Up early again on Wednesday for the drive up to Gainsborough to meet Mum & Dad staying at Mum's cousin's place. Managed the 200-odd miles by nine o'clock & was pleasantly surprised to see Mum's elderly Uncle & Aunt had made the trip up to see up (I haven't seen them since I was four). Great to catch up with every one & get out of the city. After lunch it was off to York (270 doesn't sound far to drive when you are used to kilometres, but miles is a different story) for a look around the Jorvik Viking museum - it was under ground on the site where they had a big archaeological dig in the '80s & found all sorts of Viking artefacts from over 1200 years ago. Quite interesting (Mum of course found it very interesting). York was really nice - especially with its large pedestrian precinct & cobbled streets & lovely old buildings (I'm not quite over old buildings yet - which is just as well as we are in Edinburgh now).
Driving north we found Thirsk (James Herriot country in North Yorkshire) & Mardeby Hall down a nice winding lane to Felixkirk (there are some great English place names). We were staying with some farming contacts/investors of Dad's on their farm. The farmhouse was probably young at 400 years old & had a heap of character & interesting curios - also so good NZ scenes on the wall thanks to their yearly trips to NZ. Best of all I could even understand the Yorkshire accents. A tour around the (cropping) farm revealed all sorts wheat, potatoes, rapeseed & most disturbingly a lot of pheasants that had been released for the next hunting season.
By now weather was quite the contrast to Italy - close cloud if not raining & only in the mid teens; this made our time back in York a bit of a mad dash between the minster, the Castle Museum the very large National Railway Museum & the buses. Dad even managed a round of golf (& didn't lose) before we had a dinner party back at the house - altogether a bit unusual for me, but very enjoyable & I was quite impressed when one of the couples turned up in a new soft-top Bentley Continental. I managed a drive up through Suttonunderwhitestonecliff (apparently longest village name in England) to have a look at the moors - unfortunately ran out of time to get right out amongst them & the weather wasn't good enough to persuade me to put my bike together & check out some of the local MTB tracks (of which there appear to be plenty).
Have driven north to Edinburgh & after reading so many Rebus novels, I'm loving it - I can see why people would live here, except it's the middle of summer & I think there will be better weather at home when I get back to winter. Should manage a ride tomorrow at a big MTB park a bit south of the city.
6 hours ago