At last a pause in the pouring rain!
This called for a bit of a treat, so we packed our picnic hamper and set off towards the moors of North Yorkshire for a bit of scenery, history - and antiques hunting, of course. Pickering was our destination - a busy market town for hundreds of years, it is now also a magnet for those interesting folk, the Re-enactors. We hear that Re-enactors may be divided into three main groups: the Farbs - "far be it from authentic", the Mainstream - mostly sticklers for correct period detail, but if they can't find genuine woad they will not loose a wink of sleep, and the Progressives - one fine linen stitch in the wrong place and you are dead (longbow, blunderbuss, guillotine...)
Happily this means that, despite Pickering being rather remote, it has a plethora of antiques shops and is well worth a visit.
In need of a little spiritual lift we walked up the hill to the parish church of St Peter and St Paul which contains some spectacular 15th century wall-paintings, sadly rather over-restored by zealous Victorians.
In days gone by, when Master N would submit to such educational visits as this one, his favourite Pickering painting was the depiction of the Descent into the yawning Mouth of Hell (see above). "Tha' mun think on, lad" Mr N used to tell him.
Just as we did in those far off days, homeward bound, we stopped for lunch by the river at Sinnington...
...then wandered over to the little churchyard. We do enjoy reading gravestones and contemplating the mouldering heaps where "the rude Forefathers of the hamlet sleep" (Thomas Gray). We wondered, wistfully, whether John Raven missed his young wife Milkey - he would surely never have dreamt that she would die before him.
In melancholy mood we entered the little Norman church of All Saints and solemnly reminded ourselves of the Ten Commandments.
Luckily we already own a modest Houfe and Mr N has a useful combination Wife/Servant/Maid. We have no use at present for an Ox or an Afs and when it comes to other covetable things, well, in the world of antiques everything has a price and this is often negotiable.
So, without a stain on his conscience, Mr N went home happy with a few bits and pieces for his new Brown Study.