Friday, August 24, 2007

An old fashioned picnic

A day off today, cooler bags packed, folding chairs in the car boot, flasks filled with coffee and off up Wharfedale we ventured... Burnsall (see picture) where we paid a farmer £1.50 for the privilege of parking in his farmyard - who needs to raise sheep when you can fleece tourists - and dragged our stuff down to the river where we set up base camp right in front of that bridge you can see in the piccie.

A proper old fashioned picnic with sandwiches, pies, cake, wasps and lashings of ginger beer, or coffee.

A snooze in the hot sun and everyone got burnt, English people don't use sun protection when in England, we do when we're abroad because that sun is different sun to the sun we get in England, in England the sun is weaker and it doesn't burn you does it, so we don't use sun protection of any kind and we get suprised every time when we get burned to a crisp in the hot English sun.

Three hours of burning with no protection later we loaded up the car with the folding chairs, the cooler box, the cooler bag, the blanket on the ground, the library books and the raincoats (just in case) and set off further up Wharfedale to Grassington where for the sum of £2.20 I was allowed to park my car in a National Trust car park for two hours, thank you, you bas'tads.

It seemed a shame to let all of Grassingtons pubs go to waste so we picked on at random and drank some beer, there is nothing quite like drinking beer on what should be a working day for you whilst sitting outside an English pub in the Yorkshire Dales on a hot summer afternoon, nothing quite like it at all.

From there it was a drive over the top of Wharfedale into Nidderdale and down into Pateley Bridge and a visit to the oldest sweet shop in the world, ever - cavemen invented this sweet shop and stocked it full of pear drops, acid drops, gummy bears and parma violets and it seemed like such a shame to ignore the place, so we didn't - I was however very disappointed to note that when asked if they stocked every type of old fashioned sweetie in the world, and they replied in the affirmative, that they could not then produce a single pack of American Civil War or Mars Attacks chewing gum cards, the bas'tads.

And then back over the moors, back into Wharfedale again and home, with a quick stop at the Royalty pub on Otley Chevin, a pub that has seen better days I'm afraid, but at least they dont throw darts at you when you're sat there minding your own business like they did with me once when I was younger and more stupid - I learned that day never to sit underneath a dart board and believe the two players facing you when they tell you it will be ok, just sit still - I still have the hole in the back of my hand and they had to saw the arm of the chair off and take it to casualty with me, being as it was also pinned to the back of my hand.

Hot sun, food, beer, Yorkshire Dales.

As Lou Reed once sang, its just a perfect day...


Island Girl said...

It sounds delightful.

Did they have gobstoppers? I command you to utilise one at once, until I catch up on your posts, I am massively behind again after merely a moment's inattention.

Wasps are a crucial part of any picnic. And if any members of the party are under ten years old, at least one of them must be stung. Otherwise it wasn't a picnic proper, it was just a sort of stingless psuedo-picnic.

mal said...

Does life get any better?

It sounds like paying the farmer for parking was the better parking return for the money *L*

People in Minnesota seem to take a sunburn as a right of spring around. Nice folks, but sometimes not to smart *G*

Gary said...

IG - Gobstoppers in abundance, what size mouth would you like ?

Mal - so nice to see you back in the blog world ! The farmer had (we counted) 47 cars in his farmyard when we left and he spent all afternoon sat on a folding chair just counting the money - much easier than chasing sheep all over the hills.

Gary said...

PS - we did get a wasp sting - I swatted one out of my face and it hit my wife on the arm where it stung her, you can only begin to imagine how much I laughed at that.