Our day out was very enjoyable. I fully intended to post details when I arrived home, but a crisis intervened.
I had only been home about an hour when there was a great , commotion in the yard and Tess started barking furiously. Then I lady I didn't know ran past the kitchen window. When she didnt appear at the back door I went out to see what was happening. She was standing at the bottom of the yard screaming at a Jack Russell terrier and beating him. Tess could, of course, hear him yelping.
When she saw me she ran up the yard (with the dog on his leash) crying out 'Oh I am so sorry, I am so sorry.' After I had calmed her down I found out the her dog, quite out of character , had left her on the lane outside our gate, rushed down the yard to where my chickens were happily scratching about, and killed one.
I assured her that it was not her fault and that the hen was about eight years old and it was too late to do anything anyway. We then chatted (I thought it would calm her down) and it transpired that her mother, who died sixteen years ago, had been a friend of mine and that her father was a friend of the farmer and belonged to the same shooting syndicate. I think what had happened was that she had just been on holiday for a fortnight and had left the dog with her father, who has two labradors. Her father told her that her terrier was far too fat and he would get in in shape while she was away by letting it run wild on the moors with his two dogs.
As soon as she had gone I rang the farmer and asked him to come and make sure the poor hen was actually dead and not suffering. In fact he found that the dog had injured two hens and that neither was dead, so he had to kill them both. A shame, but we really couldn't blame her and she was so very upset.
Now to Ripon. It was a pleasant drive down and lunch in Lockwoods, North Street, Ripon - an award winning bistro - was excellent. Charming young staff, lovely atmosphere and delicious risotto - bacon, pea and parmesan - very large portions, so much that I couldn't finish mine. We ate it with soda water and lime juice and decided to have a coffee later. I forgot to photograph the actual meal (we both had the same) but here is a photograph of the interior of the bistro.
Now on to the Art Exhibition in the Cathedral.
We were in many ways rather disappointed as we didn't feel that the display was as good as it has been in previous years - maybe it is better to say that it wasn't to our taste. But it was interesting to look round nevertheless, and there was one large video display which was absolutely captivating and which I would happily have on my television screen at home (although of course the one in the cathedral was much larger).
It showed open sands and a gentle, benign sea. Then a tractor came and wove intricate circular patterns in the sand. Cumbrian heavy horses appeared -fifteen of them, with riders, and they followed the patterns - first you saw just their bodies, then their feet and finally the whole of them plus riders. As is always the case in cathedrals, the light was not conducive was to photography but I managed to capture one shot.
Perhaps the highlight for many people was that The Northern Sinfonia were playing Dvorak and Vivaldi that evening in the opening concert of the Ripon Festival and they were having their final rehearsal. I find listening to music painful because I used to play to a high standard, accompanying our school's Gilbert and Sullivan productions and staff variety shows, as well as playing a number of early instruments (harpsichord, recorders, crumhorns, and the like). Now my hearing problems are such that I can no longer differentiate between the notes and hear them all as one big jumble. I thought they were playing Vivaldi when in fact they were playing Dvorak - and as I know the Four Seasons well, this about said it all.
We ended our afternoon by popping in to Booth's, a supermarket in the town - just for a wander round (and a sample of Welsh cake which was on offer). Then the ride home. A lovely afternoon.