Pieces of my world

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Excursion to Haworth

I have set a new record today. 7 (yes, 7!!) trains in ONE day. We gallavanted up to Haworth in Yorkshire for the express purpose of puffing and panting up (an extremely) steep, cobbled hill to see the Brontë home. Now I don't know about you, but cobbles, steep hills and a pair of flimsy, not-particularly-designed- for-walking-even-down-the-block shoes from Zara aren't exactly a match made in heaven. Flippant remarks aside, it was very enlightening. Normally I'm not a museum person. I'm the type that conceals a yawn and makes a beeline for the nearest seat, while my more intelligent and cultured companions pore over the exhibits. I admit it freely- I am a philistine. These things normally pass me by, so the fact that I actually enjoyed the visit is something of a first. Having read 'Wuthering Heights' and 'Agnes Grey' and being in the middle of 'Jane Eyre', it was both interesting and valuable to get an insight into their life; their inspiration; how their works were influenced by their own surroundings. The first thing that struck me is how small everything is. The furniture; rooms; clothing...even the crockery seems thimble-like or 'child's tea set'-like in comparison to just an ordinary size coffee mug of today. Likewise, travelling along the Worth Valley preserved railway (where 'The Railway Children' was filmed) I was struck by this detail. The platforms and seats are all fashioned for people smaller in stature than ourselves.

My second observation is that Haworth really is so quaint and beautiful. Living in the midst of a large city, I forget that English countryside and small villages really do have this 'chocolate box', picturesque element to them. It was lovely for once to get away from the concrete jungle and glass and steel monoliths that dominate the Mancunian skyline, not to mention the respite from the hundreds of cars belching out fumes. I love living in a city for various reasons, but that doesn't mean that I can't appreciate somewhere more traditionally 'English'. That was something I really noticed when we visited Aviemore in Scotland last summer: the air literally tastes different. You don't realise just how oppressive the atmosphere, muggy with pollution, is in cities until you actually get away.


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