Monday 21st November 2011 - my 44th birthday. Middle age creeps ever closer, although some would say that it has been with me since I was 8 years old!!
It was a dull and misty start to the day, and it didn't improve too much. The sun did manage to break through every so often, but not for too long. It was reasonably warm though.
To start the day, we drove south to Robin Hood's Bay, which is a very picturesque little fishing village, not unlike Clovelley in Devon. You have to park at the top of the village and walk down the very steep hill to the main part of the old village with it's narrow winding streets and tiny old fishermans cottages.
Despite the whole cuteness of the village, the fact that it is out of season now means that virtually everywhere was closed. It also seems that the vast majority of the cottages are now holiday lets. It would seem that the village is almost uninhabited outside of the summer season, and so can only have lost most of it's character. It is such a shame to see this. It is also very noticeable that Whitehall Landing where the flat is we are staying in must also be almost all holiday lets or second homes, as it is virtually deserted now the weekend is over.
I find this very frustrating and annoying that there are so many perfectly good homes empty due to the "greed" of some of those who are able to afford more that one property. I appreciate that it is a good investment plan in the current climate, but it doesn't make it right.
Anyway, back to the Bay. We had a wonder around the quaint streets and spent some time sitting watching the sea before braving the steep hill back to the car. We then made our way a bit further south, through Scarborough and on to Filey.
By the time we had got to Filey, it was just about as murky as it had been so fare during the day, so we parked in town and had a quick wonder around and found a nice bakery to buy lunch in. This we ate in the car - never let it be said that we don't know how to "live it up"!
We then drove inland to Pickering where we had stopped briefly on Saturday on our way up to Whitby. We had a proper look around the town, it was market day, although as it was now getting on in time, they were starting to pack up.
I drove us back to Whitby from there. It was the first time that I have driven this particular one of Sally's company cars (focus diesel) so it was interesting to see what I thought of it. It was a shame as it was now getting dark, as I'm never too keen on driving in the dark, but I still gave it a bit of welly to see how it performed, and was quite impressed with it.
Back at the flat it was time for a lovely pot of tea before we headed back into Whitby for my birthday meal. This was at "Humble Pie n Mash", which as you can probably guess, serves home made pies and mashed potato. I went for the chicken in cider one, and Sally chose the "Homity" pie which contained cheese, garlic, potato and spices. Both came with mash, peas and gravy.
Mine was lovely, but Sally's was spectacular! I tried a few mouthfuls of it, and I have to say that it was exquisite. I hope that we can get back there again before we go home to have some more. For pudding, I had the jam rolly polly, and Sally went for the mince pies. Both were lovely.
We then walked some of the calories off by having a wonder around the town, taking in some of the streets we had missed the last time. It is very noticeable that there are not many multiples in Whitby, and very few of the usual suspects that you tend to find everywhere. Boots, Holland & Barrett, Specsavers and Superdrug being the only obvious ones.
There are also a lot of empty shops, and some rather shabby looking ones, so one can only imagine that times are very tough around here for businesses, and that being a "seaside resort" does not guarantee you any favours.
So, another birthday bites the dust. Do I feel older? Yes. Do I feel tireder? Yes. But, this may be down to the sea air of course!!
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