Easter Holidays Part 2

 


Much of the second week was taken up with a trip up north to Yorkshire.  It had been over 5 months since we’d seen my mum and Martin and also Chris’s mum Shirley and her husband Rick on the way back from the Lake District last October half term.

The weather this time was very kind and on the way up we stopped off to have lunch with my aunt and uncle where we could happily catch up on news in their conservatory, overlooking a sunny garden.  We drove on to North Yorkshire to see Chris's folks. They'd cooked various delicious spicy curries which we ate after our usual dog walk over to the river bank. That evening we continued on to Hull in the dark and eventually found our apartment after getting a bit lost with road closures and one way systems.


We chose Hull as a base as we thought if the weather was bad and there was a limit to sitting in gardens, there would at least be places to walk around in this city and it had been over 10 years since we had wandered around and seen what changes had taken place.


The first morning was sunny and Chris and Polly were up with the lark to find a good place for coffee and pastries to bring back to the sunny balcony.  I made use of the time with a bit of outside crochet, continuing with my festival grannies and I enjoyed looking out over an urban landscape.





My older brother and his family were also up from London so we arranged to meet at the Humber Bridge foreshore before heading on for lunch at my mum’s.  It was a glorious day with blue skies and a gentle breeze and it's always an impressive sight to see the bridge stretching across the river to Lincolnshire on the other side.



After a stint on the large climbing frame we headed off into Little Switzerland, which is a disused chalk quarry.  The first record of a chalk quarry on the site was in 1317 but it's thought that the Romans used to quarry chalk here for their roads.


It's been a nature reserve since the 1980s with trails and areas to scramble about.  Perfect for kids and big kids too - Chris is first up the slopes!



After an hour or so we went over to mum's place 5 minutes away and had a delicious buffet lunch in the garden.  Of course I know that we were 3 households but we kept our distance and we all took lateral flow tests before we travelled up.



I nervously handed over “The Shirt” to my brother and miraculously it was a perfect fit.  Big sigh of relief from me and he seemed genuinely happy with it.  My mum had a good inspection of my seams and finishing (being an ex needlework teacher) and deemed them to be very good.  Hurrah!  They kindly posed with the scrunchies and the tie so I could have a record of it but I wont publish on here as the children are young and I always like to respect whether people wish to be out here in public cyberspace.


After lunch they returned to London and we went over to Hull for a wander.  There is a limit to how long my mum and Martin can sit outside in April but it was so lovely to see them. I have missed my mum very much over this last year. She is 85 and I am aware of how time is passing and how lucky I am to still have her.


Once we'd dropped off our things at the apartment we wandered around the old town.


Through the old back streets.



Past the minster.


Along near The Deep.



And finally alongside the marina.  I love looking at all the boats and people were eating outside in restaurants that line the water’s edge.




The second day, after coffee and pastries again, we met up with the “outlaws” at The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust wetlands in North Cave.




Again the weather was beautiful for walking around the reserve and observing all the species of birds that visit and breed here.  There were hundreds of birds on the water and we were also lucky enough to see two hares racing around and boxing in the fields next to the reserve. As we didn't bring lunch we visited the resident “Butty Bus'' and I had a most delicious halloumi burger.  It was actually really good food; everyone was happy with their choices and it was such good value - it would have been double the cost in the SE. Sitting in the sun, eating my lunch and watching the lakes with all their wildlife was really lovely.



Afterwards we went on to the village where Chris’s mum and Rick live for another walk with their dog Freddie. We usually go towards the river and around the local fields but today we added the spinney to the walk.  We were all pretty tired after all the walking so lots of cups of tea and a pizza later was very welcome.  We stayed quite late as this would be the last time we see them until June we think.






The final morning meant we had to be up and out of our airbnb by 10am so we went to the new favourite coffee shop near the minster for our breakfast and coffee, sitting outside in the square and enjoying our last morning in Hull.  I do love looking at all the old buildings and streets, imagining what life must have been like here in Victorian or Georgian times. The history is very interesting.  Some of my family originate from Hull and so I do feel that connection of family history here.  Because of that I am fond of Hull even though I grew up in York.  There are parts of it, like any big city that are run down and ugly - and what used to be a thriving city centre with big department stores is now a city with boarded up buildings where BHS, TJ Hughes,  Debenhams and Marks and Spencer used to be.  It's sad to see it and the pandemic has added to all this.  There is a lot of residential redevelopment going on and the new Prospect shopping centre is at least central, but I grew up with department stores and it seems to be the end of an era for them. Hopefully Hull will bounce back and thrive once more. It certainly seems to be in the old town area.


If any of you do visit Hull then I’d recommend these small businesses


Ophelia on Humber Street for beautiful dried blooms and freshly mixed herbal teas.

Flour and Feast on Humber Street for delicious pastries and breads here.

BE Coffee on North Church Side.  Fully compostable cups and vegan options here.

Chinese Laundry on Savile Street. Vintage clothing here.


Somewhere I would have liked to visit was here and here but due to covid restrictions they were not open.  Along with those I've listed there are many other art galleries and museums to visit in this friendly city.


We called in to see mum and Martin again for a quick lunch and Chris and the teens helped Martin with some digging and weeding of his vegetable patch.  They have a large garden and it's quite a lot for them to manage now that they are in their mid 80s.


The journey home to Kent was a long one.  I drove the first hour or so back to Newark, as I'm trying to get more confident with driving Chris’s car.  We have trips planned to the Lake District, Cornwall and Devon this year so I need to be able to share some of the driving with Chris.  I've never enjoyed driving and I avoid it whenever possible.  Having recently acquired my brother’s cast off but very nice automatic Mercedes E class I'm becoming so used to not having to think about gears I really need to get back into driving with a gear stick again. For someone who hates driving, I do love a luxury car. There is this materialistic part of me that covets a Range Rover, fancy Mercedes or Jaguar. I wonder if, in a similar way to the gut biome in where the good and bad bacteria are constantly waging a war and influencing our mood, decisions and health, whether there is some kind of battle waging between my inner hippy and this glamour loving, status symbol craving character? My dad loved luxury cars, not that we ever had one apart from in Malta when he had a 1966 Jaguar but other than that, only an ancient Daimler that squeaked.



1966 Jaguar - photo credit Car-from-UK.com

When waiting at the train station to be picked up from uni, I could hear my dad's car before I could see it! My brother shares the love of cars and when he was young he had a vintage gold Mercedes that he named Benson, after Benson and Hedges cigarette packets.



A car like Benson - 1982 Mercedes Benz 280 CE
Photo credit: Car and Classic

It possibly runs in the family as while at my aunt and uncle's home, I saw that my cousin had a rather splendid Triumph Stag in their garage, like this one here. What a car!


photo credit: Historics Auctioneers

Often when we go over the Dartford bridge I'm filled with gloom as even though Kent has many good points, it's just not where I want to be anymore.  I miss the north and Yorkshire especially.  This time however I was ok and I was just looking forward to being home in my own bed and having 6 weeks of hopefully a normal routine of school, work, time home alone and some sewing projects ahead. I'm always grateful to have the sea on my doorstep. So now Im going to leave this here until next time and get outside into the sunshine. x

Comments

  1. Ooh I feel like I've been on a holiday to Hull. Thanks from Sydney, Australia. Cathy.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Cathy. It's one of those UK cities that isn't well known but it does have a certain charm. Xx

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  2. Hull so often gets a bad rap but it's seriously underrated! I'm quite familiar with that neck of the woods, I did the whole get married, buy first house, start family thing in Beverley and then we moved to Barrow on the other side of the bridge where we lived for six years.
    I get what you mean about the south east. I was born there but we moved to Harrogate when I was nine and had to go back to visit grandparents often. I decided at an early age that my heart was in Yorkshire. I live just over the border now in Stockton on Tees and although it's not far to drive I still feel misplaced!
    It must be lovely catching up with family after so long! x

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    Replies
    1. Yes it was so good to see them all, especially my mum. She used to live in Beverley so I know the town well. It's a lovely place. Harrogate is also somewhere I've been to many times. You are not far out of Yorkshire are you. Only just over the border. Is it county Durham or Northumberland? I'm never sure exactly how it's split up. When we go up north we usually go to the NW as my husband is obsessed with the Lake District. It's very hard to get him to go anywhere else in the north which is frustrating for me. Maybe next year....🤔😆

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  3. We are actually planning a trip to Hull soon! Never been, we live in West Yorkshire so it isn’t too far. Thanks for the suggestions!

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