Friday, 14 October 2011


I am spending a few days ‘up north’ in Yorkshire.

Now, I quite like Yorkshire; when the sun is shining the Dales are a majestic place to be. However, as I journeyed north on Tuesday the weather steadily worsened until my arrival in the afternoon: I was met with a heavy, overcast sky and a penetrating drizzle.

However, all was not lost as we found an excellent pub in Otley with eight (EIGHT!) real ales on the bar. This was followed by a wonderful jamming session with an ace guitarist and drummer in what could only be described as a garden shed.

Wednesday worsened. It poured down with rain all day. And I came down with the cold that had been threatening all the way up on Tuesday; the symptoms can best be described as Manflu. Everything ached. My head, arms *and* legs! However, I was a brave soldier and made it to Saltaire to have a good look at Salt’s Mill. I had read so much about this place and the magnificent effort to put life back into the heart of this wonderful village. I wasn’t disappointed; the mill is an amazing place now occupied by a huge collection centred on David Hockney (who I can cheerfully say leaves me stone cold) but the mill is vibrant and full of life once again – offering employment and entertainment. The collection of sixties furniture is well worth the visit on its own.  

Wednesday evening saw me in Otley again, this time in The Fleece – what a cracking pub! They have their own micro-brewery; their IPA was a sensation and the food was tasty too.

Thursday has mostly been spent feeling sorry for myself: Drizzle in the morning but at least the afternoon brightened to some watery sunshine. Catching up with the blogs is fun; it seems everyone has been busy out there in cyberspace.

I am amazed that anyone ‘up north’ can ever dry their washing at this time of year. It’s damp, damp, damp with rain and mist chucked in for good measure. I am told the sun might finally come out tomorrow. With a bit of luck I might drag my sorry carcase out for a walk, if it stops aching.

It definitely is ‘grim up north’ but seeing my little brother with the hair makes up for it all, as he is a ray of sunshine.


  1. Ooh indeed! (I have just cantered over to your blog!)

    Plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery Laura!

    So: How on earth do you ever dry the washing up north?

  2. It's just like you said "jolly nice weather daarn saarf ..."


  3. ah, pubs in Otley!

    I went to University in Leeds and still go back to see pals there and Otley is and was a favourite bus trip. The Junction is the best pub in town.

  4. The secret's in the wind Alan.

    And tumble driers.

  5. Real ale and real weather - a potent mix!

    Under the circumstances it looks like you made the best of it. How many of the eight (EIGHT!) real ales did you manage to get through? And are you sure it was a cold that you had? ;-)

  6. That's what happens when you climb above sea level Alan, the weather gets all dirty.

  7. Laura, some good has come of it. It's led me to your blog, which I am now following.

    I find most of my new ones this way.

  8. So you see, Alan, Louise has addressed your 'issue' with wind turbines - they are neccessary to drive all those extra tumble driers oop north.

    You wouldn't condemn our northern cousins to a life in damp shreddies, surely? ;-)

  9. Alan - it seems you're running an introduction agency too!!!!!

    Byeways - you're very welcome!

  10. Ey up Alan!
    Why would yer want t'dry clothes? Cover thi sen wi' goose grease and get stitched in fer't winter - thi'll niver need any fancy dan base-layers or technical fabrics agin.

  11. And you're visiting the "dry" side of the grim north! Over here in the wet and windy north west we've all adapted by having webbed feet!And we get longer winter nights than you southern softies! But do we moan about all this grimness..............Yes!!

  12. So near and yet so far. If you'd looked just a sheet's flap from Salts Mill you'd have spotted me pegging out in me flat cap and whippet.

  13. Brian: I'll be back home safely in the land of milk & honey next week to dry out my aching bones.

    Chris: My brother with the hair informs me that the "Old Cock" (with the EIGHT beers) has the best beer but the Junction the best atmosphere. With all this rain I cheerfully forgo atmosphere for better beer!

    Louise: Being a strong environmentalist myself I could not possibly condone your gratuitous use of Tumble Driers. Unless of course it's my socks and shreddies that need drying.

    Jules: Tut, Sir! Tut! My medication means I rarely get a hangover.

    James: It's surprisingly clean up north - it's the rain you see - it washes all the dirt away...

    Byways & Laura: Pleased to be of service. I will send my bill for the introduction. Any offspring will incur a further charge.

    Phil: Perhaps we could use the turbines to blow away the persistent rain?

    Mark: Goose grease it is then. We should let Gore and Malden Mills know all about this as soon as possible. No petrochemicals required any more - just a few flocks of geese - so we can be all snugly in the very cold with down clothing and warm & dry in the rain with the grease. Sorted.

    Al: Quit moaning. All Northerners are suppose to be hard! It's just us softie southerners who are allowed to moan!

  14. Chris: you don't need washing machines up here. Just peg out the dirty clothes on the line and the wind and rain cycle coupled with the hail cycle will do it all for you.

    You just need to be canny and whip it in the moment it approaches less than sopping wet to dry over the bannisters?

  15. Soon you'll be on the Peddars way in the South.
    I believe the weather patterns are moving down.

  16. I was sorry to hear about the grimness and dimness of your recent journey up north, Alan! Believe me, if you keep the washing on the line long enough (i.e. until next summer) it gets beyond the damp stage.

    (BTW, I hear through various channels that David Hockney actually thinks rather well of you!)

  17. SW: Please send David my best wishes. There are still a few places free in the local art class so he could pick up a few pointers to help his flagging career.


    (Just how many ways can you paint a spring board and swimming pool?

    Today the sun beat down on our visit to Harrogate. The washing almost dried before we had to bring it in before the dark of the evening.

  18. Mad'n'Bad:
    Indeed! I am now safely home once more. The further we travelled south the brighter it became. The sunshine is now belting down!
    I have to admit that it was pleasantly sunny for our day in Harrogate yesterday but we spent a large proportion of that in the Drum & Monkey. Splendidly old school!

  19. You've living dangerously Al!

    That museum in Saltaire is certainly well worth a visit!

  20. Andy: Living dangerously? Moi? Are there any Northerners living down this end of the country? They never get past Watford Gap.


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