Friday, 16 December 2011
A Jolly but chilly outing.
We weren't sure whether to go or not. My friend W and I had arranged to meet our friends in Kirby Lonsdale, on the edge of Cumbria, for a Christmas lunch in a local Bistro. Whichever way we decided to go meant going either over or down the side of the Pennine Chain, along high and bleak ground. And there is snow lying on the tops. Earlier in the week the weather was awful - snow showers, icy roads, biting winds, and we decided not to go. Then yesterday two things made us change our minds. The first was that yesterday was a lovely still, sunny day - glorious for the time of year; the second was that the farmer suggested that it was hardly the road for two old women to be driving on at the time of the year! That decided us.
My friend was driving (she has a four-wheel-drive vehicle) and we are nothing if not intrepid. In fact it was a pleasant and easy journey. All the way there snow was lying - sometimes just on the tops, sometimes quite thickly on the sides of the road and when we came down to lower ground, to the edge of the Trough of Bowland, there had been four or five inches of snow overnight and all the parked cars were heavily covered in it.
But the roads were mainly dry and we had set out in plenty of time. Kirby Lonsdale is such a pretty little town and decorates so well for Christmas. I did intend to take photographs after our lunch but when we came out of the Bistro it was snowing, and our only thought was to get home before dark. (It takes one and a half hours to get there).
The journey home was in thick cloud, well down over the hills in places. But a lot of the snow had gone during the morning, when the sun had been out. It was an uneventful journey and we arrived home - two old, intrepid ladies, unfazed by a bit of snow and ice - just before dark.
And what of the lunch. Well, W and I had a 'share platter' - laid out on a slate. It was delicious and a splendid idea. A pork pie, cut in half; four triangles of cheese (two blue, two cheddar); a pot of dressed green salad; a pot of sun-dried tomatoes; several pots of olives; a pot of fried whitebait with lemon slices; a pot of hummous; smoked salmon, serano ham, thinly sliced beef; white and brown chunky bread and a pot of butter. I shall certainly try something similar over the Christmas holiday if the occasion arises.
Anyway - for what it is worth - here are a few photographs I took through the car windscreen as we bowled along. As you will see, Ingleborough was - as usual - in cloud. But I think you will also agree that the Ribblehead viaduct in bright sunshine is a lovely photograph.