We return from Britain, somewhat the worse for wear, but still game!

September 21, 2007 at 9:03 am (Anglophilia, To Britain and back, September '07, Travel)

swaledale-web-1.jpg I am happy – well thrilled, really – to report that the beauty of Yorkshire still has the power to enthrall; the history, likewise, to fascinate. But beware – there is danger in the Dales! That is, if you are a complete klutz like me and go climbing fences in search of a better vantage point from which to take a picture of sheep in a field. I mean, I really do love these Swaledale sheep, with their black faces and sturdy, chunky bodies.

swaledale3.jpg What happened was this: I thought I was ascending a solid bit of ground; as it happened, long grasses were concealing a deep hole. I stepped into it and went, as the British would say, arse over teakettle against a wood fence. I removed several layers of skin in patches from the back of my right hand, but an even more interesting thing happened to my left arm. I thought I had scraped it because it was stinging so acutely, but when I took a good look at it, welts the size of dimes were rapidly forming and spreading. These eventually resolved themselves into a constellation of small red dots, in which the stinging power of the outraged vegetation upon which I had fallen was concentrated. The result was exquisite pain, fortunately short-lived. (Thoughts on the identity of this nefarious attack plant, anyone?)

I owe thanks to several women in the tour group who quickly surrounded me and helped me get back on my (albeit shaky) feet. I’m still not sure who they were – we were still new to one another and my glasses had been knocked off in the melee – but I am very grateful nonetheless.

It will be a few days before our own pictures get posted here, as my husband, who is in charge of all things photographic, came home with a very nasty cold and is presently indisposed, to say the least. As I said, somewhat the worse for wear…

4 Comments

  1. Joyce said,

    Welcome back! I can’t wait to see your photos. Those sheep… delightful. But the pain!!! I’m glad to hear there were no broken bones and no long-term side effects.

  2. BooksPlease said,

    Oh dear! I hope you did enjoy your holiday despite the fall and your husband’s cold. It sounds as though you fell onto a nettle – they really sting, although at this time of year they’re not as strong as they are in spring and early summer. As an immediate remedy rubbing the area where you’ve been stung with a dock leaf on the reduces the pain, if you can find one that is!

    Looking forward to seeing your photos and hearing about the authors.

  3. Roberta Rood said,

    Thanks for your good wishes, Joyce and Booksplease. I figured nettles were probably the culprit. That’s really interesting about the dock leaf, but I would never have enough confidence to find it on my own. I’d need a Brother Cadfael-type beside me to guide me!

  4. Ripon, in North Yorkshire « Books to the Ceiling said,

    […] stopped for a visit there on the first full day of our tour (only hours before Yours Truly’s “Down in the Dales” mishap). Ripon contains all the beauties of other Yorkshire villages I have seen – Skipton, Riply, […]

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