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Published: September 9th 2018
My last blog finished before the end of our Scotland-East coast trip ended. I am writing this from Luxembourg so had between fill in the gaps for you!!
From Fortrose we drove to Forfar, not on everyone’s’ list of destinations in Scotland but it was amazing. It is home to two awe inspiring constructions and the first are the Kelpies. Two stunning horse head sculptures, built of structural steel with a stainless steel cladding, The Kelpies are 30 metres high and weigh 300 tonnes. I had a great time taking shots with my camera and would love to return to see them at night. Our next stop was the canal to see the equally famous Falkirk wheel, a functional piece of engineering to connect two canals with a height difference of about 25 metres. We were able to see it in action, a wonderful sight.
We planned to stay in Falkirk but opted instead to head to Dunbar on the east coast south of Edinburgh and arrived at the campsite on a misty evening but it had been a long day so had food and an early night. Sunday and the weather was fabulous so we walked to Dunbar
along the coastal path. The weather had been so hot that the seaweed was producing a smell that was so pungent it made your stomach turn. It was a good walk and Dunbar is a nice little town and we felt we deserved the fish and chips for lunch-we had a “pensioner’s special”. The next day was pretty wet, the first real rain of the trip, and I caught up with Gus a friend from 40 years ago who used to live in Dundee. His partner is in Dunbar so we had a coffee and a chat and both wondered where the years had gone!!
Our final stop of the trip was lovely Beadnell in Northumberland to enjoy the fabulous Northumberland coastline.
I wanted to be back in the North East for a friend’s retirement and for a brunch for Imogen as she didn’t want a baby shower. The latter was a great success we had brunch at Ernest’s in Newcastle a lovely place to eat breakfast. Sadly the retirement event didn’t happen as Denise died days before after a long battle with cancer RIP.
I was now back in the North East waiting for the arrival
of my first grandchild, Imogen finished work at the end of June. I caught up with friends and generally made myself useful. Amy split up from her boyfriend and we spent a very cathartic day transforming her place back into a lovely house again without the clutter of her ex. At the time I know she was sad but in the last few weeks has seemed happier than for years. Idg finished work and the weather continued to be gorgeous so we enjoyed chilling in the sun.
Her due date came and went but Finnlay Jacob arrived on 14th
July a Bastille Day baby!! So much has changed in the world of baby care since Amy was baby, well it is 29 years ago, but it is amazing how much comes back to you. They are a gorgeous little family now and I loved being around to share in those early days as they settle into a new life as Mam and Dad. I am going to be Abuela, the Spanish for grandmother.
Life goes on elsewhere and I had a great day in York with a group of dear friends and we went
to the Rose pop-up theatre to see Romeo and Juliet. Not the best I have seen but a good day out. Amy and I had a birthday day out in Newcastle, firstly lunch at Panis and then a matinee at the Theatre Royal, Dusty the Musical. A fabulous show but the theatre now is eye wateringly expensive.
July we set off for our second stint of house sitting at Kirknewton, the place is becoming a second home!! This time it was for two weeks while Hugh and Jill went off to France. We enjoyed the big house and the space in the garden, including picking fresh raspberries and blackcurrants. We had said yes to this housesit because it allowed us to go to the fringe and Amy came up to stay for a few days. Chris stayed and looked after the dogs while we swanned around Edinburgh. I met her from the train and we saw the Big Time with some friend’s of Amy performing and then back to Kirknewton.
we had tickets for David O’Docherty, a comedian, and he was brilliant. Friday we were up and out early to see “Shakespeare for breakfast” a hilarious version of Taming of the Shrew. The least said about the Simon Callow De Profundus the better and he was at the next table to us for lunch which just added to the disappointment. It was great few days and Amy commits a huge amount of time to the local theatre it was good to see her enjoy the work of others.
August and back to Jarrow to see a big change in Finn and happy to be able to help out, although conscious that I would be leaving again soon!! We had a nice Sunday lunch with Chris’ sister, his aunty Pat and a friend Ellie who were visiting from Totton.
Chris had his 65th
birthday in April, and became a UK pensioner. Originally he was going to be diving in Indonesia on his birthday but the small matter of a knee replacement got in the way... So as way of compensation I booked a trip to Edinburgh to see the Tattoo and we had a great two days, we travelled up on the train and stayed at the Royal Scots Club. The city was buzzing with the festivals and despite rain during the day it was dry for the performance. We had a fabulous night and, despite my dislike of the bagpipes, I thoroughly enjoyed it. We had two delicious veggie lunches at Henderson’s, enjoyed two comedy shows and the whole trip was great fun. It would have been impossible before his operation and his new knee is doing well.
I had two opportunities to catch up with my friend Julie, firstly with my two girls and Finn when we had breakfast at the coast and then with her family at her new house in Whitburn. She seems so settled and happy with her girls and Nick and not forgetting Teddy their dog!! She was besotted with Finnlay.
As my departure was approaching I made Sunday lunch at Imogen and Keith’s house, ably assisted by Amy. It was a celebration of Imogen’s birthday and a farewell from me. Still time for a day out with Chris, we walked South Shields to Sunderland along the coast, a 10 mile walk which was a good test for his knee and we can resume walking together when we go back to Spain.
We left the North East on Wednesday 29th
August and set sail from Hull to Rotterdam. I am leaving knowing that Amy is doing well and enjoying her job. Imogen and Keith are setting into their life as a new family and are proud parents of the gorgeous Finnlay. He is eight weeks old now and has already been to 3 rugby games!! I hope for a steady stream of photos until he comes to visit in October with his Mam and Dad and Aunty Amy
So till next time and our Benelux trip.
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