The dales donned winter clothes this week. Autumn hues hung around the route of the River Ribble while higher up, snow clung to the hillsides. The Three Peaks all dressed differently on the day I drove round the trio. Penyghent (above) caught a bit of sun and looked streaky and cold, yet inviting. Whernside looked settled and serene, the peak playing peek-a-boo through the clouds. Ingleborough seemed more angry about the whole affair, wrestling with the clouds. I felt an icy reception as I trampled around its foothills looking for a decent photo. We’re not really in winter yet but days like this remind walkers that the dales demand respect at all times.
Passport and phrase book in hand I left the Dales for the Lake District on Friday. As usual with my trips to the North West I head towards the blue sky over the distant South Lakeland Fells you can see from the A65 in Yorkshire – but which by the time I reach them they are covered in a grey fug. Still, after completing the job I had to do in Coniston I managed to grab a few worthwhile shots.
I got to Coniston at 11am on the 11th of the 11th and pulled into the empty car park for two minutes of silence. That done I paid 20p for a toilet visit and had a quick nosey around the information centre. I then noticed that car parking cost £3 for a short stay then further arms and legs after that. The first 15 minutes are free and with the car clock now showing 11.17 I made a hasty exit. No wonder Coniston’s narrow streets are packed with cars and several businesses are for sale. I wait to see whether the number plate recognition system will take into consideration my two-minute stop to pay my respects. This is no place for tight Yorkshiremen.
Back in the Dales I tweeted a photo showing the war memorial at Horton-in-Ribblesdale with the line ‘Yet people still vote for those who promote hatred’, prompted by you-know-who’s election (clue: in Yorkshire slang his name aptly means ‘obnoxious smell emanating from ones posterior’). It truly astounds me that a country with 325m inhabitants could only come up with those two characters for their president.
Earlier in the week I was following the story of the sink hole in Ripon. I know it’s a very serious problem for those involved but I had to laugh at the BBC Look North’s tweet which included this quote from a resident: “I went outside and it was all dusty, my neighbour was out there in a dressing gown and it was a real mess.”
Never mind luv, my old dressing gown’s not that good either.
Regular followers will know I’ve taken many photos of Drybeck Farm here in Ribblesdale. I was pleased to receive this week a calendar produced by Agrii which features one such picture of mine. Proceeds from the calendar go to farming charities.