Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Weekend wanderings

Well that was a fun if hectic weekend. We crossed the country twice - east to west - there and back - went North, and visited I don't know how many counties in three days. Certainly, we went through all of the Ridings of Yorkshire, north, east and west, along with many others.

Friday started at the crack of dawn - before dawn had cracked really - to drive to Manchester airport to meet Anne McAllister there. Then we headed for Cumbria where Michelle Reid has her home overlooking the sea. ( Envious? Moi? You bet!) There if course the talk was of books, heroes, books, dreadlines, words, books - and more books. We talked over the lunch table, in Michelle's lovely office, outside in the garden while the sun shone for a change. We talked as we walked round the village, over the dinner table . . . we were still talking as we reluctantly climbed the stairs for bed.

The next morning we were still talking as we headed for Cartmel and wandered around the lovely Priory there. I had a special reason for wanting to go back to the Priory - a little mystery that I've been wanting to investigate for some time. (I've actually written a blog for the PHS about this which was scheduled for today but my own busy schedule and a posting problem has meant that it's not up today - so if it appears, I'll direct you over there. If it doesn't, I'll post it here.

Saturday afternoon saw us crossing the country again, going back home this time. we took the quieter route, rather than the motorways and went through the Yorkshire Dales, stopping for afternoon tea in Ilkley and as the warm and sunny weather held this was a really pleasant trip. With plenty of time to talk.

Once back home we introduced Anne to Flora - they got on wonderfully well except at 4am when the Floozie decided to go and bounce on everyone's head and woke us all up. Sid was the perfect gracious cat host - but then he and Anne have a friendship that goes back many years. And she brought him some Greenies which he loves. Dylan who often holds back from visitors, was actually very forthcoming (for him) this time and came to accept his share of the goodies in Anne's suitcase.

And then of course there was The Birthday to celebrate. It's hard to believe that Flora is now a full year old. She didn't come to us until she was 3 months old, so that's why it still seems a shorter time. She revelled in being the centre of attention, enjoyed all the treats/greenies/special food she was given and has, I think generally decided that birthdays are A Good Thing. I'll post the official first birthday portrait here as so many of you have asked for one. And there's one of her with all her goodies as well.

It was a fabulous weekend, we talked, explored, travelled, ate great food, debated, discovered, investigated a historical mystery (more on that either here or the PHS soon). The Magnet and Anne talked about genealogy, mysterious Irish ancestors who changed their names and other who ended up in prison for unrevealed (as yet) offences. I introduced Anne to the enjoyment of Life on Mars - and the fact that we only managed two episodes now means that I shall have no problem at all in deciding on a Christmas present for her - except of course that there's that book on Criminal Ancestors that she and the Magnet were poring over for a lot of Sunday. (And the Babe Magnet is now writing his own book on How to Trace Your Criminal Ancestors so there's that as well).

Sadly, yesterday was the last day of Anne's visit and eventually, reluctantly, we had to take her to the train station and wave her off - eventually, after some lengthy delay - on the next stage of her journey. Today she is in London, with Sophie Weston and her Maine Coon Tom Kydd. Then she's going to Cannes on a research trip. And for us it's back to normal - back to the dreadline and to Ricardo and his wife Lucy.

Sid is still sleeping in Anne's place on the settee - keeping it warm for the next time she comes to visit - and Flora wants to know where the nice lady with all the treats has gone and when can she have another birthday? She celebrated being one by going out on the town last night and refusing to come in until very late - it was the rain that finally drove her in.
PS My PHS post is now up so if you're interested in that mystery I mentioned, there are more details over there.


Nicolette said...

Awwww! Flora is such a sweetie! I love that pic of her looking up into the camera. Almost as if she's tolerating you the brief pleasure of capturing her picture before she can return to the pleasant task of sleeping.

Caroline said...

Happy birthday Flora! Avalon, being a Very Ancient Cat, took one look at the rain this morning and padded straight back up the stairs to the duvet. She's currently curled up on my lap and resting her chin on my left wrist, which makes typing tricky!

Kate Hardy said...

Thanks for sharing photos.

Re your mystery - check the parish records, too (depends if the vicar is chatty or not - some of them are online on FreeReg but sadly not Cumbria's); the local newspaper will definitely have details; and if it's big enough there might be something on the Times Online archive (I did check for you, and there isn't).

Be warned. Geneaology is addictive - and a time-stealer!

Anonymous said...

Lovely pitures. Glad you all had a nice time. Michelle's house overlooking the sea sounds wonderful.


Anonymous said...

Love the picture of Flora. She is gorgeous and so photogenic. Glad that you all had a great time.


Jan Jones said...

Happy Birthday, Flora!

And happy un-birthday to Sid and Dylan too.

Very kind of Anne to bring some nice weather with her for the whole of her stay. Can you invite her for the whole summer next time?


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