During this brief visit back to England we dashed up to the north east, the day after we arrived back in Yorkshire. A year ago, Mark had bought tickets for the first 2 days of the Ashes test match in Durham, and had booked 3 nights at Lumley castle Hotel, which overlooks the Riverside cricket stadium in Chester-le-St.
|Lumley Castle Hotel, Co. Durham|
Before the cricket even started, we had dinner at the castle, with my cousin Audrey and her husband Len. I was their bridesmaid 54 years ago !
|Me, in 1960, behind my cousin Cindy, at cousin Audrey's wedding|
|Bathroom, equipped with plastic old masters|
|The hotel reception|
The cricket was, as always, like a game of chess. We only had tickets for the first 2 days, and things moved slowly, but I am genuinely interested in the way a test match develops, and am very happy to watch hours and hours of not a lot happening. The crowd is always worth watching anyway!
|Legends: Michael Holding and Ian Botham|
|This is what cricket is all about|
|Men in shark suits......of course.|
|Men......of course.....no idea what they were supposed to be dressed as, but they had a good time|
|The crowd, including members of the barmy army , creating a plastic glass stacked snake|
|Me with a couple of Aussie umpires, during the lunch break|
|Boxing kangaroos.....as if you needed telling|
After our 3 nights at Lumley Castle, we headed further north, to Alnwick. We visited the castle there, and were very impressed by the way it has been developed following its Harry Potter fame....as one of the places where much of the Hogwarts action was filmed in the first 2 films. The castle also features in some early Black Adder scenes and in Kevin Costner’s “Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves”
|The entrance to Hogwarts.....I mean, Alnwick Castle|
|Broomstick flying lessons|
(We were interested to learn that in one scene of the Costner film, a baddie is kicked out of a window by Friar Tuck.....the kicking out scene was filmed in Carcassonne, and the scene of the same baddie, landing, having been kicked out of the Carcassonne window, was filmed at Alnwick) .
After a wonderful few hours, when we decided that we must bring the 5 year old grandsons here, we drove a further couple of miles to Alnmouth. Lesley, another of my cousins lives here, and we stayed with her for our last night in the north east. I have met up with her a few times over recent years, but have not seen her husband since their wedding day 40 years ago. We had a few years of gossiping to catch up on.
|The beach at Alnmouth|
|Cousin Lesley and I, 40 years after my last trip to Alnmouth|
|My last trip to Alnmouth, 40 years ago....when Lesley got married. Mum is on her left and I am on her right.|
We returned south, the Ashes Test still continuing at Chester-le-St. As I write this the result is still not clear. Mark has just called through to me ( he is watching it on TV as I type) that it is going to be a “ nail biter”.
So, I think I’d better go back into the living room and bite my nails with him.