Mon anniversaire – et le Grand Départ

C’était mon anniversaire, et je suis allée voir ma fille. Elle habite dans le Yorkshire, et elle a organisé une grand fête pour célébrer mes soixante ans.

She had bunting,

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And cake and champagne

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But, wait, was this all for me?  Well, actually, no, there happened to be a little cycle race going on at the same time. It was the Grand Départ for the Tour de France!

These were the scenes in Skipton on Saturday, although to be fair, this was also the scene across towns and villages all over Yorkshire.  Yorkshire was Tour mad!

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And to start it all off, (and they followed behind the riders too) the Fabulous New York Brass Band.  They were fresh from Glastonbury, don’t-you-know, and are not from New York, but are from York, and they’re new, so well, there you go. Well worth watching.  I must tweet them, to tell them how much I liked them.

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What a fabulous time it was.  Notice I didn’t take any pictures of the cyclists, well there’s a reason for that – there was no point, they were so fast, and it felt like an intrusion.  It’s okay to take pictures of this, someone bungee jumping on a float:

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because it’s easy, but those cyclists go by so fast and they put in so much effort, that it’s all about cheering these efforts, and not recording them.

On Sunday, we went to view the second Stage on a by-pass which is normally teeming with cars.  According to the locals, it felt like ‘apocolypse’  Children were allowed to chalk images on the road:

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British Policemen did what they did best, and high fived everyone as they passed, and let small children sit on their motorbikes:

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What a time we had.  Yorkshire was amazing; I would not have missed the experience for the world.

Oh, and the beer was good too!

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Vive le Tour!

 

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Hotch Potch

Some random photos from my memory stick:

The fridge at work.  The idea is that we bring back a ‘tasteless’ magnet when we go on holiday.  Well, we have some pretty tasteless ones, so that worked…. But they do make us laugh.Image

Part of the ‘New York Skyline’ – actually a salt and pepper set, again, quite tasteless, but again looks kind of cool in the shadows when the sun is behind them.  Always makes me smile when I go into the kitchen and spot them.  Well, it takes all sorts I suppose….

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And, for good measure, an actual skyline photograph;Image

Nearer to home : Stones found half way down Fairfield Fell in The Lake District.  Cute, eh?  I wonder who did that, and who it was done for.

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Picture of Big Ben:

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Picture of the paralympics:

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Walking in Yorkshire..

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Quite easy to work out which fridge magnets are mine then….

Top Withins

Top Withins, it is said, is the name that gave Emily Bronte the inspiration for Wuthering Heights.  It’s now a ruined farmhouse in the middle of absolutely nowhere.  I just had to go and visit it, and tried to get there last year, but was beaten back by the wind, and the rain, and the sleet, and the  ghosts hail.

The moors can be so atmospheric, those Bronte siblings must have been hardy souls to trudge around them the way they did.

The weather was kinder this year, so I managed the trek.  Somewhere else to cross off my list …

These moors are very wild and windy!

These moors are very wild and windy!

So I took shelter in 'Wuthering Heights' to read my book.

So I took shelter in ‘Wuthering Heights’ to read my book.

The Third Peak

Well, it only took a year, but I finally manged it – the third peak.  You can find the story of Peaks one and two here: 

So, it was time for Peak number three, Ingleborough.

We put our best feet forward to start the trek:

Best feet forward

Best feet forward

 Note the new boots.  My old ones  were ten years old, and were really finished, so I was given new ones for my birthday.  I thought I had broken them in….

This was the start of the walk:

The start

The start

…and here is the cave mentioned in the signpost:

Ingleborough cave

Ingleborough cave

It was a beautiful walk.

Trow Gill

Trow Gill

Trow Gill

Trow Gill

Gaping Gill

Gaping Gill

Gaping Gill Lunch spot

Gaping Gill Lunch spot

It's this way.  follow me!

It’s this way. follow me!

Looking back

Looking back

Looking back

Looking back

Little Ingleborough - not too far to go now!

Little Ingleborough – not too far to go now! See? It’s just up there!

Pen-y-Gent from Ingleborough.  Nearly there!

Pen-y-Gent from Ingleborough. Nearly there!

The top!

The top!

It took a long, long, time, but I made it!

Made it!

Made it!

Legs and body fine – feet, well, not so good.  The boots are so comfortable – until you walk up mountains in them!

But, I managed it.  That’s it, the third Peak done.  Have to think of something else for next year….

Walk Ten

Last Saturday, I took part in Walk Ten.  If you don’t know what that is, you can find information here. 

It was amazing – people from all walks (excuse the pun) of life joined in.  If you are able to, do something like this for charity.  I say if you are able to, because I almost wasn’t.  I had walked for several miles previously in new boots (all will be explained in the fullness of time), so I was actually suffering.  Not half as much as cancer sufferers, mind you, which was what kept me going.  I managed the Walk Ten in an hour and forty minutes, which was really good going, I thought.  I feel quite strongly that those of us who are able to, should help out the less fortunate amongst us. 

And I am one of the fortunate ones.  I have my health, and my family are happy and healthy.  That is fortunate indeed.

It was poignant.  This is what greeted us on our return from the walk:ImageRemembrance lanterns, arranged in a heart shape.

I’d dedicated one:

ImageFor my father, who I still miss to this day, almost thirteen years on.  It was almost his birthday, too, which was a lovely feeling.

Not to be too morbid, it was a beautiful evening, and one that I’ll remember throughout the winter nights.

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Harewood House lit up for the evening

It was beautiful.

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Oh no, how can I keep this up?

How many months is it?  Too many really.  The truth is, that although I really really want to keep blogging, I find it difficult.  Things get in the way, which is not always a bad thing, as at least it proves that I have a life, of sorts, and that I don’t always have time to blog.  Perhaps I need more mobile technology; things have changed so much in the last couple of years, and if I had, for example, an iPad, I could possibly blog more.  Maybe I should save up.

Well, I did go to Pen-y-Ghent, and I did climb it, and also Whernside.  Photos are over on my blogger account, which I have to say is easier to use than this one, or is it just me?  As soon as I can work out how to add links here, I will do so.  I think I’ve worked it out.  Click here and see if it works.

After the summer, I went to the Paralympics, and, yes, you’ve guessed it, photos are on my blogger account.  Next came the new term, along with the full time working.  Then there was the prospect of another novel, in National Novel writing Month.  Details are, of course, you know where.  Hopefully, that will be published this year.  Maybe I’ll post a preview sometime, you never know.

The last thing to mention is that I want to do something huge this year.  Huge for me, that is.  I want to give blood.  Watch this space.