Travels with myself – 1 New England in the Fall – Boats, a Bus and a Plane

September 26th 2004 Vermont – New York State
The following morning, it was bright in Moretown, but Hurricane Jeanne had hit Florida during the night and there had been major damage for the fourth time within a couple of months. We were on our way by 7:30am, heading for Burlington on the shores of Lake Champlain. The bus manoeuvred onto a tiny ferry for the hour-long crossing to Port Kent. Lake Champlain is the sixth largest body of fresh water in the US. The lake is named after Samuel de Champlain, who discovered it in 1609. (Of course it was already well known to the Native Americans, to whom it was part of a route from the mouth of thee Hudson to the St Lawrence). It seems to have been the scene of many conflicts over the years and, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on which side you were on), was the site of a major defeat for the British during the War of 1812. Anyway, according to the tourist leaflet, we were just a few of the two million people who cross the lake every year. Again, we enjoyed spectacular views all the way across the lake.

Then, on to Lake Placid, where we had a couple of hours to wander around and have lunch. Lake Placid was the site of the 1980 Winter Olympics and the main Olympic Center was right in the middle of town. This was the year that Robin Cousins won the men’s figure skating and marked the first time that artificial snow was used in an Olympic Games.

I was delighted to come across this restaurant named “Northern Exposure”, which reminded me of one of my all-time favourite TV programmes of the same name. It was dramatic, funny and a bit surreal and I loved it.

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After dropping off our luggage at the hotel (room was complete with a balcony, beautiful views and the obligatory two beds) we set off for our packed afternoon. First we visited the ski jump centre. We rode halfway up on a chair lift and then 20 floors up the tower in a glass lift for a view down the ski jump slope from the very top. I was experimenting with my first video recorder and I decided to film the view from the top and down the slope with my video camera. On my return home, I tried to convince my five-year-old granddaughter that I had actually skied down it, but she was not convinced! However, I did somehow manage to win a gold medal!

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From there we drove to the shores of Lake Placid to board a small boat. We sailed around the perimeter of the lake. There were many houses around the shore, some of them being available for rent. It was picturesque and there was no sign of the giant crocodile from the film of the same name.

After a quick swim (at the hotel, not in the lake, for goodness sake), it was time for the ill-fated “farewell” dinner. It was our tour manager, Barbara’s first time on a large Cosmos holiday. She was pleasant and helpful and dispensed information as we toured around. But this didn’t seem to be enough for some people and there was some muttering and complaining which always seemed to be going on behind me. As we came towards the end of the tour, it fell to Barbara to arrange a farewell dinner at our last hotel and she made the fatal error of assuming that people would follow instructions correctly. A list was sent round asking everyone to 1) confirm their attendance at the dinner and 2) make choices from the menu. Some people completed list 2) but not list 1), Barbara did not check one list against the other and, as a consequence, too few dinners were ordered. There was huge consternation when it was discovered that the hotel might not be able to serve anything at all to the people not on the list, followed by anger, complaints and muttered threats not to give Barbara a tip. Thankfully, food was found for them, although not the excellent food of the celebration meal.

September 27th 2004 New York State – New York – Manchester
We had another 7:30am start as we had to drive right through New York State back to New York. We drove steadily on, stopping at Saratoga for a coffee and at a roadside services for lunch. Mr Le had told me that he wanted to buy me lunch and I think he really wanted us to have the opportunity to eat at a reasonable restaurant. Sadly, we ended up at the Roy Rogers Burger Bar! The scenery changed gradually to become more urban and the trees lost their fabulous colours. The passengers sitting immediately behind me spend the journey whingeing about things that had gone wrong and criticising the tour manager. I spoke loudly to Mr Le (who may or may not have understood) about what a great trip it had been, how much we had seen and how helpful Barbara was.

We made such good progress that we arrived back in New York soon after lunch. It was interesting to see the New York skyline appear as we headed for Newark. Some of my fellow travellers were staying on for some extra days in New York but I had decided I would draw a line at 10 days away – long enough to be enjoyable but, hopefully not too long if I was desperately unhappy. We were dropped off at Terminal C at 2:30pm and Helwan, Nicki and I were able to check in early and get rid of our large suitcases. While we were waiting around, I dropped my flight bag and broke a large mug I had been carrying since Boston. We were 5 hours in the airport but, thankfully, the flight took off on time. It was wonderful to see the lights of New York, stretching as far as the eye could see; then to fly over Boston and some of the other places along the coast, which we had visited.

I watched the new version of The Stepford Wives, which was nothing like the dark 1970s version I remembered. I think I had a couple of hours’ sleep. I was straight through immigration was and soon home.

My first trip was over and I was ready to try something different. Something bigger and more exciting. I wanted to do the next trip at the very top of my bucket list.

Travels with myself – 1 New England in the Fall – Westward Ho!

September 24th 2004 Maine – New Hampshire
Today we set off inland, crossing to New Hampshire. Again, we drove through some spectacular scenery. The leaves are beginning to turn in ever larger numbers. Still, when we stopped for breaks, the sun was shining, and the temperature was in the mid 20sC. We drove through the morning and most of the afternoon with only a brief stop for lunch.

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When we arrived at our hotel in Shelburne we set off straight away for the nearby Wildcat Mountain. We went up the 4,000 ft mountain in the cable cars of the Wildcat Express. The view from the summit was certainly worth the trip and it was surprisingly warm. We returned from the mountain and I had time for a swim in the hotel’s pool (also surprisingly warm). It was good to have a stretch after all the time cooped up in the coach. My mobile had a signal for the first time in days and there was just time for a call home. Edna and Mary invited me to join them for dinner at the hotel, which was surprisingly good – and reasonable. Less exciting was the “entertainer”, a singer/DJ, who walked around the bar serenading individual members of the audience. We didn’t stay long!

September 25th 2004 – New Hampshire – Vermont
This was another day of driving through spectacular scenery. But first, not so far from Shelburne, we stopped at the beautiful covered bridge at Jackson. I was longing to see one of these, after being rather carried away by the sensual and heart-breaking “Bridges of Madison County” starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood.  (It’s the sort of role which Meryl does so well, which is why I can’t bear to see her in “Mama Mia”).  At the bridge, a lady from Texas asked me if Mr Le and I were “going steady” yet.  It rather spoilt my reverie.

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We then drove westwards to Montpelier, the state capital of Vermont, where we would have lunch. On the way we stopped to look wherever the trees were definitely on the turn. Everywhere was a mixture of green and various shades of gold and red.

In the afternoon, we stopped at a Maple Syrup farm, where we were given a talk about the collection of sap and the manufacture of the syrup. The main draw though was the shop, where our tour manager treated us all to a maple flavoured ice-cream and we all spent happily. Then on for a short visit to Stowe before reaching our motel in Morristown. Barbara, our tour manager, had warned us that the motel was “basic” and it did only have one giant bed so, perhaps, that is the definition of “basic”. As we got closer to Moretown, the clouds came over and it eventually rained heavily. This did bring the temperature down to a pleasant level, as it had become very humid and uncomfortable as the day wore on. I had dinner in the restaurant next door and an early night ready for an early start tomorrow.

Travels with myself – 1 New England in the Fall – Bar Harbor and out to sea

September 22nd 2004   Massachusetts – New Hampshire – Maine
I discovered that packing after a two day stop is just as hard as packing after two weeks!  I’ve had all sorts of advice over the years about this; about rotating clothes in your suitcase so that you don’t ever have to hang up more than a couple of items, about packing things in cubes, etc, etc but it all seems like rather a lot of effort.  Still, I was ready for the 8am departure and a 281-mile journey today, stopping at Portland for lunch and then on to Bar Harbor.

There was another brief stop at “Perry’s Nut House”, a tourist stop in Belfast, Maine, to sample various nuts and fruits.   Perry’s has been a  feature on Route One since 1927.  According to Wikipedia, it even had an advertising jingle in the 1950s which went:
“Pack up the kids. Jump in the car. Drive to Perry’s Nut House and there you are. Right on the coast, Route number 1, Belfast, Maine. Oh golly, what fun!”
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Back on the road, the scenery was magnificent, both along the coast and inland.  Various scenes as we came around bends or as bays came into view, made me gasp.  From time to time we saw groups of trees where the leaves had already changed to red.  This is exactly what I came to see – and what I remember seeing on the holiday programme so long ago – and I hoped that we would see many more of these as we headed inland later in the week.

Bar Harbor is a small town on Mount Desert Island in Hancock County.  Our motel was some distance outside the town, so they drove us in on the bus to look around and get something to eat.  It is a beautiful little town.  At low tide a sand bar from the town to Bar Island is exposed.  Although it’s wide enough to drive a car across, this is not allowed. But the sandbar is a popular place just to see what is uncovered when the water retreats.  It was a pleasant warm evening, so we walked to the marina at the end of Main Street, where we saw the boat which was going to take us whale watching the next day.

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Sunset over Bar Harbor

September 23rd 2004  More Maine
I got up to a lovely clear blue sky. We set off at 8:30 to visit the Acadia National Park, just outside Bar Harbor.  First of all, we drove up Cadillac Mountain (named after Le Sieur Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, a French explorer, who has also, famously, given his name to a car).  At 466 metres, this is the highest mountain on the east coast of the United States.  We were allowed to get out for the most tremendous views of Bar Harbor, its bay and islands.  It was freezing cold in the strong wind.  We had a tour of the national park and stopped at Sand Beach, where my feet and jeans were soaked through not moving fast enough as the waves hit the shore.  Then the Thunder Hole, where the sea rushes up a narrow gap in the cliffs and makes a loud noise (not quite thunder on that day) when it strikes the end of the gap.

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The view from Acadia National Park

We headed back to Bar Harbor where there was just time to have some lunch – today the pleasure of a simple cheese sandwich and a coffee – before we boarded the boat for our trip to (hopefully) find the whales. 

I joined another member of our party, Mary, whose friend had sensibly decided to stay on shore.  We were heading 25 miles out into the Bay to look for whales.  We flew along at 30 knots and it was absolutely freezing, despite wearing everything warm which I had brought along plus a waterproof.  I began to hope it was going to be worth it.  We were looking for “spouts”, which is the air that whales force out of their lungs when they exhale.  I must add here, before anyone gets any ideas about my breadth of knowledge, that we were accompanied by an excellent naturalist who was there to map whale sightings rather than simply entertain a group of tourists.  They were so knowledgeable that they could identify the species of whale simply from the shape of its blow.

The first to be seen was a Northern Right Whale.  We were told that, at the time, there were only 300 of these amazing creatures left in the world, so it was a tremendous privilege to see one.  We waited for it to come back from its dive and saw it breaking the surface several times before it dived again.  We waited 12 minutes before it came up again and it waved its tail before finally diving for a second time.  In all, we saw it dive 3 times, then we dashed off (more freezing wind) to where they expected to see different species and here we saw 3 finbacked whales, (sadly another endangered species) again quite close.  There is a strict code about how many vessels should approach any whales encountered in the bay and the guides were in constant contact with other boats to advise of where they could sail and to plot the sightings.

I think no-one really wanted to leave but, eventually, we had to turn back towards the shore.  Mary and I took refuge on a lower deck with a cup of cocoa.  In all, we had been at sea for about three and a half hours – a fantastic experience.  We were back at the hotel with only about an hour to spare before going out for the evening.  I had hoped to swim (this always used to be one of my “things” on holiday – swimming every day whenever possible) but I opted for an hour spent in my warm bedroom instead.  I have quite a long spell of video of this trip.  Most of it is simply of grey sea or sky.  Even when I could see a whale with my naked eye, I found it impossible to control the zoom and I was mostly zooming in on a bare expanse of sea where a whale had just dived but I did capture two of them swimming on the surface, plus one amazing tail slap.

At 6pm we set off for our lobster restaurant.  It was so different from the previous one, big and airy, clean and efficient, with a magnificent view across the bay.  We started with mussels and then I had halibut which was delicious, followed by blueberry cake (even more delicious).  Everyone who had lobster said that it was much better this time, fresher I think, and you could ask for a waiter to come and take it apart for you if necessary (I have regrets here I should have been a bit braver and gone for the lobster).

Altogether a wonderful day!

Travels with myself – 1. New England again

The main problem with these few early holidays is that they were in pre-digital photo days. Being fairly disorganised, I can’t find all my photos and I am certainly missing a whole film’s worth of this holiday. (They kick in within the next day or two).

September 20th 2004 Massachusetts
This morning the tour manager asked the solo travellers to identify themselves and tried to pair everyone up, although some didn’t want to. There was only a handful of us and the one woman I had really thought I might like to be paired with wanted to sit on her own. In my eagerness to be friendly, I said yes and so I spent the rest of the holiday travelling with Mr Le, a Vietnamese American with a very heavy accent and no sense of humour. He was kind and polite, took me to lunch at the end of the holiday and sent me a Christmas card but I wished I had protested and spent my tour with a double seat to myself. As it was, I spent a lot of the time with my head in Hillary Clinton’s autobiography.

We set off for our sail around Hyannis Bay. Luckily, the choppy seas we saw yesterday as we drove along the coast had calmed down and the sail was very smooth. The coast is littered with beautiful buildings, including the famous Kennedy compound, the holiday homes of members of the Kennedy family. I understand that the main house was donated to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States in 2012.

Back on dry land, we headed for Plymouth (also known as Plimouth). We stopped to view Plymouth Rock, which was just that – an unimpressive lump of rock in a cage – and then onto the Mayflower replica. After a crab sandwich for lunch at the “Lobster Hut” we re-grouped and set off for the site of the original 1620s settlement. (This place is usually referred to as Plimouth as that is the spelling used by William Bradford in his history of
the colony. In the 17th Century, spelling was a lot more fluid than it is today – and nobody cared. Tell that to Ofsted).

People dressed in 17th Century costumes were working in the settlers’ village and in the Native American village. They talked to visitors about what life was like in those days. The weather was improving, so it was very pleasant to wander around for a couple of hours.

It was, though, a bit lonely and gave me time to think about what I’d taken on. The coach was just about full, with people from all over the United States (It’s odd to think that there is such a vast amount of your home country to see, never mind setting off overseas). There were also travellers from Australia, for whom this tour was just a part of their overall expedition, there were travellers from other European countries and, of course, the ones who had been on my incoming flight. There were lovely people, there were miserable people (some of whom often seemed to be sitting behind me complaining) and my kind Mr Le of course, but I hadn’t yet met anyone with whom I could really share the experience.

Finally, it was back on the coach and off to Boston. It was a relief to be staying two nights and I decided to unpack. On my way out to get something to eat, I met Edna and Mary from Bolton and they invited me to join them. It was a lovely evening, so we walked through the centre of Boston past Boston Common and the park and then back to bed! Tonight, I only have one huge bed, not the two I’ve had previous nights.

September 21st 2004 More Massachusetts
The sounds of the Phoenix Nights theme music on my phone woke me up at 4am. There was no-one there when I answered. So annoying! I decided to treat myself to room service for breakfast and I wasn’t disappointed. It was like a full English and then some, with added maple syrup. Not surprisingly, I didn’t eat anything until our meal out in the evening. Today we started with a tour of Boston. It’s a beautiful city, small by the standards of major American cities. With a population of around 685,000 (2017), it is the 21st largest city in the United States. The local guide delivered facts and jokes which you felt he had told a hundred times before. We walked to Old North Church at the highest point in the city. In 1775, when British troops, who were occupying Boston, set off to march against Concord or Lexington, the “Patriots” in Boston signalled from this church to Paul Revere, who made his legendary ride to Lexington to let them know that the British were coming (many years before the claim began to be repeatedly made at the Oscar ceremonies).

We also drove by The USS Constitution, which was named by George Washington and is the oldest US commissioned ship. Launched in 1797, this ship is still active and aims to promote the role of the Navy in war and peace through education.

With an afternoon of shopping and rest, followed by more shopping and more rest, we set off for dinner at the No Name restaurant on the waterfront. I was still feeling the effects of my epic breakfast, so opted for a modest salmon fillet rather than the “top of the bill” lobster and, seeing many of the others struggling with theirs, I was glad that I did. Then we were treated to a magical view of Boston from the 50th floor of the Prudential Center (very modest by today’s standards of skyscraper but then very exciting). There were views right across the city, including, not too far away, a baseball game in progress.

Travels with myself – 1. New England in the Fall 2004

September 18th 2004 – Manchester – New York
5:30 am in a B&B close to Manchester Airport.  I was awake already so there was no need to worry about oversleeping.  My host hadn’t been too enthusiastic about taking me at 6:30 am but he did turn up and, by 7:30 I was arriving at Manchester Airport for my flight to New York.

The flight was bumpy and we arrived through grey clouds and rain.  There was an enormous queue through immigration and customs.  This is a recurring theme, it seems, of holidays in the US.  My son-in-law was once detained by immigration officials and asked about his “frequent” visits to the Middle East (he had visited Morocco once and Egypt once but no Middle Eastern countries at all).  His eventual release had something to do with him being a train driver!

I eventually met up with 10 other Cosmos travellers and we drove through New York in a stretched limo, down 5th Avenue, through Times Square, past Radio City and the Rockefeller Centre, to the Sheraton on 7th Avenue.  By the time we had checked in, it was late afternoon and I decided that I would head out to have a look around and get something to eat. By chance I met two others from my party who asked me to join them.  I can remember looking up and being overwhelmed by the buildings.  They seemed somehow oppressive.  After walking for several blocks, we had our first experience of plus-size portions at Brennigans Irish restaurant and bar.  After consuming chicken strips the size of girders and a refreshing beer, we walked back via Broadway and I retired to get ready for the trip to begin in earnest. This was a trip which had been on my bucket list since a long-ago TV holiday programme.

September 19th 2004 New York – Rhode Island – Massachusetts
Next morning, we met our Tour Manager and set off down Madison Avenue, past Central Park, through the Bronx and on to Interstate Highway 95, heading for Newport.  The 50+ seater coach was almost full (only one bag allowed in the “hold”, any others you had to stow inside as best you could). 

It was chilly despite the sunshine – a sting in Hurricane Ivan’s tail I was told.  We passed beautiful houses with manicured gardens and then arrived at the Vanderbilts’ country “cottage”.  “The Breakers”, built in the late 1800s is one of the grandest of Newport’s “cottages” and the Vanderbilts had gone all out to find the best architects, designers, painters, etc, to create a beautiful house (except for some disgusting wallpaper in the bedrooms).  I’ve bought some odd things in gift shops over the years, but I still have a little mug with the words “Votes for Women”, which I bought at “The Breakers”. We then drove up the coast to Hyannis on Cape Cod.

I think that I hadn’t quite grasped the significance of a holiday which included very few meals.  I had already eaten lunch alone and now I had to look for somewhere to eat again.  I found my way round the rear of the hotel, to a TGI Friday where I had my first seafood meal and a large (and I mean large) beer.  I found my way in the dark back to the hotel.  It didn’t feel strange. I was OK.  In bed, I watched the Emmys and managed to stay awake until 11pm.

This wasn’t my first holiday of the year.  I’d had a last-minute invitation to visit family in Bahrain.  But being chauffeured around Grand Mosque, the Souk, the new Grand Prix track was a whole different thing from finding my way in the dark on my own.  This time, I was really dipping my toe in the water of solo travel.  My local travel agent wanted me to dip my toe in a great deal more water – suggesting that I might like to try a cruise, where there are “gentlemen on board who are there for the sole purpose of dancing with the single ladies”.  But I decided that certainly was not for me. I have never been on a cruise and am slightly anxious about a very low-key river cruise in Italy which I have booked for this summer.  Neither have I danced with any gentlemen on any of my trips!

The Richard connection

We experienced three days of very unusual February weather, when we walked or sat out in the sunshine, before it began to revert to what we have learned to expect of winter months – grey, damp, cold and windy. The temperature in Northumberland was in the high teens and it reached 20ºC in some parts of the UK. We don’t know what this means as far as global warming is concerned but it’s not the first time that we have had glorious warm weather during our Feb/March holiday.

On Thursday I escaped the rain as I wanted to take the opportunity to visit my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, who have recently moved to the north east. There was the added bonus of meeting their new grandson 😍

We left for home on a grey, drizzly Friday. En route, we visited Seaton Delaval Hall which is a grade 1 listed country house near Whitley Bay.

The Delaval family were gifted the land when they arrived with William the Conqueror at the time of the Norman conquest. It passed through the family for many generations with varying degrees of success and failure, wealth and bankruptcy. The family’s wealth came from glass, coal and iron.

In 1728, a fairly modest house was replaced by the existing building which was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh. Unfortunately in 1822 while the family were staying at their other house in Norfolk, the central wing was gutted by a fire which was said to have been caused by birds nesting in the chimneys. The fire spread from the south east wing through to the main central wing, which housed the family’s accommodation. Repairs were attempted at various times but the central wing remains as an empty shell with just the roof replaced. However, even with its fire-blackened walls, damaged statues and lack of ceilings, it is still a magnificent building. In later years, the west wing, which had previously been the servants’ quarters, was used by members of the Delaval family as their family home.

Along the way, one member of the family (John Hussey Delaval 1728-1808) was granted a baronetcy. Due to the rules of primogeniture, the baronetcy and the family seat were eventually inherited by a branch of the family whose name was Astley. (I heard today of a move to stop this outdated (was it ever fair?) rule throughout the aristocracy, as the royals had already abandoned it before any of the Cambridge children were born).

During the 20th century some restoration work of the west wing was completed and eventually the 22nd Baron Hastings, Edward Delaval Henry Astley moved there to live and stayed until his death in 2007.

We were shown around the house by some extremely knowledgeable National Trust volunteers. As we were being told about the 22nd Baron Hastings something clicked in the back of my mind: “My husband knew Lord Hastings”, I said. And so he did! When Richard was Social Work Director of the British Epilepsy Association in the 80s and 90s, Lord Hastings was the Association’s President.

I have a letter which I found when going through my photographs, from Lord Hastings to Richard after he left the British Epilepsy Association.

Lord Hastings said: “You have done a splendid job and it was fraught with difficulties over a long period, but you stuck to it and saw it through some very traumatic situations. It is understandable that you should feel the need of a change but you will be a great loss nevertheless and I’m sure that you will be very much missed by everyone. I wish you the best of luck in your new post and send my warm thanks for your services to BEA. Yours sincerely Hastings”.

The 23rd Baron Hastings, wishing to preserve the future of the Hall and encourage greater public access, entered into discussions with the National Trust and it came into the possession of the Trust in 2009. The buildings have been open to visitors since 2010 and major work is now underway, which is being funded by the Lottery Heritage Fund. The aim is to preserve the fire damaged parts of the building as they stand and to renovate the west wing. In addition, huge works are being carried out right across the grounds in the hope of making this a family friendly destination in years to come.

The Cuthbert connection

It’s coming to something when the only piece of post I have today is from a company trying to sell me hearing aids, with some free batteries to tempt me! Still, the trees where I walk every day with the dog are beginning to bud, as are the shrubs in my garden. I have a single miniature daffodil too!

I was surprised to see just how many buds and flowers there were in Northumberland when I went to stay last week. (You see I do have an exciting life sometimes). There were lambs in the fields too. The main pleasure of this time away was being with friends, some of whom I’ve known for over 60 years. I enjoy the company so much and one of my friends is very good at arranging small trips for us. All of us used to enjoy walking and the first time we got together we walked a section of Hadrian’s wall. Now though, most of us enjoy a short walk and leave the couple who are still very active to stride off without us.

The week was so interesting that I thought I would tell you a little about it before going off to talk about my travels further afield.

Our first surprise was a visit to the Chillingham wild cattle. This is a small herd of about 120 white cattle, which live in a park next to Chillingham castle. Their exact history is unclear and varies according to who is telling it but it is generally accepted that they have had a pure undiluted gene pool for at least several hundred years. They’re not husbanded except to give them a little extra feed in the winter and are not visited by vets. Nevertheless, the herd continues to grow!

The ground cover isn’t snow – it’s snowdrops!

We stayed at the Lindisfarne Inn, which is only a mile or so away from the causeway to Holy Island. Last time we were here, we walked the causeway but this time we were happy to be driven!

The causeway, just as the tide is receding

I was interested in finding out more about St Cuthbert, because my father was named after him. He was an Anglo-Saxon born in 635AD to parents who were Christian converts. He entered Melrose monastery at the age of 16 and was eventually appointed Prior of Lindisfarne (Holy Island). At the age of 41, he decided to become a hermit and left to live on one of the Farne Islands but was persuaded to return to Lindisfarne. But after only two years he resigned and returned to his life as a hermit where he died in 687AD. The monks brought him back to Lindisfarne and buried him.

However, that is not the end of the story. Around 200 years later, the monks evacuated Holy Island in the face of Viking invasions and took his his coffin wherever they went until it was eventually laid to rest in, what is now, Durham Cathedral.

So that is St Cuthbert!

Lindisfarne Castle

I will save the final story until tomorrow….