Yes, it is that time of year again. The time when all locals get thoroughly frustrated because it is impossible to park anywhere in town, impossible to have a coffee in any of the nice little local cafes, best to stay at home and do jobs like mow the lawn and cut the hedge (exactly what the man opposite is doing today). Why? Well, this week all the horse-drawn traffic going to The Appleby Horse Fair has been going through at a lower 'horse-power' than we are used to and now they are gone we are back to school holidays which means all the holiday cottages are fully booked, every parking place is permanently taken and every cafe and shop in the town is full of browsing tourists. In addition bus loads pass through and stop off here for their morning coffee on their way to The Wensleydale Creamery for lunch already booked in (so no good going there 'on speck' because there won't be a table).
My carer, who collects my medication for me and several other of her clients, says she will 'nip in' tomorrow while her Sunday lunch is cooking to the Pharmacy which opens for an hour at lunch time in the hopes it might be less busy.
Everybody complains. Well I don't suppose the shop owners do - it must be a real boost for their trade and I am pleased for them, especially this last couple of years when trade must have been so bad.
Caitlin Moran has written her column this week in The Times from Cornwall, where after queuing for two hours for chips went back to their holiday cottage and cooked oven chips instead. I must say I might have bought ordinary potatoes in the first place and never stepped outside the door, but each to his own.
She argues that we - mainly the middle classes- have bucket lists of places we wish to go both in this country and abroad. The places she specifically quotes are Venice, Kyoto, Barcelona, The Forbidden City, New York, Istanbul. And, she says, while we are busy doing this we ignore places like Ayrshire, The Welsh Marches, Cumbria (and I of course would add he Yorkshire Dales) All these places are struggling to cope with the number of tourists. She says - and here I quote -"Despite the world being full of dozens more places" we will go to just these and nobody enjoys it - it is all too crowded. And Cornwall itself where she speaks of one holiday home which is advertised at costing seventy one thousand pounds a week!!
Her answer is to ship a lot of the 'treasures' we 'plundered' on our colonial past back to where they came from - repatriate things like jewelry, crowns, statues, paintings- thus creating new places for the bucket list. Not sure it would make a lot of difference to Cornwall though are you?