It’s hard to believe it’s been 253 days since our last staycation but finally, after counting down the days the day had finally arrived. We’re off on our first holiday of 2021 and it’s going to be busy. Our destination? Beadnell in Northumberland via Elland, York and Harrogate with a stop off in Liverpool on the way back.
We set off at 5.30am with a fully loaded car and after taking the first ‘selfie’ of the holiday we hit the road and headed north towards the M5. Of course we’ve been meticulously planning our road trip for months. Routes had been planned, hotels booked, friends contacted, spreadsheets set up and we’d even set ourselves a mantra.......No speeding tickets, no parking tickets, and we are NOT going to end up in the ‘idiots’ box on the Lindisfarne causeway!!!! We certainly don’t want a repeat of last years unplanned and costly incidents!
On the Friday, as seems to be the norm with us now, we’d both suffered ‘the packing of the suitcases’ pre-holiday ritual. Honestly, once upon a time it would take us under an hour to pack a suitcase, now it seems to take days! To take or not to take, that is the question and of course having a staycation in this country means it’s all dependant on the weather.......will it rain, will it be sunny, will it be hot, will it be cold, do we need a jumper, a jacket, shoes, sandals, hats, umbrella.....and so it goes on. Maice gave up after an hour of deliberation and threw everything in her case whilst I had to wait until I’d taken Milly to her holiday home at Purrfect Cattery later that afternoon before I could pack my case. I can tell you, packing by stealth isn’t easy. Any hint that you’re about to go on holiday and that’s it, she takes off and goes into hiding!
It was hard to believe that at 5.30am we were driving in bright sunshine under a clear blue sky and even more amazing that we arrived in Elland, West Yorkshire to bright sunshine, a clear blue sky and temperatures hitting the 21 degree mark. We were even more amazed that we‘d made it to Elland without getting lost although we do have SatNav Steve to thank for that. We un-furloughed him at the Lymm service station and he guided us effortlessly here to Elland. So why Elland? Well, we’re here to visit a friend of mine, Tracey, who I’ve not seen for years. We couldn’t very well drive to York without stopping off to say ‘hello’, only saying hello had turned into an overnight stay! We arrived at lunchtime and offloaded the contents of the car onto the floor of her attic room. After two to three trips up the very steep stairs we were all exhausted, although why Tracey was exhausted beats me........as the host she was only directing us into the house and up the two flights of stairs!
After a quick change Pat, Tracey’s mum called round and the four of us soon found ourselves being whisked away in a taxi to Halifax, to a place called Piece Hall where we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening. It was hard to take it all in at first sight........the place was packed, packed full of people. A very rare sight these days. Ah yes, people out enjoying themselves in the sunshine. There were bands playing in the piazza, there were people dancing and chatting and drinking and socialising, each and every one of them having a really good time. We soon found ourselves sat outside a pub, drinks in hand and having a good old conflab until a group of people sat on the next three tables to us and there began the contest of whom could shout the loudest. The decibel level around us shot up so much that we literally couldn’t understand a word we were saying. Mind you with a Canadian and two Yorkshire lasses that‘s quite understandable! We decided to drink up when the outdoor DJ switched on his music.....honestly, it was that loud it literally stunned us into silence! We upped and left, considering a visit to the surrounding shops would be a more peaceful and tranquil solution, if not more costly. As it was, all we purchased was a tea-towel for our friend Jane thereby saving us quite a lot of money!!
On the way round we ventured upon this guy who’d set up his camera and huge zoom lens which was trained on the spire opposite. We were intrigued and stopped to ask what he was hoping to see. Apparently, living in the spire was a family of Peregrine Falcons......the parents and four five week old chicks (called erases). The female was out hunting for lunch and he was waiting for it to return with its prey to feed the chicks. We looked through his lens and saw two chicks standing like sentinels with a third one in the background. Absolutely amazing and what beautiful creatures. This guy must have the patience of a saint. He’d already been stood there for a few hours but what’s a few hours more if you can capture that must have photograph! That’s dedication for you!
‘For us tea’ a table had been booked at the very popular La Luna restaurant in Westgate. All I can say is, what an amazing place. You couldn‘t fault the food, it was superb and not a morsel of food was left ‘on us plates’. We all agreed how nice it was to be able to ‘dine out‘ and experience what we had all taken for granted just sixteen months earlier. It was such a good vibe, listening to people laughing and chatting. It’s certainly good for the soul.
Back at Tracey‘s a few bottles of Prosecco were consumed......oh, and for the record, both Maice and I had only been drinking water at the restaurant, and we continued reminiscing about days gone by. Maice even leant a few Yorkshire sayings, the most common one, used most frequently by Tracey on a daily basis was .......‘wor ih wah wah’. It didn‘t quite sound like that when Maice, with her Canadian twang tried to say it but it did give us all something else to laugh at. And with that we called it a day and climbed the very steep stairs up to our high-rise bed In the attic. I say high-rise because the bed must be at least three feet off the ground! We had been warned by Tracey that twin beds were not available in her establishment so either we’d have to share a bed or sleep on the floor. We decided that for one night only we could put up with each other and with that we climbed into bed, having spent a day full of laughter and chatter and fell asleep.
See you all tomorrow.......in York!