My heart and soul hasn't been into blogging this trip. My muse and amanuensis David died suddenly late last year. Sharing a very similar sense of humour my humble efforts were generally written directly to make him smile or grimace. He too was a great diarist (woe betide anyone who referred to his daily outpourings as a "blog"!) and is much missed. However, much encouragement from my daughter last night has told me to buck my ideas up and get writing; she, at least, reads this tripe.
So here we are. Where are we? Alnwick Rugby Club. But, I hear you cry, gentle reader, your last ramblings were back in Birmingham, what has happened in the interim?
OK. You asked for it. Birmingham to Rainton, N Yorks, near Thirsk is mainly M1 whichever route you choose. A quick detour to Mansfield to buy a lead with a folding plug (a story too long even for this blog) and then to that cathedral of consumerism - the outlet village, Junction32 in this case. We were informed it held brands we know and love (actually the concept of us loving a brand is so ludicrous as to beggar belief): Craghoppers, New Balance, Cotton Traders etc. All it really did was to reinforce our already strong belief that the world is going to hell in a handcart, the handcart in this instance carrying 1001 different types of trainer shoes, all alike but all sufficiently subtly different as to be able to prise shekels from those stupid enough to NEED the latest and greatest fashion! OK, so Liz did pick up another pair of trousers at a Cotton Traders end of sale bargain price but that was it (apart from 2 Gregg's sausage rolls - see how these places stuck the soul from you, they even make you want food from Gregg's)
After Rainton we trundled on up to Alnwick, the scenic route along the coast. By scenic I, of course, mean via Middleborough, Hartlepool, Sunderland etc. The refuse recycling plant at Hartlepool was worth the trip alone. Least anyone think I'm tending towards the sarcastic (sarcastic, moi?) one of the highlights of the drive was seeing the North Sea oil rig Brent Delta which has just a few days previously been brought ashore to Hartlepool for recycling. BTW, the fact we didn't stop at downtown Hartlepool had nothing to do with any fear of being mistaken for a monkey. Onwards, at no expense spared, under the Tyne tunnel to Whitley Bay and Amble, both nice enough little seaside towns, although we are sad to be missing the Amble Puffin Festival later this month.
To be continued...