looking down on the festivites in the yard from Mary and Tom's garden

Stifling heat !

Goodness ~ what a stifling day it's been ~ the hottest September day for over a hundred years !   Yesterday I was still limp after the weekend although it had been one of our most successful Open Days, and fun !   I have so many people to thank : Eddy for the bucketsful of sweet peas and other flowers, enough to share with Beverley at number 5 and Davis and Alison at number 4 ~ wonderful.   And my helpers : Mike Dawson all day Satrday, Barry Atkinson out on the yard on  Sunday morning when Sue held the fort upstairs, and Lucy took her place in the afternoon ~ and above all, thankyou Kate who was an absolute gem both days ~ she reckoned she must have been upstairs at least 100 times, giving the upstairs spiel when necessary and the yard story between Mike and Barry ~ and always so cheerful and willing ~ no way could I have coped without her ~ and when we closed shop the poor girl had to set off to drive home to Heptonstall a trip she expected to take about 3 hours but in fact with traffic problems took 4 but Alan had a meal ready for her ~ I think we were both totally knackered but it had been a really good two days and David reckoned we had had around 175 visitors ~118 had signed in but at least another 50 had slipped through the net !   Amazing !   And all so interested in the history of the yard, our houses, and the Sanders.   It's almost certainly the last time I'll do this, but if so, we've gone out on a high !

On Saturday, Kate kept bringing me mugs of tea or coffee but I was too busy to drink any of them.   That night she made us a delicious supper : egg pasta with mix of onion, pepper, mushrooms, and as this was the first bite either of us had since 8am we were jolly well ready for it.   On Sunday I made sure we each had a few minutes to grap bread and cheese and one of Eddy's tomatoes, and never mind how many were waiting outside for us to start again.

With the rooms being so small, I could only cope with groups of 4 or 5 at a time, so you can work out how many times we were telling the stories ~ it gets pretty confusing after a couple of hours and I found myself asking, "Have I already told you this ?"   The yard looked amazing (see Photo Album 25) with bunting and balloons, and glorious weather both days.   Today, I'm just about recovering my wits ~no flops and non-stop story telling for fivesolid hours each day ~ 11.0-4.0.   One of our visors was the great-great-great nephew of Whitby's famous lifeboat man, the onle survivor of a dreadful shipwreck in 1861 when not only the crew of the stricken ship were lost, but all the lifeboat men too apart from Henry who was testing out this new-fangled life jacket, a CORK life jacket which saved his life ~ thereafter he was a local hero and for several years, certainly at the time of the 1881 census, he lived here in this house.

For the previous fortnight I've been following Melvin Braggs fascinating series about The North ~ don't remember this ever happening before, a series going out every morning like that from 9am for two weeks.   David and Judy are staying next door (no 7) and today went out on a boat trip to spot whales ~ they were unlucky but thoroughly enjoyed the 4 hour trip ~ another boat did see whales and they are definitely out there around our coast but they saw seals and plenty of other wildlife so were not too disappointed and they were given    free cups of tea in compensation !   And they told me it was blissfully cool out there all afternoon, in fact they felt cold while we were sweltering on land.

Wednesday evening : Much cooler, dull all day and some rain.  11.0am Beverley's friend Suanne came for Tarot reading and seemed happy with it.   Earlier Judy from number 7 brought me a beautiful clump of amethyst ~ gorgeous ~ it turned out she is fascinated by Tarot so offered to give her a reading and she came in at 4.0pm ~ swwetcorn on the cob for supper which it is impossible to eat tidily dripping with butter !     Reading another of Susan Hill's "Simon Serailler" novels and can scarcely put it down ~ this one about a child abduction ~ we see the story unfolding through the eyes of each character, one after the other, incuding David Angus the nine year old victim ~ absolutely gripping ~ I think there are a dozen or so in the series ~ I've just ordered the 3rd on Amazon, kindle edition obviously.

The beautiful chunk of amethyst that Judy gave me