Survival, Sheds & Sleep – Week 24 2022

So I left the last blog hanging with the promise to write about the drama of my following Leeds United. For the last game of the season we needed to better the result of Burnley and, on paper, we had the more difficult fixture: they had Newcastle United at home and we had Brentford away. I decided I couldn’t bear to watch it live on Sky and started to wash the car during the game. Why watch the agony?

Anyway the Geordies (actually I expect it is mainly Frenchmen, various Africans and the odd Spaniard etc.)  started to beat Burnley and I dared to sidle into the lounge and watch the Leeds game from behind the sofa through my fingers. The upshot was that Burnley lost and we won. Euphoria broke out in Acaster Malbis and the relief of not having to worry about Premiership survival could be parked until August when the trauma would start again. There is no cure.

Our Brazilian wizard celebrates in the Away end

It’s been a busy time since then. A couple of days was spent in Manchester stripping and painting a shed. This task was necessary for the upcoming wedding of the Favourite Youngest. It was the elimination of an eyesore in the garden (of the evening party after the wedding.) Two days stripping and painting a shed? Living the dream. Anyway the preparation was arduous and with some help from the fiancée and even the fiancé we got the shed to the state where we could paint it. The block of flats, it was sited behind, got a free overdue job done and I got takeaways, Tunnock biscuits and regular cups of tea.

After this it was down to North Wales to see my sister, Ann-Marie. She lives near Conwy. We did a couple of jobs at her home and had a trip out to the wonderful Secret Gardens near Menai Bridge on Anglesey. I’m not ordinarily wowed by gardens but it is sensational. You should visit it if you’re over that way.

Back to York I had three album reviews to submit to Country Music People. This month the three albums were dull affairs and listening to them and writing reviews a chore. If you like the album then scribing is a lot easier. I publish a fraction of the albums I review on my own site. If I’ve had to suffer them I see no reason why you should!

A flight to Limoges was booked for July. I’m taking the bicycle and will camp and ride back to Europort (Rotterdam) over a couple of weeks. That’ll be a fabulous opportunity to relax albeit with lots of pedalling.

This week it’s been up to Northumberland guiding. After the season I will put together a blog. (I think that if I did it now they’d sack me.) It starts with greeting the guests on Sunday night and continues through to Friday, albeit I was barracked 10 miles away and so I didn’t see them after Thursday night. The weather was sensational, the sights and walks superb and the guests good humoured, flexible, resilient and good company. 

Amble harbour
A walk across the sands (and mud!) on The Pilgrim’s Way to Holy Island
Wonderful Vindolanda
Lindisfarne Abbey
Rugged Northumbrian coastline
View from Hadrian’s Wall. Cattle in the lough.

However there were the usual challenges with the week to keep the show on the road. The first was going on tour without my credit cards and no cash. I left these in York. Fortunately I had my phone and Apple watch with the banking Apps and they worked all week. Then there was the small matter of breaking my spectacle frames! A local Morrisons had some superglue for a repair to temporarily solve that. However, I woke up every morning, at around 5am, only to find my brain irretrievably switching on to start thinking about taxis arriving, tides to reach Holy Island, submitting menus to the guests to pre-select, the mobility of a couple of the guests on the walks etc. No further sleep happened those mornings. Just about most days were 13 to 14 hours long. So by Thursday night you start to feel zombiesque and hung over with tiredness. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, I don’t have to do it.

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