Thursday, 22 August 2013

Up North...

Not wanting to drive around the M25 early Saturday morning we left Home at Lunch time Friday. The journey seemed to take forever as well. The M1/A1 is a long road!

But we made it safely and arrived at Kerry's cousin Katie's house with just enough time to run out for fish and chips. I did notice something new on the menu. Scratching and chips. I think its all the bits of batter left over from frying a fish, with chips. 

We'd travelled to Bishop Auckland, County Durham because of a big party that was being laid on for Kerry's Dad, Mike, and his two twin sisters. 50 years old (even though Mike protests his youthful good looks and still with a full head of hair!)

Brass-band day in Durham
The day of the party and everyone from 'down South' arrived early afternoon for a quick beer and a tidy up before heading to the social centre where the doo was being held. There were a lot of people there. Mike is one of 11 children and it was really nice to see such a big family all together, of all generations.

I'd been promised a good pissup. And a good pissup I got! Threw some groovy shapes to some pop music that I actually quite appreciate at the moment. All in all it was a brilliant night and I finished off my last pint in the back seat of the taxi back to Katie's and the van.

Tom, Kerry's sisters partner, and I woke up with the imaginary smell of fryup wafting through the air. It was now our mission! We contemplated going to a greasy spoon but I was adamant that a home cook-up is the only way forward. 20 minutes in Asda and we were chefing it up for everyone. Sausages, bacon, black pudding, tomatos, beans, mushrooms. KABAM!

Then I remembered
Kerry enjoys eating too!

"Come round empty tomorrow Adam, there's tons of food in the fridge for the Barbie!"

From Katies mum, Mikes sister Barbara.


We waddled in to Barbara's garden to find a load of the people from the party the night before, a bin full of beer and ice and Ian, Katie's Dad, whipping up a feast on the Barbecue. 

The afternoon was really brilliant. The food just kept coming and everyone was so nice to talk to. It felt as if I knew everybody from a long time ago, when really I'd only just met them that weekend. Kerry and I had brought the new van over to the BBQ and as the last of the family said their goodbyes and departed we only had to walk a few steps before we were home. 

I used the next day to install the 120W solar panel and controller that got delivered the week before. Im glad I did it at Barbara and Ians as I had to use Ian's jigsaw to alter the panel. Early indications are good. Ive never had a controller display the Current being put out by the panel before so it is very interesting to see how different weather conditions affect electrical output. 

Keswick and Derwent Water
The festivities, however, had still not stopped! With another Birthday meal for a different sibling a few days later. I have never, ever... ever. Eaten so much in my whole life. Constant eating for 4 days. It was awesome! But I'm feeling it now. 

We spent the day over at Derwent Water in Keswick where I was able to get a landing net to accompany my fishing rod.

After a quick one night pit stop in Snowdonia, Wales to collect our refillable petroleum gas canister from the supplier we headed to our 5th dose of Global Gathering music festival in as many years.

Most of our good friends were there this year. Unfortunately some couldn't make it but it was an awesome festival none the less. Id er on it being the best we've been to. It was handy having the van in the car park. On the last night we had some really torrential rain from about 9pm till 2am. It stopped raining just as we got back to the tents.

Mine and kerry's tent had managed to fill up with water, so we grabbed the few things we take in to festivals now and retreated to the van. We needed the sleep as our ferry sailing to the Netherlands was at 8am Monday morning.

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