A coastal weekend in Northumberland

I spent the weekend camping along the Northumbrian Coast in northeast England and I am feeling relaxed and rejuvenated now. It was a nice way to spend the last weekend before the busy new teaching term begins. More than that, it was a great reminder of my need to take time away from “real life” on occasion.

The weekend was spent with my friend, Eleanor, in her motorhome – the one she bought when we went on a Fife day out a couple of years ago. This was my first time getting to camp in the “moho”, so it was quite a treat.

We began our weekend on Friday afternoon with a nice drive south to the campground located between the villages of Seahouses and Beadnell. Once we set up camp, we headed out for a 5.5-mile walk along the shoreline towards Beadnell. We then enjoyed a little “picnic” at the campground with tasty nibbles and some prosecco. (Moho camping is so sophisticated!)

Sailboats along the Northumberland Coast

On Saturday, I woke up bright and early (as I generally do) and enjoyed a relaxing morning of reading and journalling before Eleanor woke. We then walked down to the sea for a dip in the cold waters – a very rejuvenating way to start the day, for sure!

After our post-dip showers, we headed out for a long day of walking along the coast. This time, we headed north past/through Seahouses on our way to Bamburgh where we enjoyed a nice lunch in the village before making the return walk along the seaside – remarking on the difference between the tides from the beginning to the end of the day’s 11.60-mile walk. In the evening, we walked into Seahouses once more for a nice fish-and-chips dinner before returning to the campsite to relax before bed.

Just Frances at Bamburgh Castle on the Northumberland Coast

It rained quite a bit overnight and was still raining when we got up on Sunday morning, so we decided to make our way back up the coast with the hopes of a clear spot in the weather by the time we reached Berwick-Upon-Tweed. And we managed it! That meant that we broke the return drive by enjoying a 4-mile walk around the Berwick town walls – something I last did in April 2019. We then enjoyed a nice lunch by the river before making the final journey home.

It was a very active, but also very relaxing weekend! And, with the exception of a few bits of rain here and there, it was mostly sunny and decent weather.

Although, there was also a bit of sadness over the weekend.

When I woke up on Saturday morning, I read the very sad and quite upsetting news that my dear friend, SuzieQ, had passed away in her sleep the day before. (SuzieQ deserves a memoriam post of her own, which will come later.) That meant that my heart weighed heavily throughout the rest of the weekend as I thought of the pain her children and grandchildren are experiencing just now.

Of course, another shadow over the weekend was because of my own mother’s death in January. Normally, my travels and adventures are filled with thoughts of Mum and how much she would enjoy hearing about my experiences later – either here on my blog or on our (nearly) weekly Skype calls. Indeed, I used to take photos and videos specifically for Mum so that I could share them with her. And I used to pick up little magnets, tea towels, teas, or other treats for her along my travels.

When I saw a rock or a vista or a whimsy and thought “Oh, Mum would love that!”, I felt a bit of sadness because I couldn’t share it with her. And when I saw the “perfect” Christmas ornament (with a puffin) I was sad because I couldn’t buy it for her. But I was also comforted in the knowledge that she was with me, living in my heart and my memories forever. And, as I promised her, I will carry her with me forever.

She sees seashells by the seashore

Much like how I’ve learned to cope/live with the grief of losing Paul over the years, I know that I will learn how to incorporate the pain of losing my mother into my everyday life, too. There will always be moments of sadness and times when I just want to wrap my arms around her, but I will survive the loss and I will find that there are more happy moments than sad ones. That is one of life’s saving graces.

Anyhow… another wonderful weekend has passed. I am glad for the adventure and for the happy memories, and I will look forward to my next outing – be that with friends or as a solo adventurer.

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