The GardenA blog by yours truly

A despatch from Ashington

I鈥檝e been hammering away at a big ol鈥 2022 recap post, trying to get it ready before it鈥檚 irrelevant. It seemed cruel to leave you all with nowt over the new year, though, so i thought i might send you some photos from a recent evening walk.

A quixotic signpost for the National Cycle network, done up in rainbow colours and pointing towards destinations in elaborately decorated lettering

Ashington1 is a poor erstwhile mining town at the very tip-top of the local conurbation, Newcastle鈥檚 last gasp before coal and collieries give way to princes and pastures. It takes pride in two things: one, its mining history, and two, the fact that two Ashingtonians delivered England the world cup in a final remembered by ever fewer people.

The moon glistens over a large pond in the evening sky; to the right, there's a lifebelt in the foreground and a strange purplish pinprick of light in the background

This is the Queen Elizabeth II Country Park 鈥 not to be confused with the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park down in that London 鈥 a marvellous regeneration project which has turned a spoil heap into a lovely lake complete with a Premier Inn. That purple light off in the distance is the Woodhorn Colliery Museum, a whistle-stop tour of Northumberland鈥檚 mining history which apparently fancies itself the Blackpool of the North.2

A closer look at the museum reveals that a cutter-like building is lit up in purple, while two old mining rigs have their spokes illuminated as if they were neon

And that鈥檚 all i wrote. Tune in next time for either another bashed-together filler postcard (by Gods, am i going to have to make Blyth sound appealing next?), or the first annual Horny Awards鈩. We鈥檒l see how far the Procrastination Monster lets me progress. :鈥-)

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