The circumnavigation of Beningbrough Hall

In theory it’s easy to cycle from York, where we live, to Beningbrough Hall. In practice, though, it’s been raining almost continuously for a fortnight and cycling through mud isn’t everybody’s cup of tea (It’s a great route in the sumer, though).

We grabbed the one suny morning we had this week, and we drove there.

There’s been a stately home on this site since Elizabethan times, but the present pile was built between 1702 and 1716, in a style inspired by its owner’s two-year tour of Italy.

It went through many incarnations. One owner, a passionate horsewoman, ran a stud farm here. It also served during World War II as a billet for British and Canadian air crew.

Like many stately homes, Beningbrough Hall passed into the hands of the National Trust when its last private owners had to find money to pay Death Duties.

We caught some fleeting sunshine on the Chapel in the grounds.

“Is that river supposed to be there?”

It’s the point where the rivers Nidd and Ouse meet, but they’ve also ‘met’ a few fields, hedges and trees into the bargain.

Not to mention parts of the path…

Running the premises, from the National Trust’s point of view, hasn’t always been easy. In 1979 they teamed up with the National Portrait Gallery so the main rooms could be used for art exhibitions.

In better, non-pestilential times, you can go inside and view interiors and art without having to book in advance.

It speaks volumes that the present exhibition is on the subject of Well-Being (and that it ends on Hallowe’en).

Stay safe, everyone.

A walk in the fog

An eerie stillness on the A19. No, that bus-stop definitely isn’t haunted – what were you thinking?

Illuminated leaves, and light-paths across the silent road.

There should be a film noir figure in a dark coat and hat lighting his 3rd cigarette under that lamp.

The Millennium Bridge looking like a Portal to Another World.

Isn’t it strange how the fog, by taking away parts of the view, gives you more to think about?

Floods: The long way home

Last week’s floods sabotaged my usual walk home from work – or at least, the part of it that involves a low-lying field near Millennium Bridge.

At first it almost looked as if Rowntree Park had opened a new lido:

86800306_10157356781938882_4532204663612637184_n.jpg

But that was before the height of it! On one final day I just-about got away with wading across the said field – higher than the path that runs through it – in my posh boots (they held!!) but then the waters rose higher and I had to admit defeat…

Here’s a duck who shouldn’t really be able to swim that near Skeldergate Bridge’s parapet: 87866012_10157381736383882_1410850645967110144_o.jpg

An optimistic life-belt:86970189_10157359913353882_7295310386742427648_o.jpg

Street-lights looking eerie87937523_10157398453188882_1332413225903325184_o.jpg

Skeldergate – I think that’s one of those classic shots someone always does during York floods:87483293_10157379232973882_4954797237579284480_o.jpg

And just to remind everybody that not all of the city succumbed, here are our city walls by twilight, the same evening:88083949_10157398427283882_1714587846922207232_o.jpg

After all, it is supposed to be spring!88212679_10157398452483882_5780894949553733632_o.jpg