Wednesday, July 20, 2005

5/7/05 The Lakes District

Moving house has been weighing on my mind. But now we are all moved down to 141 Dinsdale Rd ( a whole 30 houses down the road) into a town house that is virtually identical to the last place except for minor differences, like there are no leather couches in the lounge, and a banister is missing, and one bathroom is slightly smaller and the other slightly bigger… enough to make the world look a little strange sometimes, like a bad case of dejavu. Gez and Baz have officially moved over here with me.

Chris is still bunking with me and Adrian is staying in Baz's room as Baz is in Teneriffe and India for the next 6 weeks. I don't know what will happen then, they may find somewhere else before going to Europe in September.

The weekend before last Chris and I had a gorgeous weekend in the Lakes District and Lancashire. We hired a car and drove across the country (in 2 hours) to stay with Chris's Aunt Theresa in Lancashire (near Yorkshire and at the bottom of the lakes district) for the Friday night. His two little cousins Emma and Katie (9 and 7) are very cute and it was fun staying in their house in a very small town. Before heading off to Keswick in the Lakes District the next day we visited Chris's grandma who lives nearby. She is originally Polish and was very lovely to us. She did think it was odd that we didn't drink loads of tea… I haven't taken to that famous English past time yet! We stayed in a very cute B&B in Keswick. Keswick was beautiful – the lake with the surrounding mountains and a quaint little town. The weather was just perfect – sunny and up to 25 degrees. I'd had visions of trekking up hills in pouring rain but luckily we had none of that, just me complaining about how high the Catsbells mountains were! Have a look at the pics to see more of us climbing and wandering round the lakes district. On Sunday we drove back to Theresa's via the road through the lakes district. Absolutely gorgeous scenery. Lots of people around too but even that didn't damped how it looked. We stopped at a country pub and shared a Sunday roast. Yummo! I so love the Yorkshire puddings over here. You can buy them frozen and wack them in the over for 4 mins for yummy goodness. One thing that Australia is totally lacking ;) That evening we went to the pub with Theresa and the cousins, and chased a hot air balloon that was frightfully low on our way home. Monday we took Katie for a walk to see another of Ruskin's views by a river in Kirby Lonsdale and then had an ice cream. We then drove back via Barnard Castle, passing by the moors and a few other castles on the way.

13/6/05 Day trip to Tynemouth

I was beginning to think that summer had arrived last week with most days reaching about 17 degrees, and I ditched my coat... But not for long. It turned cold right in time for the weekend. In an attempt to ignore the English weather Chris and I went to Tynemouth (ie (for the non-Englishmen amongst you) mouth of the river Tyne which Newcastle-upon-Tyne is built around). It only took a 1/2 hour on the metro.

There were some cute little markets at the metro station. They were different to Aussie markets, which are usually filled with arts and crafts and food. These markets were filled with old jewelry and books and artefacts like old war uniforms. And there were loads of second hand books which was great, Chris and I picked up a few good ones.

We went along the street and found some ruins. It was a great historical site, with the ruins of a priory (founded in 1090) and a ruined castle which had been attacked by the vikings, medieval Scotland, Napoleon and 20th Century Germany. The site played a part in WWI and WWII as well (hence Chris on the gun :). It was amazing to see so many parts of history in one place.

To get out of the rain and wind we had cake and coffee and a cute pub by the cliff called Gibraltar Rock which was serving up some yummy Sunday lunch too which I'll have to keep in mind.

Chris has a job now working for a small IT development company. He is enjoying working with a small team, and it is located 3 mins walk from my house, which is very handy!

My work is going fine. Quite busy with a new travelling exhibition 'Mars Quest' opening at the end of the week. For the exhibition we've had to create the science content for the supporting material, which has included writing a science show, developing the hands-on activity zone (explozone) and the education workshop, amongst other things. Hopefully it will all go down okay.

Great to hear from some of you. I'm off to the moors for a day trip next weekend, and the weekend after I'm going to the Lakes District with Chris which should be lovely. Hopefully the weather will get a bit warmer!

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