Sunday, May 23, 2010

York, first of Staithes, family reunion

Yesterday we motored up from Chesterfield to Staithes on the North Yorkshire coast near Whitby.  We decided to take a scenic route through the city of York itself, where we stopped at one of the oldest and most respected model shops in England, Monks Bar Models.  David bought a OO scale loco in the Battle of Britain class (which he's wanted for some time) and we had a great time chatting to the staff about trains and railways, model or 1:1 :)

On the way back to the car, I saw this amazing sign for a fish and chips shop:

(This has to be right up there with my favourite punning shop name of all time, "The Merchant of Tennis" in Toronto :))

We then drove to Staithes through the moors themselves, stopping at one of our favourite pubs of last year, The Lion at Blakey Ridge, in the middle of the North Yorkshire Moors.  I took some reference photos of the interior because I just adore it. (The couple in the photo below were a little surprised that I took a photo of them -- I really just wanted the wonderful settle they're sitting on!)

We got to Staithes about 3:30 pm, and negotiated the narrow streets down to our self catering cottage which overlooks the Beck and the rest of the village.  The views from our windows are staggering.  I can't wait to get painting.

Today we had a walk around the town which is so scenic I felt my brains melting from the beauty and patina and history of it all :)  Then we went to the Mosey Family Meet-Up, where David got to meet his cousins and their children and grandchildren in Brotton, only six miles away!  These are cousins David never knew he had (his dad and his brother (David's cousins' dad) were orphaned and separated as youngsters) and not only are they close blood relatives but they are amazingly marvellous people!  I have never felt so welcomed anywhere in my entire life and David was so happy.  If you sat down and DESIGNED people to be related to, it would be the extended Mosey clan of Brotton :)

I particularly enjoyed meeting 10 year old Anna and her little sister Eve, who made me feel right at home and who I think must be honourary KnitWits at heart.  Anna likes the colour green and dancing and is brilliantly inventive and Eve likes the colour pink and gymnastics and has a great admiration for tarantulas and pythons.  These are my kinda girls :)

Anna created the following piece of challenging installation art, inspired by her father's nose, which was, tragically, "tidied up" by some members of the Bowls Club who didn't realize that she's the next Young British Artist à la Damion Hirst:

Ah well,  Anna, art, like life, is ephemeral.  Friends for ever, though :)

When we got back to the cottage, David cooked dinner.  After dinner I opened the front door to find a little black cat with half a tail waiting expectantly on the front steps.  "Hello there', I said to the little black cat with half a tail.  It walked right in as if it was totally at home (which I expect it is), and sat pointedly in front of our tiny refrigerator.  David and I exchanged looks.

"What do you think it would like?"  I asked him.  "Try some milk" he suggested.


And here's a photo of a little chair and side table I bought at a totally random toy shop in York yesterday, which are destined for my mum's Edwardian roombox:

In the background, do you see a black shape asleep on our sofa?  If you live in Staithes and are the companions of a glossy, well-fed black cat with half a tail and more than the usual feline amount of chutzpah, it's safe and sound down at #5.  Don't worry, it's already had supper :)


  1. What a lovely post!

    It looks beautiful where you are and the cat is too cute. ;)

    Have a wonderful time visiting. :)

  2. Two days in England and you've already not only met wonderful people but also got yourselves a pet!;) Great holidays!

  3. What a wonderful post! I am loving sharing your holiday and the photos! How I would like to be able to sit in that fantastic pub.
    Before Kilmouski... One night I heard a meow at the back door. I opened it up and a huge cat walked in. I said... Hello would you like to stay for a can of tuna? It was all I had to offer. He gulped it down in record speed and I bid him good night and sent him out the back door. That did it! He was a stray and we spent the next 13 years together.
    I hope your new friend finds his way home.

  4. That settle!! Beautiful! And to meet a local cat is special.
    However, the real treasure must be meeting new family!!
    Thanks so much for taking the time to take us on your tour!!

  5. The little cat slept soundly on our coach for two hours -- finally I had to be very firm (David being an even bigger sucker for pussy cats than I am) and I put it outside with a parting saucer of milk :) I suspect it does the rounds of the tourist cottages in town, because it seemed VERY much at home here!

    Meeting the relatives was the very, very, very best part of the trip -- even if we had to go home tomorrow, we'd feel so happy and privileged to have met them. People can be so wonderful, can't they?

    This goes for all of you, too :) Thanks for reading ...

  6. Yes, they can be. :) So glad you are enjoying it so much.

    The cat has me cracking up, they do seem to adopt people rather than the other way around.

  7. You seem to have fab time in your holiday :)

    Pubs, realatives and minies, what more to ask :D


  8. So glad that you are having a fabulous time! My Sister used to live that way a few years back and when I went to visit Whitby it was VERY windy! lol You do know this is where Dracula was spose to hit land? :o))

    Michelle xxx

  9. What a wonderful day! You hear the ambiance of tourists relaxed and happy! The half-tail cat is a sweetheart :-)

  10. Sounds like you are having a fantastic time :o)
    I love that Codfather sign :o) & the cat amused me got 'owned' LOL I wonder if it'll come back again?

  11. Hmmmmm ... What can I say. You are right in the heart of my favorite part of England. My wife is from York and I have spent a lot of time there on holiday.

    If you get back there this week, there is another miniature shop ... The Miniature Scene ... and it is in Fossgate st., about a ten minute walk from where you were in Monk's Bar.

    If you get the chance, do have a walk around part of the wall. You get an entirely different perspective of the town from up there.

    Enjoy ... I wish I was there!


  12. I had to google 00 scale. So weird people keep coming up with confusing measurements, like size 0 :):).

    My bro did a Godfather poster "spoof" as well :). He used a drawing of my dad's face instead of Marlon Brando and gave it to him as a present for his birthday :).

    Love your story about Mr Black :)

  13. Nina!

    Yes, Tom is correct, you must visit The Miniature Scene dolls house shop in York! I have bought loads of stuff from him and his shop has loads of stuff and very different too! :o)

    LOL I completely missed The Cod Father sign too! Though I think the Canadian one is just as good and funny! lol

    Michelle xx


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