Loafing around in Harrogate

March2015 (98)

Up betimes, in order to be at Harrogate Hospital by 7.30 a.m.  Yesterday was a day of white-coat-syndrome-induced high blood pressure, insensibility whilst under the knife, and not a little discomfort for Malcolm.  He’s been waiting for months for some minor surgery, and now he’s had it, his life should get a lot more comfortable.

I, meanwhile, had to spend the day in Harrogate waiting for the call to go and collect him.  I had quite a few errands to run in any case,  and after that it wouldn’t have been worth traipsing back and forth from North Stainley.

So I did my jobs, and then had plenty of chance to loaf about.  I’m not the world’s keenest shopper, but I do have a favourite charity shop in Cold Bath Road.  Our friend Jonet volunteers there, sifting through and sorting donated books.  I love the serendipity of looking along the shelves crowded with fiction old, new, English and foreign, next to an eclectic collection of non-fiction.  As usual I left the shop with a satisfyingly large pile of reading, and this time, a new-to-me summer dress.

Then I headed for green space.  What makes Harrogate a special town is its area of open parkland in the centre of the town – the Stray.  It was created from common pastureland in 1778 to link most of Harrogate’s springs (it’s a spa town after all) and an Act of Parliament preserved its size at 200 acres.  Even now, if part of its area is lost due to, for example, road widening, it must be replaced elsewhere.  It’s pretty unique to be able to step directly from busy shopping streets straight onto a vast green area unbounded by railings or fences.  Paths and roads will lead you through this green space to other parts of town.  Like me, you could walk across the Stray to get to the hospital, or to reach the community round Cold Bath Road with its neighbourhood shops and Victorian housing.  And yesterday, you could enjoy, as I did, the crocuses which have burst forth in their hundreds and thousands in glorious lakes of colour – purple, mauve, sunshine yellow and white.  They’ll be followed in a week or so by an equal multitude of daffodils, and then avenues of cherries will blossom in all their pink finery.  Here’s a few shots of Harrogate Stray on the warmest day of the year so far.

 

12 thoughts on “Loafing around in Harrogate”

  1. How lovely. It’s so good to see the bulbs flowering – we had the first of the daffs out here for St David’s Day, very early for us. Hope Malcolm makes a full recovery and is soon fighting fit again.

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    1. Thank you. Well, although I did see my very first daff out in late January, on the whole they’re tactfully standing back to give the crocuses their day in the sun. Maybe later next week?

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  2. Those flowers are balm for a winter-sick soul! What a fine way to while away the time as you waited to bring your husband home–hope he’s feeling well by now!

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  3. Thank you so much for the glimpse of spring! Here in northern Illinois, we are still largely snow-covered, but the temperatures are warming and the snow is melting. Spring will be here soon and this weekend we jumped ahead one hour for daylight savings time. Glad to hear Malcolm is on the mend.

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  4. It looks like a lovely sunny day, beautiful flowers and I hope that Malcolm is recovering well and will soon be in a sunny frame of mind. Great looking Easter Eggs too – yes please.

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  5. A welcome sunny day while you waited in Harrogate and took some lovely photos of the spring flowers. We’re pleased Malcolm has at last had the op and hope he feels well enough to ramble again in the near future.

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  6. Such a great story about the historic preservation of the ‘stray’ – wish all towns had been as lucky! The early signs of spring are lovely and that easter egg does seem quintessentially British. Best wishes for a speedy recovery for your Malcolm.

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