Wednesday, 18 April 2018

The good - not so good - and distinctly ugly....

We made the right choice by visiting Staithes during a quiet few days prior to Easter rather than in the official Easter week.  We enjoyed some of the best weather in Britain with far more sunshine than we'd had in Tenerife a month earlier.
Staithes    (Click pictures to enlarge)
 The old village of Staithes is a geometric mish-mash of a thousand steps and dark passageways zig-zagging between random architecture on a steep hillside overlooking the harbour.   From our cottage eyrie high on Cowbar Lane we looked out over roofs of blue slate and red pantiles which, as coal fires were lit on chilly evenings, were sometimes shrouded in a blue haze.
Nesting gulls
 There was a constant crying of gulls and noisy nattering of jackdaws that nested on precarious ledges of surrounding cliffs.  Yellow flowering wild cabbage has taken advantage of any waste ground it can find on steep uncultivated slopes and roadside verges.  I don't think it's edible...
Rough sea
 It was coming up to full moon with resultant high tides that flung clouds of spray high up the cliffs and pounded the rocky breakwaters.  All very dramatic. 
A fishing boat arrives with screaming gulls
A mere half dozen boats bobbled in the harbour, vastly different from years gone by when Staithes was the busiest fishing port north of the Wash.  Hundreds of creels and lobster pots were stacked neatly by the harbour wall.  None appeared to be currently in use though we noticed some being repaired.
A wonderful watering hole - the Cod and Lobster
 The only general food store is a Co-op situated on the main Whitby road, 25 minutes walk away from where we stayed, but a few vegetables, cheese and milk can be obtained from Betsy & Bo in the old village.  The Cod and Lobster was a hive of activity making it difficult to move freely among drinkers, diners and dogs.  But it was warm and welcoming offering excellent value for money on all its commodities. We couldn't visit Staithes without sampling freshly caught fish from the pub's extensive menu.  It was excellent, but huge.
Inside the cosy Cod and Lobster
 "When I decided I should eat more fish, a whole haddock wasn't quite what I meant" I remarked to Mine Host.   He laughed, glad that we'd enjoyed it.  We departed, puffing and panting up the steep hill to our rented cottage.
On the Cleveland way towards Runswick Bay
 Conveniently, for us runners, the Cleveland Way undulates along the cliff tops on its 109 mile route from Filey to Helmsley.  We took full advantage of it for our morning runs clocking up 18 wonderful miles over 3 days.
Gently does it - running north
 We weren't running fast but gently and enjoyably as befits a pair of senior citizens with 158 years between them.  We began by running 7 miles south to Runswick Bay and back on a day of blinding sunshine, blue sky and extensive views.  Gorse was flowering, skylarks sang and all was well with the world.
Doesn't get much better than this
 The next day we ran the opposite direction past Boulby mine and Red House Nab, up Rockhole Hill to a viewpoint at 2½ miles.  We stopped for the obligatory photographs against sunlit seascapes, of waves rolling in and breaking on the rocks below while a strange object drifted across the horizon.
Strange contraption floating by
 We repeated the same run two days later but ventured a little farther, as far as a deep hole in the path surrounded by poles and wire netting at the 3 mile mark.  We needed sun glasses to shield our eyes from dazzling sunlight.  The sky was a beautiful Titian blue.
The path over dramatic cliffs
 As on our Runswick Bay run, flowering gorse and lesser celandine enhanced our route as skylarks scattered their joyous notes into the clear air.  Gulls crying over the sound of the sea and a gentle breeze brushing our faces, kept us cool and happy as we ran the undulating path high over dramatic cliffs and breaking surf.
Enjoying wonderful blue sky while most of Britain got soaked
 On Good Friday, as many folk were setting off on their Easter holidays, we drove home to rain, snow and bitterly cold temperatures. We managed an Easter Sunday run round a snow grizzled Grimwith reservoir where greylags, oystercatchers, curlews, lapwings, chaffinches and wonderful whistling teal formed a combined choir to cheer us on our way.
Grey sky and snow round Grimwith reservoir on Easter Sunday
 But, to be honest, we were glad to get home to our porridge, toast and hot, reviving coffee.
Dunno when I'll run again. 
Note that tiny spot over my left eye
I'm grounded for a wee while after recently having my perishing skin cancer thingy hacked out.
...and the mess after all its roots had been dug out
It was only a little raised spot but it's roots spread all over the place, like a bloomin' octopus.  It made rather a mess.....but I'm recovering.


  1. Great post! Get well soon, hope to see a running post soon !

    1. Thanks Ian, give me a couple of weeks and I should be hitting the trail again....

  2. with the blood and the bruising I thought you had fallen!

    Here's hoping for a good summer of running as this clears up.

    I'm back running, only up to 7km.

    1. I'm recovering Coach and beginning to feel like running again. Maybe today's 73ºF has something to do with it! I'll be glad when/if I get back to 7km. Enjoy....

  3. I too though you had fallen. Praying you recover quickly and back to running.
    Wow what a neat looking village that is tucked in there.

    1. Thanks Karen, your prayers are appreciated. I'll soon be back running again.
      Staithes is a hidden gem tucked away in a hollow on the North Yorkshire coast. Can't wait to go back.....
      .... and yes, I know what you meant.

  4. It is good that you are back Old Runningfox ,I was a bit worried because there was no news of you for several weeks and I started to think of what could have happened to you ,it is a relief that you are up and running , although you have got this terrible illness that does not leave you alone ,I wish you a steady recovery and loads of good posts with lovely pics added . Antonio .

    1. Hi Antonio, I'd no internet connection from March 8th to April 17th (courtesy of Openreach) so couldn't post anything to my blog. That doesn't mean I wasn't running. Stop worrying. I'll tell you when I've finished......
      Meanwhile, all the best to you. Keep plodding along.

  5. Oh that sky does look so blue!
    I enjoyed your post - here's wishing you a speedy recovery and back to running soon.

    All the best Jan

    1. As I said Jan, we made the right choice in choosing to go before Easter. And yes, skies were a wonderful blue. Titian?
      Thanks for your good wishes. Not running again yet, but soon....

  6. It seems to be 'one of those years' for many of us. Hope you recover quickly and get back to full fitness soon.
    You are most welcome to join us at Wythenshawe parkrun - I'm sure you'd smash Peter McBride's time of 49.18 in your age category...

    1. Don't drive nowadays Martin, not with failing eyesight. Anyway, I just run for fun and fitness nowaday, and for love of the great outdoors. I believe I still have a couple of M80 Parkrun records - at Skipton and Fountains Abbey...

  7. I thought that might be the case, Gordon, I just thought of you when I heard that Peter had knocked 3 minutes off his PB...
    (I wish!)