Tigger is off to Stockton today on a courier run. I would have liked to go too but it wasn’t possible: the train ticket was just too expensive. The sensible thing was to accept defeat and stay at home.
I have been keeping in touch with Tigger, of course, and she called me from York station to tell me what she had seen.
I took the photos below on July 13th on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway station at Grosmont. It shows a very smart and doughty steam loco called The Lancashire Fusilier. Very fine, wouldn’t you say?
What Tigger was seeing on York station was this selfsame steam locomotive, preparing to go to Scarborough. I’d have liked to have been there to see it, not because I’m a all that much of a steam train enthusiast but because it would have brought back happy memories of our trip.
She then caught the two-carriage diesel train to Middlesbrough, just as we had done at the start of our Whitby holiday.
So what was I going to do with myself all day? Well, I had one little task in mind, though it wouldn’t take all day. While we were on holiday, I bought this bracelet. I think it’s rather pretty and the blue beads can be quite sparkly in the sun. The darker beads are magnetite, I think: they cling to one another.
It’s too small for me, of course, because like most of the bracelets I like, it’s intended for a woman’s wrist. I therefore needed to lengthen it, as I usually have to. So I went off to Covent Garden to look for a bead shop.
This is the bead shop I found though there are others if you wander around and look. This one is in Neal’s Yard—more on that anon.
You probably know how it works: you pick up a little basket, plastic envelopes and a marker pen. You put each type of bead in a different envelope and write the number and price on the envelope with the marker pen. Then you take it all to the till to tot up the bill. Quite fun in its own way.
Neal’s Yard, near the famous Covent Garden piazza, is what its name suggests: a yard. It is quite small and entirely enclosed by buildings except for narrow alleys. Is it a shopping centre for alternative lifestyles, a community or a place to hang out and eat health food? All of those, really, and probably more if you look more closely.
If the trees look a little unhappy, it is because some vandal poured petrol on them. Some died and have been replaced but the one with the bits of paper on it is just surviving so far and the papers are blessings and good wishes from people urging it to recover. I hope it does: it and they deserve no less.
Across the road from Neal’s Yard is “Thomas Neal’s”, a sort of miniature shopping mall providing space for a more up-market set of retail outlets. I was attracted by the lights in this corridor which bears the name of Cucumber Alley.
On arriving at Stockton, Tigger had trouble finding a taxi. There were none near the station and no sign of where they might be hiding. She began to worry about meeting the noon deadline. In the end, the taxis were discovered hanging out near the town hall and Tigger made the drop well within the time limit.
Later, I went down to Kings Cross to meet Tigger off the train and we returned home catching up on one another’s adventures of the day.