Posted by: glenswatman | April 2, 2013

20130321-31 A kiwi visitor

20130331 (9) Noel in Haworth Daniel and Natasha's Easter eggs 20130331 (7) Noel in Haworth 20130330 (8) 20130330 (7) 20130330 (6) 20130330 (5) 20130330 (4) 20130330 (3) 20130330 (2) 20130330 (1) 20130329 Walk round Laycock and Braithwaite Village (14) 20130329 Walk round Laycock and Braithwaite Village (13) 20130329 Walk round Laycock and Braithwaite Village (12) 20130329 Walk round Laycock and Braithwaite Village (11) 20130329 Walk round Laycock and Braithwaite Village (10) 20130329 Walk round Laycock and Braithwaite Village (9) 20130329 Walk round Laycock and Braithwaite Village (8) 20130329 Walk round Laycock and Braithwaite Village (5) 20130329 Walk round Laycock and Braithwaite Village (4) 20130329 Walk round Laycock and Braithwaite Village (3) 20130329 Walk round Laycock and Braithwaite Village (2) 20130326 (2) Shidben Hall gardens, Halifax 20130326 (1) Shidben Hall gardens, Halifax 20130322 Lister Park Bradford (5) 20130322 Lister Park Bradford (4) 20130322 Lister Park Bradford (3) 20130322 Lister Park Bradford (2)

THURSDAY 21 MARCH – Sandra has seen a few patches in the wall paint so I drive round and whilst she stands at the right angle to see the spots I paint over them.  In the afternoon she joins us for a drive over to Bradford where we walk round the attractive Lister Park.  We had no idea it was so nice with a lovely garden area that has water features and a large lake.  In Cartwright Hall there is a David Hockney exhibition amongst others including local artist “Anish Kapoor” who designed the London Olympic tower.  It’s Mavis’s birthday today so we pick her up to join us for an evening meal and she is surprised when Mick & Lisa arrive to join us.  I’ve been busy cooking and service up cream of mushroom soup, fish pie with carrots and cabbage all followed by individual banoffee desserts.


FRIDAY 22 MARCH – It was the first day of spring yesterday but someone forgot to tell the weather as we wake to winter.  The wind is so strong the snow is being blown sideways.  We cancel our plans to visit the Harrogate motorhome show.  I potter round doing a bit of spring cleaning and dig out my summer clothes to see what I might take to Spain.  We must have quite a damp problem in the wardrobe as they seem to have shrunk.


SATURDAY 23 MARCH – Steve braves the weather to clear our path and go out and pick up a paper.  He says the wind chill is really bad and he has no intention of going out again.  It’s exactly a year since we arrived back in England and I preferred the weather last year as we arrived to a mini heatwave.


SUNDAY 24 MARCH – The snow has stopped and it seems to be thawing.  Claire calls to say the Queensbury road is terrible with snow banks and she has struggled to get through to pick up the kids from Daz.  Later in the day the same road is closed so I reckon she was lucky to get through.


MONDAY 25 MARCH – We’ve been stuck in long enough so head into town to do some shopping and also pick up Mom from the supermarket.  She loans us her snow shovel (no longer needed where they live) and bathroom scales (we both want to lose a bit of weight).  Sandra joins us for lunch Mexican style.  Steve’s Doctor in Keighly calls to say Leeds hospital have asked them to make appointments for Steve to have his childhood jabs, another milestone approaching.


TUESDAY 26 MARCH – We pick up Sandra for our trip out to Halifax.  The snow is banked by the side of the road but the road is clear.  We want to visit Shibden Hall and gardens but the top entrance car park is blocked.  At the end of the road we call into “Motorhome Importers” to look over their stock but they are now mainly specialising in small campers as this is the way the market is heading.  The other entrance to Shibden Hall has been cleared but this takes us down into the valley to the lake area well below the main house.  It is starting to snow and the tracks to the house are not cleared so we abandon ship.  At Richard Baldwin motors we are shown round a number of motorhomes and pretty much only find 2 layouts that might suit us but both have pro’s and cons and none of them really inspire us.  We return to Keighley and have our “picnic” at Sandra’s as all possibilities for walking are squashed by the cold and snowfall.  In the evening we go to the new “Khalid’s” restaurant and meet Ray & Margaret.  I opt to try and Afghan meal but even as a medium it is so hot I can taste nothing but the heat.  Everyone else has chosen well and enjoys their meal.  Ray has been doing some ancestry researching and tells us a few tales of their family but he hasn’t managed to get back anywhere near as far as I have as there are so many step relations in his family.


WEDNESDAY 27 MARCH – The snow is falling heavier than ever.  I potter round finding things to do but am starting to get a bit bored with not being able to go out and about.  Steve receives copies of the vaccination letters send by hospital to his Doctors’.  It’s a really extensive programme with absolutely loads of injections carrying on over the next 5 years.  There is also a booklet relating to his stage post transplant and this also offers a bit of doom and gloom stating he is now far more likely to have a secondary cancer and heart problems but on the plus side he sounds to be doing far better than expected.


THURSDAY 28 MARCH – The weather is improving so in the afternoon we drive over to Skipton.  Get it wrong the first time by trying to walk the canal towpath out of town but it is far too muddy.  We move to the centre of town and do part of the Skipton walk I did with the group but head off to the right in the woods and loop back round.  Skipton itself is bustling as usual.  We call into the recently opened “Russian Tea Rooms”, too busy for us to stay but they have a shop downstairs and we are amazed to see a vodka set of 6 cups, bottle holder and tray on sale for over £200.  It is very much like a set we were given when we visited Russia and we had no idea how valuable it was.


FRIDAY 29 MARCH – We walk up Redcar Tarn which is impossible to walk around due to the high snow.  Wanting a longer walk we extend it along the roads.  The first lane we could cut down is completely full of snow up to the tops of the dry stone walling.  You cannot even tell where the cars should go.  It certainly doesn’t feel like Good Friday given the weather.  The next lane appears to have been cleared but as we walk along snow drifts have covered parts over and we have to climb up and over snow hills.  It’s been the strong Siberian winds causing drifts rather than the quantity of snowfall that has been hitting the news by causing even major road closures.  Late afternoon I spots a comment on my blog from a New Zealand friends and realise he is in England.  I’ve been meaning to fix a Skype error on my computer ready for when I go to Spain and this prompts me to do it now so I can chat to Noel.  He’s down near London with family but his wife Lindy is going over to Euro Disney for the weekend with a grandchild and he says he will check out whether he might be able to get up and visit us.  He calls in the evening and says he is coming up tomorrow on the train to stay overnight and should arrive in Leeds in 12.25 and will catch the train on to Keighley.


SATURDAY 30 MARCH – Noel doesn’t arrive at our estimated 1.15pm.  At the station I learn his original train was cancelled and the following one was delayed.  The ticket clerk works out he should arrive in Keighley at about 2.15pm so I return to meet that train.  I almost miss seeing him as he is so well wrapped up with just a little of his face showing.  It’s been 8 years since we last saw him in Australia.  We hop in the car heading over to Yeadon.  Today at 3pm the Albert Pub is having the FA cup on display for people to have their photos taken with it.  We take the scenic route over the tops to impress Noel with our wintery landscape.  The pub is too crowded for Steve as you collect a ticket and wait for your number to go in to view the trophy.  I have a quick word with someone and we are ushered in straight away.  We pose for photos and receive a free T-shirt as well.  Walking round The Tarn we see it is really busy with many people boating on the lake.  Noel is impressed by a large plane landing on the runway at the end.  Late afternoon the Wetherby Whalers is quiet and we settle in for traditional Yorkshire fish and chips.   This was the original Harry Ramsden’s and at that time was the biggest fish and chip restaurant in the world.  It’s still very attractive with massive chandeliers and the atmosphere is lovely with someone playing the grand piano.  On the way home we first call in to show Noel Saltaire village then stop further along for a walk up to the five rise locks at Bingley.  Having had a late lunch we decide on cheese and wine in the evening.  Now that Steve is off the clean diet he can have blue cheese so we pick up a chunk of blue stilton as Noel also likes it.  Throughout the evening we learn about Noel & Lindy joining in with their son on a property in New Zealand, renting out their Australian house and having a motorhome there to travel in.  Since we last saw them Lindy has retired so they are making major changes.  He amazes us by offering us use of the motorhome if they are not over there using it themselves.  I prepare a cottage pie for an early lunch tomorrow so we can go out in the morning.  Clocks go forward 1 hour to British summer time, wish the weather would also jump forwards.


SUNDAY 31 MARCH – Noel needs to catch the early afternoon train so we take him on a whistle stop tourist tour.  In Oakworth Park there is a new sign telling you all about the grand mansion that used to be there, at today’s prices it would have cost £8 million and sounds amazing.  After Oakworth Station we take the long drive to Haworth via Stanbury.   The scenery is amazing with the snow drifts defining the different fields.  After a walk around Haworth we complete the circuit heading back past the viaduct.  Noel has really enjoyed it all and although a short visit it has been wonderful to catch up with him.   We have a quick lunch then drop him at the station for the 1.25pm train.  Call in to Mom and Dad’s and make a few Easter phone calls whilst there.  Next stop is Claire’s for a few hours.  Claire has bought the kids some monster Easter eggs and Natasha makes us laugh as the only way she can break into it is by dropping from a great height onto the plastic wrapping paper.  Looking back we have had a good month in terms of outings and I realise this has been the first month since last September when Steve has not been in hospital for any part of it, long may this trend continue.  Think I may have bought too large a chunk of blue cheese as Steve still doesn’t manage to finish it in the evening and has to put up with me moaning about the smell in the fridge.  At least the smell is contained to the kitchen, a great improvement on being in a motorhome where odours get everywhere.





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