Keeping it local

I would never have asked for a global pandemic, I’m not sure many people would to be honest, but I am always looking for the positives wherever I can. One of the benefits of being penned into your local area is that you are able to explore things right on your doorstep that you have driven past many times but never found the time to take in and appreciate.

Ducks being ducks

We had a Sunday afternoon spare and Titchy suggested that we had a walk around Northumberland Park. Now, I love the Tyne and Wear Metro system as much as the next man, but having a few hours wandering around a Metro station didn’t exactly fill me with joy.

She pointed out that there is ANOTHER Northumberland Park, a proper park, this one in North Shields. It was a warm day and we walked hand in hand along the dropping paths leading down to the duck pond. It was still a weird feeling, being out in public, exaggerating your avoidance of people as you passed them to show that you were taking social distancing seriously and judging people that got too close to you. There were a lot that did get too close and no amount if tutting would stop them, eleven me, I tried.

Having had weeks of confinement, it was great to see people smiling, joking and relaxing in the sun. Kids, freed at last and bursting about the park like greyhounds fired from their starting traps.

We walked past the old timers that had told their wives that they were going to play crown green bowls. They weren’t. They were sitting in the sunshine and chatting. We wont tell anyone, promise.

A door for the pixies

We bumped into friends picnicking in the park and revelled in the social interaction but felt handcuffed by the inability to simply reach out and hug to greet them. Life has changed, possibly forever but maybe we will appreciate the little things we have taken for granted for so long that mean so much to us and keep us human.

As we made our way to the far corner or the park to loop back, we spotted the signpost telling us that we are heading towards the pet cemetery. Now, I had no idea that these things actually existed other than in horror films but exist they do.

It was fascinating looking arounft. There must have been over a hundred graves and dated from 1940’s to the 1960’s as far as I could make out. Some of the names were, I’m not sure how to put this, ‘dated’ is maybe the best word.

Most interesting to me was this grave, the good box Trixie Fox, that was a war veteran. I managed to find this explanation as to how he got there.

You are never far from a hero in the country, two legged or four.

The only disappointment to the day was that we couldn’t have a cup of tea and cake as things were not opened up. Finding this little local gem made us all the more determined to shop local as much as we can post covid, appreciate what’s right around your corner before its gone.

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