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We had a lovely drive out to Hadrian's Wall on Friday, and after a sandwich lunch at the Twice Brewed, we went to Cawfields again.  It's always lovely there, but I made a great effort to walk a couple of hundred yards, with several stops for rest, and was really disappointed to see absolutely no sign of Spring, not a bud, not an unfolding leaf, none of the bunnies who are usually there, nothing at all except for one greater celandine!

Everywhere is brown, like dead grass and I can't believe that nothing's happening at all;  it seems as though the place is frozen into Winter, despite all the lovely weather and higher temperatures we've had recently.  The only sign of life was a pair of pied wagtails and also a pair of Canada Geese, who terrified me by taking off from some hidden place by the water and flying straight over my head, very low, while honking loudly.  Even my lovely robin was missing.

There was some entertainment, though.  A youngish chap walked along the path as though going towards The Wall, then vaulted over the dry-stone wall and started climbing the very precipitous side of the Whin Sill.  He must be very fit because he practically ran up it.  I can remember when I used to be able to do that.........Sigh!

I took some photographs of him standing on the top.  He then descended the other side and made his way round the other side of the quarry to emerge back in the car-park over another dry-stone wall, having made the entire circuit, including the climb in less than 10 minutes.  Maybe Spring is here after all!

Yesterday John and I went to Morrisons and spent a small fortune.  It seemed much pleasanter than usual, no squalling brats, no long strings of Geordie families holding each other's hands and blocking the aisles.  There was a constant procession of young women coming, grabbing a Mother's Day bouquet and leaving immediately.  Not only was it a much pleasanter experience than usual, but I got everything I wanted.

Last night Charles cooked king prawns, chicken and mackerel goujons with lemon, garlic and paprika - absolutely delicious;  we had some of his wonderful chips as well.  I started off a breast of lamb dish with beans, similar to one posted by [Bad username or unknown identity: ramtops,]  in the slow cooker and turned it off at bed time.  At lunchtime today I took the top inch off and degreased it with boiling water in a sieve, then reheated it all and carried on cooking it in the slow cooker for another 6 hours.  It was wonderful!

Oh well!  Work tomorrow,  On Wednesday I have Eileen coming for me to go over the writing group's accounts, as I promised, before she hands them over to someone else.  I shall be so relieved to have finished with the Committee!  Then, sadly, on Thursday I have Gillian's last class.  I should be going to the gym on Friday.  I haven't been for three weeks, what with eye operations, my horrid cold, and then playing hookey to go out for the day.

Charles was very apologetic because he forgot Mother's Day, but tells me he will make it up to me at a later date!

blackberry444: (Default)
It's been absolutely lovely this afternoon, so Charles and I did our favourite trip to Hadrian's Wall along the Military Road.  The sunshine was that glorious gold of Autumn that gilds everything when it gets low in the sky and the trees are starting to change colour and drop their leaves.

We did a bit of a detour via Stamfordham and Matfen and then drove straight to Cawfields where there were very few cars and only a handful of people.

It's so deeply peaceful and quiet there.  I think it's one of Charles favourite places when there aren't too many people there.  I quite surprised myself because before we left home, I thought I wouldn't try to do any walking since I felt very breathless for a lot of the morning, but by the time I'd driven all the way there, and because Charles won't get out and walk around unless I do, I went for a little womble and ended up climbing higher than I've been able to get for the last year.  I climbed up here

It doesn't look very high, and it isn't high at all really, but it's a giant step for me!

It's actually at the top of the bank on the middle right of this photo.

I had to keep stopping to have a rest, but I finally got up there.  I couldn't do that last time I went there with my Sis.

I took some photos for the 100_snapshots challenge, but I left the piece of paper behind.  I was sure there must be a category of "Deep", so I took this photograph, only to find out that it's not one of the categories after all.

As we drove back there was a perfect picture to represent "Road" with a sunny evening view to the East along the A69 with the wonderful scenery and the sun behind us, and just above the horizon there was a huge faint moon hanging in the sky.  Unfortunately I can't drive and take photographs at the same time.  I bet I never see it just like that again!
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It was such a lovely day today, and as we did so well yesterday with the clearing out, I decided we deserved a little ride out to The Wall for baguettes and beer at the Twice Brewed.

It was really warm because there was no wind. and it was a perfect day for a ride along the Military Way.

We went to the Twice Brewed Inn and had bacon and mushroom baguettes for John and me and a burger with various trimmings for Charles.  we also had really great Budvar.

The food and the beer was great but the entire experience could have been ruined, first of all by a woman sitting on the next table to us who insisted on discussing every trivial detail of her boring and insignificant life with her companion in one of those VERY LOUD cut-glass accents.  They didn't stay long as they'd only come in for a bowl of soup, but as soon as they left, a large group of friends and family came in, 6 adults with three anklebiters.  They were little girls ranging from about 4 to 6 and they were complete pests.  When they weren't whining, they were cajoling their daddies with the most sickly-sweet little-girl flirting.  It's strange how different their voices were when they were speaking  to their daddies, quite different from the voice they used to each other, or to their mothers.  They never stopped talking and wriggling and I was amazed that 6 grown-ups made no effort at all to keep them quieter than a shriek.

When I got home, I read an article in yesterday's Daily Telegraph about how child-unfriendly this country is and I wondered why anyone was surprised.  I always took Charles everywhere, and he was never allowed to run around and annoy other people or to shriek at the top of his voice;  he didn't seem to want to do so anyway.  Neither did his friends. It's true that everywhere is more child-friendly on the continent, but it's also true that most of these European children aren't rude pests who think everyone should have their attention at all times, and they're treated as part of the family and join in the conversation, rather than being ignored while their parents chat.  They also eat the same food as the grow-ups rather than having plates of the horrible muck deemed fit for children in many places in this country.

We managed to have a good time anyway but it would have been much better with less showing off from these little girls, who almost seemed to be trying to attract our attention to how cute they are.

Afterwards we went to Cawfields and I had a gentle stroll with Charles around the quarry.  I hardly got breathless at all and I didn't have to sit down, which was just as well, as there were no seats.  I did stop and lean on the wall a few times, though.  We saw lots of happy bunnies wiffling their noses and chomping on grass and wild flowers.  They were hardly wild at all.  There were lots of wildflowers, but hardly any insects.  I would have expected to see dragonflies in such a place, but there were none.  Maybe the water's just too deep and cold.

It was so sunny and bright and so warm and pleasant without being too hot.  Why can't all summer days be like that?  Unfortunately we had to come back earlier than we'd planned because John got a call for his regular Friday run to Peterborough and had to pick the papers up in Newcastle before 5.00 pm.

None of us felt like a proper evening meal, so I just had a salad sandwich and a sugar-free ice-lolly.  Charles had cheese on toast, and I suspect that John had a pork pie. I do wish that left to themselves, they would occasionally choose a healthier option.

I was planning to get on with the clearing out tomorrow, but I can't do it on my own because I can't lift anything much, and Charles is also going out, to his differently-sane music group, so I think I shall go to the linen warehouse and buy a couple of new pillows and then go to see if Community Furniture has a small chest of drawers I can buy.  Or, if it's really nice, maybe I'll go to Hexham Herbs!!  That's a good idea!

I've been feeling so  much better during the last few days, even the AF seems to be getting better, although, I think I shall probably need some extra medication to get it back as it was 8 months ago.  I'm pretty sure that a large part of the reason I feel so much better is because I got the car park accident thing over and done with.  I felt all along that if I could stop feeling so terribly anxious, whether the anxiety was rational or not, I would start to get better.  And frankly, it was worth the money for me to feel so much better.  I don't think anyone but Charles really understands what it's like to have  that kind of irrational anxiety, and he understands because he has it himself a lot of the time, poor chap!

We've all had a really nice day, on the whole, and it seems as though we're going to get at least a couple more days of nice weather.  That will be the summer, then!


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