A short tour of North Yorkshire

 

Big thanks to Anne Wicks of the lovely Castle Hill Bookshop in Richmond,  http://www.castlehillbookshop.co.uk/   for organizing a wonderful book group event this weekend.   I was talking with Julia Stagg http://www.jstagg.com/ whose new book L’Auberge is a novel based on her experience of running a hotel in the southern Pyranees.  So the afternoon began with some angsty discussion about the motives of the Goebbels parents, and ended with by an interactive and entertaining talk about French food.  Quite a contrast – and in the middle of these two talks Castle Hill Bookshop provided us all with a delicious cream tea with cakes – all homemade and irresistible.

Anne Wicks also arranged for me to visit Castle Barnard School to talk to the year 9s about Chocolate Cake with Hitler.  It was a Friday afternoon, end of year exams just finished, and these wonderful students gave their intense focus to the story of the Helga Goebbels and had tons of fantastic questions.  Very impressive.

The weekend ended with a wonderful walk around Easby Abbey which Henry VIII singled out for particularly brutal destruction.  Incredibly beautiful ruins and – oh joy – no gift shop or charge to enter.  Also amazing was the church of St Agatha which is even older than the Abbey, but still intact and in use – and has wonderful medieval wall paintings of skinny Adam and Eves and this painting of The Annunciation:

The Annunciation, St Agatha's, Easby

Bare, ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang.

 

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