Thursday, August 24, 2017

Further North: Diggle

So up after Mason's carer had been. We could hear Mason and him putting the world to rights as I got up. Had toast and muesli and cups of coffee, and then fond farewells with Mum and Mas, who had an appointment with a therapist where Mason would have to explain why he hadn't been doing the exercises he was prescribed.

Lorraine and I handily at the bottom of the M1 so we could start zooming north right away.  A nice day, and it felt freeing to be zooming away from the South. We were driving off to see Lorraine's old pals Lesley and Jeremy, who have moved from Essex, to a small town called Diggle, which Lesley told us had formerly been part of the west riding of Yorkshire, but was now part of Oldham, which hadn't gone down well. The last part of our journey was over purple heathered moors and high wide views, then down steep valleys into gorgeous Yorkshire towns and villages. One of these was Holmfirth, which was exceedingly pretty and was where the TV series Last of the Summer Wine had been filmed.

Diggle was a lovely small town, again in the valley surrounded by moors. Lesley was there, and gave us a lovely warm welcome. Cups of tea, then once we'd dragged everything indoors, we set off for a walk down from the sunny side of the valley into some small woods from which emerged a canal. We took a walk along this, very flowery and picturesque, with a few disused industrial buildings alongside. We walked into Uppermill along the high street, and found ourselves in a pub called The Waggon Inn, and sat outside in the front in the sunshine, Lorraine and Lesley catching up on lots of things. Lesley had left her head teaching job, and was going to do some work at the school in Saddleworth. Lesley is a cornet player, and Jeremy a trombonist, and this part of the world is like the spiritual home of brass bands. Its so much part of the culture that the local opticians have glasses for Musicians, depending on their instruments and where the sheet music rests on their instrument when they are marching. Both Lesley and Jeremy have played in several local bands already, and Lesley did gruelling competition marching where they play their songs in several local villages where the streets are crowded with onlookers.

We took a cab back to Lesley's lovely house, and sat in the garden, which had four big carp (are they shy or are they koi) in a pond. From their house they have views of the big moors, and sheep dotted up them. On one big moortop, there are strange stones called pots and pans and a war memorial.

So another cheeky drink in Lesley's back garden, and a nice supper of greek giant beans, and a platter groaning with cheeses. Jeremy got back from London at this point, and we had a good evening chatting eating (in my case) too much cheese and lapping up plenty of wine. And so to bed.

Views from Lesley and Jeremy's back garden, the pots and pans and war memorial, the view from Jeremy's study, views of canals, and what he has on his music stand, which made me laugh. Last but not least, Lesley herself.


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