I headed off fairly early down to Yorkshire, hoping to catch up with Sharon who lives just off the A1. Unfortunately, she was rather ill and texted me before I arrived to tell me she wasn’t really up to meeting. I stopped in a layby, recalculated my route using Google Maps on my phone and set off for Bradford.
Now, Google Maps works out the shortest route, I think, not necessarily the quickest. I wasn’t too fussed as I had some time to kill and the route it came up with was past Ripon and Harrogate and through the Yorkshire Dales. All pleasant.
However. After heading over a bridge and onto a country road I found that I’d drifted off the marked route. Strange as I didn’t recall any turnings. I doubled back out of curiosity even though my current position would allow me to marry up with the correct road later on.
Then I spotted it. A grass track. Something that only qualified as a road by virtue of the fact that a few 4x4s had churned the mud up. How on earth it was marked on Google Maps as a valid B-road was utterly beyond me. I still gave it a go and managed to get around 80% of the way across before realising that this wasn’t a good idea with a little Renault Clio.
By some miracle and a bit of luck, I managed a U-turn and followed the rest of the plotted route into Keighley and on to Chris and Lydia’s. On the way I passed through several old villages replete with stone buildings and traditional shops. This is very much somewhere I’d recommend taking visiting Americans. Or Asians. Or pretty much anyone from a non-British background. Tourists like to see things they don’t have at home, and areas like this are pretty unique to this country.
The afternoon with Lydia was great with the three young kids to entertain me. Or me to entertain them. However it worked out. It was, of course, lovely to see little Sophie for the first time. Last time I visited, Lydia was a week or so from introducing this little bundle to the world.
My next stop was to visit Caz, just back from Denmark where she’d been living for a year or so. Her parents very kindly fed me before we wandered into town to try and find where all the pubs had gone. Pretty much everywhere I used to drink has closed or moved in the last year or so!
The Exchange, where I used to work, is seriously in trouble. No beer on tap as the manager “forgot to order any” and the fridges near empty. We didn’t stay long there.Â I bumped into Ste and Alec in the New Empress, which is about 1/4 the size of the old one but sells cold Brown Ale.
An early night, but good to see the old place.