The weather was apparently not too bad when Michael went out for his morning run. However, it quickly deteriorated into a wet and miserable day. After our hearty English breakfast, we walked to the nearby parsonage where the Bronte family lived and which is now a museum. I was about to purchase a ticket when Michael revealed that he had left the cash back in our room (locked up in my bag). We decided it would be better to use the cash, some of which had been purchased a few years ago when we had a better exchange rate, than use a credit card. I waited in the museum’s bookshop whilst Michael raced back to our room to retrieve some money. After waiting some time, I decided to wander back to the B&B to meet him. As I stood outside waiting (I didn’t have a key to get inside), it dawned on me that he probably hadn’t paid attention when I had made a point of saying that I was putting his wallet inside a smaller bag in my case! There was nothing I could do, but wait patiently until he finally appeared, announcing that he hadn’t been able to find his wallet.
By then, I had decided that I’d rather go for a walk and visit the museum later. With a copy of the instructions for a good walk that our host had provided, we headed past the church and old cemetery along the lane way and then up the hill on to a more rugged track. By now, it had started to drizzle. I was fine, as I had my waterproof shoes, pants and jacket, and some fingerless gloves to keep my hands warm. However, Michael, who had refused my encouragement to pack appropriate wet weather gear, had only my umbrella! He even wore sandals, as he didn’t want to get his jogging shoes wet. It rained incessantly, and the wind...well, let’s just say it was ‘wuthering’! Michael had to fight to prevent the umbrella from turning inside out.
Periodically, I pulled out my camera to take some photos, doing my best to protect it from the elements. An occasional raindrop on the lens produced a blurry spot on some of my photos, but my camera survived the ordeal, despite the cover getting quite drenched.
I quite enjoyed the experience of walking in the rain, avoiding the puddles, breathing in the fresh air and taking in the beauty of the moors.
However, Michael found the whole expedition most disagreeable and convinced me to cut off the climb to Top Withens — ‘a ruined farmhouse near Haworth, West Yorkshire, England which is said to have been the inspiration for the location of the Earnshaw family house Wuthering Heights in the novel of the same name by Emily Brontë’. We followed the public footpath (often unmarked thoroughfares across farmers’ land) and then continued back to Haworth along the road which made it easier for Michael to avoid mud puddles.
It was early afternoon by the time we returned to our B&B. We peeled of our wet gear and then went downstairs to the communal area for a cup of decaf coffee/glass of wine. I had started reading ‘Agnes Grey’, a novel by Anne Bronte, on the plane, and was keen to continue doing so. Discovering that the wood stove heater was burning, I settled myself in one of the lounge chairs and read for a few hours. I was impressed with the writer’s knowledge of the English language — so many words I had to look up in the dictionary (which, of course, is so easy these days with the Kindle reader simply requiring one to press a finger on the word in question).
She describes being a governess to two particular families whose children are basically over-indulged, self-centred, egotistical brats who are destined to become narcissistic adults. It made me realise that human society hasn’t really changed that much, despite my perception that younger people are generally becoming more self-absorbed and selfish. Perhaps it’s just more in our faces now, with Facebook having amplified the phenomenon. I didn’t mention before that there was a young woman on the fish picnic boat trip we took who seemed completely oblivious of everyone else as she posed for her own selfies, ensuring that her hair was perfectly positioned and her ‘look’ was just right. She’s typical of many young people we have seen posing for their own selfies — they don’t even smile to indicate that they are enjoying themselves! Perhaps a smile would create too many wrinkles around their eyes!
Anyway, back to where I was up to — sitting by the fire, reading a novel by Anne Bronte whilst only 150 metres away from where she probably wrote the novel (which was first published in 1847).
It was 7:10pm when I looked at the time! Fearing that Michael, who was up in our room watching a video on Netflix, might declare that he just wanted to eat the bread he had bought for dinner, I raced back to the room and suggested it was time to go to a local pub to get something to eat. He finished off watching the gruesome movie (In Bruges), and then we headed down the steep cobbled main road through the town, choosing to dine at the pub mentioned in the B&B information folder as being one that offered 10% discount to their guests. Inside, it had the feel of a typical old English pub — warm and cosy. Hamburgers and chips were just under £10 each (getting close to $20 with the current exchange rate, but a little less, given we were using the pounds we had exchanged a few years ago!). Dinner devoured, I cheekily asked the waitress about the 10% discount, explaining that I had looked for their card in the reception area of our B&B, but it appeared that they had run out. She graciously said she would apply the discount, and then presented us with a bill for an additional 10% instead of a discount! She was genuinely apologetic when I gently pointed out her error.
As the rain had stopped, we wandered down to the bottom of the main road (which was VERY quiet — only the pubs were open), and then to a small supermarket a short distance further on. Here we purchased a bottle of wine and some instant noodles for dinner the following evening. Michael cracked his usual joke to the shop attendant, asking whether she wanted to check his ID before selling him any alcohol! And then we wandered back up the steep cobbled roads to our accommodation. As we climbed into bed, we hoped that the weather forecast was correct and that the rain would let up the next day.