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U3A Writing: Favourite Place

Peggy MacKay writes about her beloved Colne Valley in Yorkshire.

Where is my favourite place? I sat this morning thinking about it, looking out at the winter sunshine in a blue sky, and my mind went to all the wonderful places I have visited.

I left Sowood in 1945, at the beginning of my married life, to live in the far north of Scotland for the next 16 years. There my three daughters were born and brought up by the sea in a lovely part of Sutherland, and I still enjoy paying a visit.

The east coast of England has many favourite haunts, Whitby, Staithes, Tynemouth and Bamburgh – all places I can revisit and enjoy. The Dales and the Lakes must be on my list, and Devon and Cornwall – St. Ives in particular.

Across the Channel: Paris – happy memories; Nice, Cannes, St. Tropez, Monte Carlo and Monaco – happy days; Switzerland, Italy – Lake Maggiore and Milan; the beautiful village of Valldemossa on Majorca; and a more recent trip to Austria with my granddaughter.

The breathtaking views in Vancouver and Vancouver Island and up into British Columbia, and so many places in America: Boston, Cape Cod, Nantucket, Connecticut, Maine and, of course, Niagara Falls. Beautiful Lake Hartwell in Georgia, where we spent so many happy holidays with our friends Joe and Ev. Days up in the mountains there.

Heavenly sunshine in Florida: St. Augustine, Daytona and on the Gulf of Mexico Tampa, Sanibal Island, Tarpon Springs and Cedar Key. The wonderful Rockies in Colorado and Wyoming and the magic of New Orleans.

Which is my favourite?

Today as I rode on the bus from Blackmoorfoot I looked across the Colne Valley stretching from Milnsbridge up past Marsden and over to Scammonden - the houses perched on the hillsides and the old mills in the bottom, many of the latter now made into flats, the River Colne flowing past them. On the tops, the heather and a dusting of show, and I thought, ‘This is my favourite place. This is now, and all the other places are treasured memories, some of which I may visit again. But I don’t look back except to keep my memories.

This is my favourite place.

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