Ah, yes, Monk Fryston Hall. Sumptuous, relaxing three course dinner (the only "big" meal of our stay) followed by a very restful (and spookless) night's sleep. I'm not too sure whether we'll ever come back to this part of the world, but this hotel would be a great base if we do. Dinner was so huge that even at breakfast we could only face egg on toast, prior to the journey westward across the Pennines.
Traffic was quite heavy but I managed a steady 70mph and we arrived at our first destination, Ikea, just about an hour after we set off. Quick shop (got a new, smaller computer desk for Alice's room) then lunch (meatballs, what else?) and we were back on the motorway for the short journey to my mum's. By this time the heavens had opened, and it was raining quite heavily.
We got to Grandma's by 2 o'clock and both of them seemed happy to see us. I gathered that nerves had been a bit fraught over the last couple of days. Yesterday, apparently, Alice had been so excited waiting for us to arrive that anything my mum did to occupy her came to nothing. Still, once we arrived everyone was happy.
Because of the rain we stayed at my mum's until as late as we dared, but it was to no avail. I ended up getting soaked loading stuff into the car, and as we drove off the rain was still heavy. For some reason we hit traffic within five minutes of leaving my mum's, and unfortunately this was to be the story of our journey home. I drove down to Warwick, where it took just on 4 hours to cover the 125 miles. After a distinctly unhealthy supper Jacqueline took the wheel. Both traffic and rain were now lighter and she was able to maintain a decent speed. In the end, we got home at around 9:30pm.
Alice went straight to bed, although I needed to stay up a while in order to chill. And now it is the morning after, I am sitting on the London-bound train. There was a derailment at Waterloo a couple of days ago, and I will need to change at Basingstoke. Down to earth with a bump!
Highlights of Yorkshire were:
- seeing the Dales once again.
- visiting the charming towns of Hawes, Leyburn, Masham and Thirsk
- the excellent quality of the food. Despite us checking out of the King's Head early, the roast lamb we had on Sunday night was, in my opinion, second only to lamb I once had at the Tour d'Argent in Paris. It simply melted in the mouth. And the gammon from the Bolton Arms in Leyburn wasn't far behind, although the portions were far too large for us. I think over the next few days I need to detox!
- Wensleydale cheese
- last but not least, getting to spend some time with Jacqueline, sans enfant. These times really do remind you of why you got together in the first place.