There can't be many places where you go and do the weekly supermarket shop and see this...
and this, hardly a stone's throw from the car-park
Yes, you keen-eyed observers, you, this is Whitby which is a mere half an hour's car ride over the moors from our new home. Then again, it is another world. Although Whitby is still Yorkshire, the people have a north-eastern, almost Geordie, lilt to their voices and you might as well be in another country for the total contrast in tone and outlook. Mist hung low over Rosedale Abbey when we left and as we climbed up over the moors we were soon plunged into thick fog which prevented us from enjoying the view over Glaisdale, but having dropped sharply down through the allied villages of Egton Bridge and Egton and into Whitby the sun was blazing and there was a summery feel about the place. Between the Co-op supermarket that replaces what was the old and squalid fish quay and the harbour, is a modern plaza, where stands a memorial to local man Captain William Scoresby and his equally pioneering son, also William. The memorial consists of a pole topped by a crow's nest because William Senior invented it. (Scoresby Junior is considered by some to be the true inventor of the ship's compass.)
Between that and the harbour wall stood a man in fisherman's cap and jersey playing the accordion and singing sea-shanties. with a puppet dancing at his feet. All very touristy, of course, but he had a superb voice and his evocative words of hardship and far-away travel flung my spirits skywards over the sea. Whitby and its people have always been outward-facing (there are Whitbys all around the world) and therefore open-minded and welcoming. I love it.