So let’s see if I can remember all of this.

Friday night
Popped down to see our friend, poor dear has several large bruises, mostly on her face, and some metal staples in her head. Suggestions of ‘blinging them up’ were met with a smile (just before she heaved a cushion at me).

Up early for no apparent reason, despite not having slept very well as it was really muggy and uncomfortable. A little bit of shopping, and off to Strathaven for a BBQ in the sunshine!

Of course the eating was all carefully staged around the footie. So, after a “burger starter” we settled down for what was easily the worst game of football I’ve seen for many a year. Put it this way, by the time it got to the last fifteen minutes we were all screaming for SOMEONE, ANYONE to score a goal! Hell if the referee had run up and smashed it into the top corner at least that would have been entertaining!!!

Penalties were predicted at half-time and penalties were what we got, and once again England didn’t have the belief to go through. Not that either team did UNLIKE France! Wasn’t Zidane brilliant?! It was like the 1998 World Cup all over again as it twisted, flicked, and dominated a poor Brazil midfield. Ohh how I’d love for them to go on and win it.

Anyway, beer, frozen margeritas, a delicious steak, more beer, some strawberry flan (with a side helping of profiteroles) and we rolled home stuffed, sated and slightly roasted ourselves.

On the road by 9am (and for those who are wondering, I stopped drinking at about 9pm the night before) we headed across the M8 and down the A1 to Berwick-Upon-Tweed. A quick rendezvous with my sister-in-law and four children and then off we headed to Haggerston Alnwick. Yes, we changed our plans. Alnwick is probably the furthest we reckoned we could get Claire to drive, so we decided to head there and leave her to navigate her way to closer attractions – Haggerston, Bamburgh and so on.

After a brief skirmish with a large lorry we arrived safely at Alnwick and MY it has changed a lot since Louise and I were last there, some four years ago we reckon. When we visited only the main water feature and the top garden area had been completed, so it was quite a sight to see at least four or five new areas all finished and in bloom. There are several more water features (some fun ones for the kids), a wonderful rose garden which assaulted both your visual and olfactory senses, not to mention the new treehouse area (a slight disappointment to be honest).

We spent a couple of hours wandering around, keeping the kids interested where we could, and then we headed for Alnwick Castle. We’d built it up a bit with the whole Harry Potter thing so the kids were keen to see it.

Except, and this is another change since Louise and I last visited, you can no longer wander round the grounds for free, you have to pay to get inside the castle walls. A sum too far, alas, so we contented ourselves as best we could with viewing the outside of the castle, replete with yard upon yard of scaffolding. Brilliant.

To try and keep the kids going we decided to stop off at Lindisfarne. The excitement of crossing the causeway dulled by the fact the tide wasn’t due in for another four hours and by that time we were all knackered, hungry and a little bored.

In saying all that, it was a gloriously sunny day and everyone had a great time. I think Louise and I will go back to Alnwick on our own (or probably with my parents?) and spend a day proper in the gardens. So much to see and, as ever, numerous photos will follow.


So, what did YOU all do with your weekend?