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This is the UK website for Peter and Maureen Scargill. We live in the Northeast of England and also on occasion in Andalucia in Spain.

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Life as Usual in Bellingham

Van Morrison at the Playhouse

Life is pretty much back to normal here, I’ve still not opened up some of the packing stuff I brought back from Spain and my office is a tip but everything is working. Last weekend we went up to see Van Morrison at the Playhouse in Edinburgh and the following morning popped in to see an old friend Nigel Duncan who lives just outside the city before returning that afternoon to Northumberland.

West Woodburn

This weekend we’ve just had a lovely stop-over with some friends in East Woodburn. They have a place in Spain and whenever we go visit they do the most wonderful tapas – we had a great night.

West WoodburnIt’s pretty grim here in Northumberland – only a week ago the trees were the most wonderful colour as you’ll see on the picture over on the right (clicking on these pics should make for larger versions)– but now – there is only wood – and cold weather. Still, we’ve had a reasonable amount of sun in a dark, miserable Britain kind of way – not quite what they’re still getting in Spain though I understand even that is coming to an end for a while. Roll on global warming please.

Our cat Simba watching me workMid-Week Maureen and I went off to see Dr Strange which I have to say was very good though the CFI – whilst magnificent,was a little OTT. So now in between other jobs I’m focussing on getting my new toy – the Amazon Echo (we bought two of them) to control as many things around the house as possible – by voice. It really works well as long as you are careful with your choice of phrases – I called the new Office lighting “strip light” and it keeps thinking I’m saying “strobe light” but by and large – this is a major home-automation improvement on anything before it.

Got a black tie political do coming up this week – should be interesting to see if I still fit into the shirts (not had to wear anything formal for several months – indeed I spent virtually every day in Spain in sandals and shorts!!) -6 months stay this year and I’m not enjoying being back in the cold but at least I can get to our fantastic baker in Bellingham.

And with that, I’ll leave you with a couple of recent photos. I’m looking forward to the next episode of WestWorld – probably the best thing on TV right now (I think it is on Netflix – we’ve given up with “normal” TV altogether – between Netflix, Amazon and Now TV, we get a better selection than ever at a fraction of the cost of Sky satellite – and as for FreeSat – well, personally I think it is mainly rubbish).

Enjoy the pics. Oh and if anyone starts talking rot about the pound recovering – so easy to do with selective graphs, here’s a graph over the last year…

Pound versus Dollar

Theatre Royal next to the Playhouse in Edinburgh

Metro Centre in Gateshead

Can it get worse? Of course it can

Hard to believe we’ve only been back in the UK for just over 3 weeks. It seems like a lifetime.

When we left Spain the worst thing we had to worry about was Brexit – the end of Great Britain – now – there is Trump – racist, sexist… there are many terms to describe him but the thing that worries me the most is how FAR this guy is from the people who think he will be their saviour.

Mostly white people with similarly misguided views the big thing that separates him from them is the silver spoon. While claiming to be all things to all (mostly white male) people – he has lived a life vastly, vastly removed from those who have the most faith in him.  That and the fact that this man will have his finger on the nuclear trigger. Thank heavens Americans only put presidents in place for 4 years – I should imagine anyone with a clean email record – maybe the nearest office cleaner would be a good competitor. But we have 4 years to go as the mighty dollar and the mighty pound slowly sink into the west.

I always said political correctness had gone too far but for 2 great nations to swing so far in the opposite direction.. I can only say, for once that I’m glad I’m a white male.

They always said the yellow race would rule the world – they didn’t say it would be our fault.

Counting the days to get back to our little hole in Spain, far away from it all.

The Return

And so we start our long journey back to the UK. We left Galera first thing Wednesday and spent most of the day driving up through Spain. We arrived at our hotel Palicio Urgoiti in Bilbao in time for dinner.

All in great comfort except that the room air con was bust and so we spend the morning having a good old soak in the hotel pool to cool off. 

We started our overnight voyage first thing yesterday but by the time we hit land this afternoon and get an urgently needed MOT in Southampton we won’t have time to go home as we have to pick up my sister-in-law first thing tomorrow at the airport… hence we have another hotel stop-over tonight.

With luck my new Echo Dot will have arrived so I’m looking forward to a couple of days R&D while teaching the Dot to voice control the heating and lighting back at the cottage. 
Maureen is off to Ireland so I have a few days of uninterrupted gadget time ahead while having voluntarily left the sun back in Spain (if only temporarily) to return to rip-off, Brexit Britain. We must be mad.

I’m checking flights already as we watch the BBCs “Rip off Britain” on the ship.

Best meal of the day

I’ve never been one for breakfasts but a popular start to the day here is a very simple large slice of toast or tostada. The word has several meanings but at least in this part of Spain, ask for a tosdada and you’re likely to be asked if you want butter and marmalade – OR tomato – and I have to say the latter makes a VERY nice alternative (as in mashed tomato).

And so that is our new thing when the will takes us – getting up in the morning and walking down the hill for cafe-con-leche and tostada.  The problem is getting back up the hill but we’re working on that.

Breakfast in Galera

Weather is cooling off in Galera now, having said that it was roasting this afternoon but it won’t be long before one has to actually has to consider warmer clothing late in the evening.  Of course, when that happens, there is always the coast. No doubt about it – this is a considerably better life and lifestyle than anything I’ve come across in the UK.