These are for John, who has been writing about letter boxes several times on his blog. Even if you are not a letter box aficionado like him, I strongly recommend a visit to "Rambles from my Chair" - I promise you will always find something interesting, entertaining, hilarious, thought-provoking or fascinating there (sometimes all in one post!), and he always has great pictures. Especially the ones of Ivy! Go and find out what (or, rather, who) I am talking about.
John, I would have liked to take even more pictures of letter boxes for you, but sometimes there were too many people about, and I know how sensitive people are to having their picture taken by a stranger - even if that stranger is not even remotely interested in them, but in the letter box. Still, I wanted to show you that I thought of you during my Yorkshire Holiday.
This was my main course (goats cheese lasagne) and dessert (brownie with vanilla ice and chocolate sauce) at "The Terrace", a restaurant in Ripon where my sister-in-law had booked a table for the four of us on Thursday night.
It was as delicious as it looks, and because the staff was so very friendly, we kindly did not hold their inefficiency against them (does it really take two people at the same time - getting in each other's way - to put cutlery on a table for four? And then remember that you actually forgot some of it, and have to go back for the forgotten items, and come back again to the table?).
Now, why is this a standard part of all such announcements? Nobody deliberately leaves their stuff behind when they get off the train, to they? And those who are a little forgetful/chaotic/confused - will the announcement really make a difference? Honestly, I don't think so. And those who are inconsiderate and rudely leave all their rubbish behind (empty crisp bags, newspapers, plastic bottles and the like) certainly won't suddenly, with a downcast, guilty look on their face, collect their rubbish from their seat after they hear the announcement.
Trains are good for thinking, at least for me (not quite as good as walking, but close). Something else I was thinking and wondering about: Why do people, when they book seats on a train, make sure they get a window seat - and then do nothing but read, write emails, send texts on their mobiles or play games on their portable game consoles?
A logical explanation could be that they don't like being exposed to possibly being touched by other passengers who move up and down the aisle and brush against them, either because of the train's own movement or because they are not paying attention. Still, when I am on the train and I have a window seat (booked or not), I enjoy looking at the scenery out there, especially when it is somewhere as beautiful as in the Pennines.
I've already been back for almost two weeks, and it has taken me this long to tell you about my Yorkshire Holiday of one week. See - by blogging, you turn one week of holiday into three :-)
ADDENDUM: There are two more points I meant to mention but forgot when I first wrote this post.
When we were in Pateley Bridge at the Nidderdale museum, I was especially touched by something I saw in one of the rooms. That room was the Victorian schoolroom; you can see it if you click on the word "Nidderdale museum" here in this post and then on "gallery". The schoolrom is the 2nd picture in the top row. Have a look at what is written on the blackboard: "Good children make glad parents". Ever since I saw this, it has remained with me, and I can't even explain what effect precisely it had on me, let alone why. Does it happen to you, too? That sometimes you come across a line in a song, a book, on a poster, in conversation with someone, and those words somehow touch you on an unexpected level, quite by surprise, and you can't really explain why and how?
One hugely contributing factor to the great week I had was, of course, the weather. See what BBC's "Look North" weather correspondent Paul Hudson has to say about it on his blog. Interestingly, he mentions the summers of 1975 and 1976 as having been very hot, too. Those years were in the middle of childhood for my generation, and the summer of 2013 is naturally in the middle of childhood for another generation. It is this kind of summer that will stick forever in the memories of those who are young now; they will always associate "summer" with a seemingly endless succession of glorious long, hot, sunny days, and when they get older, they will tell their children about how summer used to be so much nicer when they were young, just like they will be convinced that winters were always spent in snow-covered wonderlands.
If you look at long term weather statistics, you will see that there hardly is such a thing as a "typical" summer or winter, and yet it is what we do in our minds; we like to keep things "sorted", it seems. Human memory is not very reliable in the first place (ask any Police officer who has to deal with witnesses of road accidents!), and we all have a tendency to modify our own memories as we go along. That is not a bad thing, because it mostly is there for our own mental wellbeing. But every now and then, it can be useful to remind oneself of what it really was like. For me, sometimes revisiting my own old blog posts serves that purpose, although they don't go back that many years.