12 . June  2016 - 16 July  2016


We left Sheffield and settled in Galphay a lovely little village with a pub, a letter box and lovely neighbours.
The house leant to us by a friend is lovely and very comfortable. We are woken in the morning by sheep, chickens and cows, very rural for two city people. We are exploring the surrounding area and it is all lovely and the people very friendly. The pub in Galphay was just across the green very handy. Our next door neighbours Barry and Elaine run a Bed and Breakfast s well as the farm. we got our eggs from them. the nearest shop is in Ripon about 10 mins by car, via winding narrow country lanes.

Ripon and Surrounds
Map of Ripon
Ripon Cathedral
Ripon Cathedral
Ripon Cathedral
Ripon Cathedral
Ripon Cathedral
Ripon Cathedral
Town Square
Ripon Town Square
Black Duck Shopping
Black Duck Shopping
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I decided a few days without driving was a good idea. We went into Galphay, did a lot of internet stuff on the fast connection, purchased a whole load of supplies (mostly beer wine and cider) and came home to some R and R from our holidays. 

First job vacuuming. Those who know me will know that vacuuming makes me cry. Not much makes me cry, I am tough, but vacuuming breaks me!! I managed and the place looks much better for it, although a little tears stained in patches. I am sure they will dry with time, just leaving a little salt. 

Today is a gorgeous day so we did the washing and hung it on the line. More about that later. 

Then I decided to do some weeding. Do not worry Clive and Dorothy it did not last long. I stood on a bee, I think. A few more minutes in I was got by a stinging nettle. Definitely the end of the weeding. So the garden is safe. 

Next chore I would wash the car!!! Well as you may know I have not owned a car for 10 years and then I used to go to one of those hand wash places and have coffee while someone else cleaned the car. I dredged some information from my memory and decided soapy water was the go, armed with a large bucket of water and a rag I approached the car. Well here is what I learnt.

  1. Always start at the top or as you work upward the draining dirt messes up what is already clean.

  2. Be very glad that I missed that bunny, I could not swerve for. Bugs are hard enough to get off

  3. I cannot reach the roof, due to the bars.

  4. Windows do not clean they just smear a lot. Quite a lot actually

The cockerel from next door wandered over to see what I was up to (free range hens). He went home and spent the next 20 mins telling his hens in a very loud crows what a mess I was in. Most insulting to be criticised by a bird and a very noisy one at that.

   5. Clean the hub caps last as they are really dirty

I managed to clean 2 hub caps and it started to rain. That’s what that bloody cockerel knew! Oh dear all the washing is on the line, told you we would get back to it. Now it is my fault it will not be dry and will be hanging up all over the house for days. I washed the car after all. I had forgotten that is what always happens when you wash the car.

   6. When throwing the rinsing water over the car be careful of back splash, Now I am soaked from car washing water and rain. I guess I could have left the rain to rinse the soap suds off.

I have managed to move the dirt around a bit and my bee sting and nettle sting has stopped hurting, so life is not all bad.

Tomorrow l will have to gather up all the weeds and toss them out. But it is raining to hard now 

Perhaps point 7 should be city girls should stay in the city :-) 

So that is the first and last message about domestic duties (I probably will not do any more) there must be someone in the village I can pay to do the cleaning and do Boy Scouts still do bob a job?

We have had a visitor from Melbourne, Sue Adam a friend for many years is in England visiting her family and stopped by to spend a few days with us. We went in to Harrogate to pick her up (twice as I got the day wrong!!). Once we had actually picked her up we used it as an excuse to have afternoon tea in Betty’s. Betty’s is an institution in Yorkshire and everyone comes for tea, we had a great time, delicious sandwiches, gorgeous scones and scrumptious cakes with a nice cuppa tea.

The next day was market day in Ripon so we went in to check it out. What fun, lovely stalls of fresh fruit, fish from Whitby and all sorts of other stuff like waterproof hiking boots. Believe it or not I have purchased a pair, I am not certain if for hiking or for the waterproof part. I am not really a walker (stop laughing all you who know how lazy I am). I might take up walking with my cousin Clive Badger who wanders the paths and trails of England on his own as he loves the peace and quiet. I am certain he would like a change and have me yapping on in his ear, as he walks me to the top of a mountain and pushes me off….. no perhaps I will walk with Ross, hum Ross did not buy walking shoes. Back to Ripon.


After the market we decided to check out the cathedral it is really old. The first church was built in 607. It was razed by the Vikings and a new church later built, additions across the years have built it into a magnificent cathedral well worth a visit. The crypt remains from 607.

We went to Newby Hall as instructed by one of the tour guides from Fountain Abbey.Newby Hall is privately owned since 1748 and still lived in, it is famous for its garden particularly the herbaceous borders, although the gardens were only started in the 1930’s. (I was not sure what an Herbaceous border was) but an herbaceous border is “a collection of perennial herbaceous plants - plants that live for more than two years and are soft-stemmed and non-woody; arranged closely together, usually to create a dramatic effect through colour, shape or large scale. The term herbaceous border is mostly in use in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.” Thank you Wikipedia. The herbaceous borders were truly magnificent as was the rest of the garden as seen in the rain. We did the tour of the house, what we were allowed to see of it. The manor was designed by Christopher Wren and the interiors were designed by Robert Adan who brought in such people as Chippendale to do the furniture. As the house is still lived in, it has a lovely comfortable feel and I just wanted to curl up with a book in a chair in some of the rooms. They have truly amazing stuff. The tapestries in the main room were made specially for the room as was the material (in the same style) for the chairs all of which were made bespoke to fit the fabric as it is all different flower designs. At one stage the whole house was turned 180 degrees as a new owner decided that it was not looking at the best view and he had purchased all the land so wanted to see it. Quite a feat for the day I should think. The Hall was designated as the place the royal family would evacuate to if necessary during the war, it was therefore never used as a hospital or military base as were many of the large country homes and was not damaged in any way during war time.

Sunday was Open Gardens in Galphay our little village so we paid our entrance fees and went around sticky beaking on all our neighbour’s gardens, there are some beauties.  We met lots of interesting people and chatted with a few friends we had already made at the Pub. The roses are the star of the show, but peonies were glorious too. We had afternoon tea at Elaine’s our neighbour. I had a huge piece of Strawberry Sponge the best cake I have had in ages.

An adventure of a different nature awaited us on the final day of Sue’s stay. Off we went “o’r the moor’s” to Whitby again in the rain although not bad and we did have some sunny spells. We had a trip on the Old Whitby Lifeboat. We went out on the old lifeboat and the captain said if anything goes wrong we will come back in the new lifeboat. It did not go far, but we did see the fishermen bringing in the Salmon and trout from their nets (we later purchased some and some lobster a great feed). After the sea trip we walked up the hill to the church, it is 199 steps up to the top and it is on the cliff looking out to sea the best view in Whitby. It is the only church I have ever seem a huge stove heater in I guess it also gets a little cold in the winter. We also visited the ruins of the Abbey, not as good as Fountain Abbey but worth a look. Leaving Whitby with our smoked trout, Lobsters and tummy’s full of great fish and chips, we stopped in at Rivaux Abbey on the way home another lovely ruin but absolutely gorgeous in the sunshine.

Cathedral on Hill

We went to the races. 9:15 am on the bus. The oldest bus driver you have ever seen. We pick up more people at the next village. Off we go. There is a lot of mumbling about the direction the driver is taking and after about 45 mins, my new friend Steven, also known as Will (his nickname at School – 4 other Steven’s in the class), says well we are now 5 miles from where we started, the driver seems to have taken the longest route possible. I am quite happy as I am at last seeing the landscape.  

Due to the long way round we arrive in Cartmel at 12:00 the first race is 1:50 so everyone disappears for Lunch. Ross and I wander on the racecourse; it is very strange. The course is a sort of oval shape with the finishing line a diagonal through the centre of the oval. We grab a drink place a bet and go to find somewhere to watch the first race. The grandstand on the finishing line seems like a good idea. The announcements of the day’s events and the winnings etc. are announced. Apart from the usual money etc. every jockey, trainer and owner is the lucky winner of a sticky toffee pudding!! (compliments of Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding maker). I have heard of some odd prizes but sticky toffee pudding, would not want to miss that.

The first race begins we look around for some horses nothing to be seen a TV screen in the distance shows a few running and the commentary tells us who is in the lead, not my horse of course eventually to our far right a group of horses can be seen running across the top of the finishing straight and disappearing about 5 mins later they could be seen again across the bottom of the finishing straight. Well this is not much to see.  This was repeated and then lo and behold we could see horses thundering down the finishing straight with mine coming about last. So the grandstand is not so Grand and not the place to be. We crossed the finishing straight and put another bet on then decided to try and find the actual course, better than that, we found a jump and what appeared to be the start.

The start was a string of orange elastic cord that was stretched across the race track. Now I am not a race goer by any means but I have never seen elastic at Flemington, Randwick, not even at the picnic races I once went to. The horses got into a sort of line about 50 meters from the start, the horses are held in place by a man with a stick. The starter held up his flag dropped the flag and released the elastic and the horses races to the first jump. Excitement at last, then they disappeared around the curve for a long time. Mine horse somewhere in the middle!! After a while they all appeared around the curve jumped the jump and disappeared again. The commentator eventually told us my horse had come 3rd. I went for my winnings to be told on that race they only paid first and second!!

Let’s have some lunch, another bet and across the course we go, we found a shared table and had lunch watching the next race on a very distant but quite large screen, my horse came second. Back across the course and into a long queue for my winnings not bad - 4 pound 80 pence for my one-pound bet. So I place my bets and return to Ross who is holding our seats. I get to the course crossing only to be told I am too late and must wait. The course crossing is down from the grandstand so fort my view of the race see earlier, I spent the time talking to the man on the gate who is a local living on the top of the hill over there and this is his third race (and I mean race he has never been to a race before volunteering for the Job!). Ross’s horse that he does not know he bet on came second. Still not allowed across the course, as the horses are being walked up and down the finishing straight to cool off. The next race horses then walked up and down to warm up. I eventually get across to Ross too late to put another bet on. We have heard some of the jumps are water jumps, so after the race we decide to walk the course to find a more interesting Jump. Eventually find a jump (same as before) so we stand and wait this is on a muddy part of the course and as the horse thunder past I get coated in flying mud. So glad I did not get all dressed up for this race day. I clean myself off; picking mud lumps from my hair, and the horses are back for the second go, a horse goes down as it comes over the jump, no one hurt horse looks fine, races on by itself leaving the Jockey to walk and me to get the mud out of my hair again.

Races over - into town to the Pub, of course pub is heaving, a group of us (5) get one table and a group (8) get another. There is live music but it is not very good and very loud. The music when it is not live is even louder so Ross and I decide to walk around the village. We walk over the river and back via the church yard. It is all very English village pretty. Then we spot a wine bar !!! in we go and meet another mob from Galphay. So we join then until the Brewery next to the Wine bar closes and we all stagger back to the bus new best friends.

The old bus driver is so pleased to see us all back he takes us home the great circle route, which is going around the roundabout twice, hey I can do that. When we get home at about 10:30 the Galphay pub is open so most of the bus go in for a night cap, we decline and are asked when are we having our farewell to Galphay party, these new friends like a drink. We decide not to have a party, after all we leave on Tuesday, so are told drinks are on us Sunday night at the pub….. we shall see. I must say it was a strange but immensely fun day. We met some great people lost a bit of money won a very small amount and eventually saw some horses doing a steeplechase; one more experience ticked off the list.

Galphay is a great place if you go there stay at Barry and Eileen's B. and B. Visit the pub and tell them you know us, you will then have to buy everyone a round!! Walking around the village you can see many of the lovely gardens from the road

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This is all my own work, any mistakes are mine please let me know if you think I should change anything or if I have added a photo of you that you would like removed. My apologise if I offend anyone. Please send me a message using the box above and I will action immediately.

Writer             : Clare Lyon

Editor             : Ross Lyon

Photography : Clare and Ross Lyon

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