January 9th saw all the UK get back to work. As usual the holiday seemed too long with the usual grumble of why have so much time off work with the weather so miserable. Early highlights saw me lunching with the Vale of Pickering Probus Club before taking them across America in 45 minutes (see Travel blog). Probus is an organisation emerging out of Rotary for retired or semi retired Professional and Business chaps. Anyway no snoring despite getting the fateful after lunch shift and a few quid raised for the charity.
With the present Mrs Ives not working then we are ‘doing things together (“brilliant” I hear every married man sympathise). This extended to going swimming together. I am rubbish and plod wearily up the pool giving the lifeguards cause to worry about a potential drowning incident whilst Anna sped up and down the pool. The first problem was that as she swam past then I would like you to imagine the comparison between a small dinghy in a harbour whilst the cross channel ferry catches it in its wake, I was that dinghy. As I am recuperating at one end she then offers coaching advice. Two words came to mind and they weren’t ‘breast stroke’. To top a super joint activity then when I left the pool I approached a woman leaving the shower area with a towel on her head and encumbered with several bottles of shampoo and other emulsions. I had forgotten my shampoo and thinking that this woman was my wife I instructed her to hand across a shampoo. She did this in a slightly confused fashion until I discovered that she was not my wife. Well, I wasn’t wearing my specs was I!
I waste far too much time on social media. In my enthusiasm for politics and current affairs I follow a number of interesting characters not least Hull’s very own adulterous pugilist John Prescott (a former British Deputy Prime Minister).
He Tweets the usual left of centre stuff and gets lots of hammer from those who remind him of his gilded career. Imagine the bemusement when he Tweeted asking for help on repairing his grandchild’s toy train. This was a delightful and quirky post: it’s as if the political Tweets are really a game but when something important comes up then you send out something that says ‘hey, I’m a human being and can we stop the game temporarily whilst I resolve a practical problem’. Many helped with attendant images but he received lots of replies along the lines of him being a “Fat Controller’ and ‘don’t ask Southern Rail they’re on strike’!
With the weather getting a little snowy we drove, on Saturday, up to Skipton and alighted on the choo choo puffa to Appleby. This is a train ride into the north west of Yorkshire and over the county border into Cumbria (or formerly Westmorland). What staggering scenery. We eventually got off the train and mooched around Appleby where Mrs Ives bought some German brandy before the return trip (which remained unopened I have to add).
The above image is from the train window. You start to appreciate what an engineering feat the construction of the line was.
We never got a proper view of Ribblehead Viaduct – you need to be beneath it. This is an epic Victorian structure that enabled a great span to be achieved to carry the railway track between hills. I did volunteer driving up here in the Morgan when the weather was better to complete the task, this initiative was received with mixed enthusiasm by my co pilot.
The outing was topped off by a wonderful vegetarian meal at 'The Veggie' in Ilkley. We were passing through on the way home and after the no small task of finding parking we dined here. I am one of the people who if they experience something terrible or fabulous are quick onto Trip Advisor and I was delighted to wax lyrical about this establishment.
Next week sees me (or hears me?) on BBC Radio York again, they are having an American theme on Presidential Inauguration Day and apparently they think I know a bit about the USA as a tourist destination. I am on with someone from ABTA.
.......also as they say then I have a face for radio.