Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Our Trip to Yorkshire (Part 1)

Very interesting discussion about goals in the previous post's comments section. I agree that living a good, happy, productive and ethical life is paramount. I still have a nagging sense that I ought to be more goal oriented. That's just me. But I don't have an answer to my own question, so moving on...

It must surely be the case that ONE goal I should adopt is uploading photos to this blog a lot faster. Starman and I have been back from England for a couple weeks, and this is the first you're hearing of how the trip went.

Well, it was wet. Very wet. Not quite biblical proportions wet, but getting there. It rained every other day that we were there. When it wasn't raining, it looked resentful that it wasn't.

Starman's brother Mike & family live in a tiny village south of York called Naburn. It's on the River Ouse, which was rising to near-flood stage. I gather nothing actually bad happened, although the road we took out of town on our last day there was just beginning to flood to impassibility. We felt like we got out just in time.

Here's the River at the boat slip in the village. Ordinarily, you can walk all the way down past these buildings. You can see that flooding is not unheard of in these parts, though -- you wouldn't put a window any lower down than they have.

I don't have a photo of the house near here where the front door is a good twelve inches up from the ground. Nor one of another house that had sandbags along the bottom of the garage door.

I gather Mike's house is just a big higher than some of his neighbors. Certainly we were lovely and toasty warm and dry while we were there.

A close-up of the swans on the swollen river. It just wasn't very good sightseeing weather, plus we were there primarily to get some wedding planning chores sorted out. So, no stately homes this time. (I do have a photo for a future post of a really fine private residence -- I know all Americans think all Brits live this way, but it just isn't so. Still, when you meet one who does, it's nice to see.)

What else did we do? We had a lovely excursion to Harrogate, a charming town -- even when dripping wet -- near where we're getting married. We had lunch at the famous Betty's, a tea shoppe & lunchroom that is usually so packed there's a queue to get in. The weather was our friend that day -- no queue!

We visited the florist (more on that in another post) and ordered the wedding cake. Yes, that's right -- no cake making for me this time. Given than there are roughly three desserts for this event (the "pudding," which is the generic term used to describe any dessert, chocolates served with coffee, and the wedding cake itself) I opted for a pleasant three-tiered vanilla/white chocolate sponge cake with raspberry filling. Elspeth, our florist, will put flowers on it, and it will be fine.

Also on the must-do list was picking out suits for the groom & his best man. There's a "designer outlet" near Naburn, so we went along to a tailor there and selected a serviceable gray suit. I still need to find ties and shirts to match, but the tailoring was the real chore: Mike is 6'5", so not a standard length.

Otherwise, it was all about family. Starman has two sisters and a brother; they have five children among them, ranging in age from 21 to 4. We were able to see them all, which is really nice for both of us. I don't have photos of everyone, but they'll all be at the wedding, so you'll get inundated with pics then.

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