Thursday, 26 May 2011
Yesterday I got an email from the new owners of the Guest House I stayed in when I was living in Haworth Village in Yorkshire, doing research at the Brontë Parsonage Museum. My tiny little cottage room that was home to my laptop, notes and books has been turned into one huge luxury room. I was sort of sad to see this modest little room turned into a glitzy show-piece, but the new owners did a fabulous job on it. I guess I was sad because I had such good memories in the old room, which I rented out from the previous owners.
Every day, I would get dressed huddled near the radiator, put on my big coat, boots and scarf, and lug my laptop, notes and books on my morning walk to the Brontë Parsonage Museum. Without fail, each morning I would run into the sweetest Irish woman and her fluffy little puppy on their daily walk. We would chat about Australia, and how she misses her home too. I would then pop into a local general store, buy a coffee, and hold it close to my chest for the rest of my walk to the museum, to keep warm.
I mainly worked within the library and office of the museum, which is closed to the public. This space was shared by the museum's curators and other staff members, so every once in a while they would interrupt my own work with local gossip, or I would get a gentle tap on my shoulder to be shown something special. I got to see the original tiny 'books' the Brontë sisters wrote as little girls, letters and illustrations they made, their jewellery, and other beautiful bits and pieces that were not yet shown to the public. It was, of course, a thrill.
The library itself was exactly how I would picture an old Victorian library to look like. High ceilings, cosy wooden interiors with a dominating fireplace, large windows and rows and rows of books and archive boxes. Alas, I was not allowed to photograph it. I was so absorbed in the research work, that I barely noticed when the day ended and I had to go back to my little cottage room. My mum would often call me and ask, 'don't you get bored?'. Absolutely not. Haworth Village is small, there isn't even a supermarket, and only a handful of shops. But I was so absorbed in its daily life and the work I did at the museum, it never occurred to me to get bored.
I realise that I've only ever shown one or two pictures from the village, so today, I wanted to show a few more. Maybe because I'm feeling nostalgic after that email. I took three cameras with me to Haworth, and I love the different range and style of photos they each produce. Although some photos I feel are too personal to share.
Since I'm feeling sentimental at the moment, please do share your own travel stories with me. Have you been to a place you'll never forget?