Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Up north ... and outfitted

The last two and a bit weeks have been spent scouring shops for the final bits of my wedding outfit for Laura's wedding. I managed to get a really pretty dress off the Littlewoods cat. ages ago but still needed to get all the accessories that turn a simple dress into a fabbie wedding outfit. I decided to start with the jacket so that I could work in the colour scheme.

The dress, a grey based blue has cream embroidered flowers, pinkish seed beads and silver sequins (it sounds horrid, but honest it is really sweet).
Now this should have given me scope for plenty of colours in a jacket, pink, blue, cream, ivory, grey, or even a green in the same hue. Laura andI went into town and visited every single womanswear shop we could think of. I wasnt being fussy, anything smart in my size would have done. We simply couldnt find many jackets and they were all either black or white!

Exhausted and out of car parking time, we came home I started searching the net. Still no luck. This was posing a problem as it is a strappy dress and really needs more than a cardigan to finish the look.

Anyway, pushing the problem to one side, Saturday Martin and I set off for a week in the Yorkshire Dales, where we had rented a little cottage for a bit of a get away. After five and a half hours of fairly pleasant driving, we arrived in the village of Bainbridge to an interesting sight.

Travellers on the green, horse racing.

Yorkshire villages are full of wonderful stone cottages and narrow lanes with no street parking. There was a spot for leaving our car a little way down the lane from our cottage but too far for two road weary oldies to carry heavy suitcases, so we opened the little swing gate to the road running behind the three cottages terraced with ours. No sooner than we had removed the last case than the wonderful friendly man from the end of the road arrived to greet us at the door ..... no actually it was to have a right moan and winge about us parking the car there! Did we know he had solicitors letters and everything against the shower who owned the cottage to stop this sort of thing ..blah, blah, blah. What a sad old git he must have been. Well we bowed and scrapped and doffed our caps, then after moving the car, retireing into the kitchen for a good giggle.

Stone cottage - front door with back garden?

Comfy cottage

The cottage was everything you would expect from a yorkshire stone built home, and it did us proud for the week. The only downsides being that there was no mobile phone signal in the middle of the downs, and it was also quite a way into the dales, meaning long drives to anywhere. In fact Martin managed to do most of his first 1000 miles driving on his new car during the week we were there.

Although I had packed quite a bit of food for the week, we needed bread for our tea, so as soon as we had unpacked we travelled another 4 miles into Hawes, a small market town with several pubs and some great small supermarkets. This looked like it was going to be a good week.

The first morning dawned hot and sunny so for a treat we had a full english breakfast set up properly in the garden. Stuffed to the brim we then headed off to Hadlow Carr, the RHS garden. On our way we passed through Masham, supposedly the most visited village in the Dales. We couldn't really work out the attraction but were surprised to spot these sights in the car park!

Is that really the garden shed making up the back of that car?

Maybe they have heard of the government scrappage scheme?

The guys actually turned the engine over and the car moved into its parking space under its own steam!

Neither of us had been prepared for the heat, and pretty soon we were in desperate need of hats, suntan lotion and drink. However we did not let that spoil our day, and had a wonderful journey through time as we inspected the gardens of Edwardian, Victorian, pre and post war England as well as a 1960's and 1980's garden. Then we laughed to see they were using a similar system of veg growing as I was at home, knowing that my dad had insisted it would not work.

It was certainly working for the RHS.

The maze was in the wooded part of the garden, the upside down trees confused us -

-the maze didnt.
We drove home via Harrigate - which we didnt like much, and Skipton which we did like but were too tired to spend much time in. Already we were clocking up the miles and although the countryside is spectacular, we decided a meal in the local pub was on the cards. Unfortunately the pub was shut, not opening for another 2 hours so we ended up back in Hawes where the local cafe did us proud with a huge roast beef dinner!

Martin isn't so in to gardening, so I was surprised that he enjoyed the day so much. Still to be fair, having had my choice I insisted that on day two he chose where we should go. He chose the caves . . not my cup of tea at all, but looking at the map, a visit to a hole in the ground would leave us close to the coast, so I agreed to a trip to Morcambe afterwards..

Martin had chosen the longer of the two caves on offer, but as we pulled into the car park not only did a coach load of school kids pull up too, but everyone was wearing cold weather gear, while we were in shorts and tee's. We drove onto the next cave, as the broachure assured us we could walk it in ordinary clothes, passing the 'Harry Potter' viaduct.

The only problem with the second choice cave was the mile long nature trail to get to the cave. Leaving the car in the village of Clapham, (not in the National Park facility as they wanted £3 for 2 hours) we climbed the hill and treked through the trail. All up the side of a dale, it was a long hot walk, but full of lovely sights, a huge lake,


dappled green trees full of song birds, and a very strange shell grotto,

There was a bit of a wait at the cave while the party of old folks finished their tour, but there were only us and a young man and his 10 year old daughter on our tour, so it was an intimate affair, and really interesting. I couldnt take photos in the cave but this is the outside - not very interesting but at least it proves we went! LOL

Morcambe to follow ......

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