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Wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, great-aunt and friend....and fur-kid mum I love Quilting, stitching, photography, cooking, baking, gardening, blogging and making new friends...stop by and say hi!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Nostalgic Whitby

When I was a child and we went back to visit my grandparents in Yorkshire, we always took them for a day out in Whitby and it is one of my very favourite places.  Whitby often featured on the Yorkshire based TV show, 'Heartbeat' and whenever it did, I would break out into a sort of nostalgic heartache. Stands to reason then that I would want to visit while in Yorkshire.

Victorian Era station in York

Red and I caught the first train out of York Station to Whitby and even though it is not a great distance, it took us a full 4 hours to get there on a very old, noisy diesel train but with so much beautiful scenery it was no great hardship.  Getting into Whitby station at midday meant we had 4 hours to explore before we had to catch the last train back.

Viaduct spotted a little way outside of Whitby
Fortunately, the station in Whitby is centrally located and so it was just a short walk to the very busy thouroughfare were all the restaurants, cafes and shops are located. Whitby is an extremely popular destination for day trippers so there was a queue at most of the better places to get a good fish and chip lunch.
Since I was reliving my childhood on this trip, it had to be Plaice and chips, Yorkshire style, of course. That means served with mushy peas, bread and butter on the side and a hot cup of tea.

With lunch over, it was time to walk off all those calories so up the hill to visit the Whitby Abbey.  I have of course seen the Abbey from a distance...it is hard to miss as it looms over the town but as the grandies were quite old, we never went up there on our visits.

The Abbey is of course in ruins and has been that way since the times of  King Henry VIII when he ordered the Dissolution of Catholic Monesteries and Abbeys. It is a spectacular place and I think this is where Red finally fell in love with Yorkshire.

The views up here were lovely looking down onto the town and the harbour with the moors in the background.
 and from the other side looking out over the bay. The church of St. Mary's is in the foreground situated just before you get to the abbey. Quite a spot to rest your bones!

Coming back down the approximately 200 steps into the town we still had time to wander the streets and make some souvenir purchases for family back home......and myself.

reminders of childhood visits to the seaside
of course a trip to the seaside wouldn't be official if you didn't come home with some 'rock'
 While walking down one of these streets I came across a shop that sold trinkets made out of locally mined Jet. There are a few of these shops around but this one had something other than pendants and earrings. Little carved animals.  When I set my eyes upon this hedgehog it was love at first sight.  He is really tiny and the base just fits on my thumbnail. I think I did the right thing bringing him home with me.

And there was still more to see so I have popped some of them into a collage for you.
From left to right:
  • One of the enormous seagulls that inhabit the town.....could possibly feed a family of six!
  • a fishing boat anchored in the harbour
  • a pile of fishing baskets stacked on the harbour
  • this whalebone archway has been here ever since I can remember although I don't think this is the original as there is a plaque to say these were donated by the Alaskan Inuits in 2001
  • Whitby's most famous resident, Captain Cook whose monument definitely finds no respect from the seagull population.

And before we make our way back to the station for the 4pm train back to York, a quick snap of the harbour entrance and the beach below the cliff.
the Fat Controller showing us the way to the Tea Room

Back at the station and we found that all that exploring had made us very thirsty so with about 20 minutes to spare we called in at the station tea room  and I had one of my very favourite Yorkshire treats......a Dandelion and Burdock soft drink.  There is nothing else quite like it and I love it.

And that was our trip to Whitby.......I am longing to be there again even as I write this post. Yorkshire is forever in my blood.

And on the Homefront, I have got one of my presents ready for the Xmas Swap.  My poor partner must be wondering if I have forgotten her but no, yesterday I put together something which I hope she will love just as much as I do.  No sewing involved! ?????? what could it be??????

Beautiful York

Travelling up to York was the one thing I was looking forward to the most on this trip. Red came with me and we travelled up to York by train which only took around 2 and a half hours. Not bad considering it is a 4 hour trip by road.

Our hotel was a fair way out of the centre of town, so we did a fair bit of walking until we figured out which bus to catch.

So what to do in YORK?  Oh my, this is a really interesting place steeped in a rich history from a Roman Settlement to a Viking era and a Norman invasion. There is still so much medieval history to see like Clifford's Tower, much of the city wall, city gates and even the old street called "The Shambles" just to name a few. For starters we visited Clifford's Tower on our first day.  I had been here before when I was just 16 but realised that I remembered very little.

Over the next couple of days we explored the city, visiting York Minster, walking on part of the city wall and strolling round the streets
a quaint and old pub within the city walls
the medieval street called The Shambles
part of the medieval wall which still wraps itself around part of the town
At York Minster we climbed 293 of these spiral steps to the tower at the top.  Some spaces were only 60cm wide so a little clausterphobic as well.
But the views were well worth the effort (and the breathlessness). Choosing which pic to post was a challenge but this one is lovely, I think.

The inside of the Minster was serene and peaceful
 I saw this wonderful quilt at the Castle museum. It was made sometime in the 18th century. To think this was all sewn by hand.

While I was walking around York, I kept seeing signs pointing towards the "Quilt Mueum". I just had to go and my darling 25yo son was more than happy to accompany me and without one word of complaint or impatience while I strolled around some really old quilts.  There were some stunning quilts especially a cot quilt that was made from 1/2 inch squares sewn together from the 19th century so once again.....all by hand.  Wow, the patience! Unfortunately, photography was banned so no photos but the web site has photo's of quilts in their collection although I can't find the one I mentioned above.

Of course, when you visit somewhere different, you really need to sample the local food. So a roast dinner with Yorkshire pudding it was.  Not as good as my mum's or my gran's yorkies but enjoyable just the same.

 Back on the home front this week, things have been tough.  My job has been dissolved, my hubby deserted me for a trip to NZ with another woman.....(OK, I exaggerate....he took his mum with him) and worst of all my boy, Ted, had a car accident and is really fortunate to get himself out of the wreckage after rolling the car twice with nothing more than a couple of scratches.  That is why this post got delayed and I have a number of new grey hairs this week.


Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Hello, I am back so lets have a giveaway

First of all, I am so sorry I did not blog at all while I was away on holiday but unfortunately I had big, big issues with iPad versus Internet so unable to do anything about it. Now that I am over my jet lag and I have gotten up to date with work, I am finally able to get back to my blog.

Just a bit of backtracking before I tell you all about my much enjoyed travels.

A view of York Minster from Cliffords Tower

I realised half way through my flight to Heathrow that I had forgotten to draw the monthly giveaway for July, so lets get that out of the way first.

Mr Random Number Generator......if you please!

The fifth post was selected (you will have to take my word for it as I am feeling too lazy to take a photo of the draw) which was "All ready for the postie".  And Mr RNG then gave me number 5 again out of the 10 comments which happened to be HELEN from Helen's Patchwork Passion!

CONGRATULATIONS Helen.  I will send you an email to let you know and if you could then send me your address, I will send a little surprise out to you.

I did and saw so much while I was away and took hundreds of photos but don't worry, I will not subject you all to such yawn provoking suffering and will just blog about the highlights over the next week which does include a couple of quilting things as well.

A view of Cliffords Tower (the castle keep) from York Minster
 Our first place of interest was the city of York so if you want to see more of this beautiful place, keep a look out for my next post.

Till next time,
Cath xx

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