22.12.23 — Journal

Halifax & Home

I’d only been back in Madrid for two weeks after my visit to London when it was time for me to hop on a plane back to England once again. This time I was headed back up north, where I’d join my family for a rather solemn occasion: my grandma’s funeral.

Thanks the the rather odd nature of flight prices, it was cheaper for me to visit from Saturday to Saturday than to fly over during the week, meaning I’d time to do some other stuff whilst back home. To make the most of this free time, the day after I landed me and my dad went off to spend a day travelling through his home county of Yorkshire.

It was a clear day in Manchester as I descended.

The first stop on our day trip was Halifax, a town that I have fond memories of as we used to go to a huge children’s science museum there when I was young. Ever the explorer, my dad drove us down a quiet little street until we reached an abandoned mill, where we took out our cameras and did a little bit of exploring. It reminded me of the time that him and I explored an abandoned hotel in Portugal!

It was the back end of autumn but there were still some lovely colours around.

We then moved further down the road and to another old mill, but this one wasn’t abandoned. It turns out that the Dean Clough site is still very much alive, only it’s now used as an art and leisure space rather than the fabrication of carpets as in times of yore. Inside, we came across art exhibitions, office spaces, and a lovely gift shop where we got chatting to the friendly attendant working there.

Dean Clough is a lovely hidden piece of living Victorian history.

Upon further exploration of the site we ended up getting lost inside the main mill, wandering through empty offices and up dodgy stairwells that we probably shouldn’t have been inside. We did find our way out in the end and made our way back to the car and onwards to get some lunch.

As I was back in England it was only fitting that I should have some fish and chips, so my dad took me to my parents’ chippy of choice. I was tasked with going in and ordering, so grabbed a fish, chips, a battered sausage, a fishcake, peas, and some gravy to form an improvised sharing platter. We then found a picnic bench by the canal and enjoyed our chippy lunch the British way: in the cold.

Dad was almost as chuffed as I was with his chippy lunch.

From there, we made a quick stop in Hebden Bridge for a little Christmas shopping and a look around the festive markets that had popped up around the quaint little centre. As the day turned to night and the cold descended, we headed back to the car and made for home: the winter nights up north are biting!

It’s here that this blog post comes to an early end, as I woke up a couple of days later to find that I had gotten quite ill. As luck would have it, this was the day of my grandma’s funeral, but I popped some paracetamol, wrapped up, and made sure I was there to give her the lovely send off she deserved.

After that though, I was horizontal for a few days, meaning I missed my return flight. Thankfully, there was a cheap flight back for just a few days after, a day which was also a public holiday over in Spain. Despite the annoyance of being ill, the stars aligned to get me back home to Madrid just as soon as I’d recovered, which didn’t take all that long considering how shoddy I felt.

I end the post with a big thanks to my parents for putting up with me as I mooched around feeling sorry for myself a few days, especially my mum whose idea that I probably shouldn’t fly with such an upset stomach was a very good call…