Knaresborough is a characterful town just along the road from us. And one of its characterful features is that around any corner, you may find a house with a deceptive window or doorway. These are not real windows and doors, though they’re painted to look authentic enough. They’re trompe-l’œils. One day, I’ll produce a town trail of all of them. For now, here’s a taster from our visit on Saturday.
In a past Monday Window, I showcased this winter sunrise, as spotted reflected on one of our windows. It’s too pretty not to share with Past Squares even though squaring it has made it small – but almost perfectly formed.
This shopping malarkey’s getting tiring, so this week, I’ll just slot in a few shots that didn’t make it into the previous two posts. Like the header shot, for instance. Who knew that facials, waxing, nails and massage were a prerequisite for returning to school?
The Yorkshire lass in me thoroughly approves of this window, spotted in Leeds.
And this image from Barcelona of a rather up-market grocer, Queviures, with the reflections of the street behind remains a favourite too.
My last one may not be a shop at all – I can’t remember. It comes from a more optimistic time, when we still believed that marching in London in our thousands, and community action might help to save us from the disaster which is Brexit.
When Sheree read my post about window shopping last week, where I’d included a stop-off in Harrogate, she was disappointed I hadn’t included the windows of tea shop and bakery extraordinaire, Betty’s. I was in Harrogate again last week, and realised I had to put this right. But the sun was so high, and the light so bright that my camera got clearer views of Parliament Street behind than of the window display. Never mind. Two for the price of one.
My favourite display was in the Oxfam second hand bookshop. Here’s what the signage says:
‘How bad are books? The carbon footprint of reading. A year of driving (average 1600 miles) – 4000 books. Veggie burger – 1/3 book. Cheese burger 3.2 books. Fly to New York and back – 1800 books. 1 pair of men’s jeans – 19 books. It takes 1kg of CO2 to make a book. A second hand book is almost zero carbon.’
I can’t comment on the scientific observations, but I hope it’s true: I’d sooner have a book than a burger, any day. And I liked the reflections in the window too.
I think I’ll leave it at that – or no, let’s just look at this antique shop, where dogs are apparently welcome. Why the bear?
Farewell Harrogate, for the time being. Back soon.
Just before winter kicks in and we all hunker down, let’s have a trip to the shops, and spot a few windows.
Are there enough windows here for you, in the featured photo, at the entrance to one of South Korea’s bigger shopping complexes? Once we’ve looked round, it’ll be time for a coffee: who knew that Starbucks had spread its reach so far? Not that we actually went inside here – independent coffee shops for us, every time.
Let’s come back to England now, and stay local, in Ripon. We’ll pop into our favourite bakery, then saunter along to the pie shop. In both cases, reflections will offer us views of the street too.
Let’s go to Kirkgate, and more independent shops: You’ll get a mood-improving slogan at Karma, and if you’re lucky, live music to cheer you along.
A few miles away is Pateley Bridge. I wonder if the shops there still have the displays they had when the Tour de Yorkshire was in town?
We’ll finish off by going to Harrogate. From behind other shop windows, we can get a snapshot of Starlings, the bar where we could finish our day with a drink and a very tasty pizza.
The landscape in the featured photo shows the bucolic beauty of Wensleydale, still green and welcoming at this time of year. And look! Here’s Bolton Castle, one time prison of Mary Queen of Scots: where she was obliged to stay for six months with a retinue of 30 servants, permitted to go hunting, and receive English lessons This is where we began and ended our walk last week.
Most of our hike wasn’t in such favoured countryside. We slogged up to the bleaker moorland where once lead was mined, and no farmer could make any kind of living, unless he kept sheep. Here there are no villages, no houses or farms, and few roads.
We’d hardly been going more than a mile when we came upon a shooting lodge, now set up as a resting place for the weary traveller. Here’s the view through one of the windows:
There was buffeting wind, and the smallest hint of rain, so we were glad to shelter for a few moments, and look at the view from inside, through that welcome window . But then out we went again, to the windswept landscape. It’s easy to see traces of the old lead mining industry: the grassed over spoil heaps, the ruined stone sheds, the pits where once a mine was sunk.
Lead was found here long before the Romans came. By the Middle Ages, blocks of land known as meers – roughly the size of a cricket pitch – were leased out to the miners who, if they were lucky, could find lead almost at the surface: or by running shafts below ground. The process only became industrialised, and mining companies developed in the 18th century. The last mine in the Dales closed in 1912, and for the first time in hundreds and hundreds of years, no one quarried for lead.
This is a bleak landscape, austere and unforgiving: open to winds coursing across the Dales, and to lashing rain. I love its ascetic grimness and the beauty to be found in its treeless simplicity. The time of year when the hillsides are cloaked in purple heather – August – is not to be missed. We caught the end of this glorious display.
Though our day had been one of grey skies, at the end the sun came out, as was fitting for the gentler Wensleydale landscape near Bolton Castle
Brimham Rocks. A must-visit destination near where we live, simply to marvel at the unlikely tottering piles of fantastically shaped rocks gathered there, or, if you’re athletic and in touch with your inner-child, a challenging climbing frame.
These sandstone blocks were laid down and formed during the last 100,000 years – before, during and since the last Ice Age. Glacial action, weathering and water erosion have fashioned the rocks, leaving some apparently precariously balanced, as wind blasting continues to sculpt their contours.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, many believed that Druida could have been responsible for carving them. It was only in the 20th century that their origins became well understood, and we also came to recognise the wealth of natural life flourishing here: it’s now a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Not that William and Zoë cared when they visited last week. For them, this visit was an adventure. William climbed and Zoë looked for natural windows to gaze through. And asked to come again next time they visit.
See this little window? It’s not very spectacular, being at one side of the old cottage shown in the featured photo, in the nearby village of Studley Roger. But I think it’s quite privileged. It’s just above one of the oldest post boxes in the area, one of the diminishing number of post boxes still to exist from the reign of Queen Victoria. Its design means it can’t have existed before 1857, and it’s certainly 19th century in origin. So the window earns its fifteen minutes of fame as a Monday Window, and the box itself as a bonus for Jude’s Life in Colour, which this month celebrates the colour red.
Was it a month ago that we left Spain? Apparently so. Let’s relive our last day, mooching round Santander before catching the ferry for the long journey home. We could catch lots of images of the city in a single photo, in this building just alongside La Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción.
But nearby, there’s window-shopping …
…and then a picture postcard view of the multi-windowed Plaza Porticada.
Later, on board ship, there were windows on deck, designed to shelter us from the buffeting breezes. But something had gone wrong with one, and early in the voyage, it was being repaired.
But whether on land or at sea, we could spot the coastline near Santander, as shown in the featured photo.
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