I have had a pretty busy time recently. Mum has had another fall in which she sustained some very nasty bruising, especially to her face :-( and what with one thing and another time just flies by.
So it was with a mix of relief and anticipation that Mr A and I set off for Newcastle on Friday morning to watch our oldest son take part in the Great North Run.
We initially tried to book accommodation back in March/April time, and the nearest we could get to Newcastle was a Premier Inn in Bishop Aukland, so imagine my surprise when I checked their website on Thursday and found a vacancy in Newcastle Quays. I phoned straight away and changed our booking - best thing I have ever done. We were so well situated for the Race, literally underneath the Tyne Bridge.
Newcastle is such a lovely city. I doubt I have been anywhere where the people are so friendly and the smiles and warmth so genuine.
Mr A and I have never been to this part of the UK before, an omission on our parts, and we will most certainly be visiting again.
We spent a cold wet Saturday in Durham. Again, what a lovely city, the Cathedral is one of the best I have visited. After a long late lunch we met DS from his train ( he had travelled up from London and was staying in University Halls in Durham with two of his old schoolfriends who were travelling up from Worcester ) and we spent a pleasant couple of hours with him before heading back to Newcastle.
And so to Race Day. The weather was absolutely perfect, cool and sunny. Mr A and I ensconced ourselves on the Tyne Bridge, and watched the Wheelchair Athletes and elite women go through, and then waited for the rest of the field. DS was at the bridge within 12 minutes of the start, we saw him and he saw us :-) and so before the Red Arrows flew by at 11:00 we were on our way to the Metro and South Shields and the finish line.
We never did see DS finish - he was at the family reunion area waiting for us!!!!!! You see he ran the race in a staggering PB time of 1hour, 22 minutes and 44 seconds coming in at position 181 out of all those thousands of people. I am so proud of him. We left him at around 1:00 to go to met his friends, with a feeling of having seen very little of the race, but having seen DS on the iconic bridge was ample for us. Seeing him fit and well at the end was wonderful too. It may be 260 plus miles to Newcastle from Malvern, but every single one of them was worth it :-)
We arrived home to two days worth of post, and to put the icing on the cake of a very special day, DS has been accepted to run in the 2009 London Marathon.
What a perfect weekend, photos WILL follow but a weekend so special simply couldn't wait!