26. August 2016 - 25 September 2016
We arrived in Newcastle and have taken over my cousin, Marian’s house. We have rather to much stuff. Again we are not doing a lot in Newcastle a bit of sight-seeing, we went to the coast on the train yesterday it was about 20 °C and everyone was in the sea swimming and on the beach sunbathing and I was cold in the wind!! Still the sun was shining.
I am looking after the gold fish and plants no fatalities yet!! I also have the run of the allotment!! So I went off today with my knife to get some veggies for a soup, First I picked lots of blackberries and ate a few then I picked any vegetable that I could recognise and returned home, quite the hunter gatherer. Now we must remember three things
I am a city girl
I am not the cook ion the family I make three things, cheese straws, pate and sometimes a roast
I get my vegetables at the supermarket.
So my veggie soup consists of
3 cups chicken stock A small cabbage Some celery An onion
Broad beans Half a marrow A small cauliflower Spinach
Peas Salt and Pepper
Put the stock in a saucepan, add Salt and Pepper, add marrow.
Remove some stock as there is too much
Move Spinach which is burning having been laid down next to stove (Note Spinach does not grill)
Add onion and celery, remove more stock as there is still too much (Note boiling stock is hot)
Add cauliflower while Ross is not looking as he does not like it
Add the cabbage (Note red Cabbage makes red Soup)
Now how do we get these beans and peas out of their pods/shells/jackets why do they not come will zippers?
Throw in the not burnt spinach
Keep trying to get these beans and peas in their naked state.
Mush up soup (Note Marrow is like pumpkin; the seeds should be removed before cooking).
Spend 30 minutes stirring and removing marrow seeds, lucky marrow seeds float.
Add the peas and beans that are now naked.
Stir some more and leave for Ross, who will add some shredded Chicken and declare it the best soup he has ever made even if it is red.
I think I will give the domestic bit the flick, I and have all those blackberries to do something with, I know I will freeze them for Marian to deal with on her return. Back to the Indian restaurant it is in walking distance after all.
We have been into town a couple of times We visited the castle and found out it was free entry for the next two days so being tight with our money we went back on a free day. The castle was fun they were putting on mock trials with period costume and we all got to be the jury. A publican was up for pissing in his beer his excuse was that it made it tastier, must have been really bad to begin with. Ross had no difficulty finding him guilty. The next guy was up for murder his excuse was the man was Scottish, so did not count!! The castle had lots of exhibits and was large but built around the main tower so lots of stairs 99 from top to bottom.
We visited the Newcastle mining institute which was very interesting they invented the safety lamp here and got the laws changed to make it illegal to only have one source of air, due to deaths if a roof collapse was between the miners and the air supply. It was a gorgeous old building too. They are trying for a grant to help pay for it all. If they do not get it, they might have to sell the building and that would be a dreadful shame.
On a nice sun shining day we visited Gibside, which is an old stately home unfortunately the hall is in ruins they are trying to preserve the walls, the grounds are magnificent and the chapel beautiful. I got Ross to Gibside by telling him there was a quirky pub in the grounds, there was but unfortunately it has been closed. I was not popular.
We have also been to Beamish which is a totally reconstructed area with heaps of stuff, we spent half a day in the town and did not get to the colliery you can take a tour of the coal mine and see how it was back when the miners institute was busy trying to invent a safe lamp and get the laws changed. They also have a farm set up as if it is 1940 and rationing is on etc. So heaps to see we will go back next week. The entry ticket lasts a year!! We meet a nice lady who was with her brother he was in one of those assisted chairs and was speeding up the hill, I had visions of my Dad in one. When we caught up with him the battery was flat and he could go no further so yes you guessed it we ended up pushing him "UP" the hill to the nearest Bus stop where they got help from the staff of Beamish, I was exhausted so we came home.
Other than that I made some Jam, with the blackberries from the allotment. It turned out really good I am very proud of myself. I was encouraged to make scones but decided not to push the domestication too far.
We finished a lovely time in Newcastle spending a week with my cousin on her return from Canada. It was hard to hand the running of the house back to her so we kept some of it doing the cooking for her. We finished the trip with a Tolkien day at the Newcastle castle. So funny; there were 2 elves, a Hobbit and a something else I think pretending to be a hobbit and a hippy dancing with a scarf!! But they did have a tent with owls and falcons, which were marvellous. I think one was an Eleonora’s falcon it was gorgeous and was a true hunting bird. The owner told me it catches pheasant for him amongst other things. After Tolkien we went to the Discovery Museum and discovered Newcastle from 1066 to now. Fascinating.
25th September - 28th September
Goodbye Newcastle, we returned to Sheffield for a few days, lovely time, we visited Kelman Island the centre of the Steel industry and very interesting. I made friends with one of the attendants (as I do!) so we had our own tour guide (wanted or not!!) we learnt a lot of stuff very interesting but my brain hurts. In the museum they have the biggest, Steam turbine (the river Don engine) which was used to make the first steel armoured ships. When I looked at the thickness of the steel in the hull I wondered how they could think it would float. The steam turbine is run every 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm and a very impressive and noisy machine it is too. The whole room shakes and the noise is very loud ear muffs needed, mind you the group of school kids on an excursion nearly drowned it out. They also have a huge 20,000 item tools collection from a man who sold tools so took the second hand ones off people’s hands there are another 30,000 plus in his house and shed the family want the museum to take now the man has died. That is a tool collection any volunteers to take it on (Tim O’Regan!)
25th September - 28th September
Leaving Sheffield, we travelled back to Galphay. To visit our friends, the owners of the first place we stayed. Again we felt as if we had come home, I nearly went into the wrong bedroom one afternoon. We visited the pub and were greeted like old friends I wonder if it was because we owe them all a beer? The barmaid said if we come back and need a bedroom she has a spare room in her house. That was so nice, Clive said it was because she did not know us and was wanting her beer.