18th October

After yesterday I woke up with the urge to get out and do something today rather than just potter about the house. However I didn’t know what or where I wanted to go! Sarah suggested all the usual places but I didn’t fancy the likes of Bishop Auckland or Durham and Newcastle just seemed too busy. In the end we decided to have a run up to Hexham as we hadn’t been there since we moved here. In fact I’m not entirely sure I’ve ever done anything more than just pass through.

So Ben was in a very grumpy mood having been away for three days at his adventure camp thing so when we said we were going out he threw a wobbly and actually went and hid under his bed! So we asked Lissi if she minded looking after him which meant we had a nice quite afternoon but had to get back in time for Lissi to go to work at 6.

We drove into Hexham and went to find somewhere to park. When we did find the car park it was heaving and we had to drive round for ages before we found somewhere to park. This wasn’t helped by what I think was a piece of dirt in the fuel line that kept causing the car to stall whenever I slowed down! Eventually I did find somewhere and we set off to look round the shops.

There was a tourist information place and we looked in there. I found a book about mushrooms and toadstools that had been reduced to £3 from £9. It was just the right size that it would fit in my bag if I went walking so I decided to buy it. Afterwards we looked around the rest of the town. It reminded me a bit of the old part of Canterbury which I loved and there was a shop we went into called Gaia. This definitely reminded me of a shop in Canterbury – one where I’d bought a thumb piano years ago and this shop was the first one I’d seen that sold them since. Also by a curious coincidence it had one of the postcards we used to have on our bedroom door – one we had also bought in that shop in Canterbury. Sarah pointed out a card about tea which we bought for our kitchen.

After lunch in a local pub which looked as if it had been a theatre or cinema in a previous life we had another look round and Sarah ended up buying a bright pink suitcase in a charity shop for £3. We then had about an hour before we needed to set off home so we drove down to Corbridge and had a wander round there.

Corbridge is a place where I have had a long connection. A friend of my mum’s lived there and we were often coming up to visit her. Her parents used to run one of the pubs in the town and as I pointed out to Sarah it was quite possibly the first place I ever got drunk. I think I was left upstairs watching TV with her son Michael who was older than me and my Dad kept sneaking me a half of lager every now and again. Last time we were here the pub had closed down so it was good to see it open again. I went in to ask about the cost of the carvery and needless to say the inside has changed a lot but I can honestly say I don’t think it has changed the character of the pub too much.

It has been an emotional couple of days with lots of memories so it was no wonder that I crashed out when we got back and when Sarah woke me up I had absolutely no idea where I was, what time it was or anything!

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