So on with the next part of recollections of my trip.
After a few weeks of celebrating my mum's birthday and meeting up with childhood friends I had plans to take a bit of a road trip. Mum was cruising off somewhere warm to carry on her celebrations and I decided to hire a car and see where it took me.
First though I had arranged to meet up with a friend that I hadn't seen for 20 years. Unbelievable really. We met in the city for a coffee and 4 hours later we were still in the same spot! There was a lot of catching up to do... Her laugh was just the same and it transported me back to being about 14 where we would stay up late after the Banwen Friday night discos discussing the details of the night....
As much as I truly loved every. single. second of being with the people that I saw, I also knew that I needed to re-charge, and the best way for me to do that was to enjoy my own company. The dominant introvert part of me was yelling for me to stop, so I listened.
So it was off to M&S foodhall to indulge in some fancy pants ready meal for a night in. The first quiet night for what felt like an age...
I then had time to organise my drive up the motorway to my other "home".
My childhood and teenage years were spent in Wales but most of my adult life I spent in England. I did some study in the Midlands, worked for a short while in Doncaster, then I lived and worked in the Potteries area of Staffordshire. I commuted to Leeds for a number of years before settling in a little market town in North Yorkshire and working across the county.
There were many very happy years in Yorkshire and I consider myself very much 'at home' when I'm oop North!
So the first stop on the road trip was Leeds. My drive up was perfect. With my Spotify playlist blasting, I sailed through the M5/M6 Birmingham traffic and cruised through Cheshire. (I knew I was in Cheshire as every other car seemed to be a black Range Rover!) It even stayed dry on the M62 - that's a first!
I was meeting two friends for morning tea and one of these friends had moved from Brisbane back to Yorkshire. The last time I saw her she was expecting so I was rather excited to see little A for the first time.
As is the case with good friends, morning tea turned into lunch (thank you V) and then it was time to get back on the road heading to Lancashire.
Now that I'm living on the doorstep of a city I find that I do miss the rural landscape of the countryside. I'm lucky enough that my friends back home let me stay with them to indulge in country life and enjoy their wonderful views.
Good food, good wine, great friends - I couldn't have asked for more....
Being back with A and W was so relaxing, comfortable and familiar. They gave me such a lovely welcome and again, within 2 minutes there was a cup of tea in my hand and I felt that I had just popped in to say hi.
We took the dogs for a walk around the woods behind the castle at the top of the High Street. Yes, I took all of that for granted before I moved away. There really is a castle at the top of the High Street where I used to live.
Stanforths pie shop was closed but looked just the same. I sometimes used to take Sibs in there after school pick up and get some ham off the bone for school pack up sandwiches. She always managed to sneak a bit to eat on the walk back home up the hill.....
I returned to work when Sibs was about a year old and she went to a Nursery in the town. On the way home after picking her up we used to drive down the road alongside the castle wall and there were sheep in the field just to the side of these cottages in the photo below. Every single time they were pointed out by Sibs who just used to call them "Mehs". Yes, the mehs were still there....
The photo on the left below was the view out of my office window when I worked in the town. Lucky I had to stand up to see out of that little window, otherwise I'm sure many an hour would have been lost!
So many memories.
I think Skipton and the dales will always have a little bit of my heart.