You know one of the really nice things about being a cross cultural/international couple? One or both of us have family and friends all over the world. For now we’re back in Newcastle in north east England and we’re lucky enough to live just minutes from Brian’s aunt, uncle and cousins.
It’s been years since they spent much time together, but isn’t that the beautiful thing about family? It doesn’t matter if it’s been years and you’ve lived on the other side of the planet, they’re still family.
Actually that’s also one of the drawbacks of family, but I’m a glass-half-full kind of girl so I’m going with the positives.
Brian has been in Brazil for the last month, and while he’s away I got to spend two weeks with my kids in the US. I came back to Newcastle with an extra week of alone time on my hands and no idea what I was going to do with myself.
And a cousin came to my rescue!
Sharon is a bit younger than Brian, and grew up here in Newcastle. They may be family, but they never spent much time together. That didn’t stop Sharon from picking me up and spending a day showing me a couple of beautiful spots in the area.
A beautiful, frozen, frosty spot. Winter is most definitely upon us.
We checked out the old restored buildings, walked the hiking trails, took in the views and spotted a few deer.
Sharon planned her son’s (someday) wedding, and we could both picture the carriage bringing the bride and groom up this lawn to the chapel. How beautiful would that be?!
It was a beautiful day. No wind, plenty of sunshine and just cold enough to keep us moving at a good pace.
The streams weren’t quite frozen, but the pond was. I wonder if you can ice skate on it later in the year?
There is a huge stable building which has had major renovations to restore it to its original condition. There was a sign saying the the Queen Mum, Queen Elizabeth’s mother, used to play here as a child. I love these bits of personal history.
And the bits of personal equipment. It makes me want to know the story behind each piece. Who used it? Who made it? How many stories could this chain tell if it could talk? How much do you want to bet it’s seen some not-quite-proper meetings between stable hands and maids behind the haystacks?
And what the heck is this thing? Serously. It’s some kind of pump, or bellows or something. We could figure out how it moves and works, but not what it was for. Any ideas?
We really enjoyed the day, chatting and taking photos while we wandered around the property.
It was so nice to catch up with someone who is now part of my family circle, and to learn a little bit more about this place we’re calling home for a little while. Unfortunately, because they didn’t grow up together Sharon didn’t have any really good gossip about my beautiful husband. I was hoping for some good dirt to tease him with when he got home. Sigh.
I’ll just have to be content with the good dirt I already know about him. He’s got some good stories, that’s for sure.
The day didn’t end there, but I’ll save the rest of the photos for another post. Sharon and I found our way to a really good restaurant/pub/farm and happily spent a few more hours eating good food and relaxing by the nice warm fireplace. It was a great day. One that makes me grateful again for the people we’re connected to, and the new friends I’ve been lucky enough to know along the way.
Thank you, Sharon!