Harrogate and Tea

Tea drinking in Britain was once a ritual, an institution. Tea was pivotal in two British wars, one with the embryonic USA, the other, China. Today, most tea is tasteless piss – a bag of dust dipped in a mug of boiled water – although grand old tea shops, like Betty’s in Harrogate, try to maintain some standards, and hold back the rising tide: of coffee.

Giant’s Causeway

Cathy was so obsessed with Led Zeppelin she flew to Belfast, then took a train to Giant’s Causeway just so she could lie down in the spot featured on the cover of Zeppelin’s album ‘Houses of the Holy’. We visit singer Robert Plant’s old home and I consider his fascination with the word ‘baby’ and Lord of the Rings.


Bram Stoker passes through a whalebone arch into a time shift, buys an ice cream from a van owned by Stranglers’ drummer Jet Black. Sir Henry Irving morphs into Christopher Lee. Monkey Puzzle Trees do something even more astonishing.


Glastonbury is the capital of These Weird Isles. Forget the Festival, wander into town. It is the epicentre of the age old longing for some half hidden Celtic twilight, a nostalgia for a time that never was, a home of sorcerers, eccentrics, tarot readers and crystal magic. If towns are rock bands, Glastonbury is Hawkwind.