Elaine’s Cuppa Cake

Elaine’s already gotta place to land when she gets to Scotland!

Our favourite Tottenham Riviera blogger elaine4queen has been threatening to move to Scotland, so I happened upon the perfect place for her. Her own café. Where we can all go and be sweary and inappropriate. As we are wont to do.

This isn’t easy – all this blogging. To be honest, I’ve never been a daily blogger. Well, there was a time I wrote a post everyday on my teablog, and that was enjoyable. Was even travelling a lot at the time, and wrote about tea drinking in Vienna and Hamburg and whatnot. I’m not against daily blogging in theory, but it’s really difficult to be out there living and documenting it simultaneously.

Lately, when faced with the choice, I’ve gone with the ‘focus on the life swirling round you‘ approach, and have taken sporadic notes along the way. At some point, I’ll get round to actually making those into blogposts.

There’s a great place where we stayed right outside of Durham, and I’d like to finally write a bit about the Lambton Hounds Inn, which is in the curiously named neighbourhood of ‘Pity Me‘. I mentioned in my last blogpost, and I assure you I’ve not forgotten it.

And then Fafa, which is my mother’s childhood nickname, and I went on to Lindisfarne in Northumbria. That’s worthy of at least three blogposts right there. One of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. And if you know me even a little, you know I’ve been a lot of places.

Here’s a taste of what’s ahead:

Everybody goin’ to the castle on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne…

Then we went to another castle that someone told us was involved in the filming of all of that Harry Potter nonsense, but when we got there, they were having a wedding and the place was closed off to visitors.

Turns out Bamburgh Castle has no connection whatsoever to the filming of those books that I’ve not yet read, but I suppose I will at some point. *sigh*

Mother claiming Bamburgh Castle for her own!

So, that’s a taste of what’s to come…aren’t you excited? Here’s your not-quite-humble-enough blogger at the same castle:

One of the few times you’ll see ol’ Lahikmajoe in less than formal attire.

seeking refuge wherever they’ll have me

A table for sacrificial offerings at Durham Catherdral

Here’s Durham Catherdral, which is one of the most beautiful examples of Norman (Romanesque) architecture in the world.

Pay attention to the directions and what not…

1093? Really? Goodness me, that’s old.

Knocking at the door for sanctuary…not easy being a fugitive

Durham Cathedral was famous across England for being an official place of sanctuary for fugitives, such as myself. What a relief to know I could show up, knock on the door with this gargantuan knocker, and be granted 37 days in order to decide whether I wanted to stand trial or get the hell out of Dodge.

If you decided not to stand trial, you had to leave the country immediately from the nearest port, in this case normally Newcastle.

Familar name, eh? Yes, that Washington…his family was from this region.

The Washington family came from near Durham. I like the way this plaque is worded.

‘…whose family has won an everlasting name in lands to him unknown.’

You know who they’re talking about, right? One of the American presidents (the first one) had the same name, which is convenient because it happened to be his family. This is where George Washington comes from.

The cloisters…

Took so many photos of this, and I’m not really happy with any shot I got. This is the least bad one of many quite dreadful ones. You’re welcome.

Looking through the break in the wall at one of the wings of the Cathedral.

If this reminds you at all of Notre Dame in Paris, it’s the same style of architecture. It’s quite an engineeering marvel, but let me let Wikipedia explain that part:

The building is notable for the ribbed vault of the nave roof, with pointed transverse arches supported on relatively slender composite piers alternated with massive drum columns, and flying buttresses or lateral abutments concealed within the triforiumover the aisles. These features appear to be precursors of the Gothic architecture of Northern France a few decades later, doubtless due to the Norman stonemasons responsible, although the building is considered Romanesque overall. The skilled use of the pointed arch and ribbed vault made it possible to cover far more elaborate and complicated ground plans than before. Buttressing made it possible to build taller buildings and open up the intervening wall spaces to create larger windows.

I’m fascinated with how light streams into a room. Perhaps I’m a bit feline in this way, but even as a young child I could sit for long stretches of time watching sunbeams. I’m reminded of Sunday mornings before everyone was herded into the car to go to church, when sometimes I was ready early and could just sit and daydream. Many people light a candle when they meditate. Although I’m not against that, a beam of sunlight does the trick for the likes of me.

lonely window in the tower

This is the sort of photo that I’m sure would be dramatically better had I a better camera and had spent some time actually learning how to use it.

Atop the Cathedral tower…

Here’s what it looks like from up there…or did the other day when I was there.

Looking down from the tower…

Lots of construction…good on them for biting the bullet in times of financial insecurity.

The River Wear gave me so many photo opportunities. I liked the way the water and the church looked together.

It’s taken me a few days to publish this post. Not because I did a tonne of research or anything. It’s just that each new day, Fafa (my mother) and I get back on the trail and see new things.

What do you have to look forward to in the coming days? Well, the neighbourhood we stayed in in Durham is called ‘Pity Me‘, which sounded curious to me. I did a bit of proper research, and I’m rather certain you’ll enjoy what I found.

Then we went to Lindisfarne, which quite honestly is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. There’s something to look forward to, isn’t it? I’ll get to that soon enough. This is enough for one day, don’t you think?

Because they won’t allow photos of the interior, this is all I can show you of the church.

for the love of train travel

Taking the train…

 

Fafa on the train…

 

The train station in Durham

 

Poppet and Elaine…on a train. A proper train, mind you.

 

The Dammtor in Hamburg
The train to the Zugspitze

 

Ella and Louis on the U-Bahn in Munich

 

Cottbus fans on the way to see their team play in Regensburg, and they’ve wrapped Ella and Louis in their team’s scarves.

 

Doing #DangerPanda on the train…an ICE train in Germany if you were wondering.

 

 

 

 

 

 

maybe I’ll retire to Scotland…

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Well, this is exactly what I was afraid of. ‘MIGRANTS RUSH TO GET OUR JOBS’, indeed.

Had a very odd experience on the train from York to Durham yesterday, and it’s had me thinking ever since. There was a young man sat opposite my mother and me, and he had a series of long conversations with both his girlfriend and his mother on his mobile telephone.

To the latter he insisted that he hadn’t broken up with his love interest, but that she had decided that they needed to ‘…take a small break‘ from the relationship. When he spoke with the former, he pleaded with her that although he’d been a scoundrel, she was the best thing that ever happened to him and really ending things would be a setback he couldn’t fully accept.

His answer to the whole predicament was that they take that little break from the relationship that he’d mentioned to his mother. At least that’d buy him a bit of time until he figured out what might come next. To his way of thinking, this was the only rational solution.

Despite the fact that we could only hear half of the conversation, my mother and I decided afterwards that the young lady was having none of it and had finally wised up. He wasn’t handling defeat well, at all.

What does any of this have to do with those MIGRANTS taking our jobs? Well, at some point in the conversation, we indicated that we might be going to Scotland. He insisted that he loved it there, and that he’d always thought he might move to Scotland when he retires.

Afterwards, my mother was perplexed at what he thought retirement was going to look like. He was in his early 30s and quite freely admitted that he hadn’t been able to hold a job for more than a decade.

I suppose he’d be angry about those pesky MIGRANTS and their job stealing, but I guess he might need a job first before he can get bent out of shape about it having been stolen from him.