Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Nearly Stranded In The Moors


On Saturday, I left early for a train ride to Thornaby where I was to meet MadPriest and Mrs MadPriest for a drive through the North Yorkshire Moors and a visit to Rievaulx Abbey. I was on time and on the right train, and all seemed to be well. The countryside begins to run together in my mind, and I have no vivid memory of what I passed through on this train trip.

We reached Thornaby, and a man and I got up to get off the train. As we arrived at the station, the doors did not open. The two of us frantically pushed the button to open the door, but it did not open, and the train began moving again. I saw a conductor in the next car and called him to us and told him what happened. He said, "Oh, don't worry about it. In five minutes, we'll be in Scarborough, and you can get on a train and be back here in ten minutes." I said, "What about my friends who are meeting me in Thornaby?" I gave him MadPriest's name, and he called the station in Thornaby for someone to try to find him and tell him what had happened. A woman who worked in the station in Thornaby ran out to find MP, and they were just backing out of their parking place when she caught them and told them that an American lady was on her way back from Scarborough to meet them.

We almost missed each other. Had we done so, I would have got back on the train and returned to Leeds. I finally met up with MadPriest and Mrs MadPriest, who is a lovely and gracious lady. Spouses of bloggers have a right to privacy and beyond saying that both MP and Mrs MP were unfailingly kind and hospitable, I won't say more about Mrs MP. I met the border collies, Callum, Glenna, and Delphi. Delphi Glenna is MP's dog, and she seemed not to like me. Glenna Delphi is a silky beauty and was quite friendly. Poor Callum is old and stiff, like me, and he let me pet him, but he seemed to want to be left in peace.

I asked my friends to stop at a village for me to change money, because all my English money was in the wallet that was lost the previous day, and I needed operating money. We did, and MP and I got out and walked around searching for the Post Office. I believe we went twice around the square without finding it. MP planted me in a spot and said, "Don't move," and went to look again. Was he afraid that I would get lost? Me? In the meantime, an elderly lady walked by, and moving only my lips, not my feet, I asked her where the post office was. She kindly told me that it was in the Co-op. MP returned from another fruitless search for the PO, and I asked the lady to tell him what she had told me. We went to the Co-op, and I changed my money, and off we went. Later, I asked MP how long he would have searched before he asked someone, and he said that eventually he would have asked. My thought is sooner, rather than later.

The Yorkshire Moors are, to me, fascinating landscapes. I know that many find them bleak and dreary, especially in early spring before the greening begins, but I like them. They have a character about them appeals to me. I did not take pictures, because most of the time we were in a moving car. The picture above is from a different season of the year. I could not find a picture that I could upload for the early spring season, but here's a link to a photo of what the Moors looked like during my visit.

Another near miss of a misadventure happened in the car. MP asked me to roll down the car window in the back a little for the collies to get air. I looked for the button to press, but MP told me that I had to wind the window down. Ooooh. By accident I grasped the door handle, and Mrs MP abruptly stopped the car and quietly said, "Close the car door, please." All we needed was for me to fall out of the car in the middle of the moors. If I could read thoughts, what would I see? "When can we unload this old bird?"


We arrived at Rievaulx Abbey. Oh my! What a beautiful place. Mrs MP and I toured the Abbey while MP exercised the collies. What a holy place. I could sense the presence of many saints from the past who prayed there, and the prayers seemed to linger in the abbey. I thought of our blog friend Prior Aelred of St. Gregory's Abbey, because his namesake was abbot of Rievaulx Abbey.

We stopped for lunch at The Blacksmiths Arms in Lastingham, and I made the grand gesture of treating MP and Mrs MP to a quite inexpensive, but tasty lunch. Across from from the pub was the Church of St. Mary, which MP and I visited, while Mrs MP loaded the dogs into the car. Below is my view of the interior of the beautiful old church.


Then it was time for my train back to Leeds. I had an invitation to Doorman-Priest's Philharmonic Choral Society's concert that evening.

Altogether a lovely day for which I'm quite grateful to MP and Mrs MP.