The email that changed things for this week…
Yes, we should have been elsewhere this week, but things changed after the above email touched down and the one from our airline to say that they were suspending flights to Malta.
Fortunately we’ve got refunds from the airline, the online entity that we’d booked our b&b plus ground transfers through and the airport’s car parks.
So, what’s happening? Well, there’s the UK’s new rules to follow, the shop has been closed temporarily and there’s reading to do & box sets to watch.
Four new guidebooks turned up about ten days before that email, so there’s some reading to do about Genoa, Sardinia, Mallorca and Crete to do in readiness for wherever the next non-UK might be after Malta.
There’s also biogs of Phil Lynott, Rod Stewart, Alan Bennett and David Bowie to read on the Kindle plus a few print magazines too.
Visual sustenance over the last few weeks has come courtesy of box sets on iPlayer, namely Life On Mars and Ashes To Ashes, but there are also plans to rewatch State Of Play, Our Friends In The North, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Thunderbirds.
If the “break” is further extended then there’s always The West Wing to watch again, along with a few episodes of Young/classic Montalbano, four series of The Bridge and three of Borgen (although that has been seen recently).
And if that’s not enough, there’s some CDs to listen to as I managed to find a very reasonably priced CD/DAB radio system last month.
At the end of the day though, I’d rather be travelling!
We should have touching down at Luqa airport in Malta yesterday, but that was cancelled on Friday 13/03/20 when the airline suspended the flights we were booked on…
So I ended up in Leeds yesterday and this is Briggate just before noon.
Posh hotel on a grey day
And the bag for one night there!
Yes, it was birthday time once more last week, so Caroline and I headed up North for a couple of days r and r.
This was our third stay at Redworth Hall Hotel and it didn’t disappoint…
First day was spent in Durham where quite a few changes have occurred since we were last there around thirteen years ago.
It’s still an excellent city to wander around, but a few familiar shops and places have gone the journey into oblivion.
Lunch at Bill’s on the way up to the Cathedral was rather good, as was our evening meal at Redworth Hall.
Day two saw us in Darlington, a place where I’ve lived and worked in, but hadn’t visited for just under five years.
The big breakfast at the hotel set us up for the day so it was a late light lunch that was had at the basement cafe in Binns/House of Fraser after a few hours wandering around and buying travel books in Waterstone’s for me and new shoes and boots for Caroline from Charles Clinkard.
Once we’d headed into Costa for coffee with an old friend and her daughter, it was time to head home after a good break.
I don’t make a habit of photographing my food when eating out, but my birthday coincided with a work shift, so I had a treat..
The venue for the sbove was San Co Co in Leeds where the food is fine and reasonably priced – £5.99 for the English breakfast with a mug of tea.
And yes, it did set me up for the frantic day ahead of me!
It’s over a month since Caroline and I returned from Sicily, but it seems longer, largely because things became rather hectic when we got home following a phone call whilst we were away.
There’s been quite a lot to think about since then – my boss Rob had been taken ill and passed away aged 34 just after a holiday with his family.
The news hit everyone that worked or knew him or were customers at the shop and many have paid their respects to him and offered condolences.
One thing is for certain though – with this and other news we’ve had recently concerning family and acquaintances, we’re going to keep on keeping on and enjoy life to the full!
Life really can be too short sometimes…
So much for spending today in Manchester!
Caroline and I took an early bus towards our preferred railway station this morning, only to find that trains heading west were either running very late or cancelled altogether.
Plan B was easy – get the bus to Leeds and do our shopping there. Simples!
Managed to get everything we were looking for (new bike lights and inner tubes for Caroline in the wake of last night’s club ride and some socks and a new copy of the classic Bogart and Bergman film Casablanca for me).
With lunch at Roots and Fruits and some good coffee and cake at M&S’ cafe, it was quite a grand day out!
I’d never been to Aldeburgh fifteen years ago.
There has been a lot in the UK media about the National Health Service for a while now, but with that election less than a fortnight away, it’s being discussed left, right and centre by voters, politicians and media outlets.
It’s fifteen years to the day since I had a close shave by having a stroke, but I’m very glad to have been looked after by those working in the A&E, intensive care, stroke unit, MRI unit and physios at Airedale Hospital.
The aftercare is still ongoing through my local medical centre a mile away who keep an eye on the meds I take everyday, sometimes at weekly intervals or three monthly intervals depending on test results.
Whilst there have been a few changes in lifestyle since that day in 2004, things that haven’t changed include a very healthy respect for the NHS and a shared enthusiasm for travel.
Caroline and I been to places that we’d never even thought of visiting fifteen years ago both in the UK and Europe.
Yes, there are places I’d like to go that are quite a distance away from home, but with work and holiday time still a major factor to think about, we’re still heading around the UK and Europe for the time being.
For our next few trips we have four new options plus four return visits to think about in Europe, a big rail based trip here in the UK, one or two ideas about rail trips in Canada and quite a few potential destinations that are also in the UK, we aren’t short of ideas regarding places to go.
Our new mantra as it were is “Keep on keeping on!” and the reasons for that my well be revealed next Monday…
In the meantime, Caroline and I are having a grand day out – a day of shopping in Manchester, not Milton Keynes!