Seeking the City

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”

– Anonymous

Seeking the City

By KL Caley

He scraped his worn sandals against one another. His wandering eyes occasionally drifted down to the loose thread on his jeans. Don’t pull it, it was fashionable to have holes in them these days anyway, he thought.

As the early sun rose from the sky, the city revealed itself before him.

Leaving his job and his home was the scariest thing he had ever done, but now he knew he was exactly where he needed to be.

And he let his heart wonder, for just a moment, if he would ever see her again, in this city of dreams.

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”

My 99-Word short story was originally written in response to:

WQW 18 – Transportation

Review of Tees Valley Curiosities by Robert Woodhouse

Tees Valley Curiosities by Robert Woodhouse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: Factual – Travel – History

📖 I was unsure whether to write this review or not but I really enjoyed reading this book and thought I should share that. I love to learn about local histories. I do this a lot when I travel so when I came across this little book I was quite excited to see what was around the Tees Valley area.

Cover – Tees Valley Curiosities

👓 This book focuses more on the interesting objects to be found in the region instead of places themselves. The book is really interestingly laid out. Each object has a history about it, details on how to access it, brilliant photographs and then snippets of stories of it appearing in the press or writings (often historical articles).

✍️ There are so many great objects but here are a few of my favourites:

• Darlington yards and wynds – All these wynds have interesting names but there is one with a bull carving. This is said to be linked to the Bulmer family, who at one time owned the nearby Bull Inn. The hostelry was probably named after the mighty beast known as the Ketton (or Durham) Ox that was bred by the Colling brothers at the nearby hamlets of Ketton and Barmpton.

o Reading this story made me want to find out more about the Ketton Ox. The ox was bred in 1802 by Charles Colling of Ketton, near Darlington.

o The beast, weighing 34cwt and 11ft around the girth, was taken around the country and exhibited at fairs.

• The Hitching stone – A former editor of the Northern Echo, W.T.Stead, often used it to tether his pony after travelling to his nearby office from the family home at Grainey Hill Cottage, Hummersknott. In 1880, Mr Stead moved to London to become editor of the Pall Mall Gazette and was drowned in the Titanic disaster of 1912.

o Stead is such an interesting character, he was the first editor to employ women journalists, he campaigned to get the age of consent raised from 13 to 16, he was imprisoned and of course, as listed above, he died on the Titanic.

o There is an interesting article on him here – https://web.archive.org/web/201204131…

👫 I think the thing that I enjoyed most about this book is that it prompted me to want to know more and more (as can be seen in the two examples above).

🗺 Are there any curios in your town? If so, I’d love to hear about them. 😊

💭 Overall View: A brilliant little book with a fantastic collection of interesting tales.

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Special thanks to Joyce

I may have mentioned my family are going on holiday to London. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 We are visiting a lovely family member whom we haven’t seen since before the first lockdown.

🐕 This morning we packed our bags, took the dog to our friend’s house, then headed into town on the bus for some lunch as we “had plenty of time to spare”. Or so I thought…

📌 Whilst walking to the train station, realisation dawned on me. The train tickets were still proudly pegged to the notice board were I left them.

😥 We went to the ticket office, waited frantically in the queue only to be told “no tickets no travel”. I had the booking reference, the seat numbers even the credit card I paid on but the answer was still no.

😭 I was given the number for Northern Railway who I’d booked with, I called them and was passed from person to person, I was told I could rebook for the sum of £280 pp. I had originally paid less than £100 for all 3 tickets. We don’t have that kind of money. I looked at my little boys excited face and burst out crying. I’d ruined his holiday.

🧍‍♀️Just when all hope was lost, a lady from the ticket office came out. She told me if I could get the original tickets she would book us onto the next train.

🚕 I left my husband and son at the ticket office and hopped in the station taxis. I explained to the driver and amazingly he drove like a madman to my house (not something I’d normally encourage but on this occasion I was so grateful 🙏).

🎟 Returned triumphantly waving the tickets. Joyce the ticket officer true to her word put us on the next train. Although she’ll never see this, I can’t thank her enough for saving my little boys holiday. Your kindness has meant the world to us. ❤❤❤

We are on our way. ❤️

Dream Road Trip?

For Bloganuary #2 it asks – What is a road trip you would love to take?

I would like to do the North Coast 500 in Scotland. I have visited Inverness a few years ago but I took unwell so the trip was cut short. In these Covid times, I think keeping travel closer to home is probably still advisable for the near future.

I love to travel and to be honest, I am never too bothered by the destination.

I have stayed in a beautiful boutique hotel with a stunning rooftop terrace where you could sip cocktails whilst admiring the Parthenon. I have stayed in a rather dodgy hotel in Malta which absolutely stank of smoke and in which I spent a good hour disinfecting the room from top to bottom as it just didn’t feel clean. I’ve spent a freezing cold winter weekend in Scotland in a Caravan with the wind blowing through the closed windows (it seemed a good idea at the time of booking).

I could go on, but you probably get the gist. The thing is, I have loved all of those trips. They all have fantastic memories for me and the bits that went a bit wrong, well, they tend to make funny stories to tell friends. I am just happy with any opportunity to go somewhere I haven’t been before or to see something I haven’t seen before.

Medicine is today’s FOWC. I was trying to figure out how to tie that in with travel when I came across this quote:

Reportedly, women who vacation twice a year are substantially less likely to suffer a heart attack than women who travel only once every few years. Men who skip an annual vacation are at a 20% higher risk of death overall, and that jumps to a 30% higher chance of dying from heart disease.
Another, long-term study revealed that women in their middle years who travel more have less likelihood of having heart problems 20 years later, and the same study found travel also helped with blood pressure.

https://www.sanditz.com/blog/6-reasons-why-travel-is-the-best-medicine

Not sure of the sources of these studies, but if it means we can justify more trips, I am happy with that. What would be your dream trip? Road or otherwise?

KL

Exploration

The car is packed
I’m ready to go
To explore new places
I don’t yet know

The Dalai Lama
Gives the best advice
To be honest,
I don’t need telling twice

The time has come
I can’t ignore
I need to go someplace
I’ve never been before

When I return
Back to my home
I’ll have so many new stories
To call my own


Originally written in response to Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge (#WQWWC) now hosted by Marsha Ingrao at Always Right.

“Once a year go some place you’ve never been before”

― dalai lama

I love to explore and go on adventures. I follow the Dalai Lama’s advice and try at least once a year to go somewhere I’ve never been (with the exception of last year and lockdown). I adore history so any form of historical or cultural aspect makes something so much more intriguing to me. In the 13 years my husband and I have been together we have never had a relaxing sunbathing type holiday, they are always jam-packed with activities. I normally create a list before we go of places we would potentially like to visit, then when on location I tend to chat to the locals to find out where they would recommend, this has almost always resulted in some amazing discoveries.

On a holiday in Scotland, after some advice from the family-run guest house, we ended up finding a beach only the locals use, it was actually past a golf course and looked like it was private but it wasn’t, only the golf course access was. The views were stunning, and it had everything, rockpools, a shingly pebble-y bit, a sandy bay, sand dunes and despite the fantastic weather, we had it completely to ourselves. Our two nieces who were on vacation with us told us it was the best holiday they had ever had.

On another occasion in Malta, after chatting for a while to a bus driver, he told us of a small town that was holding a religious festival. We had paid for bus passes for the week so to get there was free, after a few minutes of discussion we thought why not and honestly, it was brilliant. There was a huge parade with people singing and dancing, dressed up, waving banners. The crowds and the atmosphere was great (and it had yummy food for sale too – always a plus for me).

So, if you want to get a little more out of a trip, speak to a local. I always try to learn the words hello, please, thank you, goodbye and toilet in the local language before I go but other than that there is normally someone who speaks your language who is willing to have a chat and make recommendations.

Have you ever had a brilliant local recommendation whilst travelling?

Much Love
KL

My hobbit list.

The Wanderer Daily Prompt asked which 5 places you would like to visit. This was such a hard choice for me there are so many things I want to see and do but know they all take time and money. So I thought I would narrow it down to the things I would like to do in the UK. My list did start to look a bit like a hobbit quest but anywhere here we go:

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1. Grime’s Graves – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grimes_Graves

Grime’s Graves is a large Neolithic flint mining complex near Brandon in England close to the border between Norfolk and Suffolk. It was worked between circa 3000 BC and circa 1900 BC, although production may have continued well into the Bronze and Iron Ages (and later) owing to the low cost of flint compared with metals.

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2. Stone Henge, Avebury and Silbury – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonehenge,_Avebury_and_Associated_Sites

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, about 2 miles (3.2 km) west of Amesbury and 8 miles (13 km) north of Salisbury. One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is the remains of a ring of standing stones set within earthworks. It is in the middle of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds.

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3. Eilean Donan Castle – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eilean_Donan

Eilean Donan (Scottish Gaelic: Eilean Donnain) is a small tidal island where three lochs meet

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4. Speedwell Cavern in Castleton. – http://speedwellcavern.co.uk/

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5. Sgwd yr Eira in Wales. – http://www.cavinguk.co.uk/holidays/waterfalls/WalkBehind.html

————————————————————–To all the UK WordPressers, the company I work for has recently announced a large-scale redundancy, leaving alot of people out of work just before christmas. This is the second redundancy round this year. One of the main reasons behind the recent process is due to the govt blocking an export license we required. Please sign the following petition for this action to be reviewed –  https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/114078/sponsors/tF59Tk2kJxFdqnLIxrhttps://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/114078/sponsors/tF59Tk2kJxFdqnLIxr

For more info please see my post on this issue. https://new2writing.wordpress.com/2015/12/03/uk-readers-please-sign-and-share-and-save-jobs/ 

Thanks for any help, support or shares you can offer. My heart goes out to you all with thanks. KL