After we booked a week at the resort near Lancaster, we had one more week to spend somewhere in England. If you’ve been following my blog, you know that we ultimately decided to spend our entire vacation in the Yorkshire area. To do so, one option that appealed to us, but we ultimately had to give up, was to attend the DTM German Touring Car event at Brands Hatch. Every year, usually starting in December, we watch the hour-long TV highlights of each race, and have been doing so since Nicola Larini won the championship in 1993. This year, the series featured brand new cars and a new manufacturer, and it would have been great to have seen them in action, to hear them roar around the track, to catch a glimpse of former Formula One drivers like Ralf Schumacher and David Coulthard, or series frontrunners like Bruno Spengler and Gary Paffett. Ultimately, we chose to visit Holmfirth that weekend, where the TV show "Last of the Summer Wine" was filmed.
This Christmas, we got two "Last of the Summer Wine" DVDs from family members. The other night, we watched "Merry Christmas, Father Christmas," in which Seymour convinces Campo to climb onto village roofs in a Father Christmas outfit. The episode featured some great moments, such as when Pearl catches Norman Clegg sneaking Howard a present from his girlfriend Marina. Although Norman valiantly pretends that he actually knitted the sweater, when Pearl opens Marina's card, and reads out her message of love, he decides the best option is to take flight. There’s also a wonderful line, when Seymour tries to dispel Campo’s fear of climbing onto the second-story roof by telling him, “Nonsense! If that roof were any lower, it’d be a floor!”
At the beginning of the episode, we felt a special thrill as Seymour, Campo, and Norman walked past Daisy Lane Books. We don’t remember the bookstore being featured in any of the episodes we’d seen previously, but we happened upon it during our visit to Holmfirth last May. A mother and son owned the small two-story shop, and every room was crammed floor to ceiling with books. The man had decided to throw a half-price sale that day, in celebration of his mother’s eightieth birthday, and it was there that I picked up James Herriot’s Yorkshire, a picture book that proved a helpful resource during the rest of our vacation. There was something about watching three of our favorite characters walk past the shop we visited that is impossible to describe, yet immensely meaningful.
For Christmas, my wife surprised me with a mug she made on Shutterfly from our visit to Holmfirth. She’s been working with Shutterfly this year, and has produced a couple nice photobooks from our trip. But I hadn’t noticed her working on a mug for me. It resides now beside the teapot we got in Sid’s Café. I’m sure I’ll use it someday, but for now, it’s too special to use.
Today, we watched the hour-long highlight show from the Brands Hatch round of the DTM championship. I enjoyed the little they showed of the race, and all the interviews with Jenson Button, Paul di Resta, and many of the series’ drivers. It would have been great to have watched all the support races, and even seen some of my former heroes, such as Damon Hill, race around the track in other types of cars. As with everything in life, we have to make choices, and each choice costs us something. I’ll never know what I missed by not attending the Brands Hatch event, but I know what I gained by visiting Holmfirth. I’ll clutch that particular visit close to my heart, forever.
Related Internet Links
Watch "Merry Christmas, Father Christmas" on Youtube