Betsy Devine: Funny ha-ha and/or funny peculiar

Making trouble today for a better tomorrow…

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Entries from June 2011

How crazy was this?

June 4th, 2011 · Comments Off on How crazy was this?

Day 12: Just Frank and Betsy IMG_0965 by betsythedevine
Day 12: Just Frank and Betsy IMG_0965, a photo by betsythedevine on Flickr.

How crazy was this project to celebrate Frank’s 60th birthday with a 192 mile hike across England with our two daughters and one son-in-law?

And yet, here we are, near the end, two people who have just spent two weeks of nights in hotel rooms — one man with sore feet and one woman with a lot of experience driving on the left of narrow roads. And we are happy.

And how much less crazy was this crazy trip idea than the project we set out on back in our twenties to get together and start a family despite having little money and little experience and lots of fondness for having our own way? That crazy project back then worked out pretty well too.

Tags: coasttocoast · England · Frank Wilczek · Travel · Wide wonderful world

Day 10: Heather on Yorkshire hills

June 2nd, 2011 · Comments Off on Day 10: Heather on Yorkshire hills

Day 10: View from high moorland by betsythedevine
Day 10: View from high moorland, a photo by betsythedevine on Flickr.

In The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett, orphan Mary Craven lives in her strange uncle’s lonely mansion, set somewhere in Yorkshire. The moorland stretching for miles, its lambs and its flowers, the wind that “wuthers” all night, the broad Yorkshire accent — all these made a huge impression on my childhood, and I longed to know them all someday for myself.

It is wonderful to be here, finally. I believe that part of my real job as a grown-up is to discover or do (or refrain from doing) the special things my childhood self vowed to do someday, somehow — or never to do.

It was also funny, both ha-ha and peculiar, to discover just now that Burnett based her book on a house she loved somewhere in the southern counties, not Yorkshire at all. So that house will be a new goal for some new future journey.

Tags: coasttocoast · England · My Back Pages · Travel · Wide wonderful world

Landscape keeps changing and changing and changing

June 1st, 2011 · Comments Off on Landscape keeps changing and changing and changing

Day 10: A beautiful day in Yorkshire by betsythedevine
Day 10: A beautiful day in Yorkshire, a photo by betsythedevine on Flickr.

The walkers are having a glorious time, not too hot, not too cool. Lakeland gales and scree are a memory fading away. Yorkshire sunshine pours down onto cropland, cow pastures, and now they have walked into moorland.

We spent three luxurious nights at the Frenchgate Hotel in Richmond — elegant dinners, wonderful beds, awesome and most helpful staff. Tonight we are high over moorland listening to wind wuther outside the Lion Inn Pub and Hotel, many centuries old with the low timber lintels to prove it. What internet there is is best from tall stools at the bar.

One of the curious things about this days-long journey has been watching stone wall vernaculars change. In the lake district, flat fractured stones were stacked in predictable patterns. As we move east, the stones get more rounded and holes between stones get more roomy. This would be good country for
the NH chipmunks and squirrels that haunted my mother’s stone walls and woodpile all winter long.

Tomorrow is yet another day of big changes, some of which I know about and some of which … I’ll know tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Tags: coasttocoast · England · Travel · Wide wonderful world