When I was younger, I used to be a fairly frequent visitor to Haworth in West Yorkshire, home of the Bronte Parsonage, where the three sisters used to sit around the dining table in the mid 1840's and knock out Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. There's something magical about the place and its story of how Anne, Emily and Jane each became - briefly, so briefly - published authors before they died so very young.
Wuthering Heights is my favourite book. It uses and enthuses the dark, featureless moors that predominate around this part of Yorkshire. It's bleak spot and always guaranteed to be cold and rainy. Or so I thought!
Last week I week back to Haworth after a gap of several years. As you can see by the pictures, Haworth was bathing in sunlight, warming itself under clear blue skies. This is not what I wanted! I wanted dark clouds, intermittent rain, howling winds chasing people off the street and into appropriately named cafes cashing in on the Bronte's fame where taciturn waitresses would bring you a tea and bun and tell you the storm outside was 'owt about nowt'...
Well none of that!
How was the parsonage itself? Well, it seemed somewhat larger than last time I wandered around - was the entrance hall and gift shop there 20 years ago? Dunno, can't remember. The exhibits and memorabilia were all present and correct, from youthful tiny magaznes to both the sisters' and Branwell's pretty good artwork. Pride of place goes to the actual table all those great works were written (bought by the Bronte Society a couple of years ago). If, as a writer, this scene doesn't inspire you or fill you will awe, you're probably not a writer - or even a reader.
Leaving Haworth - using the 'old' route, i.e. a ridiculously steep hill where you really don't want to do a hill start at the top - I was thinking that I should reread Wuthering Heights. And then the others. So, I am.
Isn't that the point of muesums? Get you back to the source and renew your energies and passions?