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Published: February 22nd 2013
Hello fellow blog-meisters.
Just over an hour north of London by plane is the sparsly populated border county of Northumberland and the pretty town of Alnwick (pronounced, "Annick"). This is where Dave grew up! Quaint fishing villages cling to the edge of the rugged coast, small farms and market towns are dotted throughout the hilly interior, and fancy-schmansy X-ray machines have private rooms in the hospitals.
Theresa's foot needs some TLC but will recover in time for the next adventure (yup, already planning the next one...).
We spent Christmas and New Year with family. It was also the wettest December (and year) since sometime in the 1800s and neither of us have any reason to disagree with those rainfall records! Many raindrops fell upon us and a lot of towns were flooded, rail-lines were washed out and countless fields had turned to mud. However we did still get outside and explore a little bit of the countryside and beaches. There were a few non-rainy days (i.e., days when it only rained for about 23 hours) and it was actually quite mild, although the wind kept a chill in the air.
We spent many days wandering the beaches
and rocks of the Northumberland coast and took in the fresh sea air and watched countless seabirds frolic on the cliffs.
Miles of golden sand and grassy dunes line the beaches to the south, and they are a delight to walk on. The wind howls in your face and you occasionally get pelted by liquid missiles which come from all directions (including upwards, which is peculiar!)
After exploring a small nook in the rocks, Alfie (the dog) decided to roll around on a seal carcass that lay rotting on the beach - none of us were impressed by this. However, Alfie was in his glory and probably had no idea why we were fussing over such an attractive perfume. Keith (Dave's brother) threw Alfie into the sea water several times in a feeble attempt to get rid of the putrid stench. Alfie doesn't like going in the water on his own... But his happy-go-lucky personality continued as we plodged along. During our walk back towards the car we got the occasional whiff of the smelly canine and by the time we were all settled in the car we got the full brunt of it... It wasn't a long
drive back to town but there were dry heaves and panicked looks to get all the windows wound down before there was a pukefest on our hands... Dead marine mammals! Ripe!
We enjoyed Dave's mother's homemade delights of shepherd's pie, chocolate cake, sweetmince pies, Christmas cake and many other splendid dishes. We also caught up on the two new additions to the family. Theresa entertained the younglings with puppet making, drawing and colouring and Dave read a few stories - some of the favourite things to do on the rainy days.
We found it quite difficult to write and blog about an area that is so familiar to us, and this was really a family visit as opposed to travel, but nevertheless, it is nice to share some stories and pictures...
We also spent a lot of time time talking about the logistics of loading pallets and shrink-wrapping?!
"How many boxes can we get on a 4 foot by 4 foot pallet?" We'd ask each other.
"How will we get the pallet onto a truck?"
Anyway, that's another story, and it likely will not be of much interest!
We did change our travel
plans this time and flew back across the pond to Canada much earlier than expected. We emptied out our storage unit in Sioux Lookout and shipped the remaining contents up the rails to Churchill. We are now enjoying the fact that all of our belongings are now in one place. We are also loving the frozen north and its chilling appeal. Sun dogs, northern lights, white ptarmigans, snowshoeing, long underwear, and snow pants are many of the splendid pleasures abound! Not to mention shovelling snow...
The air is very fresh...
Stay tuned for further adventures...
Dave and Theresa...
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