Winter sports are the best

We went to Newcastle for the afternoon. It started off badly: there was rain, the children wanted to go home and we had nothing planned other than to walk around in the rain for a couple of hours before going back to York. But then things changed. First we ran into someone famous:


Then I saw this bicycle and any city that is home to a cyclist who rides one of these is all right in my mind.


But the crème de la crème was when we discovered the outdoor skating rink (that’s a very blurry shot of me – in the stripy top – with a not so blurry Elizabeth):


We have taken the kids skating a few times in the past but they have never really enjoyed it…..until today. They were both so enthusiastic to begin with and this did not wane. There were squeals of pleasure from both of them and they each did a pretty good job of staying on two feet.

I loved every minute of it. I love the winter sports of skiing and skating and I especially love ice-skating outdoors. What I found particularly enjoyable was ice-skating outdoors in the cold while listening to cheesy Christmas carols. This just doesn’t happen in the Southern Hemisphere since Christmas occurs during our summer.

Newcastle is very nice. There’s some inspiring architecture.






The people – called Geordies – are very friendly. They’ve also got a river called the Tyne which until 1966 was the city’s toilet. During the 1960s it received 3,200 litres of sewage per second. Now the city’s sewage gets intercepted before it pollutes the river and diverted to treatment works at Howdon. Here’s the river: