Friday, May 18, 2012

Well back from Whitby my mind bubbling over with thoughts and things done. (and also things not done)!
Patchwork and knitting fills my need to keep fingers active, family keeps my social life turning, we had 'girls nights in the cottage which consisted of spaghetti to eat and a video to watch, the children sprawled on the floor.
My next door neighbour (let us call her X) called me a proper 'resident' and her other neighbour an 'incomer' (Y) though she has been there for 12 years.   Well my rise in status is one to be watched, a fall from grace could be on the horizon should I step out of line.  The problem is a rose tree pruned within an inch of its life, in fact it died, (this was done by Y cutting below the bud) and now its tall thorned stems are adorned with bird holders. Really it should be dug out of the ground and replaced but what do we feed the birds on? I have suggested a proper bird feeder, but we have large birds coming down. Jackdaws my favourite, a few pigeons, 2 pretty white doves that advance to the steps of the cottage as if wanting to come in and of course the dreaded seagulls. Do not feed seagulls is always the cry that goes out though to be honest I feel sorry for them.  Though their odd blue menacing eyes as they contemplate you is a bit off putting
So what distinguishes a 'resident' apparently it is the 4 small areas of our gardening space, the little end cottage was a warehouse (must have been very tiny) in its time and the cottage above me a bakery.

Whitby must have been filled with tiny shops, as it is now of course, butchers, greengrocers and bakeries still exist of course.  Bothams the bakers which lies but three minutes from the cottage, has beautiful cakes, pies which I try not to indulge in and fresh baked bread.

The jumbled skyline that I love so much, this little beach is approached by the back alleys

A whole book could be written about the infill of cottages

West Cliff, the Victorian era of large hotels, not a place I visit with its whale bone monument

Lillie, striding confidently down the road in her choice of clothes, mostly anything thing to do with purple!

My greatest acquisition was a book, there it was in a charity shop, a beautiful clean copy of The Making of the English Landscape by Hoskins with an overview by Christopher Taylor.  Written in 1955, (mine was a 3rd edition 1986) the book is a subjective but erudite description of the growth of England from prehistory to the middle of the 20th century.  Taylor criticises beautifully, Hoskins is a conservative with a small 'c', all is doom after the Victorian industrial revolution, satanic mills, terrible modern buildings, destruction of beautiful old market towns but of course that is change and evolution.  And it must not be forgotten that we still fight for every scrape of green in danger of obliteration by the evils of a Tesco supermarket or vast housing estates, not all is lost.
The book had to be left behind too heavy, but I took photos of two still existing Roman roads still to be found on the moors, we had in actual fact gone to look for the Yorkshire one.....

This is Blackstone Edge, Littleborough, Lancs, the most remarkable road surviving on the high moor above Rochdale. The central groove is said to have been cut by the friction of the brake-poles of carts descending the almost 1 in 4 gradient.

Wade Causeway, Wheeldale Moor, N.Yorks - Roman  Road from Malton to Whitby.  What is visible are merely the rough foundation stones.  Smooth roadway had disappeared - a failed roadway.


  1. My Hoskins is the 1985 version in paperback. I should really blow the dust off it and read it! It hugs shoulder to shoulder with his "Old Devon" and Watkins' "The Old Straight Track".

    I'd love to walk along one of those causeways - in good weather mind!

    You sound very happy to be in Whitby each time - and it sounds like you are settling in well - even with X : )

  2. Hi BB, I thought naming neighbours was not a good idea ;)Anyway loved the book, had Watkin's The Old Straight Track but seem to have lost it.
    Email on the way also for something else...