We did Appleby!

Me and Kathryn are safely pyjama’d up and in for the night, back in Mowbray Square, Harrogate. We got home just before 3pm this afternoon after a memorable train journey.

The scenery was spectacular on the train. We went over the Ribbleshead Viaduct and saw the sites.

But what of Appleby, especially after the last blog?

Well, Sunday morning saw us at Stainmore Railway in Kirby Stephen. A great community project bringing steam railways back to Westmorland.

They had an antique (but working) station cat – probably catnipped to buggery but was a docile thing.

The volunteers spritely jumped about their business and were great, good company and their enthusiasm shone through; they were old playmates who had found a real-life working train set. They were 55 year old boys who had things to play with. Things they grew up thinking about.

My thoughts turned to Harrogate Community Radio and trying to get the best for that.

Sunday afternoon saw us take in the VE Day celebration in Brougham Hall.

It was a shock that so many of the re-enactors were dressing like American GIs. I would be all in favour of preserving the machines (jeeps, AA, trucks) but to march around the May sunshine dressed as an American Infantry Colonel is pure theatrics and, if I am honest, cheapened the whole thing somewhat.

But, the fare was good (Cumberland sausage) if the entertainment was stretching to hold a tune.

Next stop was the English Heritage ruin of Brougham Castle.

This was quite spectacular and was a hit with Ben and Sarah – who managed to climb the staircase to the top of the tower.

I managed to get forty winks in the blazing sunshine and came away with a redder tint, having dribbled somewhat on my top.

Brougham Castle

We managed a roast dinner for tea. Lovely.

Then it was bed for nine thirty for a day of travel on Monday. We were out the house we rented for nine in the morning. It was a decent enough house that was a bit unloved, to tell you the truth.

But, had it been all bells and whistles we would not have afforded to stay there. It was a good compromise.

The reason for the break was Mum’s 70th – she won’t be getting any younger and we heard about Dennis Waterman when we came home from the pub, passing aged just four years Mum’s senior.

It is a thing to see your dear parent age. But, it is part of the circle of life – hell, I am grateful for all the time I have to spend with them; it is a blessing to have a functioning family as close as ours.

We can point out each others errors and faults, be called a prick and then we laugh it off. It is a comfortable antagonism that we live with. And all the better for it.


Andrew Backhouse is a Yorkshire-based artist working with time-based media and digital collage. He is a self-confessed radio geek and he hopes to share his wonder. He also wants to share his naivety and enthusiasm for finding something interesting. Henri Chopin, AGF, and RuPaul influence Andrew’s artistic enquiry. Documenting “The new shiny thing,” Andrew tries to share his excitement for it. But, he also asks about its authenticity and worth.

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