Thursday, 3 November 2011


Posted by Tania Kindersley.

Very brief, as I am about to get on the road for my annual trip south to the Beloved Cousin. I am going first to the Man of Letters, which is only about a three hundred mile detour. East is east and west is west. Still, it's nice to see a bit of the country. I am planning to drive right across the Yorkshire Dales, which I don't think I have done before. (I mean, I've been to Yorkshire, but not done that wild drive all the way across the National Park.)

Am madly running about, clearing fridge, saying goodbye to the Mother and Stepfather, packing and repacking, attempting to leave my office not too crazy, in case I am run over by a bus and my poor sister has to come in and clear up all the piles, making watercress soup for the journey, doing vital admin, and attempting to locate my library books.

As I make the soup, which I shall put in a thermos and eat on the journey, I think: why can't I just buy a cheese sandwich in a petrol station like a normal person?

Blogging might be light over the next few days, as I shall be all over the place.

A few last pictures for you:

Feel quite guilty about leaving my mum for a whole month, so I took her guilt flowers:


My last glimpse of this year's beech avenue. When I come back, it shall be stoic and bare:

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My oldest and smallest acer was very merry this season:

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The hills looked splendid, even on a white day:

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The Pigeon has been giving me this melancholy, narrow-eyed look for two days now. It is because she has seen the suitcases, and she thinks I am leaving her, and however much I say You are coming with, she does not believe me. I admit this is partly because she is a dog and so therefore does not speak English:

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Oh, and while we are on the subject of dogs, may I just sing a song of praise for lovely Plato's of Kirby Lonsdale, which not only has the most comfortable, chic rooms, and the most smiling, friendly staff, but also welcomes canines with open arms. It is in the enchanting market town of Kirkby Lonsdale, which has an old-fashioned hardware store and a camping shop and a cheese place and no soulless chains except for a tiny and discreet Boots. It is my halfway stop this year, and I always smile when I drive down its welcoming hill.

Yet, for all that I am excited about seeing Lancashire, my heart also sinks in my boots. I am so old and rooted now that I really hate going away. I used to be an easy traveller. I was always buggering off to Singapore or San Francisco or Sri Lanka. Now, it takes a year of badgering to get me to the Borders. I don't know. I've got all my books and my trees and my garden and my hills and my dog and the dear old internet so I can see what shocking things the Younger Niece is up to at her new university, and I like to sit still. My suspicion is this will pass. When I am sixty, no doubt I shall be running off to St Petersburg and Copenhagen and the Fjords at the drop of a hat. I do rather long for the Fjords.

I hate the idea of being stuck in a rut or a stick in the mud or any of those other idioms, but on the other hand, I suppose it is a good thing to be fond of one's own room. It makes me feel quite lucky, anyway.

Last hill for a while:

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  1. Have a wonderful trip! I am leaving myself for Melbourne on Sunday and looking forward to seeing the children but not the eight hour Singapore/Melbourne section. There was a time that the journey was part of the fun - not anymore!

  2. Oh have a lovely journey. I know what you mean about stirring ones stumps. Always worth it but quite easy to put off. I hate packing.

  3. I hope you have a wonderful time.

    And M and I always say "Why can't we make soup and have it in a thermos for the journey like sensible people?"

  4. My late dog Chester, having limited command of English, taught me Dog.

  5. Have a wonderful time! So happy you are taking Pigeon - I mean, how could you not?
    Those beautiful trees and the hill will be there when you return. I look forward to you sharing them with us.
    Take care and soup wins every time. xx

  6. Have a safe & wonderful journey! The Yorkshire Dales are husband is from York and wrote this about the Dales:

    O’er hill and dale, past moss-covered dry stone walls and creeper-caught bridges. Following the ancient roads hacked by Caesar’s legions through soft English chalk and the coastal trails blazed by retreating Saxons. Twixt green bowers of gnarled spreading forests and across the wastes of stark deserted moorland – the grind of iron shod wheels squawked on greased axle trees…’


    ps - please consider taking a few pics with that wonderful eye of yours, would love to see them!

  7. BON voyage!

    Pigeon will relax as soon as you open the car door for her.

    I'm off to London for a week to see my Yorkshire friend's master class print show. She makes regular pilgrimages to her beloved days, apparently breathtakingly beautiful and quite unique.

  8. Have a good and safe journey Tania. I shall think happily of you, Miss Pidge, the Man of Letters and the Beloved Cousin having a wonderful time together.

    There is not much worse on dog island than the steely, flinty-eyed look of a dog suspicious of your departure. The leaden tail and the sentry duty by the door are heart rending. But, joy of joys, their look of amazement when they realise that they really and truly are coming with you makes up for it. So I also hope that you and Miss Pidge have great adventures on the road. Kirby Londsdale sounds like heaven, three of my favourite sorts of shops in one market town.

    I think that, if we have been lucky enough to travel when young, the journeys of our youth make us appreciate all the more the beauty in staying still. With age, we notice things which were once less relevant, but which become so much more important and nourishing. And then we become restless again and off we go on more adventures.

    Wishing you and Miss Pidge a fab fab time with your friends and family.


  9. Have a great trip! You had me laughing at the end there... "pining for the Fjords"?.... Monty Python... hee hee!

  10. Hallo positively wonderful to have found you and your big black dog. I came here via...well...actually, I clicked so many times I can't actually remember how I got there.
    Never the I am, and here I shall stay...consider me you newest follower!

  11. Oh, the Dear Readers, what lovely, lovely comments; thank you. And a particularly welcome to Jacqueline, the newest follower. :)

  12. Arrgh,,,I meant beloved DALES -- those Yorkshire DALES...that's what happens when I get tired (sigh)...

  13. Awesome subjects! Perfect for your ideas.


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