12 noon: When we arrive at Charlotte’s Ice Cream Parlour, Whitley Lower, there’s a clear view across Mirfield and the Calder Valley to the hills beyond, with patches of sunlight scudding gently across the landscape.
On the highest ground in the distance, there’s a white brilliance, which appears to be a powdering of snow.
A buzzard circles over Liley Wood, below us to the west.
Grey cloud and misty rain obscure the view for ten minutes or so, as a shower passes over.
Charlotte’s used to be a regular weekly destination for several years, when we’d head here on a Thursday morning for coffee and scones with my mum. She died a little over two years ago but, had she lived, we would have been celebrating her ninety-ninth birthday last Sunday. In fact, she once suggested that for her one hundredth birthday she would like treat all her family and friends to a gathering at Charlotte’s.
Her latest great-grandchild, Henry, is making his first visit here today, but he’s far too young to appreciate the ice cream.
A large spotted pig is contentedly snoring in its pen.
Also taking a break, there’s a pochard on the duck pond, sleeping with its bill tucked under its wing.