Today I walked to Fewston as part of my training for The World Photo Tour, just some 12 miles altogether. I was quite good, got them blisters appearing, but what was actually good was that I had a companion in Robert for a while. And remember Gem*, the photo bombing dog? :)
The walk started well, having the backpack loaded to 32 kilos, I walked up to the Army Foundation College in sunshine. Some clouds gathered then and it started to get really cold until it rained a little. Back into sunshine then, merely a preparation for some more cold. At 4 °C, I was sweating in only my T-shirt. Stopping for too long wasn’t an option and I actually walked about 6 miles in a raw before stopping for the first time.
Once in Fewston, I paid a visit to the Robinsons, as Robert joined me for a walk around the Swinston Reservoir. And it did pay to have him as a ‘local’ guide. He told me some facts about the reservoirs and why were they built, at which point we engaged in contemplating on the dullness of their architecture, strangely fitting the weather rather than the landscape. In the mean time it started to rain, then it was snowing and raining, then it was just snowing, only for the falling to stop after about half an hour.
Get all the gear on! Actually that was a bad decision, as I overheated pretty soon.
Crazy ol’ Gem
In the woods, Gem barked her brains out, taking down entire trees (I’m exaggerating, but only a bit) to get her sticks for her pleasure of getting me and Robert to throw them in the water, where she followed diving in a rush. I guess the sticks were actually just a pretext for her to take a swim. This dog is the kind that knows no limits. If it sets its mind on doing something, it will do that thing to the very end, until it will run out of energy and die. Gladly it didn’t happen today.
The joke with haddock and place
In Harrogate and around (I don’t know about other places), people use to place benches around the parks in memory of their loved ones. And I think it’s quite a nice way of having a park furnished with benches without the council paying for it. All the benches in Valley Gardens and a lot more around the Harrogate area bear the signs of someone remembering their long departed. Some of them even bear messages.
On the way back to the house in Fewston, Robert showed me one such message in particular on this bench overlooking the Swinston Reservoir: Jack and Dorothy Haddock. Our favourite place. I didn’t get it at first, so he had to tell me: place reads the same way as plaice, a common name used for a group of flatfish. Deliberate joke? Don’t know, but this kind of reminds me The Merry Cemetery in Săpânţa, Romania, famous for its tombstones with naïve paintings that are giving death a smile, and sometimes a pure sincere laugh. The jokes go from being about death to as far as being on the dead person itself or on the way the person died.
End of day
Back home, Fiona was waiting us with biscuits, coffee and tea. I couldn’t get enough of the ginger ones. Then we decided on the recipe for a Romanian dinner at theirs. And Moldavian stew it will be! Until then, au revoir!
*no, I will not take a Gem with me. :)