Friday, 2 June 2017

Almost a Day Off.

Today friend W and I had what is one of our all time favourite days - we went across the Pennines to meet our friends P and D in the Italian Restaurant in Kirby Lonsdale on the edge of the Lakes.

I took Tess for a walk around the fields before I went off at 10.45 - perhaps I should take her to help her to socialise now that I am moving into town, but frankly trying to walk with a stick, a handbag and an umbrella (it was raining) is already far too much without having a dog on a lead as well.   And she seemed quite happy when I returned.

Three things stand out from today.   First of all the wonderful scenery.   It is always a lovely journey but today it was even better because the trees (quite a lot of the time we were 1000 feet) were newly green, the 'candles' on the horse chestnuts were in full bloom, the May blossom, which has about finished here, was still in full flower - and the buttercups - oh the buttercups- almost every field we passed was golden yellow.

Then the 'travellers' were on the move.   Soon it is Appleby Horse Fair, when travellers from all over the country journey there, and the road was peppered with gypsy caravans pulled by lovely old 'carthorses' as we used to call them - piebald in the main, heavy hooved and gentle.   Sadly a few of them leave a mess behind when they move on (they stop overnight on green spaces) and that does get them all a bad name, but I like to think that the majority act in a law-abiding way and their traditional wandering is brought to life just for a short time again (many of the live in houses now and some have Professional jobs and just enjoy the atmosphere 'on the road'.)

Finally meeting our friends is always enjoyable as we swap news and get 'up to date' - and the food in Avanti is exceptional.  W and I both had the same thing - prawn and chorizo risotto garnished with rocket and a side dish of mushroom, tomato and green beans.

When I got home I took Tess for another walk round the field (it has just been silaged so the grass is short again).  Then I packed just one box today - all my table linen, table mats and that sort of thing.  So that is another drawer empty.   Still plenty of drawers to go (and no rude jokes here boys ).

24 comments:

Sue in Suffolk said...

Your meals always sound so delicious.
Have a good weekend with those boxes!

Heather said...

All this packing is relentless, isn't it? The number of full boxes increases but the amount of stuff still to be packed doesn't seem to diminish.
Your day out sounded lovely and you paint a beautiful verbal picture of the countryside in all it's spring glory.

Joanne Noragon said...

Think how many years the freeborn people have endured.
One box at a time gets it done.

angryparsnip said...

Happy that you were able to meet up with friends for lunch.
Your Lunch sounds so tasty !
cheers, parsnip and thehamish

Marty Damon said...

I think one box at a time is the sane choice. Otherwise it becomes overwhelming. We're downsizing here, and even though we're unlikely to actually move before the middle of July, I'm willing to live with empty drawers and boxes all over the dining room if it means I don't have to do this at the last minute.

Mac n' Janet said...

Sounds like a good day. Good food, good friends and walks with Tess.

justjill said...

A good day and some packing. Whoo. Your description of the countryside makes a vivid word picture.

Penny said...

Sounds like a lovely day.

Wilma said...

What a lovely sounding day. I wonder if you might like carrying a shoulder bag instead of a handbag? It might not be your "style" but a shoulder bag is much less likely to trip you up than a hand bag and keeps your hands free.

Stephanie Jo said...

It sounds like a delightful day. I especially enjoyed your description of the gypsy caravans.

Cro Magnon said...

Weave, you've given me an idea for my supper tonight. Thank you.

Derek Faulkner said...

That looks to have been an enjoyable and positive day Pat, well done. It's always easy to paint a romantic picture of "travellers" but my experience of them over many years in this area, is far from that.

Sue said...

That meal sounds delicious. Sounds like you had a lovely day and I'm sure Tess gave you a warm welcome when you got home.

Librarian said...

I am glad you had such a good day, and it was a good decision to leave Tess home. As you say, handling a dog on top of having to carry a stick, handbag and an umbrella would have been difficult and could have even resulted in a fall.
No picture? It would have been wonderful to see the beautiful countryside you describe so well, with the buttercup-covered fields and candles on the chestnut trees!

Rachel said...

The travellers sites round here look like Dale Farm.

gz said...

A grand day out.
When I lived in South Wales, a group of Travelling people stopped on one patch near the velodrome in Newport. Tidy vans and vehicles, clean dogs in kennels, flowers in tubs by the van steps. Yes,they traded in scrap,but left no mess. Their families had been stopping on that patch for many many generations, they paid to use the showers in the velodrome. Then another group came and were the complete opposite, a total mess....so no-one gets to stay there any more.
As in any society,the few spoil it for the many.
I wonder this year about the Horse Fair in Appleby..there hasn't been a lot of water flowing in the river there, as in rivers here in Scotland too.

thelma said...

There is a 'local' gypsy family here as well, we often come upon them in the countryside with their small caravans and ponies. He goes round sharpening knives with a couple of youngsters. One came to the house one day, lovely lad, hadn't been to school because he didn't like it! They leave their sites immaculate, except perhaps for the ashes of their fires. Long may they continue to flourish.

Tom Stephenson said...

There is a big horse fair here up in the Mendips at Priddy every year, and Gypsies come from all over to attend it. It's a bit scary.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

When you were a girl in rural Lincolnshire I very much doubt that you or indeed anyone in your community would have eaten prawn and chorizo risotto garnished with rocket and a side dish of mushroom, tomato and green beans. Their jaws would have dropped in disbelief.

Derek Faulkner said...

Eating habits have become more sophisticated and varied these days YP, even in your neck of the woods people have realised that there's more to life than black pudding and pig's trotters.

Frugal in Essex Tania said...

Try a small back pack on your bag to free up your hands for your stick and lead , when it's not raining! I use one when I'm out walking for shopping much easier than bags. The scenery sounds idyllic.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for the idea Frugal - I have a back pack - I shall try it. Yes YP - we lived on things like rabbit pie and jugged hare - and chicken for special occasions not every week like now.
Tom - I understand that the one at Appleby is a bit scary too.
Thelma - wish we had a family like that round here - thought they had died out.
gz - good point. Yes the rivers are quite low and they do like dashing up and down in the water.
As far as the travellers/gypsies are concerned - I can only speak from my own experience and I must say that most of them that pass through leave the place clean and tidy. Of course there will always be a few who give the whole a bad name, but that is true with many groups in society and I would not like to see the tradition die out.
Thanks for calling in.

Iris said...

Sounds like you had an eventful and interesting day! And good food too! Good for you!

Fairtrader said...

Actually, our Weaver have found a way to enjoy life with friends and God knows she needs it!! YP, I am sure there is enough chorizo for you, of course they knew nothing of that when she was a young girl!! But having a meal with a friend is such a good way to spend time, even if you only eat bloodpudding. I find it amazing that there are such restaurants in every little tiny village!!! I thought Yorkshire was worth visiting only for the scenery ( pictures, Pat, pictures....!!!)
but the way you describe it there is also lots of room for innovations, creativity and high quality food. In Sweden that is almost only possible in the summer when tourists arrive, to get a decent meal in the outskirts.

The part I like the most is that you have found your way to live on, keeping your good friends, seeing the light in the darkness and taking one day at the time, with packing, planning and making friends with the lads on the tip. The years you spent with your dear Farmer are well and lovingly kept within you. Where will you be walking Tess in the future?? Not among the fields I reckon? I agree the back pack is a splendid idea for the walks!! I wish you all the best on this Pentecost sunday!!