Thursday, 20 August 2009

Matthew in Tynemouth

Matthew has been staying chez Percy Gardens with Grandpa & Granny Pat this week. When he is not playing in the sea, he has been checking out the crazy golf and inspecting Chris Campbell's model railway. "Brilliant - I got to control the trains!" said Grandpa. He also came along to YC's birthday celebrations (21 again) at Il Forno's restaurant in Tynemouth and proceeded to demolish a bowl of olives, a garlic bread, and a pizza. He is clearly his father's son.

playing Tumbledown. YC needs some practice - he kept losing.

Matthew - that's a smart hat, Grandpa. Do you always wear one?
Grandpa - does the Pope have a balcony?

looking for shrimps and crabs with Granny Pat

Monday, 17 August 2009

Lomonds of Fife Hill Race

YC ventured north to the Duff's (allegedly) old ancestral home of the Kingdom of Fife for this hill race. It took him just under 2 hours to run the 11 miles and 3,100 feet of climbing which included ascents of West Lomond (twice) and East Lomond. It also included a frighteningly steep descent from West Lomond. Some runners went down this on their posteriors. Being a man of refinement (naturally), YC eschewed this method, prefering to stay upright. It didn't seem to make much difference how you came down.

YC is delighted to report that his dodgy hamstring held up well to the strain; but not so delighted to report that his ankle is giving him gyp today. Perhaps he is getting old (readers don't have to comment on that one). Fortunately he can still hobble to the pub in order to slake the raging hillrunner's thirst.

at the start with Dave Johnson and John Telfer

heading for East Lomond. Photo courtesy of Steven Fallon.

Fish n Chips and Horrid Henry jokes

YC visited Richard, Charlotte and Walter Cox who are back in the UK on holiday. They had brought with them a new board game - "What a performance" - in which you have to guess what someone else is pretending to be (how good are readers' telephone and fish impressions?) They also had their Horrid Henry joke book which contained delights such as:
Qu: Why did the toilet roll go down the hill?
Ans: It wanted to get to the bottom.
Ho ho.

Here are Charlotte, Richard, and Walter with grandpa John enjoying fish and chips.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

off to London

Emma Duff has moved to London where she is pastoral assistant to a church in West Hampstead for a year. Her church duties include attending morning prayer at 8 am. Being a habitual early riser, she is especially looking forward to this. She signed off from the north east with a quiet evening of prayer and reflection at the Tynemouth Lodge Hotel. Here are a few photos taken by Euan Duff.

Emma - as church warden, I think you should attend morning prayer at Holy Saviours every day at 8 am.
Steve - really, when do you go to London?

Emma - I got a free pint from Hugh tonight. [she did - really]
Liz - I'm relying on Julian for mine.

YC - I don't usually drink beer, so I'm making up for lost time with 2 glasses.

The Canadians are here

Alison & Dan Rasmussen and their daughters Sarah & Kristin have spent an enjoyable couple of days in Tynemouth. They are part of the Canadian branch of the family, and were delighted to find the Ontario flag flying at Percy Gardens. Did readers know that the Canadian national anthem can be sung in French? YC does now that he has heard it performed by Kristen and Sarah.

Here they are at Percy Gardens with Timothy & Pat and Emma. Can readers guess which flag is on display? Hint - it is a letter of the alphabet and Sarah is holding it.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Old Cheviot spotted on Hedgehope

YC went for a run in the upper Ingram Valley today. Parking at Hartside, he ran to Linhope Spout then up Hedgehope via Great Standrop (pictured above). There was hardly anybody about. But he was delighted to meet Old Cheviot en-route. This old fellrunner, veteran of many a Northumberland race, reported that his aged limbs had been playing up of late, curtailing his participation in recent fellraces. However Old Cheviot reported that he was on the road to recovery, and hoped to be at a fellrace ere too long - watch this space.
Old Cheviot went that way...

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Ozymandias of The Pennines (with apologies to Shelley)

YC met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: A walking stick and KIMM sack
Stand in The Pennines. Near them on Meldon Hill,
Half sunk, a shattered trig-point lies, whose stone
And crumbling mortar and view of Cow Green Reservoir
Tell that few walkers venture here;
And on the trig-point these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of walkers,
Look on my peat bogs, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level bogs stretch far away.

For the record, YC added Meldon Hill and Blackstone Edge to his list of 2,000 footers. He thought he had also ticked off Murton Fell. But a later inspection of his guide book revealed that he had climbed the wrong "top" - if the flat peat hags can be so described. So another trip to the lone and level peat bogs beckons.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Congratulations... YC's cousin Katie Walker who has graduated with a 2:1 in human geography from Manchester.

YC is also very keen on geography, being a keen student of weather and map reading for his fellrunning. There is, however, one geographical problem which he has yet to solve: when his beer glass is empty, why is it always his round? Answers please (preferably on a £10 note as a contribution to said round).

Monday, 3 August 2009

Warming up for The Ashes

England are set to unveil their new secret weapon in their bid to reclaim The Ashes. The Australian's current predicament will seem as naught when Timothy and Matthew make their debut at Headingley. Asked what he thought they would bring to the game, Rev T replied: "A certain sartorial style - do you like my hat?". He also added: "Anyone who can catch a ball with Scrumpy snapping at their heels will find the cauldron of pressure in the slips a doddle."

And after all that work, it was time for a breather. Matthew and Phoebe enjoy their ice creams, while Scrumpy waits expectantly for an offering from Granny Pat.