Ahhh … Harrogate … the place of my birth and the infamous Betty’s Tea Rooms where punters queue around the corner just to get a table. A place where I feel warm, secure and protected by my forebears, even if don’t go back as often as I should. Harrogate is where my roots are.
Sadly there was no time to linger. So much to do, so little time. I boarded a train at Taunton at 12.50hrs and arrived in Harrogate at 18.00hrs and I left, by car at 17.30hrs the following day. Not by choice, but by necessity.
I stayed at the Old Swan Hotel and was so focused on other things that I hadn’t realised that this was where Agatha Christie stayed when she ‘went missing’ and kept stumm for 10 days following her car being found empty and dangling over a chalk cliff. Hopefully, staying within the very same hallowed walls, some of her genius will rub off on my writing. I always live in hope.
My path also unknowingly crossed with my musical muse, Dillie Keane. After the event, I stumbled across a post by Fascinating Aida’s Founder about the crocuses on Harrogate’s The Stray.
I was beside myself when I found out that Dillie performed her one woman show at the Harrogate Theatre on the evening I left. I had walked right past the bloody theatre as well.
But … sometimes you have to get your priorities right. I was there to attend to family business only and had no time to be side-tracked. So I checked out of The Old Swan, drove past the house I was born in and the pub my grandparents ran as well as missing my musical muse and left Harrogate with a mixed bag of emotions.