Life My Life to Date (and how I've Survived It) Travel Undaunted

Mixed Emotions

Harrogate is where my roots are.  It’s the place of my birth and Betty’s Tea Rooms, where punters queue around the corner to get a table.  A place for me that fuels mixed emotions.  I feel warm and secure when I am there, yet I don’t go back as often as I should.

Sadly there was no time to linger. So much to do, so little time. I boarded a train at Taunton at 12.50hrs and arrived in Harrogate at 18.00hrs, and I left, by car at 17.30hrs the following day. Not by choice, but by necessity.


I stayed at the Old Swan Hotel I had been so focused on other things that I hadn’t realised that this was where Agatha Christie languished after she ‘went missing’ in 1926. For ten days after her car was found empty and dangling over a chalk cliff, she kept schtum about her whereabouts. I came away wondering if staying overnight at ‘Agatha’s Retreat’, whether some of her genii would rub off on my writing. I always live in hope.

My path also unknowingly crossed with one of my musical muses, Dillie Keane. On returning home, I stumbled across a post by Fascinating Aida’s Founder about the crocuses on Harrogate’s The Stray.

I was beside myself when I found out that Dillie performed her one-woman show at the Harrogate Theatre the evening I left.  I ‘d walked straight past the theatre as well.  How could I have missed the billboards?  As I said, I had been focussed on other things. Otherwise, I would have stayed on for an evening of satirical cabaret, but sometimes, you have to get your priorities right.  I was there on family business only, and no time to allow myself to be side-tracked.

So I checked out of The Old Swan, drove past the house I was born in and the pub my grandparents ran, as well as missing my musical muse and left Harrogate with an overnight bag of mixed emotions.


Thank you very much for visiting my niche-less blog! If you have time before you leave, would love you to tell us what you think. All the best, Tessa Barrie

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