Saturday, January 12, 2013

Last day in Middleham

And "Quartet" was entertaining - very entertaining - and the meal in The Station Restaurant afterwards very good, at the end of our last day in the Dales.
At a home for retired musicians, the annual concert to celebrate Verdi's birthday is disrupted by the arrival of Jean, an eternal diva and the former wife of one of the residents.

We spent the day in Middleham, walking around the town and out onto the moors to the area where the race horses are exercised. There are 22 stables in Middleham, all of them involved in the breeding and training of racehorses.

The town is lovely, very picturesque and interesting.

So, after the walk, we drove off to Richmond for the film and a meal, and drove back to the cottage on a cold night, thankfully not foggy this time, with snow forecast within the next few days.

The drive back to St Albans was very good, the roads being far quieter than we expected. We stopped off for an hour at Yelvertoft to see the boat, to make sure all is well with her. It was bitterly cold, and friends there reported being iced in already once before, with very low temperatures expected in the next week or so. It was sad, leaving Kantara, but I have to say I prefer to sit out the coldest weather in the house, rather than the boat!

Friday, January 11, 2013


Well, we didn't make it to the cinema, arriving at The Station thirty minutes after the start of the film. We had not expected to be late, but our progress across the moors was slowed considerably by thick fog - possibly the densest I've ever had to drive through, and then the onset of dark. It made for very interesting driving!

The weather had been very good right from the start, and we drove out again to enjoy the moors, the hills and the dales. There was little traffic on the smaller roads, visibility was good, and the skies bright. Our journey focussed on the town of Castle Barnard, but the castle, of course, was closed!

We walked along the River Tees for a while. (Castle Bernard is in Teesdale, but in the county of Durham, not Yorkshire.)

After lunch in a local cafe, we made our way back towards Richmond, and the Station cinema. We didn't hurry, and stopped off a number of times to appreciate the views. 

Then the sun started to go down behind the clouds which hung low over the hills, and the effect and colours were awesome.

When we set off from the spot featured in these last photos, we still had plenty of time to get to the cinema in time for "Life of Pi (3D)", but not long afterwards we drove up into the low clouds we had been photographing, and then, even when we drove down to lower ground, the fog stayed with us, and night drew in around us. We drove on to Richmond anyway, arriving half an hour late, and picked up a leaflet with details of films showing today and for the next seven days. "Life of Pi" finished last night, but tonight we'll drive in to see "Quartet", which promises to be entertaining.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Out and about in the Dales

Tuesday was very mild, but damp and dreary, so we decided to go out and enjoy the dales by car. The dullness looks even worse in the photos, but it was really good to be out in such beautiful countryside.

On higher ground, we found ourselves in the bottom of the clouds.

Wednesday was totally different, very sunny with clear, blue skies, so we set out again to enjoy the sights. Bolton Castle (and the village of Castle Bolton)


...and Reeth. 
We had our picnic lunch above a valley which was bathed in a very strange blanket of cloud, while the rest of the area was under bright sun. My camera couldn't really do the scene justice. (There is NO snow on the hilltops, everything white is cloud.)

Later we encountered more unusual clouds, but this time caused by a farmer burning a large patch of gorse, high on the moors.

As I write, the weather is looking really good again, so I expect we'll be doing similar sightseeing. We may go back to The Station Cinema again tonight, too.