Northumbria

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I have had one busy week. One more to go.

I’m up in Northumberland, getting fresh air and pretending I have not a care in the world. I think it’s working, but I’m not 100% sure yet.

Some things I’ve done:

Been dragged up Humbleton hill nearly every morning. Ben is an avid mountain goat, but charging up a slope before breakfast is not exactly my idea of fun. Nevertheless, the view is marvellous. I am, however, hideously unfit.

Berwick upon Tweed. A bit of a crumbling town if I’m honest, but still good fun. Nice little curio shops, ancient fortifications, and one big gorgeous bridge.

Etal village fete. Etal is a cute little village mainly consisting of a ruined castle, a pub, a tea room and some fields. Their fete was equally adorable, with rare Hebridean sheep (that look like Darth Vader), much homemade jam, Clydesdales and locally made burgers.

Kielder water. Actually a fair old trek from where we’re staying, but worth it to see this marvel of engineering – a huge man made lake (dam!) and the UK’s largest man made forest. We took the Osprey pleasure cruiser to see the lake properly.

Local produce. Ok, getting meat from the town butcher is cool, but getting eggs (still warm) from the lady living next door is AWESOME.

Car acrobatics. Thursday was very rainy. My car’s tyres are pretty worn. I have been hassling Ben to help me get them replaced for some months. I think Thursday made the point. On a wet, and thankfully deserted country road, Ben lost control on a skid, and we did a beautiful 360 into a hedge. Surprisingly, there is only a very small dink in the back of my car, although I thought I was going to throw up after the event. But yes – suitably dramatic, could have been SO much worse, and yay, I wasn’t driving at the time. Needless to say, we are getting those tyres replaced today.

Pot-a-doodle-do. After the car incident, I needed some calm activity to soothe my nerves. So, pottery painting was a suitable rainy day activity. Ben has made me an apology plate, I have done a life-affirming pasta bowl. Pics when we get them.

Edinburgh. Yesterday, we drove across the border to my favourite city. A good 10 hours of wandering ensued, and we even took in a show at the Edinburgh Fringe (EastEnd Cabaret, venue 170, is free, hilarious and well worth a look if you’re at the fringe). Note: parking in Edinburgh has gotten considerably more expensive over the last couple of years, so be warned if you’re driving in.

Anyway, I have tyres to get done, and another week of adventuring to do. Cheerio!

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