Monday, April 30, 2012


Sisters are one of God’s better inventions.

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You can get the train to Bingley together and see the Five Rise Locks for the second time this spring (but this time in sunshine)

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and then walk the 3 miles down the towpath to Saltaire and eat your lunch in the sun in your shirtsleeves, overlooking the River Aire and the park and the wooded hill beyond. You can hold a young mother’s baby while she eats her lunch, and think that while it is a very nice baby, it is not as nice as any of your own (of either generation).

You can wander round the Mill (and yes, I do realise that this is not the Mill you wander round, but the correct one had cars in front of it which spoiled the view)

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and check out the titles of novels in the spacious bookshop, looking for inspiration for your own. My favourites today were Care of Wooden Floors, Cheating at Canasta, and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake.

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You can curse together that the Hockney exhibition is closed on Mondays, but read about the history of Saltaire and its massive Mill, and watch the documentary about Titus Salt, and relish the narrator’s soft Yorkshire accent.

You can have a coffee in Salts Diner,

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forget to pay and only remember when you have walked down four flights of stone steps and down the road, and you’re leaning on the bridge over the canal, and have to go up the road again and the four flights of stone steps to make an honest woman of yourself.

You can sit together in companionable silence waiting in the sunshine for your train, while you munch on apples and idly watch the two pigeons in front of you picking at a squashed Ferrerro Rocher on the platform.

And as an end to a perfect sunny day in the midst of a fortnight of rain, you can hug and part, and lose yourself in The Secret Garden on the train home and almost miss your stop.

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