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Cars seen up north!

May 19, 2012

As I near the midway point of my enforced banishment to the frozen wastelands of northern Britain I have noticed some changes. I have not been this far north for a long time but this northern English enclave of Harrogate. on the outer edges of civilisation is showing signs of progress. They even have cars up here now, and although few and far between I managed to take a snap of one yesterday in Harrogate.

Up to date transport Harrogate style

So why is this hamlet called Harrogate? We have had Watergate, Fergygate  and any number of other “gates” relating to scandals of different sorts, what happened here? Has Prince Harry visited recently? It was something I began to contemplate over a rather good lunch at The Fleece at Addingham as I watched the rain lash the old mill cottages shivering beside the River Wharfe. The locals seemed pleased, at least it wasn’t snow. The fires were it, piles of fresh peat lay moistly awaiting heir turn to smoulder sulkily in the grates and all was well in their own little world.

Last night after drinks at the Harrogate Brasserie we crossed the road to eat at The Elephant Thai restaurant, sited just above “Trotters Bar And Fun Pub” the picture of which will have to wait until tomorrow. It is based on the classic TV programme “Only Fools And Horses” and anyone suggesting that I in any way remind people of the wide boy character Boycie in that series will be hearing from my lawyers Messrs Grin, Snapit and Sueham. Furthermore anyone who suggests that nice lady decorator bears any resemblance to his on-screen wife Marlene should be in fear of their lives.

Although lacking in ambiance the food at the Elephant upstairs was good and the learning curve steep. We had been joined for dinner by a school friend of that nice lady decorator who comes from even further north, from Newcastle in fact. Sat on the opposite side of the table from these two I spent much of the evening as if I was watching tennis, head turning first one side then the other as they recounted childhood memories and although I understood little of what was discussed due to my difficulty coming to terms with the local dialect I learned a couple of new words. Take the word “Parkin”: clearly It cannot be anything related to the parking of cars because that will not be a problem this far into the wilderness for some decades. Could it be something to do with that great Yorkshireman Michael Parkinson? It turns out that it is a kind of local fruit cake so maybe I was right. I also learned that a spog is an item of confectionery.

I spent some trying to explain to her the concept of foreign exchange and how ably Currencies Direct would be able to help her out should she ever decide to live abroad but I confess that my advice fell on stony ground as it seems for her a trip down as far as Harrogate was reaching the outer limits of the unknown. Many people from Newcastle and other villages up north seldom venture more than a few miles from where they were born through their whole lives thus the concept that foreign lands exist must be difficult one to grasp.

So today we will venture to another small northern village Called Leeds where I shall spend the next two nights dreaming of a return to Valbonne and sunshine on Monday. In the meantime I intend to blot out the horror of the landscape and the atrocious weather by the over consumption of Timothy Taylors Landlord, the second best beer in the world.

Chris France

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Pinman permalink
    May 19, 2012 11:33 am

    “the horror of the landscape and the atrocious weather”

    We are born naked, wet and hungry, and get slapped on our arse……… then
    things just keep getting worse.


  2. Pinman permalink
    May 19, 2012 4:41 pm

    But North of Leeds (Headingley) has one of thew best fish & chip restaurants in the world…………..


  3. Rev. Jeff permalink
    May 19, 2012 7:56 pm

    I don’t know Pinman, apart from the hungry bit it sounds like the ideal scenario…..or is that just me….!!


    • Pinman (With a nod to Reverend Jeff)........ permalink
      May 19, 2012 10:01 pm

      If you turned up at Bryan’s Fish Restaurant naked and wet as a piece of their famous haddock, in order to satisfy your hunger, you we get more than a slap on the a**e from those doughty burghers of Yorkshire …………

      No doubt there will be references to “Flame Grilled Burghers” in tomorrows blog, with
      Chris boasting about his Quarter Pounder covered by a Big Mac whilst shouting
      “I’m loving it”………..!


  4. Rev. Jeff permalink
    May 19, 2012 10:19 pm

    More like a a wrinkled gherkin and a couple of small pickled onions from what I’ve heard……


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