/ Scotland2017

Chatting with the locals

Northumberland are playing Yorkshire at Greenfields (Alnwick Rugby Club ground) today so time to move on. Also looks like there will be a pigeon release from the top pitch. We wait in hope to catch it, but in vain. A pity, my Dad raced pigeons decades ago when we shared a house with his parents. A loft down in Granddad's allotment sized garden. When we moved to our various own (rented) houses the gardens were smaller so the aviary had to be smaller and thus the birds changed from pigeons to canaries which Dad showed with sufficient success to become a judge at the National Scottish Bird Show.

Anyway, we left Alnwick without seeing the pigeon release. First stop was the tiny market town of Wooler. A big wedding involving an ancient London double-decker and a small high street of interesting local shops. As we got out of the van an aged resident muttered "Growing old disgracefully eh, I like it" in obvious reference to the motto on the van. We passed a few pleasantries and went on our separate ways. 15 minutes later at the other end of the high street, guess who we meet? This time it is swapping stories. Finding himself out of work 30+ years ago he found a job with a caravan fitter. So, he built his own caravan. He doesn't get away in it so much these days but the fact that it is still going strong after 30 years is a testament to his obvious skill. He should have made a good living coming down to Southampton to work on the power station as his brother did but his Dad took ill and the family market garden needed tending. It is fascinating when, as Leonard Cohen puts it, someone treats you to a flake of their life. So, unknown Wooler resident thanks for sharing and making my day brighter.

Seahouses was windy! It had one of the few pay and display car parks we've meet up here, normally they are free. The wind was strong and in exactly the right direction to make it impossible to position a parking ticket on the dashboard. Put it down and it has blown over out out of the car before I can shut the door. Try the other side, nope, same problem (how CAN that happen?). After several attempts I manage to hold it in place with one hand and risk breaking an arm by shutting the door vigorously whilst simultaneously coordinating the removal of my arm through the decreasing gap.

Note to Seahouses council - why not issue tickets which stick to the windscreen? Or does much of your revenue come from an over-zealous collector who books all the cars with upside down tickets? Or is someone watching from an unseen office window, laughing?

Still the ice-creams were good (first of the holiday).

Onwards to the overnight pub stop - read the review.