Ruth in Harrogate

Postcard from Harrogate

It’s beautiful here ! The gardens and parks and tearooms and old buildings are a joy. I will stay for a few nights as I want to walk and walk and I feel Harrogate will keep me company.

My boys phone regularly and I miss them, but for now I shall keep going. So much to see in our beautiful green and pleasant land!

Regards, Ruth.

She  has 2 sons. Tom almost 30, married and living in London with his wife Leah. Ben 27 and living with his fiancée Jo, just a short drive from the family home in Berwick.

 She adores them and knew how worried they had been for her over the months. But she had to be their Mum still. They  too needed to grieve for their father rather than worry about how she was coping with it all. So she kept her tears these days for when she was alone. She spoke to them and answered their questions with upbeat words which she tried oh so hard to feel.

She desperately wanted to feel happier and be able to pick herself up and push herself forward but it felt almost a betrayal. William wasn’t there so could she really be the Ruth she had once been?

So she booked the first hotel in Alnwick and made a list of what she would need and found the beautiful purple pen he had given her their last Christmas together and bought a new journal and began to plan her journey. Somewhere out there was Ruth. Ruth, who loved modern art and old buildings. Ruth ,who walked with her eyes on the roof lines, admiring the angles, and as a result tripped on edges of pavements. Ruth, who stood listening to street music and tried the local food and ale.  Ruth, who she realised she desperately  missed. If she wasn’t to be allowed William back she could try to find Ruth. After all William had loved Ruth. She needed to find her again.


Harrogate burst into her head with a dazzle of green. Such a fine bus ride into the town, past the open spaces, surrounded by majestic houses, which steadily became exclusive shops, intriguing food emporiums and grand hotels.

She felt fresher and somehow brighter in her gently coloured shirt, which she discovered didn’t really go with her old shapeless jeans, so she had matched it with a knee length skirt she had forgotten she packed.

She put her journal into the old, deep, brown leather bag her sister Ella had bought her many years ago. Knowing that having her journal to write made eating and drinking alone much less lonely. She felt the warm day smile on her as she followed the route others were taking and wandered the pavements winding their way around this grand town.
After her fill of building admiring and park enjoying and windows shopped, she headed for the wide spaces of The Stray. The grass looked so green and soft she did something she hadn’t done since her last visit to the beach with William and that was to take her shoes off. She had always loved to feel the ground beneath her feet. She remembered the amused comments he made every time she did it. Sand, grass, carpet, water, anywhere she could she took her shoes off. She remembered the time they had holidayed in Sicily and the waiters had expressed their concern as she wandered around the hotel barefoot, while William laughed quietly to himself knowing that their worries were wasted. She smiled to herself at the memories.
Later on, after an early dinner, she took a glass of wine to the lounge and looked out over The Stray feeling glad she had visited this old town.
The woman sitting across the room from her smiled as she noticed Ruth was barefoot.


2 thoughts on “Ruth in Harrogate

  1. “If she wasn’t to be allowed William back she could try to find Ruth. After all William had loved Ruth. She needed to find her again.”

    Oh my, that is one of the best narrative hooks i’ve ever read.

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