Sunday, December 21, 2003

Harrogate, Half-fonged

After a grand Italian meal in Harrogate (yes, it seems like a contradiction in terms, but the proprietor - Luigi, what else? - has a very fine voice and we have had a very drinkable Montepeluciano red), the blog beckons.
I'm (W) up to Harrogate for an intensive training week. We've come to really like Harrogate: old stone buildings with a very human scale, that wonderful Northern Yorkshire accent everywhere along with a no-nonsense attitude to life, people who stop and talk (it's mostly heads down and keep walking in London) and good shops and amenities. Including Italian restaurants. And a totally disproportionate number of antiques shops. We wonder if we've stumbled across a money laundering scheme for the Russian Mafia or something - there are way too many for the immediate population. It's a former spa town (springs, spas, bottled water etc) and has an elegance and grace as a direct result. The firm (Coda) is right on the side of a hill facing south, so I walked there (half hour walk) three days in a row: up Cold Bath Road through the graceful old stone houses and shops, over the top of the town (Querns found here, according to an 1849 map of the area), down to Coda. Tom Waits, Dylan, Dido, Chris Rea, and Bic Runga accompany me on the MuVo. Certain music tracks have always meant places to me, and I have the feeling that some of these are going to stick, too, already.

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