Tuesday, 31 May 2022

My Brother-in-law Kev Booth

We met today and listened to his life, celebrated his life and laid him to rest. 

Life is not all roses and adventures but the big picture should be life is love and happiness.  I'm so pleased to know that in life Kev had both in abundance sprinkled with another essential ingredient  - laughter. It is clear to all that knew him he could find humour in the most interesting of places. 

Our lives can easily be dominated by the mundane the sad and boring but look for the fun, look for the laughter and you will be on a road to a happy life. I know Kev was a joker ( he supported Stoke city after all), he liked a pint or two and he loved my sister. Now that is the most important part - he gave Trish 26 years of love adventure fun and laughter. I can't ask for much more in a brother in law and I'll be forever grateful for that.

Rest in peace Kev be assured if there is ever Peddy at the pumps I'll take a pint and raise the glass to you looking down on me and finding fun in what I'm doing.

... and don't worry mate we are family and we will always be there for Trish.

Sunday, 29 May 2022

Quite special to realise ambitions

Rachel has long harboured an ambition to cycle Hadrians wall. In doing so to also cycle right across Britain from coast to coast. No small ambition for someone who does not regularly cycle but rather leisure cycles as and when.

She (we) achieved that ambition today when we finished our cycling holiday by cycling from Ryton through Newcastle and finally via some quite interesting industrial history arrived at Tynemouth 110 miles  from Bowness on Solway where we started under a week ago. 

If you can follow and realise those dreams, do so 100%  - don't let them out of your sight, life is fleeting embrace it a live it.

Saturday, 28 May 2022

The Tyne valley - quite lovely

The river Tyne surfaces in the Northumbrian hills and makes its way to the North Sea via Tynemouth where we hopefully will be tomorrow afternoon. Much of today was following the river as it got wider and wider and we were on quiet lanes and towards the end a lovely Sustrans Tyne valley park cycle way to our final night in a lovely hotel in Ryton. 

This morning we set off at a very leisurely pace as we had an easy day miles and climb wise. Corbridge is a very nice town, obviously well to do. We cycled around it and got a coffee and a picnic for later in a very nice coffee shop. We then just sat and watched the world go by. 

Harvesting the Tyne - Professional style.

Sustrans Route 72 ( Hadrians Wall ) is very well planned to keep the cyclist off the main routes and it picks its way down some lovely lanes heading towards Newcastle. Following the river it also stays quite flat which is a good thing for our legs.

We came into Prudhoe and noticed the castle. We crossed the Tyne again and had our picnic before climbing a steep hill to visit the English Heritage Prudhoe castle.

Then a lovely ride along the river path to our final hotel for the evening. We passed George Stevensons birthplace that is a National Trust property which is sadly closed at the moment. It does look like someone is living there however ! 

Finished the evening off with a nice meal and entertainment from a singer in the restaurant who was quite entertaining.

Tomorrow we cycle to the North sea …..

Friday, 27 May 2022

Quite some 10 miles

I’ve ridden cycles  all my life from teenager to now. London to Brighton, London to Derby ( my pb for distance 115 miles in a day) Manchester to Blackpool and loads of miles in Derbyshire and beyond. Today we had a 10 mile run from the highest point of Hadrian’s wall into Hexam that was quite the best cycling or more to the point freewheeling ! 

Anyhow before that we cycled from our Twice brewed inn ( lovely) of last night to Steel Rigg to walk the wall to the “Sycamore gap tree” apparently the most photographed tree in the country. 

It was quite a hike to get these pictures, I’d love to come back and take some at night with a clear sky in the background …..

The accent and decent was steep…

The Twice brewed inn, a good place to stop 

After our cycling to Steel Rigg, then walking to the gap we rode to the largest Roman fort on the wall ( or just below it ) at Vindolanda. A very large uncovered fort showing all the buildings with a great museum (I am sure you didn’t know I am a published author on Roman architecture - isbn and all !! ) a lovely few hours of education and information. 

On leaving via a small lane we had to manhandle our bikes past a stand off  on a steep hill between a UK motor home ( downhill) and a German car coming uphill…. They could still be there ! 

Then it was a mean climb to the highest point on the trip and Hadrian’s wall 

But from this point on it was a magical 10 mile decent into Hexam with a 20 mile and hour westerly wind on our backs all the way…. Quite the best cycling I’ve done in many many years 

We were routed via the river and railway through and out of Hexam over the River Tyne and onto our destination for tonight in Corbridge….a lovely Roman  town that we explored after our evening meal.

A lovely day or exploring walking and cycling 

Thursday, 26 May 2022

Twice brewed ….

 …is where we are staying tonight. Today was out longest distance day in miles and altitude terms. 

Yes the last couple of miles felt that steep 

Started out wet again so we were pleased to reach our first stop for coffee and cake and a look around Lanercost Priory. 

By the time we had set off again it had stopped raining so we made good progress to the Cumbria/Northumbria boarder where we crossed into Northumbria to cross back to a cafe in Cumbria. 

We were also cycling the wall now ….

Cumbria weather 
Northumbria weather 

Ok last of the weather stuff….after a soup lunch ( cycling don’t half burn some calories)  We then had a lovely ride in some isolated country until we came to a farmer who waved us down and asked us to wait for his cows ….

He was an interesting fella who we (I) chatted to for far too long. A chance meeting long to be remembered.

Then the route got a bit mean in altitude terms especially as on a few turns we were cycling into the wind and my panniers were like air brakes up the hills ( my excuse). Worth the views and soon we were getting a warm welcome in the Twice a brewed inn…. We have cycled up an appetite. 

Tomorrow we hit the summit  of Hadrian’s wall but we will sleep well tonight ! 

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Heading to isolation, but not yet

We had a beautiful meal last night at our guest house. Yvette and Norman who run the Langley in Carlisle        are a lovely and interesting couple. Plenty of stories told and listen to. I do hope their plans to retire come soon, life doesn’t wait for you.

We delayed our leaving with a walk to the museum and castle ( visiting the former). Our hosts were happy to hold onto our bikes until our return.

Weather forecast checked we were off following the river Eden out of Carlisle on Sustrans route 72 … quite lovely as my sister would say. 

We had ordered a packed lunch which was large more like a picnic that Yvette had prepared for us. So at Linstock we stopped for our picnic in a bus shelter …. Then the unpromised rain came ! Lucky we had time to sit it out and set off in the dry following some quite roads and lanes  

The route swished and turned in some lovely Cumbrian farmland but we started to notice on certain switch  backs there was a large bank of cloud following us on the brisk westerly wind that was giving us a welcome push alone most of the roads. At Hayron it caught us up and we sought the protection of a lovely copper Beech tree to don waterproofs ….

By the time we had our waterproofs on the sun was out taking the micky! 

It was then a three incline ride up to Brampton to our lovely accommodation- the Scotch Arms Mews.

Meal then back to the honesty bar for a nightcap and this update.
Tomorrow is the longest day miles and climb wise 22 miles and 2200 feet of accent to Twice Brewed (nice name). It’s supposed to be quite isolated and where the Sycamore gap tree is. Hopefully get the drone up tomorrow.