11:50 I’m sitting on a rock overlooking a bizarre landscape, listening to Philip Glass’s double concerto. Brimham Rocks is England’s answer to Joshua Tree. yes, it’s less spectacular but it’s on a scale that is manageable. It was less than 15 minutes’ drive from Judith’s house in Birstwith. Arriving at 10 a.m. (Judith was on a work-party for the National Trust) there were only a few cars in the parking lot. An hour later – when the shop and the ice cream kiosk opened there was a long line of cars waiting to get in. It’s mostly families with young children but I’ve seen several people in wheelchairs too. neither category is present at Joshua Tree – or the Alabama Hills on 395 either, they’re just too remote. Dads were guiding children up onto the weathered rocks whilst moms stood by. Maybe the moms do more of the hands on child rearing in the privacy of their own homes. It was the dads too who were instructing the youngsters on how these weird and wonderful rocks came on to take their present shapes – Dancing Bears and Druid’s Writing Desks, Anvils and Camels. From this hill top you can see York Minster 34 miles away. There’s no sun today, just muggy clouds which means that my photos will have little contrasts. I think I’ll experiment with some black and white shots. This particular spot close to the kiosk is very busy with people holding dripping 99s, but not too far from the beaten path I found solitude and found myself thinking about Picnic at Hanging Rock.
While I was idly wandering around Judith’s work-party had been doing two hours of physical labor on repairing a footpath and she was hot and hungry. So after a quick brunch at her house and last minute packing we set out for Melbourne Road, Hebden Bridge, my new abode. We passed through Ilkley (b’owt ‘at), Keighley which I don’t remember going to before apart from the Worth Valley railway, and the outskirts of Haworth. We drove through Heptonstall but only so that i could take a photo of the Slack Bottom sign for my collection of interesting sign photos. We pressed on to Hebden Bridge where we stopped for refreshment in the square before trying to find my new home. I knew that there was no road access and that the house was approached by a flight of steps and i was already anxious that my two bags were too heavy for this escapade. however, pleading a fragile back I was able to commandeer the help of both Judith and my new host, Patricia, who, together hauled the bags up the 40 difficult steps and then up to my room at the top of the house. How on earth will I managed when I move out? A little voice reminds me that I am currently moving in, not out, and I should relax. My room is lovely. Not only does it have a fantastic view into the valley with lots of open sky above but it has a window . . .and it opens!
I spent an hour and a half getting settled and writing my blog, and then, unable to sit still any longer, with brolly unfurled I set out for the canal. It took me 6 minutes to reach my previous mill and then I wandered along, in the rain, past Stubbing Wharf. Coming back I called in for a drink, the 4th time I’ve been there on this trip, simply because the location is great.
Coming back to the house I found that it doesn’t have a microwave-just a fan oven so I’ll have to rethink my cooking plans while I’m here.