You’ve probably heard of York, beautiful walled city with rich history. I finally made a trip there and took over 200 photographs. It was only the day after that I discovered I had the wrong setting on my camera. Some time before I had set ISO to 6400 (I’m not sure why) and forgot to set it back, which is why so many pictures were taken with a narrow aperture and don’t look as good as they should. Live and learn I guess.
But here are some that are okay enough to be posted:
I didn’t get a chance to walk along the walls. I wanted to see the cathedral and city centre first and by the time I got back, it was dark already. The clocks have gone back the previous weekend, what can I say. But at least I got some autumn leaves, which I couldn’t have got had I gone there in the summer.
One of the best known landmarks here is York Minster. I will do a separate post for it but here’s two shots for now.
The narrow streets are really something else.
The Cat Gallery, a shop for all cat lovers. Did I buy something for myself there? You bet I did!
The problem with taking so many pictures when going on a trip is that it’s so hard to decide which ones to post on the blog.
When I went to Marple, I didn’t have any particular plan. I asked the guy behind the information counter at the station what there was to see and he said there was a river on one side (Goyt), canal on the other and that there was a place called Roman Lakes.
I went down to the village and walked a bit, when I spotted a trail and I thought, okay, since I had such a good experience with it last time in Hebden Bridge, I would try it again. A good decision! Not only did I get a healthy hike and some great shots out of it, I eventually reached the lakes place the information guy told me about–from the other side.
I can see why it is popular.
My old friends ducks and geese hang out here a lot.
That’s where I sat when eating my bacon sandwich. Yes, they do serve food and drink here and there is also a toilet–see the building on the left on the top photo.
I should add, the lakes have nothing to do with Romans, they’re just named that way. I haven’t managed to find out why, so I’m going with Bill of Kill Bill‘s saying “They thought it sounded cool”.
Marple is a small town near Manchester. Its name may remind you of a certain old lady sleuth.
The town’s station embraces it 100%.
There is also this, on the other platform.
The poster lists all the ties Agatha Christie has to the North. I’ve already covered Abney Hall on the blog.
This was the first time ever I visited Marple. I always thought it was a coincidence, but it turns out that Miss Marple’s name was indeed inspired by the town. I actually found out about the posters at the station from the Twitter account Agatha Christie in the North. And I found out about the Twitter account because they followed me after I tweeted something (I think it must have been that Abney Hall post–all my posts are automatically tweeted as soon as they’re published.) So really, it was me being a fan that helped me discover things related to the thing that I’m a fan of!
Although to be fair, I most likely would have gone to Marple at some point anyway.
Of course, I saw more than the train station when I went to Marple–but that’s material for a different post.
The following photographs have already appeared on this blog, as part of the dead and buried WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. The reason why I’m reposting them is the same as with the Albert Dock of Liverpool pictures. Arnside deserves its own post.
Arnside is a village in Cumbria, North West England, on the river Kent estuary in Morecambe Bay. It’s belongs to the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty–you can see why.
I have added the following two pics for this post:
Here’s what happened when I took an unplanned walk to the village of Heptonstall from Hebden Bridge.
It started with this.
I thought, just because you can doesn’t mean you should–but I did it anyway. I saw how steep it was–but I did it anyway. I reckoned, if it gets too bad I’ll just turn back–but in the end I made it all the way to Heptonstall!
People I met on my way up did follow the instruction on the sign–honestly everyone was so dead nice!
I’ve not spent much time in the actual village, just enough to take some shots. My loss, probably, as there is a museum and also the poet Sylvia Plath is buried in the graveyard extension of the St Thomas the Apostle Church (but that I found out later by Googling, at home). I needed to preserve energy for the walk back!
It’s a very picturesque village as you can see.
Chicken at the Methodist church graveyard.
So that was trip to Hebden Bridge. A lot of it quite unexpected.
So here they are, as promised in my previous post.
These pastures are right beyond the Haworth Parsonage and the church–there are several little paths that lead out on the moors.
I believe Top Withens, carved on the above sign, was Emily Brontë’s original inspiration for the setting of Wuthering Heights.
I wish I could have seen more of the moors, but I had to rush back to town to catch the bus. Yeah, literally I ran on the moors, though for much more practical and much less romantic reason than that I wish I were a girl, half savage and hardy and free. (Well, I am ever an indoors person.)
Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.
I’ve always had hard time with Wuthering Heights. It was a struggle for me to read it in English (when Jane Eyre and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall weren’t) and I don’t like the narrative style, though I can get past that. What really was the problem, as it is probably for many people, was that the book was promoted to me as romance–when it isn’t. It’s a story about revenge and cycles of abuse, as brilliantly explained in this Tumblr post. Once I understood that, I got it. And what I always liked, even before I knew all of this, was the ending and how Catherine the younger and Hareton get together. I have no doubt the first Catherine and Heathcliff loved each other, but they were both awful and hurt everyone around them. Whereas Catherine Jr and Hareton chose kindness in the end and they lived happily ever after. (And let’s not forget, in the 1998 adaptation Hareton is played by Matthew Macfadyen, who went on to play Mr Darcy in the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice!)
After seeing the moors with my own eyes, I no longer wonder why Emily Brontë wrote Wuthering Heights. How could she not?
My own video, made by smartphone.
You may have recongised the first line of this post, out on the wiley, windy moors, as the line not from the book, but from the 1978 song by the magnificent Kate Bush. I wonder, could this song be considered a musical version of fanfiction?
Fun fact: Kate Bush and Emily Brontë share the same birthday, 30th July.
Following my previous post, here are some pictures of Haworth Parsonage. (And some things I’ve got to say at the end.)
Haworth Parsonage was the home of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë and is now a museum. It’s mostly unchanged from what it looked like then and contains furniture, clothes and other possessions and artefacts owned by the family. Certainly interesting for any literature lover, but an absolute must for fans of any of the sisters.
St Michael and All Angels Church, where Patrick Brontë was a parson.
The tickets cost £9 for an adult, but can be used for multiple visits within 12 months. The museum also has a little shop that sells their books and souvenirs. They have mugs, notebooks, tote bags, stationery, you know that sort of stuff. I bought myself a fridge magnet with the picture of that famous painting of the three sisters, made by their troublemaker brother Branwell.
I couldn’t help but feel there was an underlying sadness, but that sadness is always there when it comes to the Brontës, isn’t it? They all died so young. I felt such sorrow for Patrick Brontë, who lost his whole family; first his wife to cancer, then all six children one by one. Aside from literature, should another word associated with the Brontës be–tuberculosis? What’s interesting is that Patrick lived to be 84 and for one reason or another, had a strong immunity that was not inherited by his children. Although I wonder. If Charlotte really died from a form of extreme morning sickness, could she have lived longer had she not got pregnant?
The graveyard between the Parsonage and the church.
I want to say a few words about the books now. The ones I’ve read so far are: Jane Eyre by Charlotte, Wuthering Heights by Emily and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne. My favourite out of these? The Tenant of Wildfell Hall! And this is not me being a hipster. It’s because–how could it not be? The real question is, why is it not more popular? Why is Anne known only as the “third Brontë sister”, so much so that Family Guy had a cutaway scene about that?
Charlotte prevented re-publication of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall after Anne’s death because apparently she found it too shocking. Well, it was, but why did Charlotte find it so? This is what she had to say about it: “Wildfell Hall hardly appears to me desirable to preserve. The choice of subject in that work is a mistake, it was too little consonant with the character, tastes and ideas of the gentle, retiring inexperienced writer.” Like, sigh… So because someone is gentle, they can only write… gentle? Do you even fiction, Charlotte? And who are you to decide it was not desirable to preserve and what makes you think the subject of the work is a mistake? Anne didn’t put in the book anything that she hadn’t seen while working as a governess, which included Branwell’s affair with Lydia Robinson, the mistress of the house and mother of the children Anne was a governess to. It’s likely she left her position because of that.
What can you do, Branwell gonna Branwell.
Really, I don’t understand why Charlotte was so easily shocked. She was the oldest. She spent time in Brussels, she had a huge crush on a married man, she worked as a teacher and as a governess, she must have seen things. And then there was the alcohol-prone, opium-addicted, debt-incurring brother. Branwell inspired all three of the sisters to some extent, at least I think I can find him in every book. John Reed in Jane Eyre, Hindley Earnshaw in Wuthering Heights and Arthur Huntingdon in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. All of their work was quite groundbreaking at the time. So why the outrage, Charl?
I found this article about Anne by Lucy Mangan on Guardian, which ends with “I’d like to think her time has come.” I’d like to think so too and that, in the #MeToo era, there’s no better time than now.
Link to The Tenant of Wildfell Hall on Gutenberg. Also, hello Netflix, Amazon Prime or whoever, if you’re reading this: we urgently need a new adaptation. Sort it out for us, please.