This Time Last Week

When I look forward to something happening in the near future, my mind is always buzzing with the phrase “this time next week” or “this time TOMORROW!”. Often when my mum is involved in these future events, we text each other and share the excitement. Its fun, it’s what we do and it’s what we’ve always done. The only downside of this is that you can’t help but play the “This time LAST week” game as well. It comes from that part of your brain that is practical and slightly pessimistic. This time LAST Saturday, me and my mum were stepping off a bus in Ilkley, where we were planning to spend the morning. When we arranged her trip up here, I didn’t want to cram it full of plans because that’s a bit stressful if they don’t all fit in and it doesn’t leave any room for┬áspontaneity.

One of the ideas that we left as a possibility if the weather was right/we were in the right mood was to go to Ilkley. Its not far from here and we can get the bus easily. The weather during the week had been swinging between naff and downright horrible (another soaked to the skin walk to work for me on the Wednesday) but Saturday surprised and delighted us by being crisp and clear with beautiful blue sky. Well it would have been rude not to take advantage of this! So go to Ilkley we did. I thought that we could climb the moor and appreciate the view for a bit and we decided to do this straight away when we got off the bus because you know what it’s like … physical exertion can often be smothered by tea & cake & yarn & shopping so it’s best to do it straight away.

The air when we stepped off the bus was more like Winter than Autumn and it took us quite by surprise. The sun was hot but boy was it cold when you stood in the shade! It was only ten fifteen am but the sun was only really just starting to wake up and it hadn’t managed to climb fully over the moor yet. There was low lying mist as well and it made for the most beautiful conditions. We walked briskly up the hill to the moor. That is, briskly in between stopping to take photos. I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was and exclaimed as such several times. It was one of those SO BEAUTIFUL moments that you can’t believe you are seeing it with your own eyes and that you are SO grateful that you have made the effort to come out and be here. Overwhelmingly lovely and I really was so grateful and happy that morning. Taking photographs is my absolute favourite thing to do. I think I like it even more than crocheting. Not by much, but yes, I like it more than crocheting. I am always brimful-of-happy when I come home from being out somewhere with a camera full of photos, it’s free and almost like material goods I suppose. I really love it.

Anyway we proceeded up the moor a little, past that oddly shaped pond thing and the cattle grid. We didn’t climb far at all, really. There is a strategically placed wooden hut with some benches quite low down on the moor but on a high enough elevation to give splendid views over Ilkley and to the hills beyond. We sat up there for some time (until we got chilly) and enjoyed lots of chatter. I was struggling to describe what it felt like until I realised that yes, there is in fact a word for it but because everything now seems to be about hyperbole sometimes words used for their original purpose don’t seem to have as much power. It was serene sitting there. It doesn’t need any more description than that.

Two magpies flapped past us. Then a Jay. I remarked that I’ve never seen a Jay anywhere except in Surrey when visiting family. They look like embarrassed magpies. There were a lot of small birds flitting about between the trees and bushes and they looked joyful flying around in the first sun-warmth for a few days. Much to our surprise (we both gasped and realised at the same time!) a beautiful crimson pair of Bullfinches flew right past us only a few yards away. They were so bright against the sky. It was quite incredible, you hardly ever see Bullfinches.

We climbed down again when we became chilly, taking some photos of the moor in the strange misty light. As we walked back down the hill into Ilkley we admired all the houses. There are some HUGE houses here! In the middle of the street is a little woodland park type thing between Wells Walk and Wells Promenade. We followed the brook through the park, our feet crunching on the carpet of dried leaves.

The town was busier now and people were bustling about being busy. We visited some pretty shops and then went for a cup of tea and a (small!) plate of something tasty. Neither of us have been to Betty’s before but we thought we’d go as a treat. It was lovely. I had pikelets with butter (naughty) and my mum had a chocolate brownie with a marzipan owl on top. I honestly don’t know how people afford to have more than that in Betty’s but you pay for the name and the service really and it did feel like a treat. I love the window displays too – I always appreciate imaginative, seasonal things. This one was Hallowe’en, as you can see.

I was hoping that the greengrocers would have pumpkins outside (just so that I could snap a photo) but it must have been too early for them. We bobbed into Create and admired the yarn and then after realising that we wouldn’t make the next bus, we did the sensible thing and went to the pub. By this time it was 1pm so we had beer/sparkling water and chips. More like potato wedges actually but they were very good.

After sweltering in the direct sunlight in a very hot glass bus shelter for twenty minutes waiting for the (late) bus we were very relieved when it turned up. I was wearing my woolly reindeer top as well! When we got back home for much needed cups of tea we both agreed how glad we were for days like this.

P.S I started this blog post on Saturday morning but was required for damp proofing tasks in the living room before I could finish it. It really WAS “this time last week” when I started it but sadly not when I finished it. Doh!

14 thoughts on “This Time Last Week

  1. Siobhan says:

    I love reading your posts Heather. They are always very authentic and heartfelt. I enjoyed all your photos very much. You captured the autumn feel perfectly. For that reason my favourite pictures are the leaves in the grass and the dew drops on the grass. I love the pictures in Ilkley too. Your mum looks lovely and I really like the picture of the two of you in the coffee shop. It is good to know that you could get the bus right up to the moor. I don’t drive and it can be so annoying that half the places you want to get to are inaccessible unless you have a car. Enjoyed seeing the pumpkins – very seasonal. I’ve just bought one; it will make two if not three things, I’ve just got to choose from pie, muffins, soup, muffin bread etc.

  2. Verna says:

    Thank you for your wonderful pictures and post. Reading this has cheered me up as I sit here with my arm in a splint after a fall and two broken bones. It is so nice that you enjoy your time with your mother.

  3. Fabulous photos Heather . I particularly love the ones on the moor where the low sun makes lots of layers in the landscape…really gives a depth that phots often lack. Loved this post and the chance to share a joyous day trip with you and your Mum , thankyou .
    I’ve been in that Betty’s as a child…remember having a toasted teacake.
    Jacquie x

  4. gorgeous photos, sounds like a really lovely morning.

    I am a ‘This time last/next/yesterday/tomorrow…’ kinda girl too, always have been! I totally get what you said about photos, and about feeling glad you made the effort to get out and were rewarded with such beauty/serenity or whatever, I feel exactly the same :)

    I hope you’re having another great weekend :)

  5. Sarah says:

    Love the photos. I have been there up on those hills with my friend a few years ago now but it was on a wonderful summer day and when the lovely Mr A could at least walk up there with a stick. So it was great to see those views in your post. Thank you! xx

  6. Your post did make me smile, i’ve been doing a post about our recent little hols up at Scarborough and was only thinking this time a couple of weeks ago i was packing ready to go and now i am remembering the happy times we had there.

    Thanks for taking me on your walk, beautiful sceneery, and i’ve never been to a Betty’s before, the cakes do look very yummy

  7. What a wonderful day. I’m like you with taking photos – however I don’t think my family is quite as patient as your Mum is when it comes to stopping to photograph everything. I also do the this time next/last week/month thing too :-). Love all the Halloween decor at Betty’s – looks like my kind of place.

  8. Nanita says:

    Ohhh *sigh* such amazing pictures of the moor, and the dew on the leaves of grass… You have quite a talent with the camera! Pictures of your mum always make me smile, she looks such a great, positive-spirited lady! :-) I’m looking forward to see your Ripple progress, after 7 rows I discovered a mistake in mine and had to frog the entire thing! I’m glad I did it though, I like my new colours better :-) Have a lovely day xxxx

  9. devil says:

    The way you combine your words and photos made me feel as though I was really there, Heather. And I’ve never even been to England!

    Your mom is beautiful and reminds me of Jacqueline Bisset in her heyday.

  10. Of course you had to go to Betty’s, you have to if you’re in Ilkley! We always go in when we go over to visit my mother-in-law at work in Ilkley. We walk in, ooh and ahh looking at everything on display, whinge about the prices but end up buying cake/biscuits to take home. Ilkley is a lovely place (although the people can at times be very obnoxious with money coming out of their ears!).

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