Summer Holiday - Day 2
After waking up into Durham the first part of the journey took us past the Angel Of The North and then on to Alnwick. It's a lovely town and has a fantastic castle. But the big draw of it was that it was the sight of the flying lessons at Hogwarts in the first Harry Potter movie. We neglected to tell Molly this and were rewarded by what will surely be the moment of the holiday. She gets inside, looks around at the batlements and does a double take. "It's Hogwarts. You've brought me to Hogwarts." Perfection.
After a full day at Alnwick it was a quick drive to Wooler. The nearest we're going to get on this trip to old style Youth Hosteling. It's only a two star and frankly, it shows. A very basic hostel but nice enough. No TV, no Internet (disappointments for first molly and then me. Very sad.) but the room's okay and the welcome was warm and friendly. Not so Wooler itself, which played host to a weekend festival and a wedding judging by the number of pissed morons in dress suits we saw around the town tonight. I can't honestly imagine this is what it's like usually, but we'll find out soon enough tomorrow.
The strangest thing about the Youth Hostel experience is the threat of being curfewed. We're told on the instructions in the room that the place is locked at 11, the reception shuts at 10 and we're expected to be very, very quiet after 11:30. in fact it could be read that we're all expected to be asleep in our beds at 11:30 because the impression is that noise and lights after this time would be a very bad thing indeed. Luckily, they seem to not follow up what they write. Because I'm sat in the common room now, writing this at 11:30. I may head outside in a moment for the last of the day and then, amazingly, head off to bed. This is practically unheard of for me. I may even be asleep before midnight at this rate and certainly would expect to be out by 1am. See, miracles do happen. This is probably to do more with the fact that there's absolutely nothing to distract me here, no noise, no TV, no music, no radio. Just peace and quiet aside from the incessant tap, tap, tap of me on the keyboard. I've even got the work done that I had planned for tonight; finished and polished a review of Demo and done a first draft of Andi Watson's Princess at Midnight review. So once I finish the little daily log I'm doing of holiday stuff (this here in fact) I shall be off.
Summer Holiday 2008: Day 3:
Strange thing about Wooler. It's seemingly full of little chavs. The high street tonight was teeming with the little things, all shellsuited up and dragging both jewellery and knuckles along with them. It seems the countryside isn't immune to this particular modern disease after all. We'll be returning to Pocklington and rejoicing in our relative chav-less town. Sure, there's one or two. But they're more the village idiot than any real threat to town life like these morons in Wooler appear to be.
All weekend we've heard reports of a coastal mist engulfing the North-East. Today we saw it up close. Which was about all we did see at times. very strange indeed.
The plan was to head out to the Farne Islands by boat, but as visibility was down to "I can barely see the car in front" we gave that up as a bad job and headed for Holy Island. Of course, we all know it far better as Lindisfarne. I have no idea when or why they changed the name, but it's Holy Island now. Of course, we got there and then read the tide times. If we'd have done it earlier we'd have saved ourselves the trip, as the causway leading to the island goes under at high tide and we had until mid afternoon before we could make our way across.
In the meantime we headed to Bamburgh castle. Lovely. Great castle. Afterwards it was off to explore the fantastic dunes that the castle overlooks. A real sense of nostalgia here, memories of childhoods gone by, because no matter where we went we always seemed to find some extensive dunes to play in. Which is what we did. Running down a huge sand dune is one of the finer experiences in life:
Lindisfarne was finally open by the time we got back. Granted, there's not really anything to justify the passage there, but we enjoyed the crossing and having a look round the village and the old Priory just like the hundreds of other tourists who were there. It must be very strange living and working there to be able to predict so accurately when the place will be busy just by looking at the tide times. A nightmare for scheduling shift work in the many cafes and tea rooms I'm sure. Molly enjoyed the maize maze. 13 out of 15 clues were found before we realised that we'd need to find the exit before the car's time on the car park and out time with a dry causeway ran out. Not bad though.
Northumberland 2008 - start here.