Celebrating 6 Months In with Richard III

This weekend marked out 6 month anniversary arriving home. When I look back on our time here so far I’m struck by how much we’ve packed into such a short time and by how deeply, completely and utterly we both feel at home. Which is really weird when you think that we both spent 22 years away.

But weird or not, it is what it is. We are happier and more settled than we’ve been in many years. After years of wanderlust and yearning for pastures new and amazing adventures and wild new experiences, I’m incredibly grateful for that sense of contentment and ‘rightness.’

This weekend was a perfect example of what we love about being back. We spent Saturday morning house hunting in countryside so beautiful that it makes you think you died and went to heaven. (Here’s the garden of the house we viewed)

We made it back in time to meet up with our dear friends Dave and Deb, who were bringing Dave’s mum out to Betty’s for afternoon tea and had asked us to join them. Phil took this panorama shot of everyone salivating when the food arrived (click photo to make larger).

We had a lovely time eating cake and chatting (and all ganging up on Dave to get rid of his excessive record/CD/video/magazine collection). Sorry Dave!

Sunday was a gorgeous Autumn day so we decided to make the most of it with a trip out to Middleham Castle. About an hour from our house, Middleham Castle was the favorite home of Richard III, a much maligned and misunderstood King of England. But then I say that, being from Yorkshire 😉

Regardless of the truth about Richard (see here for more details), this was a marvelous day out.

Middleham is a gorgeous little town:

And the castle sits right in the heart of town

The ruins are more well preserved than many and you can actually climb to quite a great height and enjoy views across the countryside. While none of these buildings would have been there in Richard’s time, it’s still amazing to look out at the view and realize that he looked out from the exact same spot.

The castle itself is awesome and we enjoyed ambling round admiring the views.

We finally tore ourselves away and headed back home via Ripon, which while a little down at heel in places, still has lovely cheek bones.

I was glad we ended our ‘anniversary’ weekend in Ripon because it perfectly encapsulates how I feel about coming home. Of all the places we’ve visited on days out, it may be one of the least dramatic, one of the most affected by the current recession, one of the forgotten parts of this lovely country. And yet look at it – packed with interesting places and beautiful architectural features and clanging with the history of bygone peoples and long-forgotten dramas. Most people there may be just popping into the chemists to get their repeat prescriptions, or heading into town to do the weekly shop, but as newcomers we see it for what it is – a true marvel and something we’re blessed to experience.

Looking forward to the next 6 months!

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4 thoughts on “Celebrating 6 Months In with Richard III

  1. Did you go down into the crypt at Ripon Cathedral? It was built by St Wilfred in 672AD and is the oldest complete Saxon crypt in the country. The only other surviving crypt which St Wilfred built is at Hexham Abbey in Northumberland which we visited recently. We, who have never lived anywhere but England tend to take this amazing spread of history for granted. We are aware of it but to us it’s become something unremarkable. It shouldn’t be. It’s should be celebrated, visited or revisited and above all, enjoyed, as you are now doing.

    • Yes we did go down! We saw it just as we were leaving. We didn’t find the gargoyles that supposedly inspired Lewis Carroll though.

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