“It was the best of times , and the worst of times” …. that phrase from Charles Dickens, Tale of two cities, kept coming back to me as we toured through the stunning countryside of the Ribble valley.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way
Just about sums it up!
Now we have a date for the surgery, 14th May, it is as if we can make the most of life. We have eaten out mostly every night, as Michael will be on a low residue diet afterwards and we took the opportunity of the long Bank holiday weekend to go to the Ribble vally, just 20 miles away.
The weather was kind to us . There we found a jazz festival at Clitheroe, some friends we had not seen for ages, amazingly a woman I pass daily on my bike, who is now a friend,….. and a bottle for pouring oil.
The Ribble Valley in Lancashire is a well kept secret. You do not see many tourists there, only local accents. Yet there are plenty of attractions. Stunning, unspoilt countryside, pretty villages, market towns with the river Ribble running through, like Clitheroe, Skipton and Whalley. With Castles, old Abbeys and other ancient monuments. There is a Roman museum at the ancient village of Ribchester and Stoneyhurst college an imposing English public school where J R Tolkien started to write Lord of the rings. Also the whole valley is overshadowed by Pendle Hill, with it’s folklore of witches and history of witch trials.
We had delicious Sunday lunch of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding at the Ribchester arms hotel and stopped off at lots of local cafes for tea and home made cakes and of course had to have some local fish and chips.
On Monday I attempted the Ribble valley villages cycling tour. 29 miles though villages with names like Mitton, Dinkly, Langho, Downham and my favourite Grindleton.
There were plenty of other cyclists on the route. Intense young men in Lycra, zooming past me on the uphill climbs, middle aged couples tootling along like me and old men with no helmets or high vis clothing, who had probably been doing it for years. All very friendly and helpful. One of the “intense young men” stopped and asked if I needed any help, as I stopped to investigate a funny noise in my bike and another couple helped me to draw my route on a map, when I lost the original instructions.
So here are some of the pictures I took on this wonderful weekend.
;”>Sometimes I wonder why I love Paris so much when I have this beautiful place on my doorstep.
Three years ago after a visit to the lovely Loire Valley I visited here in late summer and thought “this is much nicer than the Loire!”
and here is what I was doing a year ago
I was at a Hindu wedding!