This time last year

This time last year, Kerry and I were in the United Kingdom, catching up with several old colleagues and friends not knowing when we would get the chance to visit again. Little did we know then just how special that trip was to become, with Covid 19 stopping us all in our tracks. One of our stops was Yorkshire, to stay with Wendy and Robin. I’d never been before, and like all regions new to me, I couldn’t wait to get out and explore.

Holywell Green, West Yorkshire

Our hosts were very accommodating, and we were taken to many places in between the showers, but even with the weather threatening rain, it was an adventure. There were gentle hills surrounding us, with every view expansive and mellow. Old villages nestled in the valleys, sunlight flitting beneath scudding clouds. It is so different from the terrain in New Zealand, where we don’t often get such wide views. Our farmland merges into mountains, and the vegetation becomes a mix of native ferns and trees. The light is different too. The contrasts sharper. But that is the beauty of visiting other countries, to experience difference.

Upper Calder Valley

Our friends were keen to show off their area, and knowing we were interested in art took us to a place called Piece Hall. It is a vast site, with hundred of small rooms on several levels, housing artists and craftspeople selling their wares. Back in the 1770s it was the showplace for merchants and buyers of woollen goods, which were manufactured in the nearby town and neighbourhood. The small rooms were where the raw and unfinished products were deposited; made small especially for fire prevention. The huge square was where the goods were displayed. I do wish I could have seen it in those days.

Piece Hall

We were taken to a lookout over The Calderdale Way, a fifty mile circular walking route, which offers every type of view, from Bronté moorland, canal towpaths, and woodlands. And some great little towns with equally great names, such as Lumbutts and Mankinholes. We didn’t get to walk any of the fifty miles, but I would just love to. With the treat of a Yorkshire cream tea en route at Holdsworth House, Halifax, I really can’t think of a more perfect combination of exercising, with sweet treats to follow. So, Yorkshire, thank you for what you have to offer, and here’s hoping we’ll be able to visit again soon. For now, I shall continue to sketch from some favourite photos of the region. Yorkshire clouds below.

Water-soluble graphite and colour pencils

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