Monday 22nd August 2011
I ended up starting to read Rising Dawn by Michael Crichton - I figured that as I own The Vegetarian Myth and The Diet Delusion I could take them home and read them there - Like I have been for the last few months..... I only read for a wee while anyway as Anna turned the TV on and the Giants of the Ocean series was on - fascinating!
Woke up this morning at 0740... Positive lie-in! fell out of bed at 0800 and went downstairs to cook breakfast - Bacon and egg again! Fuel for busy holiday! At 0900 I took the kids to Tesco to get some supplies and gave Anna strict instructions to have a soak in the bath - it is not often that she gets that chance to do this looking after the kids all day. She gave me a kiss and said she appreciated it - When we got back I told her that I'd forgotten to get the decaf filter coffee - I think the bath lessened the blow somewhat!
After unpacking the shopping, we got ready and got out at 1100 hrs with the intention of going to Dunstanburgh castle and Craster. We soon realized that we would have to park just outside Craster and then walk to the castle (1/4 miles).. One problem... No parking spaces and a mahoosive queue for any spaces that may become available.. We ended up knocking that on the head and driving around for a while to look for somewhere to have lunch. We ended up in Howick and spotted a path that looked like it led down to the coast. We followed it and found a lovely secluded cove with some great rock-pools. We had lunch in the cove which consisted of Tuna salad etc.
After doing some climbing of a sheer rock face with some great hand holds - about 30 feet - I am not a climber and have no equipment and I made the mistake of looking down when I was halfway up.. I'm not a fan of heights and got pretty scared - Still, we are told to do one thing per day that scares us.. I class getting up and going to work as this but alas, no work here! The Girl, sensibly, took the long way up the cliff and I managed to surprise her at the top. We then explored the rock-pools on the other side. After about an hour of exploring, we thought we'd walk along the coast-path to Craster and get the kids an ice-cream. It turned out to be about 3.5 miles which, with the kids, took about an hour and 20 minutes.
Ice-cream successfully bought we sat in the harbour and rested and made a good attempt at getting up-wind from the decaying seaweed smell that seemed to be permeating! After the ice-cream we found a coffee shop and Anna had a coffee while I took the kids to a park that I saw on the coastal-path. The kids were knackered by this time so we 'cast lots' and I drew the short straw and had to run back the 3.5 miles to get the car. We agreed that I'd go back, get the car and then drive back to Craster and pick Anna and the kids up from the park or the harbour (< 5 mins walk away) in 45 minutes (I allowed 35 minutes to jog back to the car and 10 minutes to get back to them)
I was quite pleased that I managed to get back to the car in 25 minutes which for a non-runner who hates running isn't too bad. I got back to the car. Sweaty and out of breath, practically collapsed into the car and had a much needed drink of water and then drove back to Craster. I got back to the park 35 minutes after I left so I sat in the car by the park waiting for Anna and the kids. After 10 minutes and they hadn't showed up; I assumed that they'd be at the harbour, so I set off there. Nope... No joy there either.. Back to the park... Still no sign of them.. After 15 minutes of fruitless driving around; I parked the car in a semi-legal place (I hoped the JCB didn't want to move - it looked ancient and totally trashed but you never know with JCBs....) and set off to look for them on foot. After another 10 minutes of searching with not a snifter of them the anger had turned to 'mild to moderate' concern - Where could they be? After another 10 minutes, the 'mild to moderate' concern had turned to worry... Had they fallen off a cliff, got mugged or gone off to the castle (We had no mobile phone signal anywhere in the area - bloody T-Mobile and Orange!!!)
10 Minutes later and worry was slowly turning to controlled panic - I had decided that one of the kids had fallen off a rock and was injured so they had gone to Hospital. I had pretty much decided that this was the outcome when who should come trotting round the corner FROM OUTSIDE CRASTER but Anna, herein after known as 'Can't Follow Instructions - or CFI, and the kids. Had they been half an hour earlier; I'd have been cross! However, I was so relived to see them that any residual anger melted away incredibly quickly! Turns out that Anna thought she'd do me a favour and wait by the main road into Craster on a bench near to the tourist information centre and they'd not banked on my running prowess and thus decided to have a 2 minute (Yeah right! 2 female getting ready minutes) browse! - This must have been the exact moment that I'd driven past and back into Craster! I remember being in the air-cadets and always being told that when you get split up from your squad and radio contact has been lost - Head for the RV and wait! Unfortunately Anna was not privy to such advanced military training and waited in an 'unknown to me' location negating any chance of me picking her up!
We drove back to Lowick via Belford to get some decaf filter coffee from the Co-Operative there - Alas they had none so it looks like Earl Grey tomorrow morning. We got back to the cottage at 1750 and I started to cook dinner - Fish, home-made chips and roast veggies for everyone except me who had haggis with roast veggies!
As I type, the kids are getting their PJs on and cleaning their teeth and then I'm gonna read the Girl a story and then have a glass of wine and drum into Anna that, when separated with no contact, HEAD TO THE RV!!!!' (In fairness to her - she was incredibly apologetic and now realizes the importance of sticking to plan!) - Oh! Just thought! When we were reunited; Anna said that she thought I'd got lost...... As if!! I had Brian Blessed guiding me and had a perfectly serviceable map on the passenger seat already open on page 55! (Northumberland)
Right - The Girl is whining for a story ;) I'm gonna go and read her one and then get a glass of wine and maybe some strawberries and cream and then chill out for a bit!
Holy Island tomorrow! - Can't get there till 1145 due to the tides so a lie-in or an explore of Lowick may be in order!