Thursday, 23 November 2006

A Thirsk for knowledge, a Thirsk for strife

En route to the Great North Run, me and Dee decided to stay for the night in Thirsk, north Yorkshire. Described by the local tourist board as a "lovely, charming market town", and the home to All Creatures Great And Small vet-du-jour James Herriot, we were expecting a nice, olde worlde prequel to the endeavours of the following day. What a big bag of wrong that turned out to be. As soon as we arrived in the market square, some local n'eer do wells started throwing grapes at us from the front of the local costcutter. Lovely and charming, we thought. We arrived at the hotel; which has a blue plaque out-the-front saying that William Wordsworth and his wife stayed there in 1802. Unfortunatly the decor within was distinctively 1970s, and we got a bit concerned when the magazine selection in the room consisted of a scarcely-thumbed National Geographic from 1993. I mean, crikey, there were articles on countries that don't even exist any more! And a piece on Shanghai as the place to watch on the world map in 1994! We decided to check out the town in the near dusk, and found that no-one in Thirsk retail has surnames: Polly's Cafe, Deli's Diner, Sadie - The Bra Lady. There was also a card shop, with a tatty Christmas assortment, by the name of Tidings. Not good tidings, we surmised, and strolled on. As there was no restaurant to speak of, we bought fish and chips and ate them in the bus shelter, watching the same guys that pelted our car on arrival successfully stealing a crate of cider from Threshers. How things have changed since Wordo's day.Listening: Friday Night, Saturday Morning - The Specials; Costello Music - The Fratellis; Karen Dalton

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