Anna had booked her trip to England in April so it had been a long time to wait for her arrival. She was to spend 8 days in England with me before flying back to San Francisco by way of a 4 day hen party in New Orleans.
A couple of days before she arrived I’d met my first Wrigleys. Let me explain. By chance someone had spotted a couple looking around the village of Heptonstall – with a New Zealand accent, by the name of Wrigley. Knowing that I had ancestors in the village named Wrigley, some of whom had emigrated to New Zealand, I’d been contacted and later that day I found myself in the company of a lady who shared the same great great great grandfather as me – James Wrigley, 1778-1846. Even better – we were in the house where he had lived! James Wrigley had been a cabinet maker in 1841 and his children and grandchildren went on to own a building company in Hebden Bridge, building about 50 of the largest buildings in town – including the one I currently live in. I was able to spend an hour with Ruth and Garth in Hebden Bridge pointing out the buildings and we spent a few minutes in my apartment too so that they could have the experience of being inside a Wrigley building.
The BBC proms are in full swing at the moment and I recorded the season. This oboeist had me in stitches!
I’d also just finished putting the final touches to photo books and my 30,000 word written journal of the trips I took in 2018. It seemed a good time to do it before I decide about any trips this winter and next spring.
I went to to Manchester airport to meet Anna just as I’ve done on the last two times she’s come to visit and we spent the afternoon getting reacquainted with my little town. Now I have a two bedroom place she was able to spread out rather than trying to sleep on the living room sofa and have her bags strewn all around.
We took a walk along the canal and through Hardcastle Crags and the next day we met with my brother-in-law and wife at the Piece Hall in Halifax. The weather was kind to us and we were able to sit on the patio for lunch at the Square Chapel, overlooking Gaol Lane where my great great grandparents, George and Charlotte Gledhill had lived.
In the evening Anna suggested we go up to Heptonstall to watch the sunset. We strolled around the hilltop village with its views over to Stoodley Pike and we wandered around the old ruined church where my gt gt gt gt grandparents are buried. Just as we were coming back onto the main street Anne and David just happened to drive past and so we met up with them and others at the Cross Inn. There aren’t many days each year warm enough to sit outside after dark and enjoy a beer.
The weather the next was forecast to be the hottest day ever recorded in England so we weren’t able to do very much in the way of exercise. Anna had visited the local gym where she could get a day pass and I was very surprised to find that it was air conditioned. Apart from the One Stop little market nothing else in the town has air conditioning. The temperature reached 97F. We took a little stroll around the shops in town and sat in the square where an opera singing was entertaining the people soaking up the sun. I was amazed that she could stand in the full sun for over an hour, singing beautifully. Just then I received a text message from someone asking if they could invite the opera singer on the square over to my At Home. I just love these crazy coincidences!
Next morning we set off on the bus to Haworth. It’s one of our favourite rides – over the hill tops, and we weren’t disappointed. We were doing some window shopping when a lady coming out out of a shop said, ” If you haven’t been in there it’s worth a visit.” So in we went to The Cabinet of Curiosities. The place had been a family business for 30 years and an amazing array of antique shop fittings has been assembled, many things from apothecary shops and museums. Next door is the Apothecary tea rooms which we ventured into for the first time. A deck at the back was a lovely place to have lunch , especially when a cloud covered the sun for a few moments.
After lunch we climbed Penistone Hill and had a good laugh at the name! Anna recognised it from an American podcast (like Todmorden!). This a true Bronte country and within 30 paces we were away from any tourists and out on the moors. Last time I came here it was with headphones from the Parsonage Museum, listening to a song cycle of Emily’s poems created by Unthanks.
We spent the afternoon preparing for a little get together later that evening.