Day Thirty Four

We’re still in the Yorkshire Dales today.

We start the day with a walk into the local village of Grassington.
Very pretty, with cobblestone streets and stone shops winding up
steep streets and vast expanses of green meadows along the way.
We both love the local villages and their sense of self – each of the
stores support the local farmers and produce. They’re great places
to shop, and shop we do, laden with parcels of local produce for the
journey home.

After lunch we set out to explore the neighbouring town of Skipton.
Skipton is a thriving market town, and today happens to be a
market day. We find the best blackberries, as large as mulberries,
warm from sun. The berries here taste the way berries used to and
explode with flavour when you bite into them. I wish I had a few of
Nigella’s cookbooks here – she features berries extensively and
having tasted them here, I can see why. Such a treat -I will miss them
when we’re home.

Whilst we are in Skipton, we take the opportunity to visit Skipton
Castle, which unusually is located at the end of the high street. It is
900 years old, built in stone and is the oldest, most intact and well
preserved (presumably non operating) Norman castle in England. Its
9 feet deep walls are testament to its survival under siege. It’s built
as a fortification in a square, around a central courtyard, with circular
defence towers in each corner. In the centre of the courtyard is a
Yew tree, planted in 1694, and still thriving. Amazing. The castle is a
maze inside and as with all these ancient structures, the doorways
remind us of how short they must have been in the “old days”. The
toilets are highly amusing, a drop box, over the river, from the
second floor. Too bad if you were walking underneath at the time….

It’s been a long day, off home for a stir fry and a chilli hit. The
bunnies keep us company as we cook. They are quite happy with
their sourdough treats and come ever closer. I get a great shot of
one by lying down in the grass when he turns to face me. Want a
bunny.

BBC4 has a movie tonight, Richard and Elizabeth set in the time a
year before his death, when they appeared for the last time
together, on stage in a Noel Coward play. Helen Bonham-Carter
plays Liz; she is amazing in it. Captures Liz to a T.

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