The Scarborough Food and Drink Festival

Yes, this is a food AND drink festival. And yes, this does include a vast array of food stalls and alcohol on tap for the masses.

Scarborough has always been great when it comes to hosting events, from the Tour de Yorkshire to Seafest, Armed Forces Day and now the Food and Drink Festival. Crowds flock like gulls to a fishing boat and the town beams with excitement as the festival comes to join the party.

The day was fresh with the faint promise of sunshine, and the food was smelling good. The stalls were tightly packed with their food on display, luring you in like bait. Among the many stalls present was the Chilli Jam Man offering up a selection of jams, sauces and dried goods. Closely neighbouring the spicy condiments was the family-run Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil stall advertising locally produced oils, and further down the production line vodka was on display. Need i say more?

Kin Vodka, based in the Lake District, were selling their award winning toffee vodka at a very reasonable price. I could hear the vodka calling to me like a siren. After enjoying a little tipple it took me approximately 30 seconds to decide whether to buy a bottle. If you’re going to a food and drink festival, you have to leave with a goody bag…those are the rules.

With enough food and drink to kill an elephant, the event was filled with passionate eaters and plentiful drinkers enjoying what the town had to offer. I enjoyed the exhibition of goodies and the friendliness of the traders and visitors alike which made it all the worth while. Let’s see what next year has to offer…

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Goathland > Grosmont > Goathland

Yesterday i walked from Goathland to Grosmont on the Rail Trail; a 4 mile walk stretched over 2 hours.

Goathland is famous for its connection to the Harry Potter franchise and Heartbeat series, both of which have contributed to the tourist influx in recent years. The quaint villages nestled within the North York Moors are equally calm and exciting displaying nature at its purest and communities at its finest.

The walk commenced in Goathland along the Rail Trail. I continued to walk the Beck Hole route but soon found myself fighting my way past the sheep, through the overgrown vegetation and into a forest on my left. It was damp, slippery and creaky but after clambering half way up the hill and through the tall trees i discovered i was overlooking the Rail Trail and out over the vast range of the Moors National Park which made it all the worth while. What a beautiful sight it was.

I was taking my time so i could snap some pictures and take in the scenery. The happy sounds of the steam train whistles and the families of sheep entertained me until i arrived at Grosmont. I didn’t spend enough time there because i had decided to take the next steam train back to Goathland, but it was beautiful nonetheless. The train journey, you ask? Perfect.

Spending time in the North York Moors is like taking a step back in time to a simpler life. The walk was peaceful, the locals were friendly and the scenery was astounding. A trip worth revisiting.

A West Yorkshire Haunting

The atmosphere had changed in the house. The air was cold, people’s attitudes had become dismissive and somewhat aggressive, and tensions were rising. I was too young to understand but the whole family was affected by what was going on in the house…whatever it was.

During the final years living in the quiet town of Heckmondwike, strange things started to happen. My brothers and I spent a lot of time in our room playing with old toys, bouncing around on our space hoppers and annoying the parents. My memories are a little skewed but there are a selection of incidents that stand out in that house. I remember once falling from the top of the bunk bed mid-sleep into the upright position into a toy pram that sat below. Exciting things, I tell you! On a darker note, I remember one winter evening drifting off into a pleasant slumber; head tucked up into the pillow wrapped and in a warm thick duvet. I woke suddenly in the middle of the night and was instantly wide awake. I looked up between the bunk bed pillars, waited for my eyes to adjust and saw a dark figure staring back at me. Its face was pressed up against the pillars staring right at me with its deep red eyes. After what seemed like an age, I closed my eyes as tight as I could and lay stiffened like a corpse underneath the duvet. Before I could even try to comprehend what I’d just seen, I fell asleep almost immediately. Now I’m a sucker for a good ghost story but I’m sure there’s a good, simple explanation. It could’ve easily been one of the brothers. The deep red eyes, you ask? I don’t know.

Strange visual sightings weren’t the only strange occurrences happening in the house. People started acting out; behaving differently and experiencing extreme emotional outbreaks, including myself. I remember one night waking suddenly (seemed to happen quite a lot for me), but this time I decided to get up and go for a walk. I climbed down from the bunk bed, walked out of the bedroom, down the corridor and parked myself at the top of the stairs. I don’t recall how long I sat there but i leaned my head against the side of the staircase and peered down into the darkness. Eventually, I decided to get up and go back to bed. I don’t know what possessed me to do such a thing – wake up in the middle of the night, sit on the staircase and stare down into the abyss, but I did it. I later found out, after mentioning this incident to a parent, that the previous owner had fallen down those steps and died. That’s a terrible thing to hear but to make matters worse, why did I do what I did that night? Was i looking for this chap? Was i deluded? Or was it a coincidence? Probably just a dream.

I remember the time my dad accidentally threw a hot jacket potato at my dads head…but that’s a story for another time.

Reminiscing – Apple Trees

We had an abundance of wild apple trees in our back garden, accompanied by a small pear tree in the top left corner growing over from the neighboring property. It was a modest garden that stretched a great distance with a raised bed toward the back filled with various flowers, both wild and planted.

 

To the left was a newly built BBQ area with a bench on the outer wall facing the house. Rhubarb grew plentifully beneath the apples trees which father used for crumble as an after dinner treat. My brothers and I often played in the garden; running rings around one another, destroying the plants and wondering what our parents would say if we were to pick the Rhubarb and threw it at each others faces.

I remember riding my first bike. It had stabilizers and shiny tassels hanging from the handle bars just to jazz things up a little bit. I think the bike was pink…or maybe purple, with white wheels and a very uncomfortable seat. After a week of reluctant cycling on a hilly estate, I rode the bike without stabilizers for the first time. The joy I felt on this day is incomparable to anything I’ve felt since.

The hill at the end of the road led to a large field that was often used for firework displays on Bonfire night – my favourite time of the year. My brothers and I often played on the field with the neighboring kids , doing whatever pre-teens used to do in the 90’s. The days were always the same and rarely different, until one event changed the course of our childhood freedom. I was pottering in the field, probably making daisy chains and trudging through dog shit when I turned my head to see a car had stopped at the at the end of the field. My eldest brother, James, stood at the passenger seat window. I don’t remember how long they were stood talking but before I knew it James began to run up to the top of the field toward the house. To my understanding today, the teenagers tried to entice James into the car with treats but thankfully he didn’t take the bait. If ever an event were to raise the guard and change the mind of a weak, young child, this was it.

There were 8 apples trees in the back garden accompanying the lonesome pear tree. The branches crawled toward the center of the garden like old hands in the winter time, and in the spring they gifted us with blossom and inviting scents. Oh, how I miss the apple trees.