We've spent a lovely few days in Durham this week, visiting family and taking the opportunity to explore some of the surrounding area. I will admit I was looking forward to the slightly cooler temperatures up north, but was totally unprepared for the drop to around 12°C when we got out of the car at the service station at Wetherby. We were all shivering and looking for coats, stepping over puddles, it was comical. Once the rain stopped it warmed up a little and for the rest of our time away we were treated to a mixture of sun and cloud, and some spectacular clouds at that.
This was Ziggy's first long journey and he coped much better than expected. Never the happiest traveller, he settled down once we were on the motorway and slept a lot of the way there. We took him out and about with us as much as possible which was lovely, and he seemed to enjoy Warkworth Castle, sniffing a lot but thankfully not peeing up against any historical monuments.
Warkworth beach was wild and huge, and not overly warm either. I love the beaches of the Northumberland coast, they're so vast with their miles of sand and wide open skies, quite different to the crowded, shingle beaches down here.
Angus, John and Ziggy played football, Bella hunted for pebbles to paint, I took photos. Everyone was happy.
Inland, the wild flowers were in full bloom and I was struck by the soft purple and gold tones everywhere from the heather and grasses. Ziggy was spoilt for walks while we were away with the moorland and beaches, and the cooler temperatures meant we could walk for much further and longer than we have been in the heat.
We couldn't visit Durham without a trip to Seaham beach to hunt for sea glass.
John and the kids always roll their eyes and make out like I'm dragging them all there (it's a twenty minute drive!) but, once we're there, they all have as much fun as me.
Bella got really into it and collected a bag full, and John found some gems. Angus explored the caves and searched for interesting pebbles and stones to add to his Interesting Things box.
And Ziggy was happy just to wander between each of us, occasionally having a paddle in the surf or going to say hello to another dog, but I think it's safe to say he had as much fun as I did.
I find searching for sea glass very soothing. You can just lose yourself in what you're doing and let your mind wander.
I sat myself down on the sand and looked out to sea, then ran my hands through the sand around me, and unearthed so many treasures. I could have sat there all day. And these were the afternoon's treasures: mostly green and white with a few bright jewel colours and a couple of gorgeous, large pebble-like pieces. They've been added to Bella's collection.
So a brief trip but a nice one, and we enjoyed the time together. Today has been busy as we did errands and jobs like laundry, ironing, washing the car, and getting ready for a break in Devon next week. I'm out all day tomorrow at my friend and colleague's wedding so I won't get anything done then. Everything happens at once and this summer holiday is filling up rapidly.
I took lots of crafting projects to Durham with me of course (I needed something to do on that long journey) and I have made a start on an EPP hexagon patchwork quilt (much, much more on that another day) and crocheted a bag which I will show you soon, but the main thing I was working on was this gift for my friend, the bride.
It features flowers from her bouquet (cream roses, green hypericum berries, white bouvardia and baby's breath/gypsophila) and around the bouquet, I have embroidered their names and the date of the wedding.
I've backed it with cream wool felt and tied a velvet ribbon to the top of the hoop so it can be hung.
It's not my usual style of embroidery but I went with it and just embraced the bridal frothiness of it all. I'll show you a finished photo of it soon. I hope she likes it.