While Mark was out of commission Debbie took me on a drive to Grassington in the Yorkshire Dales. Harry had to stay at home because we couldn't take the walk along the river he usually enjoys. That route is way too steep and the path too rough for me to navigate. Instead we made our way into the village.
Near the car park is an ancient dead horse chestnut tree. Instead of cutting it down the local tree surgeon has turned it into a monolith. The branches and upper trunk were cut away leaving the just the dead trunk. Dead trees support a wide range of wildlife like owls, bats, woodpeckers and insects.
The weather was actually quite good for a change and it had brought a multitude of hikers and dog walkers to Grassington. If Harry had come the day would have probably been filled with a lot of dog-meets-dog confrontations. We settled at a pub for lunch and a drink. Along with our sandwiches we ordered a bowl of chips which were about as rubbish as it is possible to make chips. Above the narrow street a confusion of swifts swooped and flitted crazily from beneath the eaves. Two Japanese tourists seemed to echo the exuberance of the birds, posing in front of as many quaint shop fronts as they could find, snapping away happily with their cameras. Somewhere there is a blog covered with Grassington shops and grinning Japanese.
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