Remote to me means a lonely Scottish Island - or at best a croft on Sutherland's West Coast. As always a post to get the juices running. Fine pics.

Robin Mac said...

Love the photos, and can relate to the remoteness or otherwise according to the writer. We have such vast distances here in Australia that city folk can't believe the distances between towns - nearly 3000 km from the southern border of Queensland to the tip of Cape York - and there are some very remote places in Cape York!

Crafty Green Poet said...

It's all relative really, and if inner city types only discover the edges of what is remote than so much the better for the truly remote places!

Golden West said...

That is beautiful country, Weaver. It looks much unchanged from how I would imagine it back in the days we can only read about.