*apologies for the poor quality pictures taken on my morning walk, with the phone*
*apologies for the poor quality pictures taken on my morning walk, with the phone*
- the first tulips and daffodils in the garden, bright flowers everywhere, right from roundabouts to the woods. Gorgeous Tulips, bluebells, snow drops.. Makes me heart sing
- the warm sunshine that drives away the chill of winter
- the baby sheep(and baby ducks) that seem to be getting born by the dozen
- the buzz of lawn mowers(yes, even that adds to the atmosphere )
- the lines of clothes drying in every garden – I never thought I would enjoy seeing clotheslines so much!
- the tiny leaves sprouting in the bushes
- the twitter of birds that wakes you up, before the jarring alarm does.
Is for sure a celebration – of Spring. The most magical of all seasons – in my opinion. I can honestly say that Spring has come to become my favourite season out here.
There couldn’t be a better proclamation of Spring, than the weather last weekend. Gloriously sunny, warm, perfect!
We always wanted to book a B&B and go away on a spur-of-the-moment trip – but alas, we couldn’t, this week. Daughter had a Kumon award ceremony on Sunday, so we couldn’t really go away. We still wanted to make the most of the time that we did have, so off we went to the White Scar Caves in Yorkshire Dales. We had been to a show cave in Wales a few years back, and had really enjoyed the experience.
Just a 1.5 hr drive away, the caves are Britain’s longest show cave. We only started at around 1:30, after daughter’s swimming lessons and lunch. On a side note, Husband will never be happy with the fact that the swimming lessons are on a Saturday- it kind of cramps the day, you know. But then, swimming is a life skill, and I did not want to compromise on that, when we have nothing available on any of the other days.
The route was scenic, as always. Yorkshire Dales have a distinctive look, and it feels amazingly calm and peaceful. All you want to is stop the car, and lie down on the grass.. with sheep grazing nearby, and streams gurgling away.. The only thing I don’t like is that it is difficult to park the car and reach some of the most gorgeous places..
You can catch a glimpse while driving through, but not much more.. I so wish we could find a B&B near these most scenic places, and then find a walking trail – that would be just great! We had once been to a place like this. We keep planning to go back there- but funnily enough, have never managed to.
We reached the caves just after 3. After that glorious sunny weather, we were shocked to be greeted by cold winds. Thankfully we had our jackets with us(you never know, when the weather changes, in this country!). The next tour was at 4:00, and we had a long long wait – in chilly, windy weather. There was a cafe, thankfully, we sat there, nursing coffees while daughter inhaled a doughnut – I’ve never seen her eat something so fast. Sitting there, we noticed that there were some ponies and ducks, so we decided to go and say hello to them, for a change.
Only here, do we get all excited when we see goats, and hens Daughter, was too chicken to touch, she was happy enough to just see them. I’m not complaining, I was happy to not have to run to the washroom to wash our hands again.
Finally the tour began. Just to give you an idea of how old these caves are..
These caves were first discovered by Christopher Long, a student from Cambridge. Apparently he stumbled across these caves, and entered it with just a few candles balanced on his hat. A model of his is placed there to give us an idea of what Christopher Long did back in 1923.
He had wanted to open it up as a show cave, but he died in 1924 before that was possible. In 1925, miners were brought in, to create an entrance so that visitors could view the show caves so thankfully, we did not need to crawl through to get into the caves.
The first stop – the water fall..
Then on, we followed the water trail to go further up. The only way to see these caves are by by tours. Each tour takes about 80 minutes, passing through two low height tunnels -we had to crouch low to go through, a squeeze(not too bad, to be honest ), and 97 steps. We covered about a mile underground. We had been given hard hats, and we had assumed that they were just general health and safety procedures – but most of us did bump our heads – especially in the low height areas – even short people like me!
Can you see the gushing waters? We walked over it on a metal grid pathway.
Dark and spooky….. ….it would have been, if we were not accompanied by a group of chattering tourists
And we saw formations – stalactites and stalagmites.. of all sorts.. If this had been in India, at least one of them would have been worshipped as a ‘natural’ Shiva Lingam
And now, I am too tired to upload any more pics!
Okay, just a few more. We also got to see the fossil of a sea snail, much to daughter’s delight. She has been fascinated by fossils ever since she started learning about dinosaurs.
And finally reached the Battlefield Cavern(climbing up 97 steps -not so easy, as we realized). It was so named because it looks like some giants had a battle there, throwing boulders at each other. It also had the most delicate, beautiful stalactites ever! They were gorgeous! Photography was not allowed in this cavern.
Check out these natural pavings – don’t they look man-made?
And can you see the witch of the cave?
That was the end of the tour -all we needed to do was make our way back. And that was much faster. Most people seemed to run back. Of course, all that speed went off as soon as we reached the Gorilla Walks, where we had to crouch and get our heads bumped – all over again. Coming back into the open, felt so different. The sunlight never felt more welcoming.
That was one wonderful Saturday afternoon. Even if we ended up underground on a gorgeous sunny day. We did make the most of Sunday’s good weather – but I feel too lazy to to write about it now.
So what did you do this weekend? Who else is celebrating Spring?
We woke up to glorious sunshine. What joy! There is something about sun streaming through the windows. It was as if summer was already here! Well, not quite summer, but spring is here for sure!
I made plans to pack away our winter coats – those horrid warm coats, without which life here is miserable in winter. But those coats also mean that half our clothes are hidden behind those voluminous coats, unless you are adventurous enough to do things like this. I think I will certainly be happy to leave behind the English winter for good! All you really want is sunny, gorgeous weather that makes your heart sing with joy.
With summer(and summer clothes) dancing in front of my eyes, I stepped out, dressed in my spring jacket, only to feel the cold hit me – and hit me bad. I did not have the time to change into something warmer – daughter thankfully was dressed more appropriately. I was sure that I would get warmer as we walked to school. In a few minutes, I realized that I was wrong – it was freezing. Daughter pulled out her gloves – yes, it was that cold. She, then, kept my fingers warm by holding on to them – she would change sides every so often – so that my other hand does not freeze. What did I ever do to deserve a child like this, I don’t know
By the time we reached school, I was freezing, despite all of daughter’s efforts, and all I could do was somehow walk back home, cursing myself, and promising myself that never again, am I going to be taken in by this deceptive weather!!!!!
It is still sunny, and gorgeous, but I refuse to get cheated again. I plan to step out fully prepared. But what do I know? In all probability, when I go dressed like an eskimo, it will be so warm that I will have to pull off layers I tell you, this spring is a big cheat!
PS: I also realized that ever since winter has been on it’s way out – I have also stopped checking the weather reports – it must be weather god’s way of teaching me a lesson.
In the middle of packing our stuff and cleaning the house, I just had to bake a cake.
Ever since I wrote about how much I love orange cakes, I have been lusting after an orange cake. Today, I could wait no more, so I decided to bake it, come what may. And am delighted to tell you guys, that I have polished off half the cake, all by myself.
We are moving houses this weekend. The last time we moved houses, I started packing more than a week before the move. By this stage, I was walking around in taking photographs of the boxes. You see, husband thought that all our belongings would fit into 4 boxes. Finally, we needed 30 boxes, apart from suitcases and some textile storage things for duvets and stuff. So I was capturing the fact that I was so totally right I was totally enthused and excited about moving. Perhaps the excitement of moving cities and I think, we had really out grown that flat. Even though some of the most precious memories we have, were in that flat, Poohi was born there, we had reached the stage where we knew that it was time to move on.
On the other hand,this time, this house still feels like home to me. Although I do like the place we are going to, we could have lived here some more. We made some wonderful friends here, both Poohi and I have had a lovely time living here. It feels to me that I am subconsciously trying to delay shifting out. Although, there is no real need to feel this way, we are just moving 3 miles away but it is still not the same as being next door, is it?
March seems to have brought spring along with it. The last few days have been beautifully sunny, although still bone-chillingly cold. Somehow, the cold seems far more bearable with the sun shining above one. And the new shoots and new blooms brings such a happiness to air. The other day, I saw sheep in the fields again – it had been a while since I saw any. There is something about spring that signifies new beginnings, new life and a fresh start. Maybe, that is what we are doing, a fresh start at a new house, with the hope that spring will bring lots of hopes and sunlight into our lives as well.
PS: I have not been able to blog hop much or reply to comments and that will probably continue for another 2 weeks, until I get the broadband sorted out at the new place. I will read your posts and comments as soon as I can
Last weekend was my idea of a perfect weekend. We has whole of Saturday to do our weekend chores and we steppedout on Sunday for a day trip to Hull.
It was a wonderful spring day. Warm, sunny, cheerful and bright! It felt so good to be feeling warm instead of freezing! One of my great-uncles lives in Hull, so we visited him and went off sightseeing . Our first stop was the Humber Bridge. It used to be the longest single-span suspension bridge in the world for 16 years.
There is a nice walkway for pedestrians and we had a nice leisurely until we got tired . My daughter was delighted to see little cars and little people walking below and of course, the huge expanse of water..
The view from the Bridge..
The one thing that always amazes me is the fact that the UK government does so much to maintain and promote tourism at all such places.. They promote everything and anything and I am sure the revenue more than justifies the investment. In direct contrast, in India, we went to so many places, really pretty, very unique, but so badly managed! If we step out here, we really don’t think twice about using a public toilet, places are clean, no rubbish on the streets.. We were having an discussion about this, which probably is the topic of another post – so I will leave it at this for now:)
Our next stop was The Deep, an aquarium. My daughter had the most wonderful time! Her shrieks of joy on spotting ‘Nemo and Dory’ and the sharks was to behold! There is something contagious about a child’s excitement on seeing these things! I think it absolutely made my day to see her so happy:)
We also managed to catch a 3D movie on underwater creatures! It had all the children screaming in fear and excitement! There was a birthday group too, so it was a lot of children shrieking and screaming! I think my daughter was not sure what to be more scared of – the movie or all the screaming around
Back in the evening, with aching limbs – not having walked so much in ages.. and happy smiles – the sunday slid to an end.. That was my idea of a perfect weekend Exhausted but happy After all, I have the whole week to laze around and relax