Thursday, 14 April 2011

Freezing Winds, Geological Marvels And Trouble With The Leek Show Cup

I was on another Know Your Hadrian's Wall Country trip. It was yet another great day. Geology, presented by the excellent Brian Young. A tour around the Wall to various rock formations, fossils and mines. My mind was expanded. He made the subject come alive. Previously I had thought of geology as being an acquired taste at the politest. I want to know more.

The passengers were the usual mix of interesting people, equally keen to learn. It made the day go fast and I felt a twinge of sadness when it ended, back at the friendly Twice Brewed pub with its international menu, catering for the large amount of international visitors.

"What is Serbian Style Chicken?" I asked the waitress.

"It's got tomatoes in it," replied the happy Northumbrian voice.

The wind had blown in gusts. Even the hardiest of the passengers sank their hands into their pockets and their chins into their jacket lapels. It was Northumberland at its most raw, and most beautiful too. The wind kept the rain away and therefore the light was crisp and the views towards Scotland and the South of England were spectacular.

"Would you like the microphone?" I asked the geologist.

"No thanks," he laughed. "My wife says I have a voice like a foghorn."

The tales continued all through the day. Discussions of all things in the North. In fact the tales had begun before the tour began, when I went into the local shop next to the bus depot.

"My friend's had a problem," said the manageress. " She was naked in her bedroom, overbalanced, fell into the wardrobe and landed on the cup her husband won at last year's Leek Show."

"That must have hurt," I said, stating the bleeding obvious.

"Not as much as the long lasting scars," she went on. "When she landed on it, it had the eeffect of a branding iron and for weeks she was walking around with 'DIDDLYSQUAT WORKING MEN'S CLUB - FIRST PRIZE LEEK SHOW' imprinted on her bottom."

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