Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Beware, Geriatrics on The Loose.

    Too short a break, yet long enough to acquire fond memories. A monotonous but necessary two hour trek up the A1, a short run away from the fume filled horror of 21st century motorway style motoring and we are in the delights of The Dales.
    A visit 'on speck' As they say around here; always an element of risk involved. For the first time in many years a stay in a 'B and B', somewhat of a 'pot luck' experience. Our apprehension soon evaporated as we met a delightful young Czechoslovakian couple 'in charge ' of our arrival at Eastfield Lodge, Leyburn, suggested by the local information centre then meeting with our hosts, Vic and Thurza Campbell, again delightfully friendly, accommodating and helpful. You know how you 'tune in'' to some people, I immediately felt at ease with this couple. Plus their efforts to keep 'customers' happy were immediately apparent. Paulette, my wife is a coeliac. (Gluten is a no-no.) Gluten free sausages appeared on the breakfast menu; PLUS gluten free black pudding! Gluten free biscuits also appeared in the bedroom; a delightful, caring touch much appreciated. And the frequent cakes plus sweet jars full of goodies always freely on offer was a delightful touch. By the way, this is NOT a paid advertisement for Eastfield Lodge. It is probably not the cheapest  "B and B in Leyburn but I bet you it's the best!
    Three days, three trips out. three memories to take home. 
    Leyburn, small market town and home of The Wensleydale Railway. We parked in a yard outside the station as an engine and carriages slowed to a halt.  Somewhat taken aback, we enquired as to procedures for travelling on the train. '"Hop on,' said the man. Bemused I explained that we only enquiring  and of any case we hadn't locked the car.  'Go and do it' said the  man 'We'll wait for you.' So we duly did so and 'hopped' on his train! Now when did your British Rail train WAIT for you as you commuted up to London!
   Our train journey was, well, different. We travelled down the line to Leeming Bar, and up the line to Redmire; or was it up to Leeming Bar, and down to Redmire! (Passing through Leyburn, again, where we stopped for a dinner break!) The service is run by volunteers; middle aged men playing at trains. Evidently a diesel train does one mile to a gallon of fuel. In the sidings at one point were several VERY decrepit engines, plus numerous equally decrepit carriages in need of restoration. I don't know the strength of the volunteer workforce but it's not enough unless they all live to one hundred! Good luck chaps, keep smiling!
    Hawes is another charming little market town. My walking days are over, certainly for the present. so I sat in the car and 'people watched' whilst Paulette explored. It has dawned on me over the past year or two as to how many old codgers, aged persons, senior citizens, call them what you will there are; certainly in Britain. The children are back at school (who said hurray) the sun is shining so 'the not so young rule'. (They say the sun shines on the righteous, they also say The devil looks after his own!
    I watched a small coach unload its cargo of genial geriatrics. (some were  not so genial; I wonder if the elderly moan any more than other age groups?) Some with walking frames at the ready. Not exactly sartorial elegance; anoraks and mackintoshes at the ready; a boiling hot day and we haven't seen a drop of rain in over six days.
    The bus in fact stopped within fifteen yards of a public house. A faint whiff of formaldehyde filled the air as the passengers alighted. One couple walked the thirty or so paces to the pub, went inside, coming out two minutes later with their drinks. They then proceeded to sit on a bench until the bus returned approximately one hour later. Ah, the lure of Hawes; no matter, whatever turns you on. And not wishing to be unkind, perhaps, like me, their walking days are over! (Do tour buses have toilets nowadays? If not I hope the couples 'plumbing systems' are better than mine!)
    Reeth, a village rather than a town. Picturesque, quaint, calming, certainly on a sunny day. Though I don't think the cafe we visited was 'with it' compared to its Derby competition; certainly not in the gluten-free department. Nothing, though the man behind the counter did offer my wife some 'soap' which she declined, Paulette muttering 'What do I want soap for' as she came out of the shop. Only the poor man had offered 'soup' not 'soap', obvious when you think about it. I put this down to my wife's advancing age; my own grasp of reality is far superior I mused. Until reminded of my own 'fau pas' the previous evening. I had had great difficulty in driving at dusk, bemoaning the fact as to how fast the nights were 'drawing in'. I drove slower and slower, finding the oncoming darkness amidst the trees. ominously dangerous. That is, until my wife pointed out that driving in failing light wearing dark, dark sunglasses is not a wise thing to do!
    We enjoyed our trip to The Dales. Good company, good food, a change of scenery, what more could you want. 


CWMartin said...

What fun!

Charlotte Mooney said...

Speaking as a local, congratulations on having the good taste to visit the glorious Yorkshire Dales!

cogidubnus said...

My familiarity is more with Skipton, Settle, Austwick, Connison Cold, Ingleborough and area...in my youth I actually did the three peaks...sadly in my older years I'm lucky I can make the half mile to the bus stop every morning...

But I still recall how beautiful the area was/is - Austwick in particular, but Ingleborough Cove too...and the Tarn of course

Glad to hear the area is still as beautiful

Grumpy Oll Ken said...

Grumpy sez

Charlotte and cogidubnus
Lovely areas, lovely people, though good weather made our trip all the more enjoyable. Great places to escape to in times of need. Glad there are some unspoilt places left.