It has been a fantastic few days! 

It was a lovely day on Saturday so I spent part of the day repainting the front of the summer house with protective stain. The summer house has stood up well over the years since we built it and it has been so well used. In fact I think I spend something of every day here and it is probably my favourite place.

Later in the afternoon Rachel and I set off for Bamburgh Castle, equipped with a picnic hamper filled by my sister, Olive, and with portable seats hanging from our shoulders. The sun was shining and we were to watch Handlebards presenting The Tempest in the grounds of the Castle.

We joined an enthusiastic audience who, like us, lost no time in getting into their picnic hampers and started to feast. But soon the show began, based loosely on Shakespeare's Tempest but performed by four girls, one of whom was my niece Katy, whose additional claim to fame is that they cycle from venue to venue to perform their play. What a setting! And what glorious weather! Who could fail to have as much fun and enjoyment as we all did that evening.

The next morning was Sunday and, naturally, I was at Fogo Parish Church where the service was conducted by Chris, our reader, with members of the congregation. It was special for me because this Sunday marked the completion of the initial three years which I undertook to look after the congregation after the retirement of their minister back in 2016. It has been an exciting three years and one which is chronicled elsewhere (not least on

Then it was back home for lunch and to spend the rest of the afternoon watching Ben Stokes winning a vital Test Match for England. It was quite simply a spectacular innings and a superb occasion. I wouldn't have missed it for anything.

In the evening Rachel and I went to have a meal with friends from our time in Luss. They have a lovely home in Ladykirk and together we sat in their garden and ate and drank as we looked over the ground running down to the river Tweed. We ate and talked for hours. It was a lovely relaxing evening.

The next morning I was up to Putton Mill to hit golf balls. I'm getting a bit better but there is still colossal room for improvement! In the evening we watched a film. We are still getting used to the fact that now that we have superfast broadband we can choose a film from Amazon and watch it there and then instead for waiting two days for it to download.

On Tuesday Rachel and I drove down to Amble to see if Olivebank was OK at her marina berth there. I took Rachel to see the tourist area of the town and while we were there we enjoyed a superb haddock and chips!

The sun was really shining and it was extremely warm.

Rachel went below to get ready for our voyage

Soon we were out of the harbour and into the deep blue sea. We made our way to Coquet Island, passing many yachts on the way, several folk fishing and at least one other with youngsters diving as if they were on the shore of a Caribbean Island.

After sailing around the island we made our way back to Amble Marina, following a Puffin Cruise boat to make sure we made landfall where we should.

Soon we were safely inside. It was good to be home but it had been a wonderful afternoon on the water.

Life at Mount Pleasant really is pretty good!


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