Town mouse visits Swinton Park in North Yorkshire

Better late than never.

The bearded American with the backpack struggled to extract a case from the luggage rack. Behind him, in the corridor of the train, five Aslets were getting anxious. Still he knelt, blocking the aisle, and was more surprised than us to find that, when he got to the door, it had closed.

The train sped out of Thirsk in North Yorkshire. ‘Why was there nobody to help us?’ he complained to the guard. ‘Didn’t you have a list to check that we’d got off?’ Snow gusted across the window. I may have said something rude.

At Northallerton, the following stop, we reviewed the episode while waiting for the car to come, taking a satirical view—only to find that our subject and his companion were not on a platform, as we’d supposed, but around a corner, waiting for a taxi, plainly within earshot.

How pleased we were to arrive at Swinton Park, the Cunliffe-Lister family’s hotel, and tuck ourselves into our bivouac—an ingeniously designed hut—with its toasty log-burning stove. How even more pleased to transfer to comfortable Swinton Park itself the next day. During the Regency, William Danby, who erected a druid temple after the manner of Stonehenge, would probably have called the landscape sublime. The same could be said of dinner.