It's not everyday you have a 50th wedding anniversary. So we had several days on a farm in Northumberland. With Joan and Big Dave.
Specifically Alnmouth. We come here regularly. It's famous for, and became rich by processing guano. Also on Portillo recently as a well-known skiff-rowing centre. We like the beaches and the pubs. There is a pleasant coffee shop and gallery, but you have to drink outside. Twice we've stayed in a converted 4-storey warehouse, the grounds of which are now a building site. Whittling House was a lovely place to mark our day. Nice also just for a drink.
Pilgrimage to Barter Books. Not a hushed hallowed library, but a bustling business. Converted Alnwick railway terminus. The town was far from shut. We supermarket shopped, gallery shopped and coffee shopped. No castle or garden visit.
Muddy tracks, smelly barns and cows, hedgerows, path excavators for the shepherd huts, extremely pleasant and helpful Jackson family - Brian, Dorothy and daughter Catherine. Fields of stuff starting to come up. Hares abound and poachers with their guns and four track vehicles. Politely asked to leave after phone calls to neighbours. Seven farm cottages for let. Brian gave a tour of the two shepherd huts which will be snug - work in progress. Stunning views. There's even a holiday let on the main street with a white bay window.
The highlight of our week, more a low light, was a power cut. Two days following a severe storm and felled electric poles. Weather stunning otherwise. The wood-burning stove was a life-saver. Catherine was still on and cooked our fish pie. Otherwise cold compilations. Brian and Dorothy supplied torches and candles. Joan and Sheila purchased 100 tea lights - why?
Amble is as tired as any town centre, apart from Alnwick. Amble's pop-up market round the harbour still thrives. Bought some lego for Jenson. Raft of pint thirds (gills) of beer varieties with lunch.
Just great. We wouldn't want it any different.
Back home we celebrated with Andrew.