The North & the South

So starting in the north, last weekend we headed up to my old stomping ground in West Cumbria to stay with Ian and Debbie in Gosforth.  Denis and Lin came too and while we were up there we met up with Debbie’s sister Diane and her fiancé Stuart as well.

After a bit of an epic journey up on Friday evening, we had a nice walk – about 9 miles – on Saturday up the river Bleng through Blengdale forest.  It stayed dry for us and our efforts made us feel like we deserved a trip to the Italian restaurant in the village called the Wild Olive.  I had a calzone which was most satisfactory!

On Sunday we all went for breakfast in Santon Bridge… I had a taste for something sweet – pancakes or waffles would’ve taken my fancy – but the breakfast menu was more traditionally English than that.  So instead of breakfast I ordered afternoon tea!  Although it was only 11am at the time, I argued that it was afternoon somewhere. 🙂

In the afternoon Denis and I had a trip to Muncaster Castle and church to visit the venue for our wedding photography debut at Diane and Stuart’s wedding next September.  Although its a place I’m very familiar with, I was looking at it with my photographer’s eyes.  I think both Denis and I felt nervous afterwards and realised that we have some work to do to make sure we capture the day in a way that befits the lovely couple and beautiful setting.  Good thing we have a wedding photography course scheduled for next month.

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So the southern part of the story starting with my spending most of the week last week in Cheltenham with work.  Afterwards I paid Fred and Barbara a visit in Holt which is a small village near Bradford on Avon.  They took me to Lacock Abbey which is where the inventor of photography (William Fox Talbot) once lived.  There was a photography exhibition and display on the lawn in front of the abbey of 90 brightly coloured batik flags which were designed by communities in Northern Japan affected by the 2011 Tsunami.  They were quite an interesting contrast to the old abbey behind.  The village of Lacock was like stepping back in time – particularly the bakery.

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I got back up north on Friday evening and we had a fun late moversary trip to Liverpool on Saturday for some lunch and shopping which was a nice way to spend time together after my week away.   This morning we caught up with Jayne, Paul and the kids in West Kirby for a walk with the dogs.  Stella was great with the puppies – very patient – and teaching them about recall.  She did embarrass us later in the day thought when Harriet and Helen and their families arrived for a BBQ and she peed with excitement followed by splashing it around with her tail… Oh dear… We had a nice afternoon with everyone after this initial embarrassment and enjoyed the food and catching up.  Hughie and Stella played together like best friends while Anna seemed particularly taken with Paul.

But I’m heading even further south with work this week to Dorset for work – should be an interesting trip but I am particularly looking forward to the end of the week which brings with it the arrival in the UK of Mum and Dad.  Yeah! 🙂