Thursday 15th September

Early morning it was not windy so we drove to Fenella beach in Peel, deserted at 7.30, to scatter Mum’s ashes in the waves. She and I scattered Dad’s there ten years ago and she wanted to be with him. I stayed till the tide turned and I knew she was finally laid to rest.

I visited Foxdale primary school at lunchtime to donate a copy of NUmber One Baby Dragon in memory of my dad who used to volunteer in the Reception class, listening to the children read and reading to them. I was so pleased to find the administrator was still there and remembered Dad. I read the story to them, tiny and only just starting school. They listened beautifully. I did Lara’s activity, turned them into baby dragons in their eggs, hatched out and they learned to fly and roar like the story. Fun for us all.

We had time to drive to Port Erin and visit the bookshop, and walk around the prom. Had a delicious Cornish pasty and coffee for a late lunch. The wind returned cold and blustery so no long walks today- all that was left to do was pack bags ready for the early morning ferry.

To Carlisle

Friday 16th September The boat was full and we sat with a wagon driver, (truck/lorry) from Whitby Yorkshire, who chatted pretty much all the way, three hours. Once we had the hire car we set off to Kirkby Lonsdale, where I lived from age nine to thirteen. It is quite famous now as the gateway to the Lake District. It’s frozen in time, , the sweet shop in the square is the same as it was over fifty years ago! Great little cafe next door makes yummy cakes and coffee.

Drove through the fells, rolling hills, with hill sheep, off the motorway too early and got lost in Carlisle’s one way city centre roads. Belatedly occurred to me to use the gps, or at least try, and we escaped, arriving two hours late at my aunt Betty’s. She is 95 and got very worried, rang Stephen to find out where we were. Our uk phones ran out of credit and we couldn’t find anywhere to top up on the island. We were pretty stressed too ! She looks and sounds same as ever, shorter still than she was but it is painful for her to walk. However she had booked us into The Metal Bridge pub for dinner so off we went again. We fell into bed exhausted!

Kirkby Lonsdale

Sat 17th September

Betty really wanted us to stay another night but was happy for us to go out for the day. We decided to do a walk along Hadrians wall. En route we found an Art exhibition in a tiny tucked away village church, an ancient priory founded in 110 AD and closed by Henry V111 in the 1500’s. The arches and stonework were impressive structures.

Hadrian’s Wall which the Romans built to keep the pesky Scots out of England, is another impressive bit of stonework. The bricks are about three times the size of ours with bigger ones at gateposts and corners. They are so neatly cut in such straight lines. The wall is a lot smaller than it was because the local farmers used it to make their own walls around their fields once the Romans left.

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