Sunday, 31 October 2010
There is something very nice about being born on Hallowe'en. First of all everyone remembers your birthday as it is on a special day; secondly a lot of people envy you for being born on such a day; and thirdly I notice every year that the best Autumn colour always occurs around that date too. So a triple whammy.
Today the farmer took me out on a special trip to mark the occasion. The weather here is warm, dampish and dull - but fine. I took photographs whenever I had the opportunity, specially for my blog. In some of them the colour is very flat - sorry about that but it is the best I could do given the weather conditions. So here goes:-
We decided to go over to the East Coast to see the North Sea. We saw it from the air the other week and later on from the Dutch coast, but it is several years since we actually saw our nearest coastline - and Tess had never seen the sea!
Our first stop was in Great Ayton. There are several pretty little white foot bridges over the River Leven in Great Ayton - it is such a pretty little place. Its great claim to fame, though, comes from the fact that Captain James Cook, the 18th century naval explorer went to school here. We had a coffee and walked Tess along the river bank - new smells and new excitement for her.
Then we went along, over the North York Moors until we came to the coast. We avoided Whitby - for one thing we have been there many times and for another, this week is a special Goth week-end and we didn't fancy getting caught up in that. So we went further down the coast to Robin Hood's Bay.
After a delicious lunch in the Victoria Hotel (roast pork since you ask) we had to tackle the walk down to the sea.
There is a steep descent to the sea, mainly by a series of steps. We both have dodgy knees and going down was hard. But it was worth it. The sea was calm and tranquil and we had a lovely walk along the beach. We managed to persuade Tess into the edge of the sea for a paddle, but frankly, she was much more interested in the smells.
Oddly enough, the walk back up from the sea was exhilarating. We avoided the steps and walked up the road as quickly as we were able. It was hard work but we made it - and we worked off some of the roast pork's calories into the bargain.
On the way back we had to make a detour. We chose to come back a different way and because of the detour we came past Byland Abbey. It is some years since I went there and it is a lovely peaceful place. And only a few miles further on we drove through the village of Coxwold. As we came to the Vicarage the farmer slowed down and opened the car window. I stuck the camera out of the window to take a photograph of Shandy Hall for you. Sorry it is a bit wonky, but we were moving at the time. Laurence Sterne (1713-68)lived here and preached in the fifteenth century church opposite. It was here that he wrote Tristram Shandy. The last time I visited the Hall had some plants for sale and I could not resist buying a herbaceous geranium called Patricia (my name). I am pleased to say she flourishes every year in my front garden.
The autumn colours, particularly the beech, were at their very best - I took a shot out of the car window for you to see - but by this time it was almost dark. We put our clocks back one hour in the UK last night and by four o'clock there was little light left.
We came home. The farmer walked the dogs. I put the candles into my pumpkin and stood him out in the garden, where he is glowing as I write - ready to welcome my son and his wife on their return from holiday any minute now.
A lovely, memorable day. Thank you to all of you who sent me birthday wishes. November tomorrow - Christmas before we know were we are.
Photos - top to bottom, left to right:
Autumn on the River Leven.
The sea at Robin Hood's Bay.
A Garden in Robin Hood's Bay.
Tess's First Paddle in the sea.
Autumn on an empty road.
Going down to Robin Hood's Bay.
Byland Abbey ruins.