Tag Archives: Edward Ardizzone

Rocking Dog & Andyman Head To York

Gloomily Lovely Hotel Wallpaper,Rocking Dog

Gloomily Lovely Hotel Wallpaper

It was a weekend full of the history of Viking invasions, William the Conqueror, birthplace of Guy Fawkes, snow, sun and lovely things to eat. A small group of us met up for the weekend in York, and all I can say is that the hotel was very appropriately named!

I loved the somewhat gloomy wallpaper in our bedroom. It was reminiscent of the drawings of Edward Ardizzone. Long ago this building was used as the lodgings for Judges who assembled twice a year in York. One of those visiting legal residents was Judge William Chapple who went onto have the notorious Highwayman, Dick Turpin hung in 1739.

Our first evening was spent eating at a wonderful Indian restaurant,
Coconut Lagoon. Specialising in dishes originating from Kerala we so loved the food, the Cardamom beer and friendly staff.

Saturday morning the group joined a three hour walking tour around York. Completely free, (though donations were encouraged and welcomed at the end of the tour) we learnt SO much. Alix our young, knowledgeable and eccentric guide revelled in telling us some of Yorks’ more grisly history. The Romans, Vikings, Civil War, the vandalism of Henry VIII and Jewish persecution all featured. I can really recommend a tour like this to ¬†understand a city. The weather was perfect for walking atop the city walls, crisp with bright winter sunshine and blue skies.

The remainder of the weekend was less structured with meandering to be done in Yorks’ quaint cobbled streets. The Shambles, a maze of twisty lanes are the inspiration for Diagon Alley in Harry Potter. Mentioned in the Doomsday Book the Shambles in medieval times was a street full of butchers shops. Many of the timbered buildings still sport meat hooks in their timbers. Incidently the word Shambles originates from the Anglo-Saxon word Shammel, roughly meaning shelves. The meat sellers are no longer in residence, instead, tea shops, and independent retailers dominate this picturesque and much loved area of York. I adored the bobbled organic baby knits being sold by Natures Purest.

Duttons For Buttons, The Imaginarium and Make Your Mark were other shops that caught my eye.

Of course no trip to the North is complete without a trip to Betty’s. Sunday breakfast I enjoyed Betty’s Bircher Muesli with blackberries and apple. At 10am there were visitors already enjoying a cream tea, and as we left long queues had formed to gain a coveted table.

All too soon the weekend had disappeared and we were on the train heading south.

York is a really lovely city, with gorgeous architecture and very friendly people. I hope we will return soon.

Wishing that the week is going to be a good one for you. Love a rather foot sore Rocking Dog! x

Whistle Stop Hotel,Rocking Dog

Whistle Stop Hotel

The Imaginarium,Rocking Dog

The Imaginarium

Make Your Mark,Rocking Dog

Make Your Mark

Glorious Minster,Rocking Dog

Glorious Minster

Betty's For Tea....,Rocking Dog

Betty’s For Tea….

..& Bircher!,Rocking Dog

..& Bircher!

Grim Tales,Rocking Dog

Grim Tales

Henry's Vandalism,Rocking Dog

Henry’s Vandalism

Plotters Birthplace,Rocking Dog

Plotters Birthplace

Duttons For Buttons,Rocking Dog

Duttons For Buttons

Babywear &...,Rocking Dog

Babywear &…

..Barrels In The Shambles!,Rocking Dog

..Barrels In The Shambles!

A Surprise Veg Box From Mr McGregor’s Patch

Oh So Thoughtful Gift, Rocking Dog

Oh So Thoughtful Gift

What a wonderful surprise I had yesterday. How lovely to find a veg box from Mr McGregor’s patch on my doorstep. I am unfortunately being a little economical with the truth, the box has come from some gorgeous neighbours, and not with the name McGregor.

I happened to mention a little while ago to Scott and Graeme that their vegetable plot reminded me of Mr McGregor’s. I am sure all of us as children were read the story of Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit. Naughty Peter going into Mr McGregor’s walled kitchen garden for a little extra curricular eating. How I loved that book, nearly as much as “The Tale Of Two Bad Mice”. When Hunca Munca and Tom Thumb realise that the food in the doll’s house is made of plaster is a particular favourite.

The surprise box of veg’ bought a tear to my eye, it was so very thoughtful and so very delicious. Tiny beetroot, celery, carrots, new potatoes, lettuce and radishes. Such lovely ingredients will require nothing to enhance them. Thank you so much for your incredible kindness and I loved the McGregor Patch label, what a sentimental old boot I am!

Surprise parcels are nearly always so wonderful. I love “The Railway Children”, and not just for that memorable scene in the film when Jenny Agutter sees her father through the smoke. The hamper the wealthy old gentleman sends and which the family delights in is a lovely scene too.

Another hamper, another book, I adore “Sarah and Simon and no red paint” by Edward Ardizzone. A grumpy uncle sends a hamper with delicious listed contents to an impoverished artist and his family. It’s a rags to relative riches story with good morals and lovely illustrations.

Then of course there is the Cratchett family who are sprung a surprise when a reformed Ebenezer Scrooge turns up on Christmas Day bearing gifts. Charles Dickens was a marvel.

My most favourite surprise parcel ever is one I think I may have written about before. In March 1980 I was at Aldershot doing my Army basic training. A born soldier I absolutely was not. Basic fitness, maths lessons, kit inspections, room inspections, drill…..I was very homesick. I’m sure I delighted my parents with numerous tearful pay phone calls telling them how i’d been shouted at, had my room torn apart, and been berated on the drill square. There were letters and cards from my Mum and then a parcel. A brown papered plastic ice cream tub was filled with lovely bits of this and that. I can particularly remember a tea towel hand embroidered with my name rank and number and some flowers from the garden. I certainly remember Alyssum Gold Dust in the posy. I sobbed on my scratchy army blanketed bed, it was so lovely to have things that reminded me and smelt of home.

One final parcel story. About a year ago a parcel arrived addressed to me and I was hopeful that Andyman had bought me a little treat. Luxuriating in the moment of opening the parcel I was so despondent to find that the box contained six bottles of “Bar keeper’s Friend” a useful powder for cleaning sinks. Romance is absolutely not dead!

See you Monday. Until then have a great weekend and enjoy the sun – but as I always say, remember the Factor 50!….. Yes Mum!!!

Magical Potter, Rocking Dog

Magical Potter

Pretty Leaves, Rocking Dog

Pretty Leaves

Naughty Peter!, Rocking Dog

Naughty Peter!

Pretty Beans, Rocking Dog

Pretty Beans

Man & Rabbit, Rocking Dog

Man & Rabbit

Pretty Veg', Rocking Dog

Pretty Veg’