22. Jun, 2021


TUESDAY 22-06-21

We weren't sorry to be leaving our Britstop this morning, though grateful for being able to offload our grey and black water. We still have half a tank of fresh water left so we should be able to have a nice hot shower tomorrow morning.

Our first stop was to a public waste bin down the road where we managed to dispose of our rubbish. I don't like doing that but there were no facilities offered at the pub and we really did need to dispose of them.

Then we were off to  Morrisons supermarket back in Amble. We had agreed that although we prefer to put good quality fuel like 'Shell' or 'BP' in the tank, today we would top it up with whatever Morrisons were selling while we were there. Just before turning off the main road and in to their car park I spotted an 'Esso' garage down the road at a price which looked like £1.32 a litre. The Chef said that couldn't be possible.

After working through our shopping list, being careful to make sure we had all we needed onboard because this was the last large supermarket on this trip, we made our way to the filling station where their diesel was £1.35 a litre, then out of the car park and passed the 'Esso' garage - £1.32 a litre. So for Morrisons to be selling diesel fuel for more than their competitors I had to assume we'd bought fuel from the connoisseur collection, something which had been selected immediately after refining and stored away for years in oak barrels to mature.

'She' in the satnav had a bit of fun with us as we made our way south to Beamish, just south of Newcastle. As we weren't far from the A1 when we'd set out I expected 'her' to take us back there and then south until we reached the correct junction signposted 'Beamish Museum' somewhere near the 'Angel of the North', but no, not today. We had a lovely ride round passing to the east of Newcastle taking in the sights of the A19,passing on the opposite carriagway a 'Shell' garage selling diesel a penny a litre cheaper than Morrisons, then the beauty of the Tyne Tunnel, which as we approached, realised it was a toll tunnel. This resulted in my having to pull right over to the left and park with my hazard warning lights on whist we rummaged around for some change to feed the toll machine. We have change with us, but it's dwindling. We hadn't used cash since the beginning of the first lockdown, but had to accept that we'd need some for various reasons whilst away.

With £1.90 raised in change we passed through successfully, though The Chef swears it demanded fifty pence more than the correct amount she'd fed it. So by the time 'She' had finished with us, on the trip north, and today's trip south, we'd virtually circumnavigated the Newcastle.

Our original Plan 'A' was to spend tomorrow at Beamish Museum, staying not far away at what looked like a very nice Britstop down the road. However having emailed the museum regarding what I thought was their rather unethical attempts to get customers to make donations or do 'Gift Aid' when applying for their tickets online I decided I didn't want to go there. This left us with nothing to do all day which seemed a waste, so Plan 'B' was that we'd use our bus passes to hop on a bus and go wherever it took us and make a day of it. Since just about every bus we've seen since we've been up here seems to go to Newcastle, we thought that's where we'd most likely finish up. Given that we have a small social function to attend in a couple of weeks and we want to go and visit Rosina's sister 'Dot' who sadly is now in residential care we felt we should be reducing our risks rather than increasing them. Therefore I proposed to The Chef that I swallow my pride and we go to Beamish Museum and see if we can buy pre-booked tickets for tomorrow at the office. After all, we won't be coming back up this way again so it's now or never. So that's what happened, we were advised to park on the back row with the coaches which we did before The Chef went to get the tickets. She returned with two £14.50 concession tickets valid for twelve months ( they're all at it these days). I asked if she had any problems and she said no, they didn't even mention Gift Aid, so who knows perhaps my email gave them food for thought.

We sat there and enjoyed our lunch whilst our folding windscreen-mounted solar panel pumped a bit more energy in to the habitation battery.

The Britstop we were heading for wasn't far away at all, but what ghastly roads they were, We're going to see if we can approach it from a different direction tomorrow. So around 14:00 we arrived here at the 'Black Horse' (N54.892510° W1.679415°). My word, it really is a lovely place and very popular. There were cars parked everywhere, so I guess they do popular family lunches or something. We're parked on the grass 'Behind the shed' and look forward to having a meal here this evening, though I just know it won't be cheap.

Looking down below where we are parked I noticed a large single story building with lots of glass panels in and what looked to be cars parked inside. So off I went, armed with my camera to take a look. What a treat, I'd stumbled upon 'Car Barn' www.carbarn.co.uk a car sales showroom full of magnificent classic cars. I asked if I could possibly take a look round and the mechanic said that would be ok as long as I wore a face mask.

I do have a little online flutter each week with the Euro Millions lottery, and if I win tonight I'm off back down the hill in the morning to buy an 'E' type Jaguar for close on £100,000. They also have another workshop just up the hill specialising in Aston Martin's, so I'll be making a point of taking a look there before we leave on Thursday morning.

Our table this evening is booked for 18:30, which means we should be done in time to watch the England v Czech Republic kicking off at 20:00. I'm not a football fan, but after their last performance, if I were Gareth Southgate I think I'd ditch any attempt at playing 5-3-2, or 4-4-2 or any other nonsense and stick to 10-1. Just put the ten players across the goalmouth in defence in front of the goalie. They won't score any goals, but then they didn't last time, but at least they shouldn't concede any either, with the added bonus that the goalie gets an evening off laying on a sun-lounger beside his goal sipping cocktails.