FYI: Northumberland is Cold, my Brother is Dead.

Following on from a rapid two day whizz oop North (where it’s grim), I can confirm that it is indeed cold and wet.

Time constraints meant I couldn’t visit anyone except close family.  Some may be glad at this eventuality, some maybe sad..

[singlepic=1324,320,240,,]  The low point of the trip I’ll leave for another time.  The highlights, for me, were the picture I took of the weird and devilishly sharp solitary thistle growing in some rough grass at Stakeford; ( It’s gotta be an alien, it just doesn’t look earth-like!), and a video of my brother who has been dead for 15 years now.  It’s a part of a wedding video of one of his friends, and really lives up to the low expectations of the genre – I don’t think they’d think I’m being uncharitable by saying that….(sorry David & Christine).

Anyway, I haven’t seen my brother except in my mind for these past 15 years.   Antony (my brother)’s  best-man speech was pretty good.  He has a fine turn to camera, plays to the audience and pre-dates Jonathan Ross for hair and wit by a decade but without the cheap vulgarity.  I still miss him very much.

He coughed himself to death after suffering all his life from Cystic Fibrosis.  He was good-spirited to the end when I last saw him in the Brompton, forlornly waiting for a heart transplant.  David Graham was there – a true friend.

On the video, Antony is witty and only slightly unwell-looking……but….apparently he only just made it; some IV arm connections had come adrift as he arrived and when he finished his speech he popped off and a nurse re-did the drips.  I think everyone at the wedding party appreciated the effort he’d made by the way they treated him.

Some brrr pictures I’ve galleried here,   [nggallery id=16]  Earlier ones of the bizarre Bearded Collie Club Xmas “do” I’ve have to edit a bit more.  Like the aforementioned wedding video, it’s another case of “you had to be there” as actually, they’re dull as dishwater.  It’s a peculiarity of the breed that Bearded Collies don’t photograph very easily  – we see constant motion, but a still doesn’t represent this feeling.

There was a bit of snow on the A686 up through Alston.  It’s always a  lovely drive, even in bad weather.  In winter, you can easily die up there – it’s like the Arctic!