For the last 3 days we have had no wifi, so I have not been able to keep you up to date with what we have been doing.
First day in Hartlepool we did a bit of looking around the town, took the kids to the beach, to places Noel used to hang out at as a kid, the cemetary was one of them !! We were out for a country walk and Noel was showing the kids the stinging nettles and their antedote. He broke off some stinging nettles and chased the kids around telling them they should try it because he had the antedote (what the!!), I just walk and shake my head. I think he's trying to give them an authentic experience of his childhood !!
We stopped in to see the mother of his childhood best friend Darren, on the off chance she was home (why would you go all this way and organise to meet up with people when you can just turn up out of the blue after 28 years !!!). She gave him a call and he and his family came around. We all had a chat and decided to go to the pub for a few drinks. As kids do, they all got on famously and disappeared to hangout. Noel had a great time meeting up with and being reintroduced to people who were around him when he was growing up.
Day 2 We visited Noels Aunty and tried to catch up with another Aunt but she doesnt seem to be home. The kids told me the Aunty we visited was just like Grandma, she was all chocolates, cake and lemonade, no sooner had they finished and she was asking if they wanted more........
We have organised to go to Greatham for an annual picnic at the Vicarage. There is much singing and performing, and a little bit of drinking, it finished at about 8.30 so we all decided to go to another pub for drinks, a good night was had by all. Taxi needed for the trip home tonight. There are 3 pubs in the village, we have done 2 in 2 days ,maybe day 3 will see us at the 3rd !
Day 3 and we take the kids to see the seals at Seaton Carew, visit another of Noels Aunts, and collect groceries for our stay in Scotland. We meet Darren and his wife Cheryl and the kids at a lovely Chinese Restaurant at the Marina, a great way to end our visit.
Noel has been our tour guide for the last 3 days with running commentary, the rest of us learn a lot about his childhood, although when we are driving past shops in the village, he maybe shouldn't tell the kids which shop would sell him smokes and which one wouldn't. He and Darren probably shouldn't tell them about the times they shot each other (only with air rifles) or about the time Darren shot his mum !! So I leave Hartlepool realising why Lachlan is the way he is !!!
Packing up at night, a big day of driving tomorrow.