May 2014.

I've bought a campervan as a 60th birthday present to myself, made some curtains and a patchwork quilt, waved goodbye to my family, and set off. My aim is to explore the coastline of Britain, anti clockwise, starting in Kent. I have no idea what will happen.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

A short break in Dorset

Jane, Cheryl, me and Malcolm

Diverting from my anti-clockwise coastal route around the UK, I have just spent 10 days in Dorset with my sister Jane who had a hip replacement at Circle Bath Hospital. She kept referring to it as “a really lovely hotel... I mean hospital”, and I am not surprised, as it was beautifully run, and sumptuous. More importantly the operation went well and she came home after only two days. Her confinement happened at the beginning of Dorset Art Weeks when studios and galleries all over Dorset are 'open house' for two weeks. Jane exhibited with two friends, Cheryl and Mary, and they managed the studio while she managed the stairs and the walking sticks and a few half-shifts in the studio. She's doing brilliantly. I was nurse/driver/housekeeper. 
Baa rested at Callerton Parking, close to Newcastle airport and I returned there with Nick yesterday. We set off for the coast again along the north side of the Tyne. Tynemouth is a lovely place right at the mouth of the river. We parked in Front Street which is full of chic shops and bars – even a chocolatier – and visited the castle and priory which dates back to the 11th century. The imposing figure of Admiral Lord Collingwood looks out across the river mouth – he was a Newcastle man and a very important admiral under Nelson, being first on the scene at Trafalgar. Beneath his monument Nelson is quoted: “See how that noble fellow Collingwood takes his ship into action.”
Admiral Lord Collingwood
We moved on through Whitley Bay and Blyth to Newbiggin by the Sea where we bought provisions and had a curry on our way to the Sandy Bay campsite near Ashington. 
The sound of the waves on the beach below the campsite as we went to bed were just a taste of the amazing Northumberland coastline that lay in wait.

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