Our 'grown up' mini break was full of ups and downs and not just of the North Yorkshire Moors kind. I managed to take a horrible viral cold flu type thing with me which was worse in the mornings and evenings but wasn't going to slow me down (much) in the daytime. Plenty of stops for Yorkshire Tea kept me going, and it meant that I matched M's usual pace!
Our first stop was Seaham where we spent a glorious few hours, beachcombing, eating chips from a cone and polishing off the day with ice cream from Lickety Split. A totally British day out. The kids decided when they were small and went on plenty of days out to various beaches with Mum and Dad that you haven't had a proper day out at the seaside unless you get soaking wet and have to sit on a carrier bag in the car on the way home. I pretty much lived up to that family motto.
I should be well rehearsed when it comes to shingle beaches. I grew up with them, not only that but I know the difference between incoming and outgoing tides. On this occasion my legs weren't quite quick enough to scramble up the shingle for an incoming wave because something went 'SNAP!' very loudly and my knee gave way. The cold water up to my knees was quite pleasant I have to say. It was one of those strange sprains that, apart from the snap, doesn't hurt too much at the time, then later you wonder how the hell you walked at all. Luckily we had all of our clothes with us including towels. I did a quick change in the car and put all the wet stuff in a carrier bag, had quite a giggle about it all and wasn't sorry until I woke up the next morning. Well, I say, the 'next' morning, it was actually four o'clock in the morning when the woodburner in the hut had burnt out and I thought I'd get it going again... I think it was the, 'shit, ow, I think I've done something to my knee' whilst hopping around looking for a light switch that woke M.
I got myself sorted out in Northallerton with a neoprene knee support and was good to go. I was chuffed to bits to find the town had a wool shop! Even more impressed to find it had a resident Springer Spaniel called Forrest Gump! Sadly he couldn't live up to his slogan, 'Run Forrest, run...' after the postman ran him over as a puppy. Naturally I'd have been quite happy to have taken him home but had to settle for some wool and a special treat from M in the shape of a yarn bowl. (I've been wanting one of those for ages!).
We visited Richmond too. It was lovely but somehow I forgot to take any photo's. We went for a nice romantic stroll down by the river Swale, browsed the art at The Station, drank more Yorkshire tea and took the scenic route home to the hut. The woodburners in these huts are so small that they light incredibly quickly and warm up in no time at all. With no internet or tv and dodgy phone reception it meant we could well and truly switch off and just read (or crochet) without tempting distractions.
The hut was quite a different arrangement to the last one we stayed in. A door from the hut led into a converted part of a barn which housed the kitchen and a bathroom. On the plus side it meant that the living and sleeping area in the hut did not fill with cooking smells, on the downside it felt a little bit like cheating. It was interesting being located on a working farm. We were very close to the lambing barn, and cows next door too. The view was mesmerising. We had a bird feeder which was constantly busy with all sorts including blue tits, great tits, chaffinches and a fleeting visit from a Great Spotted Woodpecker. Owls could be heard apparently. There's something very therapeutic about getting back to basics. A log fire, a simple wooden roof, a good book and a bowl of yarn not too far away. Who needs more?