A Week in Yorkshire

My last blog post was from Malaga just before I headed to the UK. To Yorkshire to be precise, which is where my mother’s ancestral roots lie. I spent many a wonderful holiday in my youth with my grandparents in the picturesque village of Green Hammerton which lies midway between York and Harrogate. I also lived and worked in England both in York and London for a few years, but that was a long time ago, it’s been 14 years since my last visit.Spring Tuba The Ship_Aldborough Mailvan_Phoneb GH20150330_112141-1

It was a delightful week, which flew past all too fast, and although the weather was cold, I was in my brother’s flat which is beautifully heated so I was very cosy and warm. Before I hopped into bed each night the electric blanket made it all warm and toasty before I slipped between the sheets each night.

The coming of Spring is certainly a wonderful time of year to visit England, as daffodils gaily line roadsides and tubs filled with spring flowers added a splash of colour, so even though the air is cold, the outlook is bright.

I spent a very happy time catching up with friends and family, eating favourite foods, both at home and out at the little country pubs which are so unique to the UK. They have English pubs all over the world, but they are just not the same. There is a special atmosphere that oozes from the buildings, the stone floors, the wooden beams and furniture that echo with hundreds of years of history, these places existed long before Australia was even colonised.

I know people say that English cooking is terrible, but that’s not true. It depends on who does the cooking. I feasted on steak and kidney pie, chicken and mushroom pie, Whitby fish stuffed with spinach and prawns served with white wine sauce, roast pork with proper, homemade Bramley apple sauce and much more. In between meals I feasted on homemade shortbread, Wensleydale cheese, Jaffa cakes, Pontefract cakes and the odd piece of fruit for good measure. I’m not sure how much weight I stacked on but who cares!

I arrived back in Spain last night and am all set to start work again later today on what is the final term of the school year here.


March(ing) On

It’s hard to believe that today is the first of March. I’ve enjoyed a very lazy Sunday taking time to relax and recharge ready for the week ahead. My day has been spent in a very leisurely fashion enjoying the sunshine and burying myself in a Jeffrey Archer novel.

The months are whizzing past and soon my interlude in Spain will come to a close. I’ve already started to vaguely consider what I shall do post June and to be honest, I’m not sure precisely what it is I’d like to do but no doubt something interesting will turn up.

I’m really looking forward to heading to the UK at the end of this month for the Semana Santa (Holy Week) – equivalent of our Easter – break and will be in Yorkshire. Whilst my original plan was to head to Portugal with my very old friends from Darwin, I’ve now changed plans as Mum is going to be in the UK. I’m one of those lucky enough to still have my parents so I’ve got to take every opportunity to spend time with them when I can.

It’s been a very long time since I was last in UK so looking forward to visiting York, Knaresborough and all the other old haunts from yesteryears  as well as catching up with old friends and family. Just a shame I will not be there in time for the Old Rishworthian reunion in London so was unable to accept the invitation to be guest speaker. I will however be looking forward to visiting the Masons Arms and Bay Horse of which I have many memories. They’ll be the subject of another blog after my visit.



I’ve just read an article on LinkedIn “To get a job, write your story instead of your resume” which prompted me to reflect on the jobs in my life journey to date that influenced how I respond and view situations today. My very first job was at the Masons Arms in school holidays – it was a very well know pub famous for it’s great food and the beautiful wooden furniture by Mousey Thompson. Although my job was working behind the bar at 15, I sometimes polished the tables, those were the occasions when I delight in finding the carved mice on each.  

It was a brilliant first job which I landed by chance. I had originally applied for a job at the fish and chip shop in the village and whilst they didn’t take me on they did recommend me to the Masons Arms instead (run by the fish and chip shop owners sister).

I learnt about team work and the importance of treating staff well. The owners, Christine and Roy Allen led by example –  they really looked after their staff, arranging for all of us from the village of Green Hammerton to be picked up and driven to work together. At the end of the night we weImagere all offered supper before the kitchen closed and then driven safely home again.

As I look back I see the lessons that have travelled with me from this very first job have been:

1) The power of making a good impression which leads to people wanting to help you and hence the referals

2) The importance of treating staff well and being a good worker – I went back every holiday to work there when I was in the UK and continued to until I left school. I loved my job as I worked for good people, they loved me because I was a good worker.

3) Don’t judge a person by their looks  – we had so many different customers from all walks of life. It was the ones least expected that were the biggest surprises.

Great lessons that I was lucky enough to have learnt right at the beginning of my working life. Lessons that have served me well throughout my career.