Dr Johnson (a sort of proto-Dobson) famously stated that when a man is tired of London he is tired of life. On the other hand, when a man is tired of Hooting Yard (not that such a mental aberration is remotely credible, of course) there are other Yards he can investigate. I have just returned from a stay in Whitby, where, among other Yards, I was happy to spot both Dark Entry Yard and Arguments Yard. Whitby is all Yards and Steps. Of the latter, the one hundred and ninety-nine steps leading up to the ruined Abbey are the most noteworthy, but there are plenty of less celebrated Steps to clamber up and down, many of then perilous and steep.
Dark Entry Steps can be found opposite the railway station, which has a somewhat battered and semi-derelict air, and has but a single platform and a single track, on which a train plies between Whitby and Middlesbrough, back and forth all day, but not at night.
My little trip to Whitby goes some way to explaining the eerie silence that has crept over Hooting Yard of late. But I am back again now, revivified, and will be posting a few more dispatches regarding â€œSeaside Resort Of The Year, 2006â€ in addition to the usual morally uplifting and instructive prose. So you can look forward to reading about the Scoresby Pump, Goth tat, a CCTV warning in Celtic uncials (in yet another Yard), the Whitby Literary & Philosophical Society, pipistrelles, and much else. Oh, and by the way, the offer may not last long, but one shop in that delightful town is currently giving away a free bra with every pair of flipflops sold. On second thoughts, I think I am misremembering that, and itâ€™s the other way round.