Durham, Newcastle, London, Darwen, Manchester, Conwy, Angelsey, Home.

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I didn’t intend to take a week off from my blog along with my week off from work; it just worked out that way.

I seemed to have crammed so much in, tomorrow I’ll be returning to work for a rest.

Normal life properly resumes on Wednesday when school starts up again for us. We all so longed for the break from the bus pass/lunch money/PE kit/school/homework/after school activities routine back in early July but now I think we are all ready to return to that timetable that will steady the next few weeks.

So to a little of the sights from the past few days.

Bank holiday weekend and Mr Jones and I stole an impromptu weekend away and nipped up the A1 to Durham, a place I had not been to before.

A tiny perfect city surrounded on three sides by the River Wear well known for its Norman cathedral and 11th century castle, both designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986. Whilst at the cathedral we were further treated by the Cathedral choir practicing for the following day’s service.

We were understandably unable to take photographs within the cathedral but took a few of the Cloisters as we sheltered from the rain. These were used as one of the locations for scenes in both Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Whilst so close to Newcastle we took the opportunity to see the ‘winking’ Millenium bridge, a pedestrian bridge crossing the River Tyne unique in its design as it tilts to afford the taller boats passage beneath it.

Back in Wakefield a day of necessary school uniform and pencil case shopping was followed by a girls days out to London. Freya and I took an early train for our annual visit. The highlight of which, this year, was the breathtaking poppy installation at the Tower of London.

This major art installation, ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London’, marks one hundred years since the first full day of Britain’s involvement in the First World War. Created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins, with setting by stage designer Tom Piper, 888,246 hand made ceramic poppies will progressively fill the Tower’s famous moat over the summer. Each poppy represents a British military fatality during the war. You can find out more about the making of the poppies here.

We learnt that that what we saw was about a third of the way through the installation. I would love to return again before the last poppy is put in place on the 11th November.

The following day saw us heading off to Manchester. We took a slight detour via Minerva Crafts in Darwen where once we had chosen some fabric to make Freya some fleecy house pants and also a kimono, Freya allowed me a little time to peruse the shelves for myself!

We had planned a night at Salford Quays as I had always wanted to visit The Lowry to view those famous Lowry ‘Matchstick Men and Matchstick Cats and Dogs’ paintings.

Lowry Market Scene
Lowry Market Scene

I remember, as a child, performing a tap routine on stage to the Matchstick Men song back in the early eighties. It has always stuck in my mind. I was rubbish at tap.

We were also treated to an unexpected exhibition of BBC children’s TV from its start back in 1922. A real nostalgia trip!

The following day had been planned as a real treat for my daughter.

The Coronation Street Tour.

The tour of the old Coronation street set, they moved to Media City in Salford at the end of last year, is being run for 6 months prior to the demolishing of the location within the centre of prime redevelopment land. We had a great guide and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. Walking down the cobbles was fabulous. The outside set is built at just 60% of what would be it’s true size which took a little to get your head around!

I was amazed by how much things had changed in Manchester. It is a far glossier place than I remembered it during my 3 years as a student studying Civil Engineering 20 years ago.

And finally to home to Wales, well my original home, not my usual home. Two nights and a day of home cooking, visiting school friends, walking on a wild beach in Anglesey and picking blackberries.

Back in my Yorkshire home now. An apple and blackberry crumble beckons.

Love, Lucie x 





  1. Wow, that Poppy installation looks incredible – I’m going to make that a “must visit” before 11th November. Great post, very interesting (and fab pics). X


  2. What a wonderful week. No wonder there was no time to blog. Glad you liked Durham the cathedral setting is amazing. The glimpse of the Lowry paintings reminds me that I really should make the effort and go. I shall be singing Matchstick men all day now. I bet you weren’t rubbish at tap. Thanks so much for sharing your week, good luck with the back to normal routine. Cathy x


  3. Oooh that sounds like a lovely break! Didn’t realise you were from Anglesey; I’ve a few friends who hail from there / holiday there and no doubt you will know them as I am convinced that everybody from there all knows each other!


    1. Not from Anglesey, but Conwy. I have great memories of many a sunny day spent on the beaches of Anglesey both with my parents and Grandparents. But there are few my mum doesn’t know 😉


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