. . . . so, crazy Heather decides to spend 6 hours out in the sub zero temperature! My first attempt to get on t’ th’ tops was thwarted when the bus to Haworth didn’t show up. I thought it might not because the route is very exposed but I was actually surprised when I finally decided to call the bus depot, 40 minutes after it should have arrived, and found that the bus was only running from Keighley to Oxenhope, and couldn’t get over the exposed bit into Hebden Bridge. Not one for taking this sitting down I jumped on the next bus that just happened to be going to Todmorden. Now just occasionally they have double deckers on this route and I was lucky to get the front seat on the upper deck. Next to me were three absolutely delightful sisters, who, for some reason, felt like reincarnations of the Bronte sisters. Presumable that was because I had originally had it in my head to go to Haworth, home of the Bronte sisters.
Todmorden was VERY quiet. There’s no outdoor market on Tuesdays and there were only a couple of indoor stalls open in the indoor market. This little doggie was in a shop window!
Walking on the snow wasn’t too difficult, and I stopped to take photos of the spring flowers just poking their heads through their white blankets. I headed for my favourite cafe, only to find this sign on the window. Really? It occupied the old Co-op building and had retained as much of the interior decor as possible – and it had always been packed when I went. It just didn’t seem to make any sense. So, next door is my favourite coffee shop in the town, Kava, so I had lunch there – which seemed to be exactly the same as the Co-op menu, so I asked about the closure. Apparently the lady who ran it has got tired and decided to give it up – simple as that.
Nicely refreshed but not yet ready to go home I went to the bus station to see where I could get to, but all the destinations I was interested in had long waits – one or in some cases, two hours, so I got the bus back to Hebden. And jumped on the next bus up to Heptonstall. I had nowhere to be for the rest of the day, and I could just jump on whatever bus shows up. This feels extraordinarily decadent for some reason. I’ve never been able to do such things – ever before.
I spent a couple of hours in the village taking hundreds of photos. One minute I’d be in a snow storm, the next minute in sunshine. Dark clouds to blue sky. Amazing. I was the
only one out and about in the village and as I picked my way through the skeleton of the old church it felt incredibly peaceful. My ancestors had been baptised, married and buried here for over 300 years. The blanket of snow had softened the bones of the old church and the flat gravestones were covered completely. I passed the old school house where, only this week, I discovered that one of my relatives, had attended school.
I took a few of the side footpaths which gave me great views across to Old Town and beyond, where I had hiked last week, and on my way back down I stopped at the Tea Rooms, guided in by a lovely ginger kitty. As I sat and warmed up (the coldest part of me was my face, especially my cheeks) over a pot of tea I perused the Heptonstall News
magazine. It was filled with village activities. Again, I ask myself,”Where are these opportunities for social interaction in the U.S. There was even a flier advertising a photography project in which ‘participants will capture the ways they think their area is (or isn’t) ‘Age Friendly. Refreshments and travel expenses will be provided – and it’s all free.’! Hmm, that sounds interesting. One of the things that made me actually dive in and make the plunge to come and live in England was a morning I had spent in Todmorden, taking photos of the elderly, the disabled, the parents with toddlers and infants in papooses who were all doing their shopping, and I wondered where all those people are in America. I remember soon after I had moved to Boston, U.S, and i was doing the grocery shopping with my baby twins, and a lady came up to me and said, “Did the Nanny not show up today?” At the playgrounds it was primarily babysitters who were in loco parentis.
I’d skidded and slid down Heptonstall Road passing Lily Hall with its view over Hebden Bridge and was walking back to my apartment along the canal when the snow came down in force – what fun!
Choir practice was cancelled because the director was snowed in so I spent the evening making an iMovie of my day – as the snow fell gently outside my window.