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This is Peter and Maureen Scargill's Spanish website. We live in Galera in Andalusia (for clarity, that is the English spelling - Mid-Spain they spell it Andalucia and pronounce it "And-a-loo-thee-a").

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A Brief Diversion in the UK – York the Jorvik Centre and Edinburgh

In between trips to Spain, we’d long since made arrangements with friend Marsha from the USA for her and her 2 brothers, Dave and Derek to come over for a couple of weeks, so this short blog is about that interlude. Of interest, Dave and Derek work for Pepsi and Coca-Cola respectively.

We’ve all had a great time, we started the interlude with a party here at our place in Wark which went very well indeed despite the rain which stopped us letting off fireworks which friends Bob and Margaret provided. That was followed by a great night at the neighbours and several trips to the local pubs. By now the boys now know pretty much everyone down at the Grey Bull in Wark – as I write this they’re off for the day to play golf at the Bellingham course.

I think I can safely say that up to now this has been, weather-wise the worse August I can remember – pretty much constant, miserable rain throughout the summer. I can’t tell you how happy we are to be clearing off back to the sun in a few days and what a shame for the many people who are visiting Britain for the first time right about now.

We continued our journey with a brief trip to York – primarily to get the badly pitted wheels on the Merc fixed. They might be able to make paintwork that lasts forever but it’s all a waste if your wheels look like crap. I could not find anyone in the Northeast to do this promptly and so on the Internet found a company near York who would blast the wheels and powder-coat, restoring them to new condition – and they look absolutely GREAT. While we were there, we went to the JORVIK centre, my second trip – and if you’ve not been there I can highly recommend it. Experience York as it was back in AD975. Great place, they successfully recreate the sights, sounds and SMELLs of the era. Great value. Note that the top photo shows some flooding in York when we were there.

Of course I never really stop grafting and throughout the trip I was testing the new HTC Touch Diamond – which has great promise – however Orange’s current version leaves something to be desired – with the battery regularly getting hot and reducing operation to less than a day. This, apparently is due to a bug which has been fixed – but not in the Orange version. But the email works – and that’s what’s important.

After a couple of days back in rainy Wark we travelled up to Scotland to spend some time up at St Andrews so the boys could see the golfing followed by an overnight stay in Aberdour- I’m not a golfer and the weather was a challenge but the place is really nice – I can see the attraction – on a hot sunny day the scenery would be marvelous… and then we went on to rainy Edinburgh – all I can say is thank heavens for plastic macs. The festival was good but the stalls seemed to have the usual mix of people selling assorted hand-made and passed from show-to-show gothic jewelry, paintings derived from Photoshop images and skilled acrobats with attrocious people skills… and to be honest although we didn’t cover the whole festival by any means – I didn’t find a burning desire to buy anything – but then as someone who’s done this trip many times perhaps I’m a little jaded – our friends from the USA had a great time. Of course we had the obligatory trip to Jenners department store.

While in Edinburgh we visited the Royal home at Balmoral, which again for those new to Britain must’ve been fabulous, personally I found the inability to take photos indoors annoying – especially as taxpayers of one generation or another effectively paid for all of this – and the interior, well, not that exciting, really – I would not want to spend a lot of time there myself – there are far, far nicer historical buildings elsewhere in the UK. The surrounding scenery however is priceless.

Interestingly on the way down the A68 we encountered deisel costs from as low as £1.18 (at the Coop) to £1.29 and beyond. Apparently the record is currently £1.60 !!

Everyone had a good time despite the weather. I bought myself a set of noise-reducing headphones at Currys – which don’t – so they’re going back at the earliest opportunity but the guys bought lots of stuff to take back home.

A quiet day today, we’re back home, there’s a ton (literally) of gravel to spread around the garden and we’ve just a few days left to ensure we get everything we need for the return trip to Spain. The night-glow glassses and ice-cubes (for the jacuzzi) turned up, got the telescope ready, Meanwhile if my pal Jonathan, who’s been in hospital, is looking in – hope you’re feeling a lot better.

For our last couple of days in the UK for now, we spent the weekend with our grand-daugher Holly – tripping off to Bolam for Sunday lunch – wherein a bunch of folk turned up driving Penny-Farthings!! Sunday was the first day of the summer that was actually sunny all day, but today, Monday, it’s back to the standard miserable rain!! I really feel for anyone who decided to spend this summer in the UK.

Just about ready, Maureen is mowing the lawn and I’m collecting together all the bits we’ll need over in Spain. The new phone I fear is going to be an issue as I’m not getting a day out of the batteries even with the updates. Thank heavens for car chargers!

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