December brings mixed feelings as we prepared for get togethers and house guests my father in law remains in the care home. At least he has a lady friend who in his mind is the PA who later became his second wife. He seems more settled although repeatedly asks to be taken home. Sadly home is a concept rather than reality and is not a safe place for him. Whatever 2023 brings we need to keep in mind that whilst times are tough they could be more so.
November and Christmas arrives spectacularly early in Bamburgh. The Castle hosts 12 days of Christmas exhibit https://www.bamburghcastle.com/christmas-2022-at-bamburgh-castle/ heartwarming!
October 2022 Happy Halloween 🎃 all! …once visited Salem near to Halloween. Autumn colours and subtle lights and not even the witching hour!
September 2022 our totally dedicated and truly gracious Queen Elizabeth sadly passed away on 8th September. At 96 she was still working and met with the new prime minister less than a week ago. A wonderful role model her whole life.
My father in law remains in a care home. He has sadly lost most sense of reality. I think though that he remembers the now King Charles given for several happy years he Chaired the then Prince Charles’ Trust. Let’s hope some of these wonderful memories return as we all try to recall better times.
July 2022 unfortunately my husband took ill on our return journey from Switzerland and tested Covid positive the following day. Initially I tested negative so it was my call when the emergency care workers woke us up at 4 30 am saying my 90 year old father in law had collapsed. His son couldn’t go because of the covid. I managed to settle him to sleep and I made him tea before walking back home in the early hours. I rang his carer later to be told he had fallen again. So off I went and explained happenings to the paramedics. They took him off to hospital and I locked the house and returned home. Unfortunately I began to feel ill later that afternoon and sure enough tested positive. My father in law is also positive. If I was a carrier before I was diagnosed surely he couldn’t have tested positive so quickly. I will not be able to convince myself of this until I know he’s OK. We heard that the hospital is treating him for a UTI too so no the wonder he was ultra confused. On top of this there’s almost certainly dementia. A cruel blow considering he looked after his wife for 4 years when she was diagnosed. She sadly died in 2018. Let’s hope this story has a better ending………
Weirdly informed tonight that my father in law is being moved to another local hospital at 11 pm seems because his covid is stable so the other hospital has a bed for non serious covid cases. Sadly this will add to his confusion.
June 2022 Poshmum is off to Switzerland by rail tomorrow. Just watch me! Click here for daily highlights: https://poshmumsjourneys.travel.blog/SwitzerlandonTrack
May 2022 Poshmum is back in Thessaloniki. See more here: https://poshmumsjourneys.travel.blog/2019/07/06/thessaloniki-greece/ today we had a very odd rail journey. Click above link. In actual fact it was 1979 when I was last in Greece on holiday was in Corfu one of the many beautiful islands. One thing has never changed in all these years. The warmth and genuineness of the people struck me then and now.
This time not for work but chose the same hotel as in 2019,the https://www.excelsiorhotel.gr/ simply lovely. Extremely well run boutique hotel yet affordable and central. The staff were amazing when I developed an urgent dental problem and quickly put me in touch with a local dentist.
Weather has been extremely hot and not really looking forward to returning to UK temperatures that are barely above 11 degrees.
May 2022 I seem to have fallen in love with Harrogate this spring time. Lovely shops, park areas, tea shops and restaurants. And oh the bars. The oldest one in Harrogate is http://halesbar.co.uk/ which is still lit by gas lights. I first discovered it after taking in one of Harrogate’s really famous spa and steam rooms: https://www.turkishbathsharrogate.co.uk/. Another place worth a look is actually a weatherspoon bar located in the former winter Gardens: https://www.jdwetherspoon.com/pubs/all-pubs/england/north-yorkshire/the-winter-gardens-harrogate Beautiful setting and well run and of course inexpensive. Walking, shopping and drinking culminates in a quick supper. Whatever your tastes there’s loads of choice.
November 2021 Escaping torrential rain in the Victoria and Albert museum https://www.vam.ac.uk/dundee hey there’s a night fever disco exhibit. Good job I’m dressed for the occasion!
Travelled to Dundee by train and on crossing the border masks became mandatory again. So many coughers probably just as well. Walked nearly 2 miles to our hotel https://www.tayparkhouse.co.uk/ and very pretty too on an incredibly beautiful autumn day. Gardens lit with fairy lights definitely meet with poshmum’s approval. Clawfoot bath looks tempting too as does the cosy gin bar. Decisions decisions………
Beautiful autumnal days now belie the mess of ongoing Covid-19 and heaps of related issues. Perhaps the best thing to do is simply live with it and enjoy what special times you can.
Normally at this time of the year I would be extolling the virtues of an awesome road trip.
At best a would be navigator anyway, but at present I just cannot see sufficiently. I am relatively young to have developed such severe cataracts that have significantly affected my vision. Can see very little so a bit dangerous going anywhere unfamiliar.
Covid permitting though am scheduled for surgery next month so all being well could be back in action soon.
Am taking a train short break to Dundee next week which should be interesting. Living in a tree lined avenue with golden falling leaves is just spectacular anyway.
Weather across much of the UK is wet and dismal as autumn creeps in quickly. Covid-19 cases remain significant and NHS waiting lists are rocketing because of the strain on resources. My dreadful eyesight cannot yet be properly assessed because of this even though my optician showed me how bad my cataracts are.
Hope you liked reading about our time in Derbyshire. The Peak District is UK’s oldest national park yet probably less well known across the world than the Lake District. It’s highly recommended for amazing views, great outdoor activities, forest, hills and lake walks. Good hearty food and decent accommodation to suit all budgets. Not much to dislike really. Great play is made of local produce and rightly so. Nothing quite like a locally sourced dinner in a welcoming Inn washed down with local beer or indeed water for which Buxton is widely famous.
Could not believe people queuing to get into night clubs at midnight now that restrictions are lifted in England. However if I was 21 rather than 61 perhaps I might feel differently! Am planning to go on a train journey at the weekend. Will be more than a year since I have done so. Just so hope the escalating case rates don’t result in another shut down. Our economy is just so shot already.
Just finished watching England lose to penalties against Italy in the Euro finals. So proud of our team. A magnificent achievement and Jordan Pickord and indeed Jordan Henderson did our mutual home city of Sunderland so proud. Sad that the final trophy was beyond our grasp but the way in which this has gripped our poorly nation at the most challenging period of our life time is nothing short of glorious. Be proud #england you are #beautiful
Now checked into https://www.blackaddiehotel.co.uk/ and enjoyed a soak in the jacuzzi before an incredibly amazing dinner. Blackaddie Country House Hotel is well known for its sublime food. Tonight was no exception with delicious treats and pre starter even before the experience began set the scene.
Checking out of the Kirkcudbright Bay Hotel and exploring the lovely town. Known as the artists town there are studios galore to visit as well as antique shops amongst others. The harbour area is beautiful.
Moving on from a fabulous time at the Rose and Crown Romaldkirk took a scenic drive to Kirkcudbright via Longtown. Superb homemade scones at http://thesycamoretreelongtown.co.uk/ and a very nice pot of tea. I gather they do bed and breakfast now so well worth a break in a journey to Western Scotland. Checked into the https://www.kirkcudbrightbayhotel.co.uk/ all rooms are refurbished. Our suite has a fridge and flat screen tvs in the bedroom and the lounge. We also have a co-op nearby and England are playing Germany. You get the drift?
This was a (so called) 6 mile walk from Middleton in Teesdale to Aukside and Coldberry. However it was very beautiful and took us to disused lead mines including the one at Coldberry that kept going until 1955. Wonderful to finally return to Middleton and drive back to Romaldkirk for some cider in the sun at their wonderful patio. Come here before things change again and enjoy!
We had a delicious dinner last night at the Rose and Crown Romaldkirk and a good breakfast this morning set us up well for our so called 5 mile walk along the Balder and Tees rivers confluence. Definitely more like 7 miles. Fantastic views and great to have a delicious cider outside the pub when we got back.
Our walk was stunning and so peaceful here.
And our jaunt to mark our Ruby wedding anniversary begins today. The North East Coast sea fret and monsoon is so not going to bother us. Going to Barnard Castle and not even for an eye test! Later we will be checking in to the ever delightful https://www.rose-and-crown.co.uk/ lovely food and hospitality. Strangely 40 years ago the sun shone for our wedding day but blimey was it windy!
Poshmum is in Keswick today. The weather is scorching and an already busy lakeland town is even more busy as it played host to a major triathlon event. We saw runners and cyclists everywhere. Below is just past Hope Park on the lakeside. Its stunning don’t you agree?
Poshmum is in Cumbria today in the western lake district, England. We visited Muncaster Castle. Dating to 1208 this has incredibly belonged to the same family since its establishment. Beautiful views across the Esk valley and stunning floral displays at this time of year. We loved the enchanted woodland walk as well as the very informative castle tour. Book in advance to avoid disappointment. http://muncastercastle
I am not normally a particular bird enthusiast but the display of beautiful eagles, falcons, owls and vultures had us gasping in awe. This is a real hidden gem in a less touristy area of the lake district. You can easily spend the whole day here with pleasant woodland walks, an ancient Chapel and a maze to name a few highlights. Staying at the http://melbreakhotel near Cockermouth. Drinking Japanese Kirin beer in the bar and very nice too! Incidentally we are having a weekend break here whilst husband plays hockey. Not therefore a ‘staycation’ such a loathsome and meaningless term entirely invented due to the ongoing pandemic.
OK so this a one that got away saga. We went back to our former village today and did a forest walk of around 6 miles at https://www.forestryengland.uk/chopwell-wood and in front of us a large sprightly deer charged deep into the forest. Hope I’m quicker with the camera next time! It was baking hot and a welcome change from the constantly wet summer we seem to be having. However back in Sunderland it remains freezing. The sea fret forming a sweeping mist put paid to any ideas around having a refreshing beer in the garden. Beautiful time in the forest though and only about 25 miles drive.
Nice cocktails and live music at #Langhamtower today
Scotland holds such special memories for me. This was in 1965 and taken at St. Ninian’s Cave in Dumfries and Galloway. Our beautiful collie, Pete, is sitting regally next to my now late grandmother. My mother is also seated comfortably. If you look closely you can see her lit cigarette.
I am standing on the rock in the background. I was about 5 years old. I loved the warmth in front of the cave. Down on the beach though strong winds prevented any thoughts of foraging in the rock pools.
As lockdown in the UK is easing we plan to mark our Ruby wedding anniversary with stays in our favourite places including South West Scotland next month. That’s as long as the rules don’t change yet again now that the Indian variant of the covid virus begins to make its mark.
Doubtless government will again blame the public. Shock – we hugged a family member -visited a pub – got too fat. Never government fault for failing to quarantine flights from the affected areas.
Poshmum is proud to highlight Sunderland in the UK as perhaps the most surprising hidden gem for visitors. Only 3 hours by train from London we have stunning beaches at Seaburn, Roker and nearby Seaham.
Near to our home am so delighted to see Langham Tower http://www.langhamtower.co.uk/ has now opened up for business. At the moment cocktails al fresco are going down a treat. To be opened soon is the inside cocktail bar and restaurant and the venue can be reserved for weddings. Near to the turret on the right hand side was my office for many years before the building was sold by the University of Sunderland to a local private school.
The school closed 5 years ago and this magnificent building lay empty until 2021 when it was purchased by new owners. It dates to 1889 when it was constructed for a renowned shipbuilder William Adamson. The tallest tower, still accessible via a steep spiral staircase was used by the shipbuilder to view his ships arriving and leaving the port. In the 1990s I took our then young daughter and son up there. Son in particular loved climbing to the very top!
The building is said to be modelled on Cragside House in Northumberland https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cragside which is about 40 miles north of Sunderland.
Sunderland has a great maritime history and there’s much attention paid to this in our local museum and winter Gardens where visitors can also learn about the coal mining and glassmaking industries https://sunderlandculture.org.uk/our-venues/sunderland-museum-winter-gardens/
Posh Mum enjoyed a pleasant visit to Seaham today. Cold but bright and sunny. Gin and tonic in daughter’s garden hit the spot.
Beautiful but cold morning and the UK begins to celebrate the life of Prince Philip who sadly died on 9th April. Hoping the coming months bring better times at last and that the hospitality industry reopens as planned. We hope to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary with stays in our favourite places in Teesdale, The charming https://www.rose-and-crown.co.uk/
Then Kirkcudbright and Sanquhar at the Blackaddie Country House https://www.blackaddiehotel.co.uk/ what better way indeed to mark this occasion. Amazing food, warm welcome and an easy drive from Sunderland. What’s not to love ❤
Well weird dreams still seem to be common during this pandemic. Last night I dreamt I saw a creature peeping out of a box in my wardrobe. When I lifted the box down there was a baby cow 🐄 looking right back at me. Looked very cute actually. But how strange…….
I have recently started to write some memoirs of growing up in 1960’s and being heavily influenced by the home removal business. It’s on my other blog page https://removalmansdaughter.wordpress.com/ if you want to follow it. Hope you find some of the stories as funny as I do!
How beautiful is this carpet of crocuses? This is Backhouse Park in Sunderland, and seeing these in full bloom is a poignant reminder that I have pounded this Park for all 4 seasons since I began working remotely almost a year ago. Would never have dreamt this situation. I actually was taken to this Park in the early 1960s when as a tiny girl was told off for picking these crocuses. Naughty I guess. But I used to pick heather too when in remote areas. I guess it was a little girl thing.
We live in a poorer area of Sunderland and our local beach is Hendon. Its heartbreakingly beautiful though on a hopeful spring day. Its also much more tranquil than our better known Seaham, Roker and Seaburn beaches. Especially now as sunny days bring people outside. Just look at this stunning photo taken this afternoon.
We were in Singapore for lunar new year in 2018. Please see https://poshmumsjourneys.travel.blog/2019/02/20/asia/ How life has changed beyond recognition since then.
As I walked past the Empire theatre and nearby bars in Sunderland on Thursday my mind slips back to 1978. Fantastic nights out then with local rock bands for entertainment. Every bar was bursting with life. Such a sad contrast now with shuttered bars and shops and our wonderful theatre gathering dust. But we have to keep the faith.
We have a nasty ongoing storm in the UK and the ongoing pandemic becomes more and more of a challenge. Somehow have to keep believing things will get better.
Our daughter, sadly struggling with ongoing mental health issues, now makes craft see https://craftbyvictoria.wordpress.com/ having uncovered a hidden talent. #strangebuttrue I bought some of her wax melts and the one I tried out was blue. However not only was it green the next morning it seemed to be smiling at me. Perhaps its a reminder that every day can bring a little cheer:
On a lighter note part 1 of my Christmas cheese gift to my husband from the Fine Cheese Company came today hope he shares.
My brother in law is still unable to return to Singapore. We enter the lunar year of the Ox on 12th February. He will find it quite a different experience in Kent compared to the amazing Chinese New year experiences in Singapore 🇸🇬 mind you a couple of years ago Posh Mum was bitten by a pseudo Chinese dragon(!) in a Singapore food hawker centre! The impertinence indeed….. when I read Chinese year of the Rat horoscopes last year the predictions did hint at challenging times for 2020. Let’s hope hard working year of the ox 🐂 brings some positives. The latest rhetoric doing the rounds is the UK is one of the worst hit by Covid-19 countries in the world because yes we are just too fat, and we do keep sneaking to see loved ones and have all these raves. A convenient deflection of responsibility for authoritarian decisions gone wrong here. I mean, allowing nearly 100,000 people to enter Britain daily without checking them for the disease, resulting in mass spread and mortality is hardly the fault of someone who comfort ate a cream bun!
Another new week and we hope one week nearer to some kind of normality. Freezing cold weather makes logistics pretty tricky. Luckily I am working remotely still. I do feel for those having to travel for work. The ultra bright sunshine tricked a huge wasp out of hibernation today. Most odd on a zero temperature January day. Life in general extremely odd indeed.
Today’s win? How about urban ice sculpture?
UK Covid-19 cases begin to fall at last and the roll out of the vaccination programme is cranked up….but we brace ourselves for the wrath of storm Christoph. Not what you want to hear on a wet and gloomy January day. No pleasant urban walk between meetings today as I nurse an incredibly painful eye infection. So what are the wins today? My coffee order arrived care of a lovely hard working gentleman. Such deliveries help keep the economy going and brighten otherwise dismal days.
Today’s urban walk began and finished at Seaton in Seaham going down to Dalden area on the way to Seaham Harbour. We came across ruins of Dalden Tower https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1020292. The remains date to 1320 and are linked with the famous Bowes family. The lockdown really forces us to discover our locality. Apparently excavation carried out in 1965 and 20 years later revealed that the Manor House was much older than the tower added later. Would have been wonderful to see it in its former glory.
Only 2nd week in 2021 but the UK continues to lose in excess of 1000 precious lives a day. Hope that the vaccination programme has an impact soon. Mental health issues are immense at the moment here yet sadly very little tangible support is available. My opportunity for improvement today I guess was brought about by my daughter who has had to confront an extremely black phase of depression and anxiety. She beach combed at Seaham in County Durham and found some gorgeous sea glass. A huge reminder that nature will still bring amazing gifts despite the current catastrophe. We all must hang onto that thought. We are lucky to be here and this thing will go. We’re a day nearer already to better times.
Meet Tommy, Seaham campaigned vigorously to keep this stunning tribute to heroism in place at the sea front.