Sunday, 10 September 2017

10th September 2017 - London to Worcester - Cleckheaton

Sunday 10th September 2017

Farewell to Lindsay and Orla
53 degrees 35.993N
01 degrees 37.548W
Cleckheaton, UK

Once again we have whizzed along the highways and byways, including quite long stretch on the very VERY busy M1.  Lindsay and Emma had introduced me and my iPhone to a new navigation program called WAZE. It is wonderful!  I feel I am being faithless to Siri aka Karen but my WAZE Woman is better!  She is aware of immediate traffic issues and sets us on a different course if there is any sort of hold-up.  We put our faith in her capable hands and found ourselves right at Clare Norton’s door at lunchtime.

Pete and Clare

Clare is an old friend of the Headlam family and we had a very happy lunch and chat before setting off into the middle Worcester, where we very optimistically parked the car in a hideously difficult car park with a very tight circular access and jaunted off to find accommodation.  At 6pm on a Friday night…It very much looked as if there would be no room at any inn, but we were very lucky and got a glorious room in the oldest pub in Worcester, The Cardinals Hat.  There are only four rooms, all splendid, and several small but extremely busy bars.

The Cardinal's Hat - oldest pub in Worcester
I didn’t want to leave this lovely comfortable room, with fresh coffee, a picnic basket of breakfast treats, and a big deep bath, but eventually it was time to go and explore Worcester.  

(I keep writing Norwich…can’t get my head around Worcester at all…)  It is an interesting town, with lots of beauty. 

The Hop Market gorgeous
and quite a lot of ghastliness.  Sad to know how many buildings had been pulled down to make room for atrocities.  There was a Historic Guide to Worcester in our hotel room, written by a very grumpy Mr Jones who did not hold back on these issues.  (I think he must have self-published…)

I can't even...
There was a street market – lot of stalls, no customers.  The first stall featured some very docile owls.  I tipped all of my spare change into the collection bucket…These owls are all from a rescue program.  They have been captive bred and sold as pets.  And then, because owls are NOT pets, they get mistreated and end up being rescued (or not.)  I am sure KJ Rowlings didn’t mean this misery to befall owls when she created her fictional and wonderful Hedwig, Harry’s companion animal.  “Harry Potter has a lot to answer for,” sighed the slightly discouraged owl stall holder.

African Eagle Owl
Across the way was a very cheery man with the most amazingly huge and lavish cakes for sale.  He says his girlfriend made them all on Friday afternoon, plus another truck-load for another market further afield.  WOW!

We decided to go for a brisk walk along the River Severn.

It was all very lovely, with beds of pretty flowers
So pretty!

molehills galore

Moles are so destructive!
And then it started raining.  Pelting!  We sheltered under the ramps leading to a pedestrian bridge.  It was cold and miserable and this area had clearly been used as a toilet.  But…it kept us relatively dry until the monsoon cleared and we were able to gallop towards the splendid cathedral.

Once again, breathtaking, beautiful.

With fabulous tombs.  King John lies here, as does a beautiful lady and her knightly husband.  They have dogs at their feet and she rests her head upon a black stone swan.  (Swans are a thing, In Worcester.)

Back into our little car and off, with the help of WazeWoman, towards Cleckheaton (between Bradford and Leeds.)

We are staying two nights with Pete’s friends, Jo and Mark, who are wonderful…

We love the  neon palm trees at the restaurant
And their fabulous eight year old  border collie, Lottie.

Lottie made Pete laugh so much I thought he was going to fall off the couch.

She is extremely intelligent and loves to watch TV sport.  She knows when a cricket game is going to get exciting and rushes to field the balls.  Putting isn’t of any interest to her, but when golfers start hitting across long distances she is there, leaping and bounding and trying to get that ball.  So funny, and so clever!

Last night we went to an extremely busy Indian restaurant where we very happily gorged ourselves on fabulous curry. 

And today…well it is about to rain but we will not let that deter us!

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