We woke up this morning with bright sunlight pouring through the hotel windows. Scarborough Bay looked rather incredible in the early morning light. We ate breakfast in a street cafe before heading north on the coast road.
We made a detour at Robin Hood’s Bay. What a stunning place. Little stone houses and shops cling to a steep hillside which meanders down to the sea. We were there early enough to miss the tourist hordes, and had the glorious beach almost to ourselves. We did a bit of rock-pooling. Nathan was desperate to find a crab, but had to settle for a little block of fudge – which we found in a shop rather than a rock pool!
The highlight of the day has to be watching a poor woman trying to push a pram up the steep cobbled street as we made our way down. She was killing herself laughing and had gone bright red with exertion.
We reached Newcastle just after lunch, and met my parents in my favourite vegetarian pub, The Bob Trollop. We walked up to Monument Station, and had a look around the shops. My Mum’s new favourite singer is a folk artist called Kate Rusby, and she found her latest CD in a shop in a brilliant old-fashioned arcade.
My Dad bought me an IPOD! I was so excited. I think this whole business with the symphony has made him feel pretty frustrated. All Dads want to help their children, and I guess watching me, spinning like a corkscrew into the floor couldn’t have been particularly enjoyable. He can’t save me from the car crash, but he can treat me to something I couldn’t afford to buy for myself. I am so lucky to have such incredibly supportive parents. I think I’d have gone mad a long time ago if it wasn’t for their generosity.
We got back to the hotel and I immediately went for a run with m new IPOD plugged into my ears. I went across four of the bridges for old time’s sake. What a difference a month makes. When I was last here, the wind would often batter me off course, but tonight there was a stillness in the air; a sort of summer-like, dusty warmth, which made the whole experience profoundly enjoyable.
350 years ago, Pepys and Elizabeth went with Lady Batten and her two daughters and Sir William Penn to Dartford. The day was apparently very pleasant, though the journey was hard, no doubt because of the bad weather of recent days. They met Sir William Batten in Dartford, who had just been elected at Rochester, and there was much merriment. Pepys went to bed “my head akeing mightily through the wine that I drank today.”