My Delightful Foray into Yorkshire


Posted on: 26 May 2011 by Diane Priestley

It was 2008 when husband Andrew and I moved from the Sunshine Coast, Australia to stay for five months in a tiny loft in Acton to try out life in London and trip around the English countryside. It was May when I made a happy train trip up to Yorkshire. Here I recount my adventure.

Is it possible to arrive an hour early and still almost miss your train? Yes. I show up at Kings Cross station all CCC (Cool, Calm and Collected) but somewhere between the cappuccino and the blur of rushing passengers, I get KIT (my Knickers In a Twist). 

The sign says my train to Leeds leaves from Platform QB. What the! This is commuter code for Queue at ‘B’. Conflustered (confused and flustered at the same time), I join the queue and when the crowd surges, I surge too and I’m about to board a First Class Fast Train to Somewhere Else. 

Just in the nick of time I recall the motto I learnt as a cadet journalist from Big Ed: It’s better to ask a stupid question than make a stupid mistake. An apple-cheeked angel heading for Inverness points me to the correct platform and I jump my train five minutes before departure.

So now I am indulging in my own private party with my ipod of favourite Gospel, Irish and Country tunes on shuffle, I’m skimming my new copy of Psychologies magazine and taking my emotions on a ride. 

As the sun streams through the window, I’m gazing at vivid yellow fields of Rapeseed flowers, passing quaint cottages, black-faced sheep and jersey cows lying in lush meadows. A moment of bliss arises in a sensual swirl of music, movement and genteel countryside.

I’m off to visit my new chums, Hattie and Mica up north in Yorkshire; pure Bronte country. I ‘met’ Hattie last year through ecademy online business networking club and formed a strong friendship through months of heartfelt email exchanges. Now we’re meeting face-to-face, with teary hugs. 

“Are you kidding! This can’t be for real!” I exclaim as we arrive in her charming historic village of bluestone terraces set on a miniature road nestled in rolling velvet hills. I’ve stepped out of the rugged landscapes of Australia into Enid Blyton’s magic land. 

Cup of tea with Mica and Hattie in the back garden and dog tales as I meet Leila, an affectionate German Shepherd, and Elka, a regal, aloof and complex canine related to the Pyrenees Mountain Dog bred for solitary guarding of flocks in remote terrain. 

What is it with the mountain theme? That night we attend a business meeting and Eric Edmeades, a good looking guy with a seductive Canadian accent, woes me with a soul-stirring and breathtaking (literally) video of his SYATT (See You At The Top) adventure tours climbing Kilimanjaro and I’m all set to go! Yeah count me in!  

Next morning, we set off for a gentle ramble around the Yorkshire hills. I am gob smacked by the endless natural beauty and madly snapping picturesque scenes every second. 

We’re ambling along a country road with the eager hounds, casting an eye upward across fields dotted with spring lambs at the misty foothills of the Pennines. We round a bend to another ancient village evoking centuries of human stories and onward to woods of wild blue bells, a tranquil canal, a lazy old long boat and we pet three pretty ponies grazing in the afternoon sunshine. 

The lush beauty of Yorkshire is almost too great to bear! I am intoxicated and return to London a little drunk, on a natural high, that much richer with my stash of vivid postcard memories!  

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