Tuesday, 24 October 2006


Mixed day.

We had a wonderful breakfast up in Leyburn, and if guest houses are your thing, Clyde House was excellent. Breakfast was served during a half-hour window, the result being that we were ready quite early.
After visiting a couple of shops in Leyburn we motored on, down to Masham once more. This time Theakstons Brewery (or was it Black Sheep?) was well in evidence, the town smelling of hops. (Reminded me of my university days, and Brains brewery in the centre of Cardiff.) At Masham we visited a couple of shops we'd earmarked, one in particular a deli with some wonderful food, the other a wonderful glass workshop where we picked up something nice for Grandma.

On from Masham, through Ripon and across to York. It had been recommended to us to use the Park and Ride (a sound piece of advice), and although we managed to park quite quickly we still had one problem - no room booked for tonight. Fortunately, the Red guide came into its own and right now we are sitting in Monk Fryston Hall, a reputedly-haunted house dating from the sixteenth century. Wonderful - the bar area is full of panelled walls and it was difficult to resist the temptation of knocking on them.

York itself was slightly disappointing. Very crowded, which didn't help.The last time I was here was as a teenager, the last time Jacqueline had been there was around 10 years ago. We went around the Treasury House (NT, so free) by the minster, but to be honest I wasn't in the mood. The guy behind the house may have been visionary in terms of the furniture he collected, but from what I could gather he was basically a rich kid. Went down all the little streets, the Shambles etc. but as I said the volume of people made it awkward. Contemplated going to Betty's Tea Rooms (famous apparently) for afternoon tea, but did not like the idea of queuing. Instead we found a charming little tea shop on the first floor of a lovely shop, where we were able to look down on the throngs below.

By the time the rain started we were pretty much tired out. We didn't find the Viking museum, and this would probably be the only reason for visiting York once again.

Homeward bound tomorrow. By the sounds of things Alice has had her moments, and in fact even left a message on my phone saying how Grandma was being horrible to her. Trouble is, whenever one of us asks Alice to do something she doesn't want to do (for example tidying up a mess she's made), we're being horrible to her. So this language is very subjective. I guess the key markers will be (i) how willing is she to come home tomorrow, and (ii) how will she respond to the suggestion that she visits Grandma once again.

Time will tell...

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