GATHERERS – October 2013 – March 2014

A bonfire; a trip to York; a games evening; an outing to the theatre – these are some of our activities that have enlivened the winter months.  It has been a wild, wet winter, rather than a crisp white one, but thankfully we have not had to endure floods as some parts of the country have.

The bonfire at Alwoodley did not fizzle out under a deluge in the early evening and seven of us enjoyed a brilliant firework display – as well as soup, parkin and treacle toffee at “Castle Howard”.

L and P, with whom a number of us had stayed in the Black Forest in the summer, were in Yorkshire in November and we had a holiday reunion in Otley.  They talked about the activities of HB (the guest house they run) and we sampled a piece of authentic Black Forest Gateau.

Walking through St Nicholas Fayre in York was like stepping into a Dickensian scene.  We had to jostle through the crowds to keep together.  After tea and cake at the well-known St Michael le Belfrey Church, we went on to Barley Hall where volunteers were dressed up as Vikings.  Alas, they had run out of mulled wine!  We also visited the Guild Hall and had a walk by the river.  All too soon it was time to go  to the Assembly Rooms, where we rounded off the day sampling Italian food.

The Christmas party, hosted by L, was a lovely, homely evening; there was an excellent spread of food, good fun, a Christmas quiz and a sing-song of Christmas carols.

Who ‘dunnit’? Colonel Mustard?  In the Ball Room?  The Conservatory?  Which implement was used?  A rope?  Lead-piping?   Five of us tried to solve these crimes in 4 games of Cluedo at A’s, plied with light refreshments and wine.

A recent trip to the theatre in Harrogate was very popular.  After a meal at Le Bistro Pierre (French food served by French staff) we sat down to a most enjoyable and hilarious performance of Alan Ayckbourn’s A Bedroom Farce.  One felt a little sorry for Nick, a bedridden character who had supposedly strained his back.  He played his part realistically, with groans every time his wife moved him and ending up on the floor trying to retrieve his book when his wife was out!

Other events/activities included:-

  • Sunday lunch at the Woodside in Horsforth, followed by a short walk.
  • A dinner and disco (with some Ceroc) – organised by Northern Lights at the Holiday Inn in Harrogate.
  • A social at MH’s (out in the sticks at Wainstalls) which included a light meal and musical entertainment. We experienced real pitch blackness on leaving.  Fog engulfed us and Martin used a lamp to guide us along the uneven path to get to the cars.
  • A visit to Cliffe Castle in Keighley, with a whistle stop tour round the Museum
  • And, last but not least – A entertained us in Ilkley (accompanied by fish and chips!), telling us of his adventures in Africa and Madagascar, with many pictures.

However, it’s time to think about the summer months ahead as we meet to share food and thoughts at C’s.

Thanks to C and others who have offered hospitality and organised outings.

Here’s to the summer!                      S