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Friday, May 25, 2012

While Holmfirth was Sleeping

Holmfirth at rest

During the day, Holmfirth bustles with activity.  While it looks like a quiet little town in "Last of the Summer Wine," cars clog the narrow streets, and visitors crowd the sidewalks, enter the busy shops, and enjoy refreshment in the numerous tea rooms.  In the evening, when most of the businesses close down, the restaurants and pubs remain open.  The hotel we stayed at stopped serving food at nine, but people walked in well after that to enjoy a drink and a chat.  As my wife and I sat up late one night in the bar area, sharing a half-pint of apple cider and using the Wi-fi, a group of six entered and took over the table next to us.  “Dueling computers, eh?” a man in their party commented. Then later: “So, are you two talking to your spouses on Facebook?”

He seemed disappointed that we merely smiled at his joke.

The Old Bridge Hotel

The Time Change wasn’t the only reason we stayed up later than normal.  Savoring one's beverage of choice, and shrugging off the day's cares, seem to naturally increase the volume in conversations.  Then, of course, there was the rock music club next to the hotel, the brass band that played one night in the car park, and the film festival that drew numerous visitors over the weekend.

The view from the park.

We awoke well before breakfast one morning, and I suggested we burn off a few of the extra calories we had been consuming lately.  It turned out to be the perfect time to photograph Holmfirth.  The occasional car passed us by, but nothing like the usual traffic.  We spotted one or two others walking, but they never grew closer than a block away.  We climbed a hill and claimed sole possession of a lovely park.  Then a gravel path led us higher yet, to a quiet residential street.  We found brick and stone houses bordered by manicured yards and boisterous gardens.  With each step up, our views of the church, the shops and houses, and the surrounding countryside got even better.

"Okay, whose job was it to trim the ivy?"

We breathed in the brisk, clean air, savored the silence, and reveled in the relative absence of our fellow humans.  Don’t get me wrong: I’m glad Holmfirth is so popular.  Yet, in "Last of the Summer Wine," the town seems so still and tranquil.  It was nice to experience that side of village life, if only for an hour.

"I'm glad I asked for the small omelet with my bacon."

Then it was back into town, to shower before breakfast, and embark on the day’s next adventure. 

Thanks for sleeping-in,
Dragon Dave

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