February 11, 2017

A YORKSHIRE WEEKEND

By last weekend all three of us were suffering badly from cabin fever.  Nick was fed up, I was feeling fidgety and the cat was literally climbing the walls.  One morning, whilst having our customary mug of tea in bed, we heard a rustling coming from the top of the wardrobe.  We looked up to see a holdall inching its way towards the edge and eventually plummet to the floor.  Little Daisy then peered over the edge and stared at it, looking very satisfied.

It was time for a change of scenery.  We booked Daisy into the cattery for three nights and with a bit of research decided to go to the seaside for the weekend.  To Scarborough in fact.

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We headed off on Saturday morning, in sunny but cold weather.  We chose our route so as to make the most of the Yorkshire coast and its culinary delights and stopped off at Filey for lunch.  We had scampi and chips in the nearest pub we fell into once parked and then went for a bit of a stroll to walk it off.  The scampi were utterly fresh and delicious and the chips were freshly made to order, home cooked chunky chips with the skin on.  Marvellous.

The beach at Filey was beautiful.  I can see why people go there for holidays.  There were lots of dogs having enormous fun chasing around on the sand, chasing each other, chasing balls or just chasing the waves.  The only problem with this is that it reminded me painfully of how much I miss Lulu.  We only took her to the beach once in her whole life and she loved it.

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We then got back in the car and set off for Scarborough and found our hotel.  It could easily have been Fawlty Towers.  It was old fashioned, spotlessly clean and two elderly ladies were just going out for an afternoon walk as we arrived and checked in.  The receptionist broke off from dealing with us to wave them off and remind them that dinner was at 6pm.  I expected Basil Fawlty to emerge from the back room any moment.

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Having settled in and unpacked, we went out for a walk ourselves in the late afternoon sunshine, to get our bearings and see if we could find somewhere nice to eat that evening.  The hotel was in a nice area with lots of other similar, old fashioned twentieth century hotels and guest houses.  The place had a rather home spun feel to it with home made signs and entertainment from a bygone era of seaside holidays.

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Unfortunately the charm of our surroundings didn’t last.  As we made our way towards the town centre and the promenade we passed streets of run down guest houses, presumably no longer filled with happy holiday makers but guests of an altogether completely different kind.  I suppose if you own a large guest house and the families desert the Yorkshire seaside for somewhere else then you can’t really be blamed for filling your rooms with anyone who can afford the rent, or whose rent is paid for by the state.  As we got nearer to the town I began to feel distinctly uncomfortable and rather disappointed.

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The promenade had a split personality.  The boats and lobster pots were there, looking charming and picturesque, but on the other side of the street were endless tourist shops, amusement arcades and fish and chip places, none of them looking very inviting.  There was a distinct decline in the language and manners of the folk parading around, kids screeching and misbehaving, parents berating them with foul language and small groups of yobs and yobettes competing with each other for who could be the loudest and most offensive.  Scarborough was turning out to be not what I expected at all.

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We headed back to the hotel without finding anywhere we thought we would like to eat.  There was an Italian restaurant that looked ok but we didn’t fancy parking the car nearby and even less walking there.  There was a bistro that could only offer us a table at 6pm.  So we decided to head out of town and try our luck further afield.

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We ended up in a pub in the next village and had a great, traditional pub meal.  It was presented in that classic way of really good pub food, hearty and tasty and not only that, because I commented on the quirkiness of the dish used to serve my prawn cocktail (one of my favourite all time starters), the chef sent one out for me to keep.  How good is that?!

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Back at the hotel, we took advantage of the bar and had a night cap – wine for Nick and hot chocolate accompanied by a glass of Tia Maria for me – something I hadn’t had to drink since probably the 1970’s but I couldn’t resist.  We looked at the pool and decided that we would avail ourselves of that tomorrow. 

Scarborough itself was a slight disappointment but Fawlty Towers was suiting us very well so far!

3 comments:

  1. The photo of the Guest house, Scarborough Fayre, is an improvement on a great deal of accommodation available to people with both physical and mental health problems and no income other than state benefits. Is it any wonder they see no hope for the future? Not all those in receipt of benefits are happy to be in that position. Any remnant of dignity or self-respect goes out of the window after years being treated as a "scrounger" for no reason other than you can't cope with the hand you've been dealt in life. Sadly, it can happen to anyone.

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    1. Elizabeth, I could sense exploitation in those streets and it was unnerving. Not a nice place to be and I felt sorry for the people who had no option but to live there. I felt slightly ashamed that I felt the need to keep looking over my shoulder and get away from the place as fast as possible, as you say, it could happen to anyone and we are all so lucky that we're not in that position ourselves.

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    2. Couldn't agree more, Jean. I'm ashamed to say there was a time when I was all too ready to judge people - and not just the ones we refer to above. My list was far more extensive. It included divorce, homelessness and the list went on. Then when I went through a divorce my eyes were opened. There but for the grace of God.... never a truer saying. xx

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