Saturday, 25 June 2011

Wuthering Heights

We're at the Old Horns pub in High Bradfield. We've come to watch the Dore Male Voice choir singing "Sing a Song of Yorkshire" from the Symphony for Yorkshire. I'm very much looking forward to hearing them.

We've been dodging the showers in the Dales all day, having started our journey in Leeds, where I was finally able to retrieve the shoe I left in the hotel after the RTS Awards. The shoes were very pleased to see one another again, and are looking particularly shiny and happy to be back on my feet.

We went to Haworth in the morning. My parents had never been before, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It is a beautiful place, which has some of the best views I've ever seen.

My mother showing off her 4711 purchase...

There is something highly mystical about the moors above Haworth - better known as the Wuthering Heights - particularly when the mists are swirling, as they were today. In fact, I've seldom seen such bizarre weather, because even when it was raining, and the visibility was down to just a few metres, there was a sense that the sun was still shining somewhere and bathing everything in a watery, almost impressionist light, which felt rather magical.

We then went to Hebdon Bridge; a little town in the Dales, which has become something of a Mecca for our Sapphic Sisters. I read one account on the Internet, widely discredited, which actually suggested that lesbians out number straight women by 6 to 1 in the town. Apparently, the tendency is for gay women to go there to raise children, which I find fascinating.

My mother loved the shops in the town, which are all a touch bohemian. She found herself a gorgeous bottle green, patchworky sort of skirt, and a purple top.

It's a Pepys double bill! June 24th 1661, was observed as a holiday for Midsummer. Pepys' father called in to see his son's his newly clean and painted house.

Elizabeth was still not well, in fact her stomach was so "dangerously" sore that she'd started to panic and the doctor was called.

For lunch, Pepys went to an "ordinary", which usually meant cheap grub, but this one was scandalously expensive, so much that there was a row with the manager.

The following day, Pepys started a course of singing lessons with one Mr Goodgroome. They started with an Italian song. And if you're wondering how much a 17th Century singing teacher got paid... 20 shillings a month is your answer!

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