I missed the CQ WW WPX contest and some good sporadic-E openings because Olga and I went to Yorkshire for a long weekend. On the strength of a forecast of fine weather for the weekend, Olga booked us into a self-catering cottage at the last minute. I agonized over whether to take the K2 or FT-817 for some portable operating, but decided that she would not be very impressed if I did.
Strawberry Cottage, Nunnington is a small cottage that was probably once a stable for the adjoining house (also a holiday let), but it is plenty big enough for a couple. The interior is delightfully olde-worlde and the owners have provided many thoughtful touches, like bathrobes and slippers. There is a large garden with open views and a couple of outdoor tables with chairs that would have made a fine base for some portable operating, which caused a few pangs of regret. But I would not have had the opportunity to do any operating in any case because with the weather being so glorious we were out most of the time.
There is a wonderful pub just a minute's walk from the cottage serving marvellous food and excellent Black Sheep real ale kept in perfect condition. The location, in the Howardian Hills AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) is indeed very beautiful. I found myself wishing for a ban on overhead power cables and TV antennas as without them the village would probably look exactly as it did a century ago.
There are many marvellous places to visit in the area, including Castle Howard - the location for both the TV series and the more recent Miramax film of the Evelyn Waugh novel Brideshead Revisited - and Duncombe Park. It is an area we will certainly visit again, with or without ham radio gear!