(Standard English: On Ilkley Moor without a hat)
Apparently, everyone knows of this popular Yorkshire folk song, because no end of people have said this to me over the last week or so when I mentioned I was off to Ilkley. I’ve never heard of it in my life, and so could only respond with a confused look on my face. I only know of Ilkley from going loads when I was younger because my brother used to play there in a tennis tournament every year. Oh, and I knew there was a place called Ilkley Moor, which had a few rocks on it.
So, I went to Ilkley this weekend for a little break away, I had some hotel vouchers to use up before I go and a willing
victim playmate to come along so we headed off on Friday for a bit of fun in the countryside.
Ilkley is preeeeetty. It has blossom trees, and hills, and green stuff, and a river, and little shops, and coffee places, and bars and restaurants to stuff your face with Bloody.Good.Food. Had an awesome meal at Le Bistrot Pierre on Friday night and then another awesome meal at Vietnamese restaurant Bistro Saigon on Saturday night. Add in the hotel breakfasts, tea and cake and then a bloody good 3 course Sunday lunch back at the Tower when we got back to Lincoln and I’d say we’ve eaten pretty well this weekend.
Ilkley was fun. We did a fair amount of walking, lots of eating (see above), some relaxing and a bit of drinking. And I took a few pictures (see below). Decided to go for a walk up Ilkley Moor on Saturday and morning and got SOAKED. Yep, it rained. A Lot. I had a hood, I wasn’t too bad. The Marine didn’t. He got a bit (a lot) wet. We dried off a bit in the hotel and tried again after a while, but went down by the river this time rather than up onto the moor. The Marine skimmed stones which I was impressed to find out he was pretty good at. I took pictures. A man in a wetsuit swam in shallow water. Male ducks outnumbered females ones by a high ratio. A child threw a drinks bottle in the water and got told off. All in all an interesting walk. In the afternoon we went up on the moor again, and managed to find a little secluded spot in the sun away from the wind and had a little lay down, watching the clouds. That little section of time was just ace, like the world had stopped for a bit.
I hadn’t taken my running stuff because I was still getting over a cold and didn’t feel great. So naturally I saw lots of runners. Tormenting me. I’m sure they KNEW. But, as The Marine himself pointed out if I had have taken my stuff he would have beasted me up the hills up the moor. Sadist. So, probably for the best.
The funniest and most bemusing moment was probably when an old woman walked past us in the street and shouted “stop!”. Shortly followed by “…looking so..[pause]..intelligent. And..[pause]..fit.” Erm, right, okay. Thank you?!
Nicest moment was getting to the hotel and having a bit of post. I’ve never had post at a hotel before. I opened it and it was a card from the girl in the central reservations team who made my booking. I’d happened to just be chatting with her while sorting out the booking on the phone (as I tend to, I’m quite chatty) about the weekend, weather and my upcoming travels, and so the card wished me a lovely sunny weekend and hoping that I have an amazing trip around the world. I’m pretty sure this isn’t standard practice so it was such a nice surprise. I decided to pass the good feeling onto someone else on the way home, and so paid for the car behind at Dunham Toll Bridge. Not a lot, but a little gesture to be nice. A random act of kindness. Made me feel good. Maybe the people in the car behind passed something on too that day.