Month: November 2017 (page 2 of 2)

A walk in the woods

Waking up to find the valley had been listening closely to Keats’s poem and had clothed itself in mist I decided on the spur of the moment to head up to Heptonstall and take photos of the inversion layer. I must have got there a little too late because the clouds in the valley were just disappearing as I arrived in the village. But still, the views were glorious. I headed along Northgate to one of my favourite viewpoints and found one man and his dog. I enquired if there was a path this way down to Hebden Bridge and he gave me directions. I’d been wanting to find a path other than the main road back back down to Hebden so here was my opportunity. The path was steep, very steep, very very steep as I headed down to Hebden Water and the bridleway to Hardcastle Crags. Sometimes the path was so steep that steps had been built so that people from the farms o’t tops could get to and from work in the mills in the valley bottoms. Wow, these people must have been hardy souls. As it was there were so many leaves on the steps it proved a difficult task and if it had been a little drier I would have been doing a ‘bottom slide’ in places. But there was too much mud for that!


Autumn colours in the park across from my apartment


On the road from Slack Bottom to Heptonstall




Looking across the valley of Hardcastle Crags to Old Town with its distinctive mill chimney

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Chris once told me that the thing he missed most having moved from Wales to the U.S was the sound of running water. This is Hebden Water



Ha! Two views of Penistone Moor

If you’d like to see a professional’s view of this area watch ‘To Walk Invisible, ‘the new made for TV movie about the life of the Brontes. The film company constructed an entire replica of the Parsonage where the family lived, building it up on Penistone Moor. I’d loved to have seen it but it was dismantled at the end of filming. It’s available on Youtube. The movie is written by Sally Wainwright who also wrote two of my favorite TV series set in this area – ‘Last Tango in Halifax’ (which used my old high school for the school scenes) and ‘Happy Valley’ which is filmed mostly in Hebden Bridge around the canal  and Heptonstall. Both are available on Netflix. She’s currently working on a life of Anne Lister, filming around Shibden Hall, Halifax.

Today I went puddle-jumping

What do you mean you’ve never heard of it? It’s a traditional West Yorkshire game in which you wear new white sneakers and then walk 4 miles along the Rochdale canal towpath after a heavy rainstorm. During this escapade I exchanged greetings with 33 humans, assorted canines, seven wild Canadian geese, two tame muscovy ducks and a lone male mallard who seemed eager to attract my attention (could it be because my phone’s  ringtone is set to Quacks?)


St Michael’s church, Mytholmroyd

All coincidences lead somewhere: A few weeks ago Hebden Bridge post office closed for 2 weeks for refurbishment, so I walked two miles to Mytholmroyd in order to post birthday cards. Someone had mentioned that Mytholmroyd church was worth taking a look at, so I tried the door, it opened and a lady showed me round. Turned out she is the vicar and she invited me to the church’s rededication ceremony on November 5th, following the devastating floods on Boxing Day, 2015. November 5th dawned sunny so it seemed a good idea to walk the two miles to the service. I arrived just as the bells stopped ringing, heralding the beginning of the service. I ran the gauntlet of TV crew and


TV crew

photographers in the South Porch and grabbed a pew near the front. I’d never seen so many people in a church apart from at a Christmas service.The Archbishop of York was resplendent in his mitre and robes and during the service the sun shone on the altar flowers and the gold leaf on the mosaics – beautiful. I sat reading the memorials to the


Altar  in its finest garb

fallen in both World Wars and thought of my granddad who had taken his own life on November 5th, 1933, probably because the sound of fireworks on bonfire night brought back to him the sounds of warfare in the Belgian trenches. It seemed highly fitting that I should be in church today.


This is the only time I’ve known an organist to bring his own organ!

After the service I went to talk to the organist. I knew that the organ had been ruined by the flood and that the church was using a small portative organ, but this sounded too rich for that little organ. It transpired that the organist had brought in this organ himself. I told him that I might be interested in lessons and we exchanged business cards. He is the director of the Halifax Organ Academy and teaches at his home in Mytholmroyd. As everyone filed out of the church I chatted to a lady who suddenly said, “I know you.” It was the landlady at the Crown Pub, right next to my apartment. I’d gone for a drink early


The Archbishop of York and the landlady of The Crown

one evening and the only other person in there was a guy who had been making the most revolting burping sounds. I expected at every minute that he would throw up. The landlady asked him quietly to leave, which he did – quietly, but he reappeared five minutes later with his heckles raised and a very aggressive attitude. The landlady looked to me for support and I’m glad I was there for her. . .  and all that happened because Hebden Bridge post office had been  closed!


A ‘nothing’ day that proved to be very productive

So there was nothing scheduled  on my calendar today. After spending a lovely day  walking to Todmorden  with Judith who came over from Harrogate yesterday I was quite happy to settle for a peaceful day. So, first things first. A quick trip round the Charity shops followed by a visit to the library. They are very strict on overdue books and I had  two due back today. If you are late they charge 5p per day! Horror! So armed with Wuthering Heights (which for some incongruous reason is kept in the Teen section) and Armistead Maupin’s The Night Listener I settled down to read. Then I remembered the Brie and Harrogate blue cheese I’d bought at the market on Thursday and so I that took me into the kitchen where my quilt looked at me and asked in a rather sad voice  ‘Why have you been neglecting me?’ I considered baring my soul to the fabric fragments but settled on placating it by beginning work on another scene –  Stoodley Pike. This kept me quiet for a while. Well, not exactly quiet since I was listening to George Martin’s string quartets, but you get the idea. When I’d got the general idea of the basic fabric design I sat down, but 5 minutes later decided I should jump on the next train to Halifax: I was out of Wunder Under, sometimes known as Fusible Web. I have to keep pinching myself. I don’t ever remember having this much freedom before. It’s rather exhilarating.

The Christmas lights have been strung up in the streets in Halifax but they won’r be turned on until later this month. As the assistant measured out 5 metres of Wunder Under I chatted. “Do you have any fabric I could use as stones?” I thought it was a long shot, and  the response, “yes, it’s just  here” took me by surprise. I wasn’t quite as lucky with “What about grass fabric?” though.

After a quick trip to Poundland (a place that Simon Armitage decries vociferously  in ‘All Points North) and Wilko’s, it was getting both cold and dark, so I opted for a warm-up in the Square Chapel. The scones looked delicious. I asked the bar-tender which beer might go with a scone, which for some strange reason he thought was highly amusing. I settled on a beer to drink then for one pound fifty, and a scone to go for three pounds fifty. Wow! As I sat enjoying my drink I browsed the What’s On brochures and discovered to my delight a flier for the Halifax Concert band – new members always welcome.

It was completely dark as I jumped on the next train back to Hebden just before 5 p.m. I looked up the band’s website. I’d even get to wear a uniform!


‘Stone’ fabric from the Fabberdashery


6 p.m.


10 p.m

Looking for solace and inspiration by tramping in the footsteps of Emily Bronte

A hike up to the top of Penistone Hill, high above Haworth

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