A Busy Week?

I’ve not posted for a week – so, it’s an excuse that I could try!

What’s that Michelle? I should try getting off my backside?

Well since my last post, I have been relatively busy. On Friday I drove up to Newcastle after work to spend the weekend with Michelle. I had planned this for a while, but intended to go on the train until work decided I should spend the next two weeks working in the North East. This meant I would need my car up there, so train tickets were cancelled (well re arranged!).

It’s a long time since I drove north on a Friday night. I forgot how long it takes. It was eventually about 23:30 when I finally got to the Tyne Valley and to see Michelle. Bless her, she had dinner waiting for me when I arrived. She is definitely a keeper!

Saturday brought a restful day and lunch in a rather pleasant cafe in the lovely market town of Hexham. The local butcher’s were having a sausage festival and had lots of free samples of their homemade chorizo sausages, Cumberland sausages and chipolatas. Well, it would have been rude not to try them wouldn’t it?

Sunday brought a burst of activity. Josh, Michelle’s youngest son was playing football in the morning, so I was going to watch the game, but decided to cycle their, via the long way round. I rode up from Michelle’s house to the Military road and along Hadrian’s Wall before dropping down to cross the River Tyne @ Corbridge and then heading along the Tyne to Ryton for the football before riding back to Michelle’s. I rode just over 27 miles and climbed over 1700 feet. I have to say I was pleased with myself. I should say that the football was also rather good. Josh saved a penalty and produced a string of saves and professional would have been proud of. Man of the match? Without doubt.

Sunday afternoon brought a drinks soiree for Michelle’s 40th birthday. It was a very nice affair with lots of alcohol for everyone. The kids present seemed to enjoy themselves. I finally got to meet some of Michelle’s friends and work colleagues. At least Michelle won’t remember if I embarrassed myself.

Monday was work and my first visit to Newcastle Crown Court in 11 years. The area has changed massively since I used to practice in the area. I saw and spoke to one or two old familiar faces from my past. That was rather pleasant.

I had just settled in to watching cases in court at Newcastle Crown Court when the lead inspector asked me to go to Durham Crown Court some 20 miles away. So it was time to jump into my car and head down there. Again, Durham brought back memories of the past.

After court, I drove back to Newcastle and checked into the Hilton hotel for the week. The hotel is rather nice. I was supposed to be in a different hotel, but it was fully booked. My luck was definitely in. I had my bike with me and rode down to the quayside, up the other side and down the Scotswood Road to Newburn, then up to Throckley and onto see Michelle in Horsley. This was around 11 miles and 800 feet of climbing. The return journey was easier with only 350 feet of climbing.

I have to pause at this point to comment on how the Scotswood Road has changed since the days of the Blaydon Races song in 1862. Then it had 50 pubs and was a street of terraced houses. Today, it is a dual carriageway and there is not a single pub on it and no houses anywhere near it.

Tuesday was Michelle’s birthday – 40 or 21 years and 228 months as she prefers to think of it. I of course treated Michelle to breakfast in bed (well it was literally in bed when I dropped the tray). I gave her the cards and present I had to dash back to the hotel the previous night to collect.

Workwise on Tuesday, I spent the morning in the Crown Court and the afternoon in the magistrates’ court at Newcastle. Again, lots of catching up with old faces from the past as well as working. It was noticeable how much quieter the courts are than they used to be.

After work, I had to cycle back up to Michelle’s where I was meeting my parents, Michelle’s parents and Josh & Jack and we all went for a meal at the local pub, the Lion & Lamb in Horsley. The food was excellent, the company similarly good. Rather a lot was had to drink and after a bit of searching we found a taxi to take my parents to a hotel for the night. That is another story.

I must just give a quick mention to KB Cycles in Newburn. I lost a bolt from my mudguard on the way home and called in there. They not only found a bolt, but fixed it and refused to take a penny for it. Top service.

Wednesday, brought a change of scenery and a trip to Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court where I watch a trial listed for the morning, but it finished at 18:30 that night! I finally got home at around 1945 only to find my dinner ready for me. Someone looks after me rather too well. I told you Michelle was a keeper.

Thursday brought the delights of Peterlee Magistrates Court. Now Peterlee is not on a list of places you need to visit before you die. It is a dump! The court itself was very nice and the staff were very pleasant. Another day and another familiar face to catch up with.

I have managed 70+ miles this last week, so it’s not too bad. I will get 25 miles in tomorrow as well I hope.

No football though this last week.

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