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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

On Not Slaughtering A Cow

As mentioned in yesterday's post, recent travel has left me with depleted mental focus and resolve.  While I got some productive work in on my dragon novel this morning, I had to drag myself back to the keyboard this afternoon, and my mind offered up more objections than ideas.  So again, I returned to Yorkshire.  This entry may seem slight to some, but it's what I could write today.  I hope you'll enjoy it.

No cattle in sight.

According to Herriot County, a booklet in the Discovery Guides Heritage Series, the Yorkshire Dales town of Hawes served as Darrowby Cattle Mart in the TV series “All Creatures Great and Small.”  We had planned to visit Hawes, for an entirely different reason, on our first drive through the Dales.  But the road system through the Dales can be confusing to those weaned on the larger and more descriptive traffic signs in the United States, and before we realized it, we had missed the turn.  So it was that we found ourselves visiting Hawes on our return visit to the Yorkshire Dales.

It was a good day to visit, as the town was holding its weekly market day.  Unlike our aborted visit to Leyburn, Hawes offered numerous places to park, many of them for free.  We found a nice place along the road, just outside of town, where I snapped the photograph in yesterday’s post.  Then we walked in and merged with the crowd.

It was easy to see that we weren’t locals.  While many wore T-shirts and shorts, we wore slacks and heavy jackets.  Nor were we tempted by the little white ice cream stand, again unlike many of the locals.  But we soon found ourselves touring the stalls, and seeking out bargains at the temporary stands.  While my wife found several purses she liked, none won her over completely.  I considered a leather wallet, which would better fit British paper currency than my smaller one made for US bills, but decided against it, based upon how little I would use it. 

A close up, so you can better see the white ice cream stand.

Two books called to me.  The first, Tree and Leaf by J.R.R. Tolkien, contained an essay called “On Fairy-Stories” which I’ve long wanted to read.  The second All I Ever Wrote, was a collection of skits by Ronnie Barker.  In the end, concerns about packing space and weight won out.  I could always borrow Tree and Leaf from the library back home.  As for the latter, the only TV series I ever saw the famous British comedian in was “Open All Hours,” which was written by Roy Clarke.  I had no doubt I would enjoy reading his sketches, but as with the Tolkien book, that bedeviling question arose: Did I really need it? 

(I hate you, wretched question!  When will you stop plaguing me?  I ask that, and then I look around at my office, with my double-stuffed bookcases, and boxes and files piled on the floor, and I am forced to concede to the question’s wisdom.  Still, like Paul, just because I suffer from a thorn in my flesh, does not mean I must enjoy the experience!)

We saw no cattle for sale that day, which was for the best, as the management where we were staying would likely have objected had we slaughtered an animal on their front lawn.  Nor could we eat so much meat before we left England.  Besides, I just didn’t feel in a slaughtering-mood.  So we purchased a carton of strawberries instead.  They might still leave red stains on the fingers, but eating them involved less work, and was far kinder to the cows. 

I have a feeling, if I lived on a farm in the Yorkshire Dales, that I might not eat a lot of meat.

Dragon Dave

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  1. Those Strawberries went great with the Harrogate Toffees we found in Hawes.

    1. I find it strange that I can only vaguely remember those strawberries. But Yorkshire affected me in so many ways, and left me with some wonderful memories. I guess I shouldn't complain if a few moments are overwritten by others. Nevertheless, I want to remember everything!