We returned to North Yorkshire again this autumn, not to Sandsend this time but to Port Mulgrave, a few miles up the coast in the parish of Hinderwell. The building we rented is part of a collection of buildings called Rosedale Cottages. Many of the buildings in the area were erected to serve the miners working to extract iron ore. One is converted from an old stable block and another was the old servant's quarters but the building we moved into was built in 1857 for the then mine and port owner Sir Charles Palmer. It's set in a half acre of grounds and was recently restored five years ago.
The first thing we noticed as we drove though Sandsend and then on to Palmers was how the trees had already shed their leaves in the wind from the North Sea. It seemed like we had moved the calendar along a month during the three hour drive north.
Harry led the charge into our new home for the week, his nails tip-tapping on the wood floors. I selected the room with the lowest bed and tried the bedside lamps. One wasn't working and the other blew its bulb when I flicked the switch. Intending to read my books in the dead of night I retrieved another lamp from one of the other bedrooms. I'd meant to bring the new Kate Atkinson book, Started Early, Took My Dog, but for one reason or another had not managed to get a copy. Fortunately a previous visitor had left a copy in the bookcase in the main living area. I pounced on that with some relish and relocated it next to my transient lamp. What a great stroke of luck to start the holiday with.
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