Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Reflections

Reflections on the last three days;  I don't like the motorways, especially not in driving rain and gale force winds.  Travel Lodge will have to go a long way before they ever please me! We also need a new sat.nav. by the time we got to Burnley to find aforesaid place, Jane the sat.nav. had lost it and took us round a left hand circle several times, before we broke out of the rut and turned right instead and then spied the faintly advertised Lodge in the dark.
Seeing the family was of course wonderful, the house is still in the very deep midst of renovation, but they have heating and the kitchen and sitting room are comfortable.  Arriving there for breakfast, opening of presents, and then the female contingency of the family went to Kava Cafe, owned by by my daughter's friends just round the corner.  Svarta is from Bulgaria full of life and energy, the food superb, coffee is a speciality, her partner Dale is a barista ( I had to go and look that word up) it means they know their coffee, so it comes to the table in a cup with a glass of water and small macaroon.  Apparently Dale was a founding member of The Smiths; shocked daughter at my ignorance, her mother is unaware of this famous band's name, 1980s and it spawned Morrissey, whose name I do know.
We spend a pleasant hour catching up on news and then the men join us for coffee;  Lillie consumed two croissants with a small pot of chocolate on the side, very continental. The present with the most 'wow' was a coloured light disco ball, brought for Ben but Lillie could not keep her hands off it.

Hepstonall viewed from afar in the Hebden Valley,
Creative Commons;

And now to my impressions of the Caldervale valley, to understand this deep valley you must first look at its topography, it is narrow and both sides are sharply angled upward, in places it is pretty but the land formation makes some weird shapes.  This valley with the river Calder running through must have been heavily industrialised in the 19th/20th centuries,  terraced houses range all along the road, grimed by the soot of the coal fire years, tall chimney stacks still dot the landscape.  Weaver windows are to be seen on quite a few houses, and there are a lot of ruined industrial places.  Todmorden itself is a pleasant enough town, it has a thriving market, and is only a few miles from the more famous Hebden Bridge town, with it's more sophisticated small shops.
One thing I learned is that Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes widow is buried in a small grave yard at Heptonstall.  Tis a sad tale of infidelity her suicide, and I wondered why she had not been taken back to her home country America but left to lie in a small grave in England, apparently people used to come and deface the name of Ted Hughes from the grave, of course she had two children here perhaps that is the reason.

Todmorden


6 comments:

  1. Know the area well as my family lived there for a while. Nice, friendly people and lovely scenery on the doorstep. Happy new year to you all. Lovely header.

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    1. Happy New Year Pat and your family, and it is true that Yorkshire people are very friendly, I very rarely write about the people I meet, basically because it is rude to talk about others ;)

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  2. I'm a convert to the Premier Inn in favour of the Travelodge. Nightmare places! Happy New Year to you. xx

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    1. Happy New Year Em, the rooms at Travelodge have no soul whatsoever, bleak inside and normally a bleak outlook on to a motorway...X

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  3. I'm delighted when my brain makes connections about faraway places. Was recently reading James Herriot's Yorkshire--and so some of the place names in this post sounded familiar. As far as I'm concerned even the nicest motels or guest rooms are difficult--I want my own bed in my own house!

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  4. Hi MM, And a Happy New Year to you to. Glad you recognised West Yorkshire, it is still a bit of a mystery to me, but did notice coming out of (Edible Tormorden) the signpost to Haworth - 8 miles, home of the Bronte sisters, the Herriot's series on television is still shown occasionally, though it is not weathering so well...

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