Scarborough break - it helped to come round a bit from Covid

Scarborough to try and recover from covid. Improving but not back to normal. Is there such a thing after lockdown? The pandemic is not over, just hiding from us anyway - due our fourth jab soon.

The kids soon took over the flat. Had to relearn how to fold up the tent - must be the fifth or sixth time. We walked and walked, so ok up to mid afternoon. Emily and her little legs were fantastic. How many miles and stairs can you do in 3 days? We did well for weather. And lots of things to do. And the bus up to the north.
Jenson and Louise enjoy the cafe together, so we tried it - great, breakfast toastie £5. Not sure about the bloke on the beach.

Sea Life centre is expensive. Try and catch the short talks and feeding sessions. Makes the wallet more comfortable. The otters were our pick. Must have had a couple of hours there.

Emily does love a beach event with sandcastle. And walking in the sea in her wellies. And a visit to The Clock cafe. The tunnel connects the two halves of the gardens - the south cliff lift cut them in half with no connection. 'The tunnel is just five metres long and two metres high - but it will become a fully accessible route that will cut an entire mile off the present journey between the two halves of the South Cliff Gardens.' (Scarborough News). I'm not convinced it's a mile.

So Scarborough has plenty to do and is a great place to get relieved of a big wad of cash. The bus along the front is still the same price.

I visited Farrar's, the bar at the spa, and had a pint of the local brew. I asked the barmaid what it was, "a nail" was her reply. Bemused, dropped jaw followed by dropped penny, "An ale".

Jenson looked out over the bay at high tide. "Where's the beach gone?" He answered "The ocean's stolen it."

Now geriatric - it's official. Older people make the best of it.

April has been somewhat of a disaster, starting with Covid. Both lethargic for a couple of weeks, especially in the middle of the afternoon. We are now both over 75, so a quick post-lunch zzz is ok.
I still have a strange sensation in my mouth, but taste is back. Something to do with my bright or otherwise remarks.
  Then last week, gastroenteritis. Horrid 48 hours.
  Sandwiching a great week in Scarborough - see next blog.

Snatching what time we had in the good weather. Variety of seating and bulbs. Turned back to winter today.
The frog comes out for a sunbathe on warm days. We've had a male pheasant for a while. First time for a female. Must be related.

The birthday alien outside his new shed. Already serious scalp abrasions, so Jenson crafted a warning notice and the family bought me a crash hat. Perfect.

Greg's card is my pick. Thanks to everyone.

So the new shed. Old fart's delight. The old plastic garden store blew away in storm whatsit. Same one that turned the lights out in Alnmouth. 

Shelving from James Walsh. Too high, now minus the top one which has plants on.

Pockets from our defunct camping equipment. Helmet from the Bancrofts. Also sign from Emily - 'My shed, my rules'.

Carol Midgley. Times, April 23. Not one for new age approach to getting older, she is having a rethink after Corrie's William Roach approaches 90.

 pic from the Sun

Inspiring older people - maybe not

Aged p's join the mosh pit whilst uncle four stripes babysits the house. Well the golf was on with a Guinness fridge. We hit the Heather Small gig.

Heather Small. Picturedrome. Always liked her in M People and with her first husband, Sean Edwards. It will be the last gig we do. Buxton Opera House or Manchester Arena/Bridgewater Hall preferred. 

  No seating in the stalls, all mosh pit. Quadriceps work out, standing for two and a half hours. Hot, drenched in sweat.

  The first note, so-called intro, punched us hard in the chest. Bass, drums or keyboard. Then so loud. Couldn't hear the words, but it didn't matter because everybody else knew them.

  Several other couples our vintage. Stood watching, listening. The rest just went mad. Jumping, arms in the air, hair flying, bumping into everyone. Not offensive, just enjoying themselves.

  Nearly as bad as being at a match with All Black rugby supporters, but not quite. They can be offensive.

  Somewhere we were searching for heroes and wondering what we did today. Quite an experience and fun, really.

  A couple of nips with Chris watching the final holes.

Another not 300 mile walk, scavenger, role model?

So we went on another one


Roger Daltry looks bemused. Nina Myskow writes about him in the Times, March 19th. 78 years old and nearly shares our 50th anniversary year. Keith Moon (32) and John Entwistle (57) have passed. Roger and Pete Townsend left. Teenage Cancer Trust is a great fund raising mission. Outrageous, maybe correct, things to say about BBC and politicians. I couldn't possibly repeat. 8 children, ranging from 41 to 58. The tours are long and arduous.
  'Years don't mean much to me. It's the life you live.'
  On funerals, 'everyone turns up and says nice things ...  pub ... everyone is glad to be alive and goes home happy'. Not for him, 'paper bag up the dump.'

Anyone see the series on ageing rockers who played the Isle of Wight? Rock til You Drop. Age is no barrier to going for your dreams. One of the bassists asked "Is your life plan A plan B? Mine has always been B - this is my chance to change to A".

What will they say about you at your funeral? It's tempting to write your own, but it might also be tempting fate. Better than some of the bland vicars I've listened to.

Can you bear a random pic?

From the archive, Times Feb 26th.
May 5th, 1954. I was 7, but it's one of those rugby legends. 120,000 fans or so they say watched a replay of the drawn Wembley final. Warrington vs Halifax.
Ex-pro landlord of The Three Crowns at Scouthead, near Oldham, was Ray Hicks, coach of Saddleworth Rangers. We used to drink there with old warhorses Hardaker and Roly Lloyd. When the traffic moved around Odsal, an hour later it moved outside the pub, so they said.

Fartown beat Wakefield here
in the championship play off 1962. We ran on the pitch with an inflated Yogi Bear dressed in a Fartown shirt. I grudgingly admit losing in the Wembley final.


April random thoughts about walking in Spring


Spring and Lent and all things fresh


Peta Bee, the Times exercise queen, March19th, at it again. Walking. Blast fat, live longer, keep ageing in check, including dementia. She's fit.

Walking fast (100 steps per minute), add top speed intervals, do hills, carry weights, aim for 12000 steps a day. 

The important one for me is walk in nature. Stepping patterns improve when we like where we are. I call it getting a spring in my heels. We do know however some like to walk on pavements.

So we went for one. Spring was late, early April.

The date said spring
the snow hills whispered winter
cold as unseen ice, silent blind sun
lone duck shivered on still mill pond

Even Credo is getting into the walking act, Pete Greig, Times, April 2nd.
Not necessarily about exercise, more self-discovery, three weeks walking 300 miles between Iona and Lindisfarne. Nothing to prove, nobody to impress, wild camping, walking in the rain, Pete listens to God and realises He is everywhere present. No need to travel 300 miles. 

Through walking, silence and solitude, he comes to terms with who he is. Or gives it his best shot.

He quotes TS Eliot, 'Little Gidding'.
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time

This is available to all, religious or not. Simon Barnes and I recommend the sit for everyday reflection. The deeper 'who am I' is tough and tortuous. I came to it through study of our billion year emotional evolution. 

Ah Peta.