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And so another weekend comes and goes all too quickly, but what a nice one it was, even if I was exhausted before it started. Still, having worked from home on Friday due to a headache I’d been suffering with for more days than I can remember – not good – Shelli and I hit the road around 7pm for the two hundred or so mile journey up the wonderful(?) motorway network up to Yorkshire.

We had a good drive up without any hold-ups at all and were settling in for the evening around 10pm. I was pretty beat by this point having done all the driving so it wasn’t long before thoughts turned to heading off to bed in preparation for Saturday’s fun and games.

Having planned this weekend in some time ago, Shelli and I were pleased to find out shortly before we went up that on the Saturday it was going to be the 46th annual Great Knaresborough Bed Race.

In case you don’t know what that is, it’s where teams of runners build a “bed”, decorate it for a parade and then race round Knaresborough pushing it – and it’s occupant – round the roads and across the river. I’ve never managed to catch it before so I was looking forward to sitting down, drinking some beer and taking lots of photos of the event.

The parade through Knaresborough didn’t start until 1pm so we all took a nice easy morning, sitting and chatting at Russ’ place before grabbing the camping chairs and heading off into town to get a good spot to watch the parade and race from. On our way in we stopped at the Co-op and picked up some refreshments – beer – and found a spot to sit down on the downhill section of the course.

The weather wasn’t the warmest but the rain seemed to be holding off so that was good. I was hopeful that it would last as I didn’t fancy sitting in the rain for the next three or so hours and I’m pleased to say that other than a bit of a chilly wind the weather played ball all afternoon.

Shelli, Russ and I snapped away with our cameras as the parade went past. It was great to see how much effort everyone had put into their beds and costumes. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a community event such as this, with everyone getting into the full spirit of the day.

Parade over and done with we waited for the race proper to start. Shelli and Rachel strolled up the high street to get us all something for lunch and Russ and I sat drinking some more beer – nice!

Before the race started we moved over to the other side of the road so that we were sat in the sun instead of the shade we were originally in. It was much warmer having moved and it gave a great view up the hill, ready to watch the teams come hurtling down on their way to the river crossing.

It wasn’t long after the race started before the first of the teams came past us. Everyone was looking a little on the tired side by this point and the agony on some of their faces was excruciating! I snapped away madly with my camera getting a shot of all of the 90 teams.

Race over and done with we headed back to Russ and Rachel’s place before heading out for the evening. They’d booked a table at the Spice Merchant just off of the main square in Knaresborough. Before eating though we headed into the Cross Keys for a pre-food pint.

The food was good in the Spice Merchant even if the service left a little to be desired. Saying that though, it was damn busy because of the race so I guess they can be excused for being swamped that evening? I’ll put my hand up now – before Russ or Shelli add a comment on this post – and say that my garlic chilli chicken beat me. My mouth was on fire! I ate nearly all of it but sheesh was it hot! Rachel said that she never thought she’d see the day that a curry beat me, but I know when I’m beat and when to give up trying.

Food eaten and bellies full we took a stroll along the river, ending up at the Dropping Well inn for another drink.

Drink over with we decided, maybe foolishly, to carry on walking along the river. It was a nice cool evening and it was still pretty light so a walk seemed like a good idea. It was lovely to take a stroll and have a good chat, looking at all the rather expensive houses along the river front – one day I’ll win the lottery…one day!

Having hit the Wetherby road we headed back in to town but Russ and Rachel asked if we wanted to go and see the lake. Lake, what lake? I wasn’t aware that there was a lake in Knaresborough. Up for more walking we headed out to the lake and enjoyed a moonlit view over the waters.

By this point I didn’t really have a clue where we were and so following Russ and Rachel up the lane I was surprised to find that we were just down the road from their place. My bearings were well and truly off that day I can tell you as I’d never have guessed we were there! Looking at a map it becomes clear how that happened as the river bends back round towards the town, something you didn’t really notice as you walked along it.

It was a lovely way to end the evening even if my legs were aching a little bit afterwards.

All too quickly Sunday was upon us. We weren’t aiming on leaving too early so we chilled out again in the morning and strolled into town to have some lunch at So Bar before hitting the road home.

Bellies full, and a little bit of shopping done at Sainsbury’s we strolled back to get the car, say goodbye and hit the road home. Why do weekends always go so damn quickly?

The journey home started off okay, even with all the rain and spray, but the traffic soon turned into a bit of a nightmare. We’d given ourselves a good four and a half hours to get back before Shelli needed to be home for her girls but as we made our way home that looked less and less achievable. It was not a fun drive I can tell you.

Fortunately I managed to drop Shelli off with some time to spare before the girls were expected home…phew!

Oh, one thing I should mention about the drive up and back and that’s the fact that Shelli put the playlist together on her iPod. She was a little worried about the task but I’m pleased to say that she managed to put a list together that lasted the entire round trip without repeating a single track, and more importantly I never went anywhere near the skip button! Well done honey.

And there you have it. A great weekend, albeit over far too quickly, but lots of fun had. I’ve posted a gallery of photos from Saturday on here. There are a total of 240 photos posted so it might take a little time to load so please be patient.

It was great to see Shelli getting on so well with Russ and Rachel. I know that they’ve spent time together before but I’m so happy that they get on so well.