On Wednesday, The Girl and I headed up The Buttress from Hebden Bridge to Heptonstall.
You can’t really tell from this picture, but this hill is very very steep. Some nutters cycle up it – I cannot imagine how. On a rainy day, you feel like you are climbing a waterfall.
But once you reach the top, and walk into the village, all your leg-work is rewarded.
The Towngate Tearoom is right there, waiting for you, with the most amazing array of home-baked cakes and speciality teas. The Girl chose a dairy-free chocolate brownie and a glass of dandelion and burdock. My treat was a slice of Devon Cider Apple Cake and a pot of assam tea. It was jaw-droppingly good!
We were the only customers sitting in that morning, but a lady artist popped by for a selection of goodies to take away. The baker (that’s him sitting outside in the sunshine) supplies cakes to the Arvon Foundation at Lumb Bank, and The Girl’s brownie was from a batch intended for the writers.
It was such a seriously good brownie that I asked him for his secret… and you won’t believe this, but he actually wrote down the recipe for us! See what I mean about the lovely people of this area?
From there, we walked through the village to the churchyard.
Because we were on another literary journey.
This is the village where Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath lived, and where Sylvia died.
This is where I ought to insert a quote from Sylvia Plath.
But if you go here you can hear her read “November Graveyard”.
Sylvia’s grave is in the new churchyard.
It is a rather plain memorial stone (below).
A riot of herbs and wild flowers grow over her plot.
I have never seen that before.
So much more alive than a vase full of dying roses.
To the left (not pictured) there was the more recent grave of a young baby, Esme. I was doing fine until I saw that.
By now the sun had come out, and The Girl and I grabbed the handrail for our descent back into the valley.
No sooner had we got to Hebden than the heavens opened and we were caught in another rainstorm.
We headed back to the hostel and knitted / read in the sitting room. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched the receptionist stencil birds on her new skirt… They just don’t do that at the Premier Inn! If you ever get a chance to visit this part of the world, I definitely recommend Mama Weirdigan’s.
Dinner was a Tibetan veg curry (£3 a head) at the Trades Club, while we listened to The Ukrainians doing their sound-check for that night’s gig. The Girl loved it there. I don’t blame her. It had such a great atmosphere.
As it was our last evening, we decided to go to The Picturehouse to see The East. The perfect sort of a film to see in Hebden Bridge, it’s all about the FBI versus a group of anarchists / “eco-terrorists” (Discuss.) I want the main character’s hoodie. Watch this space – I have a plan!