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Nov. 30th, 2009

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The idea was we'd bimble up north by country roads, stopping every now and then to look at interesting things, spend the night in Newcastle, then bimble back home again, possibly by a coastal road. What we hadn't been prepared for was how heavily it was going to rain and how scary the flooding on those pretty country roads was going to be. All the rivers were running high, several had burst their banks, there was water where water didn't ought to be- and we found ourselves continually having to plough through impromptu streams and lakes. It was, I think, the most memorable drive of my life.

We'd been planning to spend time in Richmond- stroll round the Georgian streets and visit the castle; instead we dodged into a pub for a warm drink (it was full of young soldiers from the camp at Catterick)- then headed straight for the unflooded motorway.

Our hotel was a stone's throw from the Newcastle quays. The Tyne is fabulous at night, with its many bridges covered in lights- and the water on the ground and in the air just amplified the dazzle.

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