November 2015

I know it’s been a while and, as usual, I have no excuse, other than the normal one of not knowing what to blog about. But, this month, I thought I’d tell you about the holiday the Daughter and I had late in the summer. Being a lone parent, holidays tend not to be something we really do. We go away with family or go and visit friends but, for one reason and another, this year we actually went away, just the two of us, for a week’s stay in a cottage in a little village outside York.

AA route planner promised it would only take us a shade over three hours to get there. Yeah right, six and a half gruelling hours later, after a journey from hell stuck on the A1 which for some reason had been re-designated a car park, under looming skies and lashing rain, we finally reached our destination. As you can imagine, I was not in the best of moods, and unloading the car in the pouring rain, making endless trips to and fro, not being helped at all by the Daughter (who was too busy exploring the cottage), I seriously wondered if I’d made a huge mistake.

Spirits were raised somewhat upon discovering how lovely the cottage was. They were raised even more upon discovering the complimentary bottle of bubbly and, once we’d unpacked, had dried off, eaten dinner and were playing with Sky movies, it seemed as if maybe, just maybe, this holiday had been a good idea after all.

During the week that followed we basically explored the area around us. Neither of us being the type to wish to lay by pools or laze around, we packed in as many activities as we could, managing two trips to York where we visited the Jorvik Centre and the incredible Castle Museum (to my mind far better value for money). We spent a day at Castle Howard roaming the house and fantastic grounds, it all brought back memories of watching Jeremy Irons and Anthony Andrews in Brideshead Revisited and, as we wandered about, I kept humming the theme tune until the Daughter said if I didn’t shut up she’d go and sit in the car.

We had a traditional beach day at Scarborough, where we ate seafood and chips on the beach, made ourselves sick with too much candy floss and spent far too much money on the slot machines. The Daughter even had a donkey ride, although as she’s now a great skinny length of a twelve year old I couldn’t help feeling sorry for the donkey. We paid a visit to the beautiful Tudor manor house, Burton Agnes, where I got all arty with the camera in the magnificent gardens and on the way back passed through a village with the wonderful name of Wet Wang! Much hilarity in the car over that. Finally, we made the drive through the heart of the heather moors and had a great last day at Whitby where we treated ourselves to a fabulous seafood lunch in the famous Magpie Café. I highly recommend it, although go early. We went at 11.30am and even then only just got in.

Dreading the journey home, I was pleasantly surprised when it took a mere three hours, AA route planner vindicated. So, all in all, a great holiday in a stunningly beautiful part of the country and I would like to thank the lovely Michelle and her family for letting us stay in their gorgeous guest cottage and for all their many kindnesses during the week. If you would like to see some pictures of our holiday, please visit my Facebook page, where I would love to hear to comments.

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