Saturday, 31 May 2008

Hadrian's Wall at Sunset

Well. I've just been to the Hen Night Party. Did I drink? Non-alcoholic stuff and lashings of it. Did I feel like a boring old has been? You bet! But I'm glad I went. I'd shown willing.

The highlight of the night for me was driving back along the Military Road at Sunset. It shows that I have fallen 100% in love with this area of the world. If you'd told me that I would feel like this 20 years ago I would have looked at you as if you were an escaped lunatic. I thought (then) that if you went as far West as Hexham you fell off the edge of the world.

The countryside is extraordinarily green and luscious. Hawthorn trees, with their pretty white flowers, are flowering in abundance standing like guardians of each village, each outpost. As I sped past them the sun was setting against Hadrian's Wall showing it in relief on the right hand side of the road.

Half way along the road I wound down my window so I could hear the wind rushing in and around the car. I find that every time I drive along this road I discover new sights (and sites), fresh sounds varying with the time of day and season. Do those magnificent looking gates, lost and forlorn, lead to Aydon Castle I wonder? I remind myself to check the map when I get back. (They might be a reminder of the remains of Halton Castle. Need to do some more research.)

The famous Sycamore tree at Sycamore Gap (as stood under by Kevin Costner in 'Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves') seems even more beautiful in the crepuscular light.

It is a joy and a treasure to experience all of this and more. I try to sear these pinky blue views in my memory bank. I reach my destination. I park my car and the bats swoop overhead.

Mass Murderer

My daughter 'Fairytale Princess' was out at a swimming lesson taken by her father 'Daddy Prince'. My son 'Stand-in Prince' was asleep in his cot.

I saw that someone had phoned my mobile and it had come up as a missed call.

It was a mobile number.

Normally I don't bother to return these calls as I think that the potential for these calling back these numbers is a minefield leading to disaster and desecration.

I dialled the number gingerly.
"This is Hadriana speaking...did you call my number earlier on?"
"Yes" a deep male voice answered.
"Can you give me some more information?" I asked thinking...Oh my God I really AM speaking to a mass murderer...What have I done!!
"Yes. I can." the deep male voice replied...at which point the penny dropped and I realised I was talking to Daddy Prince and I felt a complete and utter twiglet. (It was his new mobile number and he had actually stood in the kitchen and had rang my mobile right before my very eyes about an hour ago. I had even heard it ring upstairs.)

My daughter often calls me "Bananabrains". Spot on. Give that girl a medal.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

In the beginning (mark two)...

Rule Number One: Do not start a blog when you have a cold as you will have lost any common sense and (sense of) humour. Needless to say the common sense went a long time ago (after child No.1) along with what was left of my memory. Now where was I? Ah yes...

Rule Number Two: Begin at the beginning and do not twitter on about thyroids and schools...write cogently and fluently. Don't hold back (or maybe just a little - if you want to retain any friends). Writing a blog or to give it its full name - web log - is turning out to be fun. Well it is so far but then nobody has posted any comments as yet. Perhaps I will change my mind. It is definitely addictive.

Why am I doing this? I've wanted to write from an early age. (Yes! Honestly. I'm not just making it up for the sake of this blog.) I have kept diaries from being so high (hand is now waved in the general direction of hip height) and have always toyed with the idea of writing.

But how do I begin to write? What do I write about? I've always liked handwriting on a page, the feel of paper in my hand, selecting appropriate writing materials and pens/pencils and so forth. That has never been a problem. Books have been read "devoured" so to speak. Libraries have been a mecca...but seeing my writing in print. That has never seemed feasible.

For quite a while now I have thought about starting a blog. Perfectionism has taken its toll somewhat. So the idea of being perfect goes out of the window. I will never have the time or the space or even the money to have a clear space, all my diaries and jottings all lined up and filed alphabetically and all my pencils sharpened. The clear and tidied room where my perfect study will be may never even exist. So here I sit, sniffing, amongst the detritus of an average family's life, with my sodden handkerchief, is where I have decided to plunge in and have a go.

I realise that I may have left it too late. The world and his dog and cat is/are now blogging. How on earth do I go about making mine stand out from the crowd?

The idea of this blog is to write about anything and nearly everything that crosses my path and falls within the framework of our small family unit in Northumberland.

So I hope it is not "ave atque vale" ("hail and farewell") just yet....I hope you will read on and follow our adventures from this small corner of Hadrian's Northumberland...

Thyroids and Northumberland don't mix

I'd always assumed that I had a thyroid problem...although not wanting to get out of bed, feeling hungry most of the time, feeling cold ALL of the time were ever present symptoms in my school days. It has to be said that all reluctant scholars say these things and are/were ignored. My North Eastern school was a Gothic mansion on the outskirts of Newcastle. Time was when all "alumni" boy students (or rather "alumnae" girl students) were habitually ignored and castigated for having mentioned any of these putative signs of wear and tear. These days any school ignores the sickly pleas of their pupils at their peril. We now have to sign forms when sun tan lotions are administered to the little tykes.

But I digress. I sit here sneezing all over the computer complaining about feeling cold in the middle of almost Summer. I am wearing three layers and have turned the LPG heating UP! My underactive thyroid was diagnosed after the birth of my second child ( a boy). I take the medecine daily and I still feel underactive and underwarmed on a diurnal basis. Asi es la vida - dura sin confitura. ("That's life...tough without jam!" Corny but lovely Spanish modern proverb.)

There are benefits to a small, double glazed house (our last house) because it is usually toasty hot. I turned the heating up to tropical levels whilst my husband wandered around in T-shirts, shorts and flip-flops wanting the windows perpetually open. I say this is because he is from good Surrey stock whereas I am descended from sturdy Viking chaps...this is where I lack the knowledge of a Norse hunting cry. I resort to the cliche: "vive la difference!" (Rough translation: Thank goodness we're different!)

(Will have to stop writing this - whilst children are here - beloved four year old teenage daughter has just ground the salt and pepper into huge mound in middle of dining room table...)

In the beginning....

I am extremely new to this blogging and feel very nervous about letting myself in for all of this. Have I just signed my life away to the big Corporation Google? Hmm. I will try to write as much as I can. Husband, daughter and dog have just come in all wet and bedraggled. Son is sleeping upstairs.

Where on earth has all the fantastic weather gone? Maybe this all the Summer sunshine that this tiny hamlet next to Hadrian's Wall will get....that's six days more than last Summer!

I hear movement behind me. Will write more later.....